Emeritus Professor Thea Brown

Emeritus Professor

Email: thea.brown@monash.edu

Telephone: +61 3 9903 1139
Facsimile: +61 3 9903 1141

Profile

Teaching and Administration

Professor Thea Brown, B. A. Diploma of Social Work (Univ. of Sydney), Ph.D. (Univ. of Melbourne), joined Monash Department of Social Work from Melbourne University as a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head in the late 1980’s, having had a prior career in public hospitals and local government in NSW and Victoria.  When Professor Peter Boss, the Foundation Professor of Social Work, retired she gained the chair.  She worked with the staff, a consortium of Victorian Universities, state and Commonwealth governments to obtain funding for an expansion of social work student numbers to overcome the then shortage of social workers in Victoria; Monash then won funding that overcame the university’s constraints on the Department’s growth.   Subsequently the Department, assisted by the then Gippsland College of Advanced Education, received more funding to develop the first Australian Distance Education B.S.W. and MSW (Coursework), later developed to an on- line platform by Monash Education Grants.  The Department also gained permission for Distance Education Ph.D. enrolments.

After 7 years she relinquished the Head of Department position and undertook periods as Deputy Head of Department and Director of International Programs when the Department was invited by the Singapore government to establish the Monash BSW taught in Singapore with SSTI as the partner.  She also coordinated the MSW (coursework) and the MSW (Research) and Ph.D. programs and taught in the BSW and MSW and Ph.D. programs.

Research   

For the last twenty years her research focus has been on family violence, initially on parental separation, family law and family violence. Together with Professor Rosemary Sheehan, Ms Lesley Hewitt, (then at Monash), and Professor Margarita Frederico, (La Trobe), she undertook two studies with the Family Court of Australia that produced a unique national Family Court program to address child abuse allegations in parenting disputes.  This program has been replicated overseas and continues in Australia today.   She became a member of the Commonwealth Family Law Pathways Advisory Group, 2001-2, that recommended reform to the Family Law services system, later implemented with the 2006 family law legislation.  Further research was undertaken evaluating these changes at the local level, and then at the national level with a study for the Commonwealth Attorney-General on the impact of the 2006 legislation on victims of family violence.   The study (Monash - Social Work, Law, Criminology /University of South Australia – Social Work, Psychology) showed many recommendations for change that were implemented in new family law legislation in 2012 with the team being thanked for their work by the Commonwealth Attorney General in his introduction to the legislation.

In 2010 she completed a small in-depth study of Men’s Behaviour Change Programs (MBCPs), with Dr Ralph Hampson using data from clients at various Lifeworks sites in Victoria and a second study in 2017 undertaken with Dr Catherine Flynn, Dr Paula Fernandez Arias and Dr Carlos Clavijo. This study, running over four years, was a longitudinal national study on the impact of MBCPs on men and their partners using a collaboration with 7 agencies on 12 sites in 3 states and funded through Violence Free Families from government and philanthropic sources.

Her earlier research in the Family Court prompted a 10 -year retrospective study on filicide deaths in Victoria, 2000 – 2009, undertaken with Dr Danielle Tyson and Dr Paula Fernandez Arias and completed in 2013, and lead to the Monash/Deakin Filicide Research Hub team’s desire to develop inter-country links to drive forward research and action on filicide internationally.  Thus, the team established the Addressing Filicide International Conference series running every second year at Prato, in 2013, 2015 and 2017 to date.   At the same time the Monash/Deakin team collaborated with an AIC team to carry out the first Australian national 12- year retrospective study on filicide, 2000-2012, which is completed in draft and will be published around June-July 2018.

Professor Brown has won over $1,000,000 in competitive grant money.

Below are details of books and reports; the journals in which the work is published are USA, Family Courts Review and Child Abuse and Neglect, UK, Child Abuse Review, the Netherlands, and Australia, Children Australia and Family Matters.  She has given many keynote papers in Australia and overseas.

Books

Brown, T., Tyson, D., Fernandez Arias, P. (2018). Why Parents Kill Their Children: Understanding Filicide, Palgrave MacMillan, UK, February 2018

Batagol, B., and Brown, T. (2011) Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: The Case of Family Mediation, Themis Press and Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney NSW

Brown, T., and Alexander, R. (2007). Child Abuse in the Context of Parental Separation and Divorce and Family Law, Allen and Unwin, Sydney

Reports

Brown, T., Lyneham, S., Bryant, W., F Tomison, A., Tyson, D., Fernandez Arias, P. and Bricknell, S. (2018). Filicide in Australia: A National Study, AIC Report Series, Australian Government, Australian Institute of Criminology, presented in December 2017 and to be released in June-July 2018

T. Brown. (2017) A Report on Policies and Procedures for ODYSSEY in the Creation of a Child Safe Organisation, Dept of Social Work, Monash University, Melbourne

Brown, T., Flynn, C., Fernandez Arias, P., Clavijo Lopez, C. (2017). A Study of the Impact on Men and Their Partners in the Short and Long Term of Attending Men’s Behaviour Change Programs, Department of Social Work and Violence Free Families Melbourne, in hard copy and onwebwww.violencefreefamilies.com.au

Brown, T., Tyson, D. and Fernandez Arias, P. (2015), Filicide in Victoria, Submission to the Victorian Royal Commission on Family Violence, Department of Social Work, Monash University

Brown, T. (2015). Relationship Review and Renew Study Report, Department of Social Work for Family Life and Department of Social Services, Canberra

Brown, T. and Campbell, A. (2013). Children and Child Inclusive Processes in Family Relationship Centres, Department of Social Work, Monash University, Caulfield

Brown, T., Batagol, B., Sourdin, T. (2013). Family Support Program Literature Review, Research into the Family Support Program: Family Law Services, Civil Justice on Line, http://www.civiljustice.info/

Bagshaw, D., Brown, T., Wendt, S., Campbell, A., McInnis, E., Tinning, B., Batagol, B., Sifris, A., Tyson, D., Baker, J., Fernandez Arias, P. (2010). Family Violence and Family Law in Australia: The Experiences and Views of Children and Adults from Families who separated Post 1995 and post 2006, Vol 1 and Vol 2, Monash University, University of South Australia and James Cook University, for the Commonwealth Attorney- General’s Department, Canberra

Brown, T. (2010). What about the Children: Parenting Following Parental Separation and Divorce, Department of Social Work, Monash University and Family Life Victoria, Caulfield, VIC

Brown, T. and Hampson, R. (2010). An Evaluation of Interventions with Domestic Violence Perpetrators, The Rotary Club of Brighton, Rotary Health Research Foundation, Lifeworks, VIC, Department of Social Work, Monash University, Caulfield, VIC

Brown, T. and Frederico, M. (2009). Court Ordered Supervised Contact and Access Programs for Children, Gordon Care VIC and Department of Social Work, Monash. VIC

Brown, T., with Smales, S. (2007). The Gordon Care Parent Orders Program: An Evaluation, Department of Social Work, Monash University, Melbourne

Brown, T., Frederico, M., Sheehan, R., Hewitt, L., (2001). Resolving Family Violence to Children: The Evaluation of Project Magellan, a Pilot Program for Managing Family Court Contact and Access Disputes Where Allegations of Child Abuse Have Been Made, Family Violence and Family Court Research Program, Report No 3, Monash University, Melbourne

Brown, T. and Frederico, M. (2009). Court Ordered Supervised Contact and Access Programs for Children, Gordon Care VIC and Department of Social Work, Monash. VIC

Brown, T., with Smales, S. (2007). The Gordon Care Parent Orders Program: An Evaluation, Department of Social Work, Monash University, Melbourne

Brown, T., Frederico, M., Sheehan, R., Hewitt, L., (2001). Resolving Family Violence to Children: The Evaluation of Project Magellan, a Pilot Program for Managing Family Court Contact and Access Disputes Where Allegations of Child Abuse Have Been Made, Family Violence and Family Court Research Program, Report No 3, Monash University, Melbourne

Book Chapters

Brown, T., Tyson, D., Fernandez Arias, P. (2017). Understanding Filicide in Australia in (ed.) Brown, T., Tyson, D., Fernandez Arias, P., Why Parents Kill Children: Understanding Filicide, Palgrave MacMillan, UK Forthcoming October 2017

Brown, T. (2012). Step-Parenting, Blended Families and Government Policies in Australia, in (ed. Ariffin, J.), Step Parenting and Blended Families, ADFAM, Kuala Lumpur,

Brown, T. (2006). New Interventions in Child Protection Following Parental Separation and Divorce,New Models of Child Protection Intervention, (ed. Humphries, C., and Stanley, N.) Jessica Kingsley, UK

Brown, T. (2006). The Challenge of Developing a Constructive Relationship Between the Workplace and the Family,

and

Brown, T. and Frederico, M. (2006). Current Themes in the Development of Child Welfare Programs, (ed. Ariffin, J.) Facing Up to Global Challenges: Building Resilient Families and Caring Communities in a Troubled World, ADFAM, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia

Brown, T., (2003) New Technology: The Subversive Element for Human Services Professionals (2003) (ed.)  L. Briskman, Moving Beyond Managerialism, RMIT Press, Melbourne, Informit Library http://www.informit.com.au/library/default.asp?

Brown, T and Frederico, M. (2003). The Family in the K-Economy Age – the Australian Experience, in The Family in the K-Economy Age: Challenges to Parenthood, (ed.) Ariffin, J., Asia Pacific Forum on Families and Family Development Foundation of Johor, Malaysia, pp 26-35.

Thea Brown Research: Monash University Research