Personal details

Ms Jean Carruthers
Lecturer in Social Work and Human Services
Faculty of Health,
School - Public Health and Social Work
Discipline *
Public Health and Health Services
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Bachelor of Social Work (University of Sunshine Coast)

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


Ms Jean Carruthers is a Lecturer in Social Work at the School of Public Health and Social Work, Faculty of Health, QUT.

Before starting her career in academia, Ms Carruthers practised in diverse areas within social work, including domestic and family violence, sexual assault, community development in rural communities and family law and field education in a university setting.  A strong advocate for external supervision in the field of social work, Ms Carruthers provides supervision for practitioners using critical reflection as a basis for this work.

Further to her work in direct practice Ms Carruthers has been heavily involved in social activism, community education and research working collaboratively with community groups such as the Justice Dance Project and Applied Theatre Project. This work has taken the form of collaborative coordination of community flashmobs raising community awareness in the areas of domestic and family violence, child protection, and mental health. Through her ongoing affiliation with Applied Theatre Project Jean has development and implemented a community education Forum Theatre performance titled ‘Nude for Nude’ about sexting, empowering teen students to participate in social action for emancipatory change. Furthermore, Ms Carruthers was involved in the development of social research using invisible theatre to explore bystander responses to sexual harassment in a university setting.

In her academic work, Jean has used theatre and performance as a means for embodied approaches to critical learning in social work education.
She is currently completing her PhD (due for submission in 2019) on performance as a platform for critical pedagogy in social work. Her current research program is focussed on using the arts, particularly drama, to expose novel and innovative directions in teaching critical social work practice.

This information has been contributed by Ms Jean Carruthers.


Conference Presentations:

·       JUN (2015) ‘Using applied theatre as critical pedagogy in social work’, From Moments to Movements: Solidarity, Collective Struggle and Common Cause – Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference, Chicago, US.

·       SEP (2015) ‘Putting gender back on the agenda in domestic and family violence policy and service responses’, University of the Sunshine Coast Domestic and Family Violence Symposium, Sippy Downs, QLD.

·       NOV (2016) ‘Exploring social work through critical pedagogy and performativity’, Fulda University of Applied Science, Fachhochschule in Fulda, Germany.

Guest Lectures:

·       (2014) ‘Community development and social action’, SCS172 Intro. to Social Work and Human Service Practice -University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD.

·       (2015, 2016) ‘Sexting forum theatre’, DRA 201 Applied Drama – University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD.

·       (2016, 2017, 2018) ‘Feminist theory: three waves’, SCS730 Critical Social Theory: Power, Critique & Praxis – University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD.

·       (2017, 2018) ‘Critical Performance Pedagogy in Social Work Education’, SWB220 Practice Theories, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD.

Ongoing Collaborations and Creative Work:

  • Collective coordination of community flash mobs – Centacare Scope and Justice Dance Project.
  • Social work education workshops in Germany – Professor Sabine Pfeffer – Fulda University of Applied Science, Hochschule Fulda.
  • Applied Theatre Project – Dr Natasha Budd – University of the Sunshine Coast.
This information has been contributed by Ms Jean Carruthers.