- Dr Niki Edwards
- Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Health,
School - Public Health and Social Work
- IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Public Health and Social Work - HDHS
- Discipline *
- Social Work, Policy and Administration, Public Health and Health Services
- +61 7 3138 4656
- +61 7 3138 4620
- View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
- Identifiers and profiles
PhD (University of Queensland)
- Professional memberships
Australian Association of Social Workers Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability Australian Relatives and Friends of People Living with Mental Illness (arafmi), Community Living Association Queensland Advocacy Incorporated National Association of Dual Diagnosis European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability
intellectual disability, development disability, dual disability/dual diagnosis, psychopharmacology, chemical restraint, restrictive practices, international social work, disaster management, gender, disability
Prior to entering academia, she worked in health, disability and human services for more than 20 years. Dr Edwards’ research brings together clinical, governmental and academic perspectives to create a synthesised account of psychiatry, disability and disadvantage. Early in her career, Dr Edwards worked in psychiatric services as people with disabilities moved from institutional care/community development. Later, she worked clinically in hospital and rehabilitation settings and in public policy and public administration across government portfolios including family services, community services, disability and mental health.
Drawing upon this experience, Dr Edwards has contributed to many Department of Defence and Trade Australia Award Fellowships for fellows from Africa, Cambodia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nepal and the Pacific in the intersecting areas of disability, gender and inclusive disaster management. After completing a Master of Public Administration at the University of Queensland in 2000 and a PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Queensland in 2007 she now uses mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative designs) to research inclusion, diversity and gender equality.
Her teaching responsibilities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels include social work and human services students, and past involvement in the education of medical students and trainee psychiatrists.
Dr Edwards is one of the few accredited international trainers in the psychiatric assessment of adults with intellectual and developmental disability.
She was appointed to the position of Coordinator of the Undergraduate Social Work Programs in 2012 – current.
Key Research Interests
• Restrictive practices and people with cognitive impairment, including challenges associated with the diagnosis of mental illness in adults with intellectual and developmental disability
• Diversity and disability, including health and mental health and wellbeing of adults with cognitive impairment/adults with intellectual/developmental disability
• Human rights and vulnerable people, including decision making issues in relation to people with disability • Gender and inclusive development, including disaster management
• Medical education and clinical leadership challenges
Dr Edwards is the Coordinator of the Undergraduate Social Work Programs at QUT. She teaches into:
- SWH 202 Health Wellbeing and Social Work (Unit Coordinator)
- SWB 105 Human Rights
- SWB 306 People, Community and Disability
- SWH 311 Mental Health Social Work (Unit Coordinator)
- SWB221 Professional Practice Processes and Assessment
- SWN 005 Health, Wellbeing and the Human Condition (Unit Coordinator)
Dr Edwards enjoys teaching and connecting with community services supporting people with disabilities, their families and carers. She is a passionate advocate for inclusion and celebration of diversity.
Current research projects
Dr Edwards currently leads research examining psychotropic medication prescribed to adults with intellectual disability. She is undertaking research that examines the views of psychiatrists about adults with intellectual disability, including prescription of psychotropic medication to manage challenging behaviour (chemical restraint). Her research and teaching focuses on health and wellbeing, disability, human rights, gender and inclusive development/disaster management – locally, nationally and within the international context.
- Newcomb M, Burton J, Edwards N, (2017) Service user or service provider? How social work and human services students integrate dual identities, Social Work Education p678-689
- King J, Edwards N, Correa-Velez I, Hair S, Fordyce M, (2016) Disadvantage and disability: Experiences of people from refugee backgrounds with disability living in Australia, Disability and the Global South (DGS) p843-864
- King J, Edwards N, Correa-Velez I, Darracott R, Fordyce M, (2016) Restrictive practices on refugees in Australia with intellectual disability and challenging behaviours: a family's story, Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities p222-232
- Newcomb M, Burton J, Edwards N, Hazelwood Z, (2015) How Jung's concept of the wounded healer can guide learning and teaching in social work and human services, Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education p55-69
- Venville A, Sawyer A, Long M, Edwards N, Hair S, (2015) Supporting people with an intellectual disability and mental health problems: A scoping review of what they say about service provision, Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities p186-212
- Edwards N, Alexander W, Mutch A, (2014) Psychotropics and challenging behaviour in people with an intellectual disability [Letter], Medical Journal of Australia p456
- Edwards N, Bain C, Mutch A, Dean J, Lennox N, (2014) A multi-level ecological model of psychotropic prescribing to adults with intellectual disability, Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities p24-31
- Edwards N, (2008) Jane, Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities p49-54
- Jess G, Torr J, Cooper S, Lennox N, Edwards N, Galea J, O'Brien G, (2008) Specialist versus generic models of psychiatry training and service provision for people with intellectual disabilities, Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities p183-193
- Edwards N, Lennox N, White P, (2007) Queensland psychiatrists' attitudes and perceptions of adults with intellectual disability, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research p75-81
For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.
- A Definition of The Transparency Model: Promoting Translucent Communication in a Spinal Injuries Unit in Queensland
PhD, Principal Supervisor
Other supervisors: Dr Julie King
- A Journey with No Destination: Lived experiences of warrior mothers of children with physical disability in Bangladesh
PhD, Associate Supervisor
Other supervisors: Dr Julie King
Completed supervisions (Doctorate)
- "It's the People's Radio": People with Disability in Australian Community Radio (2019)
- Birds Dying in the Sky: Older Transgender Women's Constructions, Understanding and Experiences of Ageing in Thailand (2018)
- Recognising resilience: Understanding how childhood adversity impacts undergraduate social work and human services students (2018)