Dr Deborah Western


Email: deborah.western@monash.edu

Telephone: +61 3 9903 1133
Facsimile: +61 3 9903 1141


Dr Deborah Western is a social worker with extensive practice experience in the fields of child and family welfare, sexual  assault and family violence.  She has  worked for the peak body for family violence organisations in Victoria  (Domestic Violence Victoria) and sat on the Committee of Management of the  Centre for Non-Violence Bendigo; the Board of Governance of Domestic Violence  Resource Centre Victoria and on the Committee of Management of Safe Futures  Foundation. Deb taught in social work at  a number of tertiary institutions in Victoria and New South Wales prior to  joining Monash in 2010. Deb’s doctoral  thesis employed a critical feminist approach to explore the area of women and  depression with particular emphasis on women’s use of personal journals as a  way of consciousness-raising to understand and respond to their depression.  Her research interests are violence against  women/preventing violence against women, feminist and gender analysis and  evaluation, women and mental health, and feminist social work practice and  research.

In 2011 Deb and  colleagues worked on a sense-making exercise with Oxfam in relation to Oxfam’s work in the field of violence against women and gender justice throughout the  world and in 2014 Deb was a member of a team that conducted an independent review of the Standing Together Against Violence (STAV) program for Oxfam in  the Solomon Islands. Other research projects have included:

  • Working as a member of a multi-disciplinary team at Monash that developed, piloted and continues to refine the PACTS program. PACTS is: An Innovative Primary Care Program Advancing Competency To Support Family Violence Survivors. It is an online teaching module for undergraduate students in the School of Primary and Allied HealthCare at Monash University and is now available through Open Access and on the AASW’s Social Work Online Training (SWOT)       program: https://www.aasw.asn.au/events/event/pacts-an-innovative-primary-care-program-advancing-competency-to- support-family-violence-survivors. Monash OLT GRANT SCHEMES: Innovation and Development Program 2012.
  • The evaluation of a preventing violence  against women regional strategy (2012-2014) for a Victorian women’s health  organisation, Women’s Health in the North. This evaluation, “Building a  respectful community: Preventing violence against women. A strategy for the Northern Metropolitan region of Melbourne 2011-2016”, employed an action research and participatory evaluation approach underpinned by feminist research and evaluation  principles. The second phase of this  evaluation recently finished (2016 -17).
  • A research project with The Salvation Army explored the features, strengths and limitations of the refuge model employed in the Crossroads Family Violence       Service: “Working with complexity: A critical analysis of the Crossroads Dispersed Refuge Model.”
  • Evaluation of the Whittlesea CALD Communities Family Violence Project. This was an evolving evaluation of a developing, integrated family violence project focusing on the prevention of family violence in immigrant and refugee communities in a growth corridor area of Melbourne, Australia.
  • GIVE RESPECT an open access, interactive  website hosting resources designed to help 17-24 year old tertiary students establish and sustain respectful relationships as they enter adulthood. The  overarching aim of the research project is to prevent peer-to-peer and partner violence through training students in how to establish and sustain respectful  relationships. It will be co-created and piloted with students themselves  throughout 2017 and a multi-disciplinary team from Monash University (Department  of GP, Department of SW, Faculty of Law, and Faculty of Business &  Economics) is facilitating the development.
  • Evaluation of the service delivery model for inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence in 2017-18.
  • Analysis of Family Violence Data Project. Southern Metropolitan Region Integrated  Family Violence Executive Committee throughout 2016-17.

Deborah Western Research: Monash University Research