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Understanding resilience and experiences of separation in same-sex parented families

Becoming Somebody: A constructivist grounded theory of marginalised young people re-engaging with education through an alternative school

How do drug service workers in the field of Aboriginal substance misuse describe the experience of being trained as family therapists and using family therapy in their work?

Finding hope in our back pockets: Therapists working together in an action research co-operative inquiry to develop best practice with families who have experienced sibling sexual abuse


Understanding resilience and experiences of separation in same-sex parented families

There is a paucity of research on the separation experiences of same-sex couples, especially those who have children together. As increasing numbers of same-sex couples enter into parenthood, there is a need to understand more about how these parents and their children cope in cases of parental separation, including the influence of current laws relating to same-sex parents and ways in which these parents negotiate mainstream institutions such as the family court. This study will conduct face-to-face interviews with separated parents who have had children whilst within a same-sex relationship.

Researcher: Luke Benjamin Gahan

Date commenced PhD research: June 2011

Progress: As of December 2012, 19 people had participated in interviews - 18 females and 1 male – in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, as well as in regional and rural Victoria. In February the study travels to Adelaide, South Australia to interview 6 more people. We are very keen to increase the number of males in the study and would like to hear from any separated same-sex parented males.

Output:

Conference paper

Gahan, L. (2012). “Understanding resilience and experiences of separation in same-sex parented families: Preliminary Findings”. Presented at the Australian Sociological Association (TASA) annual conference, University of Queensland, Australia.

Related website links:

  • What happens when our modern family breaks up?
  • Gay News Network: ‘Study to hear from separated same-sex parents’
  • La Trobe University Media Release
  • Project Facebook Page

Contact: Luke Gahan at lbgahan@students.latrobe.edu.au

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Becoming Somebody: A constructivist grounded theory of marginalised young people re-engaging with education through an alternative school

This research involved an examination of the experiences of educational disengagement and re-engagement among young people attending an alternative school. The findings of this study revealed that the school’s social justice approach was key to students’ re-engagement. Outcomes of re-engaging that mattered to students included their increased sense of social inclusion, and hope for the future.

Researcher: Carmel Hobbs

Date PhD commenced: February 2011

Progress: Carmel submitted her thesis for examination in February 2017.

Output:

Published papers

Hobbs, C., & Power, J. (2013). Engaging disadvantaged young people in alternative education: The importance of staff/student relationships. Journal of Educational Leadership in Action, (2)1.

Conference presentations

“Building hope for a positive future” – Doing School Differently, Melbourne, September 2016.

“Building hope for a positive future: ‘I’m doing something with my life’” (poster) – La Trobe University Research Showcase, September 2016.

“Research with marginalised young people” – School of Psychology and Public Health Postgraduate seminar, October 2015.

“Who’s in and who’s out: Why inclusion matters – a focus on the methods aspect of this research project” – Presentation to La Trobe University Hallmark students in the subject HMK2COR: The craft of research, September 2014.

“Strategies for engaging young people in research” – Association for Qualitative Research, Melbourne, November 2013.

“Understanding the dynamics of student achievement” – Chicago International Conference on Education, Chicago, June 2013.

“Exploring the experiences of young people and their families engagement with an alternative model of education” – Higher Degree Research Festival, La Trobe University, Melbourne, November 2012.

“A cool school? Preliminary findings from an online questionnaire with students attending an alternative school in Melbourne” – Access and Achievement Forum, La Trobe University, Melbourne, October 2012. Related website links: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/she/staff/profile?uname=chobbs https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Carmel_Hobbs

Contact: Carmel Hobbs at c.hobbs@latrobe.edu.au


How do drug service workers in the field of Aboriginal substance misuse describe the experience of being trained as family therapists and using family therapy in their work?

There is a growing recognition that culturally congruent approaches in the area of Indigenous health and education are needed. However, there are few detailed accounts of what factors contribute to providing sufficient cultural safety so that services are accessible and able to provide effective interventions. This qualitative research makes a significant contribution to these areas of inquiry through exploring the contribution of family therapy and family therapy training to those working in the field of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander substance misuse. Workers, often at odds with mainstream interventions found that family therapy could provide a culturally relevant means of approaching Aboriginal substance misuse through its contextual and relational view of problems. Important to the engagement of the drug service workers with family therapy as a modality was the processes by which it was imparted. The training utilised a powerful pedagogical approach that provided a corrective educational experience for many of the participants. This work will be of interest to all those seeking strategies to `close the gap' in the fields of health, education and research.

Date commenced: October 2009

Researcher: Dr. Jacqui Sundbery (The Bouverie Centre)

Sponsored by: La Trobe University Postgraduate Research Scholarship and The Bouverie Centre.

Progress: This work was completed January 2015

Output:

Book
Aboriginal Drug Service Workers' Experience of Family Therapy: Training and Practice. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing (2016-09-10)

Newsletter article
How Family Therapy is Making a Difference for Indigenous AOD Workers. Co-authored with Francie Boundy, Di Griffin. Drug Info, May 2012. Australian Drug Foundation.

Report
Family Therapy Training and Support for Aboriginal Mental Health and AOD Workers Working with At Risk Families in Aboriginal Community Settings - ‘The Metro Cohort’. Co-authored with Fiona McIllwaine, Jana Kelly - The Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University.

Journal paper
Empowering Indigenous Family Workers by Degree. Co-authored with Dr Kerry Proctor and Robyne Latham - The Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University. Australian Philanthropy, Dec 2011, Issue 80.

Contact: Dr. Jacqui Sundbery at J.Sundbery@latrobe.edu.au

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Finding hope in our back pockets: Therapists working together in an action research co-operative inquiry to develop best practice with families who have experienced sibling sexual abuse

This research successfully contributed to deepening an understanding of how therapists make sense of, speak about, work with and are challenged by sibling sexual abuse (SSA). It also identified the importance of compassion satisfaction and the idea of hope in sustaining therapists whilst they undertake such challenging work. Key findings and recommendations for working with SSA were made in regard to the use of a collaborative approach with both colleagues and families, the use of clear, non-judgemental language that recognises the impact of SSA on victims and assists the young person who perpetrated the abuse to be accountable, whilst remaining aware of and balancing the different perspectives, understandings and therapeutic needs of all family members. Recommendations regarding the support of therapists included the importance of space and time to think about the work and its impact on therapists and of bringing hope into the therapist’s frame of reference. This action research has also led to a number of conference papers, the development of seminars and workshops to develop therapists’ understanding of and skills in working with SSA, scholarly contributions to journals and consultations to therapists both within and outside the sexual assault sector.

Date PhD research commenced: 2007

Progress: Thesis submitted November 2014

Output: Aspects of the work have been presented in a range of professional contexts, including one of the Keynote presentations at the 2017 Australian Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools National Conference. An interview by Cindy Tarczon, Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, was also conducted in 2012.

Related website links: Interview with Cindy Tarczon

Contact: Helen Kambouridis at helen.kambouridis@rch.org.au

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News

Applications now open for our 2018 postgraduate courses

The Bouverie Centre is now taking applications for its 2018 coursework programs - the Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy and Master of Clinical Family Therapy (yrs 2 & 3 entry).

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News

The 2017 Bouverie Alumni and Friends Celebration

Join us as we commemorate the importance of learning and education with guest speaker, John Marsden, writer, teacher and principal of Candlebark School and alumna speaker, Leonie Farrugia.

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