Associate Professor Philip Mendes

Director of the Social Inclusion and Social Policy Research Unit (SISPRU)

BA & BSW (Uni of Melbourne), PhD (Latrobe Uni)

T: +61 3 99031132

Philip Mendes Research: Monash University Research


Dr Philip Mendes completed his PhD on the peak community welfare advocacy body, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). He has also published widely on a range of social policy and community development debates including globalisation and the welfare state, compulsory income management/Cashless Debit Card, illicit drug policies, Indigenous social policy and social workers and policy practice. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for a number of academic journals including Alternativas (Spain), International Journal of Social Welfare (Sweden), the International Journal of Community and Social Development, Developing Practice and Social Alternatives.

For the last 20 years, he has been engaged in ongoing research on young people transitioning from out-of-home care, and is recognized as the leading Australian researcher in this area. He is a member of the Transitions to Adulthood for Young People Leaving Public Care International Research Group, and has completed a number of major funded leaving care studies pertaining to youth justice, disability, Indigenous care leavers, and mentoring and employment programs.

He has published widely in peer reviewed academic journals (over 100 publications in total), and is the author or co-author of 12 books including most recently Young people transitioning from out-of-home care: International research, policy and practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) Australia’s Welfare Wars (UNSW Press, 3rd edition, 2017), and To empower or control the disadvantaged: A critical historical analysis of the modern Australian Welfare State (Routledge, 2018).


Social Policy and Community Practice: SWM 5109, SWK 3410 and SWK 4450.




Steven Roche (Associate)

Jacinta Waugh (Lead)

Jenna Bollinger (Lead)

Jade Purtell (Lead)

Marcia Pinskier (Lead)

Recently completed

Samone McCurdy (50 per cent load, completed 2018)

Raewyn Tudor (Associate, completed 2018)


Funding grants received and recent applications

2019: Improving postsecondary education planning for children in, and transitioning from, out of home care: Andrew Harvey, Jacqueline Wilson, Philip Mendes and Iain MathesonLa Trobe University Grant Ready Scheme, $34, 400.

2019-20: Transitioning From Care in NZ and Australia:Iain Matheson, Philip Mendes, Andrew Harvey and Jacqueline WilsonRoyal Society of New Zealand Catalyst Seeding Application, to be submitted July 2019, requesting $80,000 NZ.

2019-20: Accommodating Transition: Improving housing outcomes for young people leaving out of home care: Robyn Martin, Anna Ferrante, Philip Mendes, Reinie Cordier, Stian Thoresen, Mark Liddiard and Donna ChungAustralian Housing and Urban Research Institute: $124,070 –$17,000 to Mendes as CI.

2018-20: Conditional welfare: A comparative case study of income management policies: Greg Marston, Philip Mendes, Shelley Bielefeld and Louise Humpage,ARC Discovery Grant 180101252: $285, 136 – $70, 796 to Mendes as CI.

2018-21: Transitioning from out-of-home care: a longitudinal population-based study:Donna Chung (Curtin University),  Reinie Cordier, Philip Mendes, Anna Ferrante, Melissa O’Donnell, Robyn Martin, Stian Thoresen and Katrina Stratton. ARC Linkage Grant 170100044: $710,000 - $54, 128 to Mendes as CI.

2018-19 (12 months), Indigenous care leavers in Australia: A National scoping study: Philip Mendes, Bernadette Saunders and Samone McCurdy (Monash University Department of Social Work), Rachel Standfield (Indigenous Studies Centre), and SNAICC (as Industry Partner) Sidney Myer Fund: $128, 462, EFT 0.4: $51,000 to Mendes as lead CI.

2016-19: Evaluation of Salvation Army Westcare Continuing Care Program: Philip Mendes (Monash University)Sidney Myer Fund: $45,000.

Select Publications

Jacqueline Wilson, Andrew Harvey and Philip Mendes (2019) “Changing lives: Improving care access to higher education”, Oxford Review of Education, In Press.

Philip Mendes and Samone McCurdy (2019) “Policy and practice supports for young people transitioning from out- of-home care: An analysis of six recent inquiries in Australia”, Journal of Social Work, DOI: 10.1177/1468017319852702

Philip Mendes (2019) “A case study of policy inaction: Young people transitioning from out-of-home care in Victoria”, Social Work and Policy Studies, 2(1), 1-18.

Philip Mendes (2019) “Top down paternalism versus bottom-up community development: A case study of compulsory income management programs in Australia”, The International Journal of Community and Social Development, 1(1), 42-57.

Philip Mendes (2018) “Towards the social inclusion of young people transitioning from out-of-home care: An examination of the Home Stretch campaign to extend state supports till 21 years”, Social Alternatives, 37(1), 59-62.

Samone McCurdy, Sreejith Sreekumar and Philip Mendes (2018) ‘Is there a case for the registration of social workers in Australia?’ International Social Work, DOI: 10.1177/0020872818767496.

Jacqueline Wilson, Philip Mendes and Frank Golding (2018) “Hope Street: From voice to agency for care-leavers in higher education”, Life Writing, doi:org/10.1080/1448528.2018.1427420.

Philip Mendes (2018) “Community as a spray-on solution: a case study of community engagement within the income management programme in Australia”, Community Development Journal, doi:10.1093/cdj/bsx008, 53(2), 210-227.

Books/Book Chapters



Philip Mendes (2018) Empowerment and control in the Australian welfare state: A critical analysis of Australian social policy since 1972. Routledge.


Philip Mendes and Jade Purtell (2019) “Beyond care: Identities, transitions and outcomes” in Elizabeth Fernandez and Paul Delfabbro (eds.) Child protection and the protective care continuum. Allen & Unwin, In Press.

Philip Mendes, Susan Baidawi and Bernadette Saunders (2019) “The experiences of Indigenous young people transitioning from out-of-home care in Victoria, Australia” in Varda Mann-Feder and Martin Goyette (eds.) Leaving care and the transition to adulthood: International contributions to theory, research and practice. Oxford University Press, New York, pp.149-72.

Philip Mendes (2018) “Social justice in Australia: ending the over-representation of Indigenous children in out-of-home care, and returning them to their communities” in Gary Craig (ed.) Handbook on Global Social Justice. Edward Elgar. Cheltenham, pp.105-118.

Philip Mendes and Desley Hargreaves (2018) “Social work in the field of income maintenance and employment” in Margaret Alston et al (eds.) Social Work, Fields of Practice. Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp.165-179.

Alain Klarsfeld, Diane Bebbington, Avi Kay, Lucy Taksa, Fei Guo and Philip Mendes (2018) “National perspectives on Jews at work: Contrasting Australia, France, Israel and the UK” in Jawad Syed (ed.) Religious Diversity in the workplace. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp.145-176.

Philip Mendes and Fronica Binns (2018) “Social Work and Community Development in Australia” in Kenny, Sue; McGrath, Brian and Phillips, Rhonda (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Community Development. Routledge, New York, pp.439-450.

Philip Mendes Research

Westcare Evaluation report

Indigenous care leavers in Australia: a national scoping study