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Staff Profile


Career Summary


 Amanda Howard is currently the Program Convener and Head of Discipline for Social Work at the University of Newcastle. Her areas of research include community development and work with communities (with a particular focus on strengths or asset based approaches. PhD thesis was focused on the emergence of Asset Based Community Development as a new practice framework on the Central Coast), the experiences of marginalised groups in a changing policy environment (current projects include research on natural disaster preparedness in 'at risk' groups  and disability (Amanda is currently leading a team of researchers who have just completed a research project exploring the perspectives of parents with children 0-6 who have a disability in the Newcastle and Hunter region during the first phase of the NDIS (Disability Care).

Amanda has also worked recently on a student research collaboration exploring first year experiences and on a research project examining the impact of neo-liberalism on front line job agency workers.

Before joining UoN Amanda worked on a number of social research projects and community development roles. Projects included:

What Constitutes a Child Friendly Community and How Do We Build Child Friendly Communities? Topical Paper for ARACY

 Impacts on DoCS Funding Policy on Small Community Organisations. Report for Western Sydney Community Forum

Development of Child Protection Policy for FirstChance Early Childhood Intervention Service.

 Glebe Community Development Project Evaluation

Central Coast Community Stories DVD Project

Bringing Up Kids. It's the Little Things that Matter – Community Education Project for Communities for Children Southern Lakes, The Benevolent Society.

Social Inclusion Project ‘Report on Older People Living in the Bridge to Beach Area’  for The Benevolent Society

Community Forums for Department of Housing Community Renewal Strategy,

Killarney Vale, Bateau Bay, Tumbi Umbi



  • PhD, University of Sydney, 05/11/2010
  • Bachelor of Social Work, University of Sydney, 28/02/1992
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Sydney, 04/03/1989


Research keywords

  • Community Development
  • Disability
  • Natural Disaster Preparation
  • Social Policy
  • Social Work
  • Strengths Based Approaches

Research expertise

  • Evaluation in Community Development
  • Measuring practice outcomes in social work
  • Narrative perspectives in Social Work practice
  • Strengths based approaches including ABCD
  • Co-operative inquiry and engaging social workers in practice research
  • Theoretical and philosophical foundations in community focused social work research and practice.

- Impact if policy change on marginalised groups.

- Disaster preparedness and community development.

- Disability NDIS and Early Intervention.

Fields of Research

160799Social Work Not Elsewhere Classified100


Amanda is currently collaborating a number of NGOs, government and community groups looking at the experiences of local communities and populations who can be marginalised by social and economic policy change.

Within the University Amanda is currently collaborating with academics from Human Geography on research exploring strengths based approaches in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.


Administrative expertise

7 years experience running my own social research consultancy including tender writing, project management and budgeting,

At the University of Newcastle:

Currently Program Convener and Head of Discipline for Social Work

Previously Field Education Co-ordinator with the UoN Social Work program


Teaching keywords

  • Community
  • Critical Reflection
  • Leadership
  • Policy
  • Social Construction

Teaching expertise

- Constructions of disadvantage.

- Community Development.

- Capacity Building

- Social Policy.

- Leadership.

- Social Work Theory



For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Book (1 outputs)

2011Rawsthorne M, Howard AJ, Working with Communities: Critical Perspectives, Common Ground, Champaign, Illinois, 160 (2011) [A1]

Journal article (2 outputs)

2015Howard AJ, Agllias KB, Cliff KJ, Dodds JH, Field AG, 'Observations from an Australian cooperative inquiry project aimed at improving undergraduate student experience', Qualitative Social Work: research and practice, - (2015)


2015Gray M, Dean M, Agllias K, Howard A, Schubert L, 'Perspectives on Neoliberalism for Human Service Professionals', Social Service Review, 2 368-392 (2015)

Conference (2 outputs)

2012Howard AJ, Agllias KB, 'Citizens, consumers, recipients: Voices of frontline workers negotiating the neo-liberal welfare system in Australia', Abstract Book. 2nd Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development, Stockholm, Sweden (2012) [E3]


2010Howard AJ, 'ABCD and social justice growing a community of practice in an Australian context', 6th Australian Family & Community Strengths Conference. Strengths & Assets Summit, Newcastle, NSW (2010) [E3]

Grants and Funding


Number of grants6
Total funding$109,000

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2015 (1 grants)

Hunter Prelude Supported Playgroup Program Evaluation$16,000
Funding Body: Hunter Prelude

Project Team
Doctor Amanda Howard, Doctor Tamara Blakemore, Mrs Miriam Bevis
Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2014 (4 grants)

Identifying risk perceptions, level of preparedness and communication channels / barriers for `at risk’ communities in respect to natural disasters$35,000
Funding Body: Hunter and Central Coast Regional Environment Management Strategy (NCCREMS)

Project Team
Doctor Amanda Howard, Doctor Tamara Blakemore
Natural Disaster Social ResearchChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Social Work$30,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Project Team
Professor Mel Gray, Doctor Kylie Agllias, Doctor Amanda Howard, Doctor Tamara Blakemore, Doctor Leanne Schubert, Doctor Milena Heinsch, Doctor Kate Davies, Ms Tiani Hetherington
Research Programme 2014Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Evaluation of Financial Sustainability Project: Hunter Early Childhood Intervention Services$10,000
Funding Body: Department of Family and Community Services

Project Team
Doctor Amanda Howard, Doctor Tamara Blakemore, Doctor Meaghan Katrak, Mrs Miriam Bevis
NSW Organisation Transition FundChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

PASSPORT Disability Program Evaluation$8,000
Funding Body: Port Stephens Council

Project Team
Doctor Amanda Howard, Doctor Tamara Blakemore, Mrs Miriam Bevis
Port Stephens Community OptionsChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2013 (1 grants)

What does person centred care mean for Early Intervention Services? Parent and carer perspectives$10,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Amanda Howard
Early Career Researcher GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions5
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL2.15

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20142018PhD (Social Work)Co-SupervisorAn Investigation into Macro and Micro Factors that Perpetuate Homelessness in Jamaica and Implications for Social Work
20142018PhD (Social Work)Co-SupervisorDisability, Employment and Social Justice A Case Study of Facilitators and Barriers to Employment for People with Epilepsy in Harare, Zimbabwe
20142018PhD (Sociology & Anthropology)Co-SupervisorStrengthening Individual and Collective Intercultural Capacity in Community Settings - A Community Based Participatory Action Research Project
20132017PhD (Social Work)Co-SupervisorDecolonizing Social Work in Nepal: From Existing Trends to Needs and Processes of Indigenous Social Work Practice
20122020PhD (Social Work)Principal SupervisorSupervising Supervisors: Developing Social Work Supervision Practice

Dr Amanda Howard

Work Phone(02) 49216302
PositionHead of Discipline and Program Convenor
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaSocial Work
Behavioural Sciences Building,
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308