Personal details

Associate Professor Heather Fraser
Associate Professor in Social Science
Faculty of Health,
School of Public Health & Social Work
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Public Health and Social Work - HDHS
Discipline *
Public Health and Health Services
+61 7 3138 8295
+61 7 3138 0296
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PhD (Monash University)

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


Heather Fraser is Associate Professor of Social Work, School of Public Health & Social Work, Faculty of Health, QUT.

Associate Professor Fraser is an internationally recognised critical social work scholar who started her career three decades ago in shelters for women, young people and children trying to escape domestic violence and/or child abuse.

She has been a social work educator at several Australian universities, over the last 25 years, teaching subjects such as Human Rights Based Social Work Practice, Understanding Addictions, and Working with Diversity.

While domestic violence is a key area of expertise, Associate Professor Fraser’s research interests are varied, crossing disciplinary boundaries and inclusive of human-animal studies. All projects are undertaken from a critical perspective. Mostly qualitative in orientation, she is adept at working with ‘hard to reach’ groups, such as people in prison or on drug therapy programs, such as methadone.

To date, Associate Professor Fraser has published three books: Neoliberalization, Universities and the Public Intellectual: Species, Gender and Class and the Production of Knowledge (London: Palgrave), Understanding Violence and Abuse, An Anti-Oppressive Practice Perspective (Winnipeg: Fernwood Press) and In the Name of Love, Women’s Narratives of Love and Abuse (Toronto: Women’s Press/Canadian Scholars Press).

Her latest book, Rescuing You, Rescuing Me: Companion Animals and Domestic Violence 
(Palgrave: London) was published in 2018.

In addition, she has published numerous refereed publications.

Google Scholar Data

Citations – 1571

h-index: 16


index: 24

Career Overview

  • School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove (Brisbane), Qld Position: Associate Professor in Social Work from Jan 2018 + MSW Program Director
  • School of Social and Policy Studies, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia Positions: Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning, from January 2015 (ongoing) + Senior Lecturer, July 2009
  • School of Global Studies, Social Science & Planning, Design and Social Context Portfolio, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada Position: Assistant Professor
  • School of Social Work, Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Position: Lecturer B
  • Domestic Violence Team, Women’s Health West, Footscray, Victoria, Australia Position: Children’s services development officer, Nov 1998 – Feb 1999
  • School of Social Work, Dept Social Inquiry, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia Position: Lecturer B, Feb – Dec 1998
  • School of Social Work, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Victoria, Australia Position: Lecturer, Feb 1996 – Jan 1998
  • Department of Social Work and Community Welfare, James Cook University, Cairns campus, Far North Queensland Position: Lecturer, Jan 1994 – Feb 1996
  • St. Peter’s Team, Bethnal Green Social Services, East London, England Position: Community social worker, Dec 1992 – Feb 1994
  • Department of Social Work and Community Services, University of South Australia, Adelaide Position: Sessional lecturer and tutor, June 1990 – Dec 1992
  • Drug and Alcohol Services Council, Adelaide, South Australia Position: Mobile Needle Exchange Worker, May 1990-Nov 1991 (Friday & Saturday nights)
  • Women’s Information Switchboard, Adelaide, South Australia Position: Research and Information officer, June 1989-May 1990
  • Umbrella Youth Housing, Salisbury, South Australia Position: Youth-worker, May 1987 – Nov 1992
  • Lyell McEwin Hospital, Elizabeth Vale, South Australia Position: Social Worker (Obstetrics, gynaecology and children’s wards), Dec 1989 – Aug 1990
  • Royal Society for the Deaf, Adelaide, South Australia Position: Hostel worker, Sep 1986 – March 1987
  • Para Districts Women’s Shelter, Elizabeth, South Australia Position: Children’s worker, May 1984 – Sep 1986
  • Lyell McEwin Hospital, Elizabeth Vale, South Australia Position: Trainee registered nurse


This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Heather Fraser.


Teaching Experience and Expertise

Courses/Topics/Subjects Taught & Coordinated:

@ Flinders University:  Human Rights Based Social Work Practice Reasons for Social Work Understanding Addictions Social Work with Diverse Populations Ethical Issues and Critical Reflexivity Introduction to Child Protection Interpersonal Practice Social Work Theories of Intervention Child Welfare

@ RMIT University: Critical Social Work Community Development Strategies Research Strategies Advocacy and Social Action Advanced Advocacy and Social Action Social Work Research Social Construction of the Self Social Work Theory and Practice 1A (History and Trends) Social Work Theory and Practice 3A (Community Work) Women and Human Services MSW Field Education 1

@ University of Manitoba: Anti-Oppressive Practice Narrative Analysis Summer Institute Feminist perspectives in Social Work (city access programs) Introduction to communication

@ University of Melbourne: Contemporary Social Policy Theorising Social Inequality Community Work Working with Diverse Populations Organisational Contexts of Social Work Practice

@ Deakin University: Introducing Social Work Current Issues in Practice Critical Social Work Practice

@ Monash University: BSW Field Education Social Policy Social Work Skills

@ James Cook University: Human Service Organisations Social Work Values and Ethics Field Education

@ University of South Australia: Managing Community Services Introduction to Welfare Groupwork Social Policy Introducing Sociology Health Sociology

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Heather Fraser.


Research Profile

Interests: critical and green social work, neoliberalism, narrative analysis, human animal studies, power, privilege, oppression, love & domestic violence

Google Scholar Data

Citations – 1571

h-index: 16


index: 24

Editorial Boards

2016 Aotearoa/New Zealand Social Work, Journal

2002-2006 Just Policy Journal

Ad Hoc reviewing – Refereed journals

British Journal of Social Work Qualitative Social Work, Australian Social Work International Social Work, Affilia: Women and Social Work, Society and Animals, Sociology Online, Critical/Radical Social Work, Aotearoa/New Zealand Social Work Journal.

Book publishers

Cambridge, Palgrave, Sage, Allen & Unwin, Fernwood.

Community Engagement 

Professional Service and Community work:

Animals in Society Working Group co-convenor (2013 ongoing)

Member of the National Link Coalition (United States) (2016 ongoing)

Member of Social Workers Without Borders,

Editorial Board member of Aotearoa/New Zealand Social Work Journal (2016 ongoing)

Kangaroo Island and Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch Group member (2015 ongoing)

Centacare training on cross reporting abuse (2015)

ACCSR Advisory Board member and active associate

Communities for Children, Murray Bridge (Learning Circles’ Group facilitator, 2011, 2012, 2013)

Women’s Health Statewide presentation of research findings (invited speaker, 2010, 2011, 2013)

Critical social work presentation to Flinders Medical Centre Social Workers (invited speaker, 2011)

Ethics presentation to 40 South Australian Centrelink Social Workers (invited speaker, 2011)

DASSA presentations on pilot research (2010)

Conference papers seminar and training presentations

1. Riggs, D.W., Fraser, H., Taylor, N, Signal, T. and Donovan, C. (2016) Domestic violence service providers’ capacity for supporting transgender women: Findings from an Australian workshop, Australian Psychological Society Congress, Melbourne. *Presented by Damien Riggs*

2. Fraser, H. and Taylor, N. (2016) If it weren’t for…companion animals soothing women’s anxiety and depression, Animaladies Conference: Sydney University, July *Presented by Heather Fraser*.

3. Fraser, H. and Taylor, N. (2016). The human-animal violence link: Making connections between human and animal directed violence, aggression and cruelty, Australian Veterinary Association, Adelaide, May. *Presented by Heather Fraser*.

4. Taylor, N. and Fraser, H. (2015). Love, domestic violence, women and animals. Centacare training for South Australian therapists, mediators and managers, Sept 30th 2015, Adelaide.

5. Fraser, H. and Taylor, N. (2015). What is it About Animals: Animals, Representation and Methodological Conundrums, Animal Publics Conference. Presented at the University of Melbourne, July 12-15th.

6. Fraser, H. (2015) Hetero women’s love, abuse and romance. Research to Practice seminar Behind the wall: a Research to Practice seminar about domestic violence, Australian Centre for Community Services Research, Friday 24 April, Flinders University.

7. Taylor, N. and Fraser, H. (2015) Humans and animals working together to effect change. Invited speakers at the National Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Conference, Adelaide.

8. Fraser, H. (2014) Human-animal experiences of loss and grief, For the Love of Animals conference, Flinders University, Conference Centre, Bedford Park.

9. Fraser, H. (2013) Toughen up princess: Contradictory scripts for women about care in times of welfare austerity. Presented at the Australian Industrial Relations Association of Australia and New Zealand, Novotel, Melbourne, February (abstract rated 1/5, excellent).

10. Fraser, H. and Jarldorn, M. (2011) Producing evidence: drug treatment, stigma and helping alliances. Presented at Association of Qualitative Research Conference, Cairns, North Queensland.

11. Fraser H. (2006) Respectful love: What is it? Who wants it? Why? Invited paper at the 7th National Vietnamese Women’s Conference, Past Experiences – Future Initiatives, 29th-30th March, Playford Convention Centre, Elizabeth, South Australia.

12. Fraser H. (2005) Polyvocality, social justice & the use of dichotomies. Australian Association of Social Work and Welfare Workers’ conference, La Trobe, Beechworth, Nov 23-25th.

13. Fraser H. and Briskman L. (2004) Through the eye of a needle: The challenge of getting justice in Australia if you’re indigenous or seeking asylum. Presented at the National Association of Canadian Social Workers’ conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 29-31.

14. Fraser H. (1999) Doing Battle with Love and Abuse: stories from women on the frontline. Invited speaker for Domestic Violence: Feminist Responses for the New Millennium, Sept 26-28th, Adelaide.

15. Fraser H. (1999) Narrative Analysis. Presented at the Monash University Postgraduate conference, July 28th.

16. Fraser H. (1998) Considering the use of a theoretical framework. Presented at the Feminists at Deakin Conference, Dec 2nd.

17. Fraser H. and Strong D. (1998) Teaching structural skills to beginning students. Presented at the Australian Association of Social Work and Welfare Educators Conference, Sept 26th – 28th

18. Fraser H. (1998) Romantic love, gender scripts and young women in substitute care. Presented at the National Kids First Conference, Melbourne, April 2nd.

19. Fraser H. (1997) The Politics of Romantic Love. Presented at the Monash University Postgraduate Conference, Dec 5th.

20. Fraser H. (1997) Love narratives and gender scripts: contemplating their effects on young women in state residential care. Presented at the Victorian Association of Social Workers Conference, Nov 10th.

21. Fraser H. (1997) (Re)Thinking Rape: A Resistance Post-Structural Feminist Perspective. Presented at the National Social Policy Conference, Sydney, July.

22. Fraser H. (1996) Enlightening supervision in a cold and cramped workplace. Presented at the Australian Association of Social Work and Welfare Educators’ Conference, October 17-18th, University of Melbourne, Carleton, Victoria.





This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Heather Fraser.


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