Anna Spencer - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Staff profile

Anna Spencer


  • Lecturer & Field Education Coordinator Social Work and Human Services, School of Social Sciences
+61 7 5456 5276
Office location
Sunshine Coast


Anna coordinators the social worker and human service field education courses. Anna has extensive experience in developing innovative approaches to field education and WIL. Anna is keenly interested in field-based pedagogy and how best to create rich and dynamic practice learning experiences that are responsive to student, industry and community needs and workforce planning and development. Over her 25 years' practice experience as a social worker, Anna has progressed a research interest in social work education, homelessness, housing, relational practice and place-based responses with community. Anna has an ongoing interest in decolonising approaches to support Indigenous communities, and for the past four years has be a member of multi-disciplinary partnership between a university and the Aboriginal community of Cherbourg. Current research is focused on exploring relational practice with vulnerable young adults. Prior to taking up the with USC Anna was a Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Social Work at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Over her 25-year experience in the field Anna has held managerial and leadership positions in non-profit youth and family services, Local and State Government Agencies and has work both in Australia and overseas. ​

Research Concentrations 

  • Phd focus:  relational practice and young Adults  

Professional Memberships

  • Australian and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research (ANZWEER)
  • Australian Association of Social Work
  • Higher Education Research and Development Society Australia (HERDSA)


  • 2016 QUT Excellence Award
  • 2015 Vice Chancellors Performance Award, QUT

Research Publications

  • Zuchowski I., Cleak H., Nickson A., & Spencer A. (2019) A National Survey of Australian Social Work Field Education Programs: Innovation with Limited Capacity, Australian Social Work, Vol 72 (1), pp. 75-90
  • Crane, P., Spencer, A. & Duthie, D. (2018). From institution-centred to place-responsive practicums: Reflections from engagement with the Cherbourg Aboriginal community. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, Vol. 20(1), pp.122-138.
  • Egan R., McLean S., Chee P., Spencer A., and Parrish J. (2018) ‘Field Education as a Distinctive Pedagogy for Social Work Education’, Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, Special Edition Field Education, 20 (1), pp. 32-46.
  • Crane PR., Fox, S., Spencer A., Hardy F., Campbell C. (2014) Enhancing social work inter-professional learning through across university and industry collaborations: Early steps in the Advanced Health Directives Project: Early steps in the Advanced Health Directives Project, Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 16(1), pp.81-96.
  • Spencer A., Magnus, L., & Hardy F. (2016) QUT Social Work Integrated Supervisors Support (web resource)
  • Spencer A., Ray L., (1998) Out of the Shadows: the psycho-social impact of living with Epilepsy. Epilepsy Queensland, Brisbane.

Research areas

  • Relational social work practice
  • Young people and homelessness
  • Field based pedagogy

Teaching areas

  • Social Work and human services
  • Field Education
  • Youth Work and homelessness disadvantage
  • Relational Practice