Dr Athena Lathouras

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Dr Athena Lathouras

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Teaching areas

  • Community Development and Social Change
  • Critical Social Policy Analysis

Research areas

  • structural community development
  • popular education and social change
  • citizenship and social movements
  • international students' experience
  • students' 'transformative agency'
  • frameworking for development practice
  • action learning and participatory research methodologies

Program coordinator

Profile

Dr Athena 'Tina' Lathouras graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) in 2000 having worked in the social services sector since 1980. Her fields of work have included disability services, neighbourhood centres and sector development work with peak bodies.

Tina's 2012 PhD research was entitled 'An exploration of the relationship between structure and community development practice:  Towards a Theory of Structural Community Development'.

Tina's current research goals include to:

  • theory-build and theory-test conceptual frameworks and practice approaches for ‘structural community development’, that is, community development practice that is making micro-macro connections and working towards effecting structural change
  • investigate, support and theorise citizenship and citizen-led social movements that are working for social justice and human rights
  • investigate and support local / regional community development and social change work
  • investigate and theorise community development approaches to education which support students’ “transformative agency”.

Professional memberships

  • Member, Australian Association of Social Workers
  • Director, Community Praxis Co-operative
  • Member, International Association for Community Development (IACD)
  • Member, Community Development Society
  • Volunteer Liaison and Member, Community Development Queensland (CD Qld)
  • Member, Borderlands Cooperative, Melbourne

Awards

  • 2016 National Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning:  For an inspiring community-development approach to education, taught with a passion for social justice that enables social work students to become agents of change
  • USC Advance Award for Learning and Teaching:  Advancing Quality Teaching, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2015 (with Cary Shaw)

Current PhD students

  • Nnenna Ike — University student accommodation in Australia (with Associate Professor Claudia Baldwin, principal supervisor)

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • Community Development within a Critical Paradigm
  • Developmental Approaches and Social Movements
  • Structure/Agency Debates 
  • Critical Social Policy Analysis in Social Work and the Human Services
  • Action Learning and Participatory Research Methodologies

Research grants

Grant / Project name

Investigators

Funding body and A$ value

Year(s)

Focus (of research grant)

Reimagining and Radicalising Community Development Through Popular Education

Tina Lathouras

Peter Westoby (UQ)

Lynda Shevellar (UQ)

USC Collaboration Grant

2016–2017

Participatory action-research to investigate ideas and practices of popular education to support emancipatory initiatives.

Meeting the Challenge of the Changing Community Service Sector - Action-Research with the Sunshine Coast Coalition of Community Boards (CoCB)

Tina Lathouras

Queensland Community Foundation

20152017

Participatory action-research to investigate unfolding sectoral processes and support the CoCB’s efforts of critical analysis and increase their impact in social policy advocacy and development activity.

Enhancing Students’ Learning and Engagement Through the use of a Critical Pedagogical Curriculum Intervention in the Social Work Program

 

Tina Lathouras

USC Learning and Teaching Exploratory Grant Scheme

20152016

Participatory action-research to explore how community development and critical pedagogy enhances both international and domestic students’ deep learning and retention.

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