Personal details

Adjunct Professor Robert Lonne
Adjunct Professor
Faculty of Health,
School - Public Health and Social Work
Discipline *
Social Work, Sociology
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Doctor of Philosophy (Uni of South Australia), MQual(Arts) (James Cook Uni. of North Qld), BSW (University of Queensland)

Professional memberships
and associations

Bob is a member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (IPSCAN).


Child protection, Human services, Welfare programs, burnout, human services workforce issues, rural social care, rural social work, social work curriculum, social work ethics, work stress

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Background Professor Lonne is the immediate past Discipline Leader of the Social Work and Human Services disciplinary group at QUT. From July 2014 he stepped down from this position and took up the Course Coordinator Master of Social Work role. In 2008 the social work course was added to the human services course, which is one of Australia’s leading professional degree programs educating practitioners for the demanding roles in planning and delivering social programs and community services. The Master of Social Work program commenced in 2010.   Bob has a distinguished career in direct practice and has held managerial positions in the mental health, statutory child protection and juvenile justice fields in both Queensland and Western Australia. He commenced his PhD in the early 1990s and researched the factors affecting the recruitment and retention of rural social workers, as well as the process of personal and professional adjustment they experienced when relocating to take up a position in a rural community. Professor Lonne attended the Australian 2020 Summit in relation to the issues affecting rural communities. He is particularly active in the issues that affect social work and the human services sector at the international, national and local levels, with a particular focus on workforce issues and planning and reforming child protection, and he has researched and published widely in this area. Bob was the National President of the Australian Association of Social Workers from 2005-2011, having been twice elected by members. He has demonstrated high level national leadership in repositioning the association and social work in a number of areas including

  • mental health
  • social policy issues
  • contemporary education
  • accreditation standards for schools of social work.

He has articulated clear practice and ethical standards, and generally elevated the voice of the profession. Professor Lonne has been widely reported in the media in relation to a range of issues including

  • child protection
  • domestic violence
  • other social welfare issues.

He is also the Elections Officer for the International Federation of Social Work.   Research focus: Professor Lonne is passionate about the safety and wellbeing of children and families, and is involved in studying the outcomes and efficacy of contemporary child protection systems and practice. He is committed to reforming these systems to ensure that they

  • reduce harm and trauma to children
  • assist parents and communities to provide better protection
  • provide real help to those who have experienced abuse and neglect.

Bob has maintained a longstanding interest in rural social work practice and rural social care processes, with continued involvement in a high-level, inter-disciplinary and cross-institutional research team. Another area of involvement is in examining the workforce development and planning issues affecting social work and the human services, with an emphasis upon the tertiary and TAFE curriculum that helps to prepare practitioners for this challenging and rewarding work.

This information has been contributed by Adjunct Professor Robert Lonne.


Teaching areas

Bob teaches in social work and human services courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, teaching across a range of first year units. He is the Course Coordinator of the Master of Social Work. His teaching interests include general social work practice knowledge and skills, practice methods and processes, and he has a particular focus on child protection and youth justice. His interests include the broad societal issues affecting social policy and service users in the increasingly complex and often fragmented human services.

This information has been contributed by Adjunct Professor Robert Lonne.


Professional practice Bob had a lengthy professional career in statutory mental health, child protection and juvenile justice. He remains very active in high level policy forums and committees. He also works closely with a number of community-based human service organisations. Service for the community From 2005-2011, Professor Lonne was the National President of the Australian Association of Social Workers, which has over 8000 members nationally and is a founding member of the International Federation of Social Work (IFSW). He was the Elections Officer for the IFSW 2009-2012. Bob is also engaged as a consultant for government and non-government matters including organizational issues. Involvement within the sector includes:

  • 2014 – Present: Member of the Dept of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services statewide Child and Family Stakeholder Advisory Group which provides high-level advice to the reform process implementing the recommendations of the Carmody Inquiry into child protection in Queensland.
  • 2012 – Present: Ministerially appointed member of the Queensland Clinical Education and Training Council (QCETC).
  • 2009 – Present: member of QHealth Alied Health Education Standing Committee
  • 2012-Present: member of Mission Australia Family Assist Reference Group
  • 2009 – 2013: ministerially appointed member of  the FACHSIA and Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) Common Approach to Assessment Referral and Support Taskforce (CAARS), to address issues around the wellbeing and safety of children, early intervention and prevention of child abuse and neglect
  • 2008 – 2011: foundation member of the national Centrelink Professional Practice Reference Group 
  • foundation member of the 2010 Queensland National Framework Interdepartmental Working Group (QNFIWG), whose purpose was to drive implementation and reporting on the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children endorsed by COAG.

Since 2013 Bob has been the Editor of Communities, Children and Families Australia, a professional transdisciplinary journal covering issues affecting vulnerable groups published by the School of Public Health and Social Work at QUT. He is also on the editorial boards of international professional journals including

  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • American Journal of Orthopsychiatry
  • Journal of Teaching in Social Work

He also reviews articles for

  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • American Journal of Orthopsychiatry
  • British Journal of Social Work
  • Journalism
  • Journal of Teaching in Social Work
  • Child Abuse Review
  • Children and Youth Services Review
  • Australian Journal of Social Issues
  • Australian Social Work
  • Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development
  • Asian Social Work and Policy Review
  • Rural Social Work and Community Practice
  • Rural Society
  • Social Sciences
  • Evidence & Policy

International Engagement

Bob has strong linkages with industry, researchers and academics overseas, including:

  • Member of the international Expert Advisory Committee for the implementation of early intervention and prevention service models in an overhaul of the Irish national approach to protecting children. This group is working with the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Atlantic Philanthropies, Dept of Children and Youth Affairs (TUSLA) to shape a major evaluation of the reforms (€10M) 2014-current;
  • Ethics in child protection practice – Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families (AASCF) for Department of Human Services, Alberta Canada Oct 2012; and
  • Connections with University of Calgary, University of Huddersfield (UK), Open University (UK), Sor-Trondelag University College Trondheim, Norway, University of Auckland, and University of Colorado (USA).
This information has been contributed by Adjunct Professor Robert Lonne.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.