News Items

PAPER – Lengthy student placements and health and financial wellbeing

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Lisa Hodge, Nicole Oke, Heather McIntyre, Shelley Turner

Project Overview

This project explores the financial and other impacts of lengthy, unpaid work-integrated learning (WIL). It aims to build on the research findings of prior Australian studies that found long unpaid placements had a negative impact on women and diverse student groups, through financial and other stressors, at disproportionate levels. This research was based on a quantitative and qualitative study of students completing placements as part of the social work programme at Victoria University. There have been two key components in this research project. The first is an examination of the significant financial and health impacts students experienced from completing lengthy placements as part of their university course. The second component has focused on the ways these lengthy placements impact on the paid work students do currently, as most students worked while they were completing their course. We found that students engaged in more insecure and precarious work while completing their placements, and some students felt that this would have an impact on their engagement with the workforce after they finished their placement.

Publications and Theses

Hodge, L., Oke, N., McIntyre, H., & Turner, S. (2020). Lengthy unpaid placements in social work: exploring the impacts on student wellbeing. Social Work Education, doi: 10.1080/02615479.2020.1736542

PAPER – Psychology education and the neoliberal episteme in Australia

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New paper in Theory and Psychology by CIDRN researcher Samuel Keast.


This article investigates some of the ways in which neoliberalism and mainstream psychology intersect to maintain a dominant episteme in psychology education within the Australian context. It is argued that the ubiquity and logic of neoliberalism and the philosophical inclination of mainstream psychology create a “culture of positivism” and epistemic deceit within psychology education. Some of the features of psychology as it has developed in Australia are offered to more clearly define what mainstream psychology is, before outlining the current regulatory, political, and economic forces shaping psychology education and the neoliberal university. The article concludes by proposing some of the consequences for a psychology education system that does not interrogate the origins of epistemic power and proposes that a greater focus on epistemological ethics and historical–hermeneutic elements in psychology education may offer some resistance to the neoliberal episteme.


Keast, S. (2020). Psychology education and the neoliberal episteme in Australia. Theory & Psychology.


Link to Full Article

PAPER – A Psychosocial Study of Guilt and Shame in White South African Migrants to Australia

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New paper in Qualitative Psychology by CIDRN researchers Gavin Ivey and Chris Sonn titled “A Psychosocial Study of Guilt and Shame in White South African Migrants to Australia”.


Despite recent research interest in migrant psychology, little attention has been paid to the emotional reactions of guilt and shame resulting from migrants’ decisions to leave their homeland. Universalist theories have yielded to an understanding of emotions as culturally contextualized and interpersonally constituted phenomena. For reasons associated with South Africa’s racial history and the social dynamics following the 1994 transition to democracy, some White migrants from this country display specific manifestations of guilt and shame related to their migration decision. Using a psychosocial research approach, 14 in-depth interviews were conducted with White South Africans who migrated to Australia following the democratic transition. Explicit and implicit expressions of migration-induced guilt and shame were evident in many research participants. In addition to guilt associated with leaving loved ones to an uncertain future, participants reported complex admixtures of guilt and shame at having been apartheid beneficiaries, internalizing racist attitudes, and “abandoning” their motherland at a critical historical juncture. Disavowed guilt and shame were evident in some participants, indicating defensive efforts to avoid acknowledging and experiencing these painful emotional states.

Online First Publication, April 18, 2019.


Ivey, G., & Sonn, C. (2019, April 18). A Psychosocial Study of Guilt and Shame in White South African Migrants to Australia. Qualitative Psychology. Advance online publication.

International Conference of Community Psychology – ONLINE (TBC)

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In light of COVID we are re-imagining ICCP as an online conference sometime toward the end of  2020

The ICCP 2020 conference will explore ways to foster and sustain solidarities – through communities, activism, knowledges and environment. Learn about the work of people, agencies, industries, and collaborators who contribute to social change and individual and community wellbeing. The conference will explore their innovative, critical and engaged research, teaching, and practice through the thematic areas of: Knowledges for sustainable futures; Creating inclusive cultures and communities; Working the boundaries; Global dynamics in local expressions.

Visit: Community Psychology at ICCP2020