Dr Dyann Ross | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Dyann Ross

PhD ECU, Master of Social Welfare Administration and Planning UQld., BSocWk UTas., BA UTas.

  • Senior Lecturer in Social Work
+61 7 5456 5565
Office location
Sunshine Coast

Dr Dyann Ross’ knowledge and experience as a social worker spans 42 years of professional and academic practice. This has taken the form of:

  • tertiary teaching, research and writing
  • professional supervision of human service and social workers
  • social work practice in community and mental health
  • allied health and multi-disciplinary mental health workforce staff training, course design and development for government and non-government agencies
  • program design for community-based services
  • private counselling
  • facilitation of community meetings and forums
  • trouble shooting in mining industry/community relations, project management for community projects
  • research linked support for agencies in periods of change/crisis

Dr Ross has undertaken:

  • ethnographic, investigative and exploratory research
  • nationally politically sensitive critical participatory action research
  • program evaluations
  • feasibility studies
  • strategic planning and vision searches
  • organisational analyses
  • needs analysis of communities undergoing change
  • industry training design packages
  • partnership model development
  • community consultation model development
  • market research

Dyann has published a research based book with a colleague from Murdoch University, 12 book chapters and 16 journal and refereed conference publications. This has included contributions to an international encyclopaedia and a dictionary on corporate social responsibility. The dictionary won the prestigious Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Book and Media Award in 2016. Dyann was the guest editor for a special issue of Social Alternatives on the topic of mental illness as a political issue employing insider accounts to unsettle dominant notions of madness. She provides article reviews to the journal, Australian Social Work, and is on the editorial board of the Indo–Pacific Journal of Phenomenology. Her most recent professional practice has consisted of being a clinical educator for staff in the Mental Health Service on the Sunshine Coast.

Professional memberships

  • Australian Association of Social Work
  • Member, International Federation of Social Workers
  • Member, ACEN Australian Collaborative Education Network
  • Member, Australia New Zealand Social Work & Welfare Education & Research
  • Member, Community Development Queensland
  • Member, Environmental Social Work Network
  • Member, Amnesty International


  • Author of four contributions in Year's Most Outstanding Business Reference Sources announced by RUSA's Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)
  • Ross, D. (2015). Award in recognition of participation in the Blended Learning Early Adopters 2015, USC, School of Social Sciences.
  • Shortlisted, Blake Dawson (Ashurst) Business Literary Award 2010 for Brueckner, M. & Ross, D. (2010), Under corporate skies: A struggle between people, place and profit, Fremantly Press, Fremantle WA.
  • Ross, D. (2010). Sunshine Coast Mental Health Service Executive Award
  • Ross, D. (2004). Award of Excellence, Edith Cowan University Faculty of Regional Professional Studies Research Supervisor of the Year, 2004.

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

Please see my areas of research interest and contact me to discuss your research topic.

Research grants


Project name Investigators Funding Year Focus
Developing a Multi-Species Ethical Framework for Inter-Professional Interventions with Animals Ross, D & Menyweather, N USC Faculty Research Grant (A$5,000) 2015–2016 Creating a discourse for multispecies ethics in the helping professions.
A Study to Determine the Research Priorities of the Mental Health Service (SCHHS) Ross, D, McAllister, M and colleagues from the MHS (SCHHS) A$20,000 2009–
A Delphi process of gaining consensus of ideas from groups of mental health consumers, carers and workers. The aim was to provide a considered priority listing of needed areas of research.
Sustaining Tenancies Opportunities Project Ross, D A$35,000 2008
Program evaluation of a service provided by Runcorn Community Association to enable housing for people at risk of homelessness.
Flexible Respite Program Ross, D A$25,000 2008
– 2009
Program management & evaluation of a service development project for people with mental health issues.
Kidsown Research Ross, D A$7,500 2008 Program supervisor and research lead for: Children Affected by Domestic Violence Assessment Tool. Telstra Research Grant
Alcoa-Yarloop Research Ross, D and colleagues from Edith Cowan University A$660,000 2002
To build a participatory approach to conflict issues between Alcoa. A multi-national mining company and the local community. Issues of pollution, intrusion in community life, inequitable land purchases and collapse of local communities were explored and strategies for resolving and/or compensating were developed.

Research areas

  • corporate social responsibility
  • social sustainability/social justice
  • ethic of love and applied ethics in the human services
  • mental health systems, workplace culture and staff development
  • mental health consumer rights and voice
  • reflective learning
  • transformatory and dialogical pedagogy
  • student voice and experience

Teaching areas

  • Ethical Practice in the Helping Profession
  • Social Work in Health and Mental Health
  • Complexity and Social Work: Group-based Approaches
  • Health and Mental Health in Australia

Dr Dyann Ross's specialist areas of expertise include research into the social and political contexts of human experiences, specifically where there is conflict, violence or unjust power dynamics

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