Prof Catherine Humphreys

Catherine has made an important contribution to the safety of women and children, within their families and in institutional care.

Honour Roll

Her contributions are embedded in Victorian practice and will have far-reaching implications for generations of women, children and families throughout Australia and the world. From 2006 to 2011, Catherine Humphreys served as Alfred Felton Chair at the University of Melbourne's Department of Social Work and then continued as a professor of social work. During her time as Chair, Catherine has led a collaborative program of high-quality research with Victorian community sector organisations, in the areas of out-of-home-care, domestic violence and child abuse.

For more than nine years she was an active board member at the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, the peak body for nearly 100 community service organisations in the child, youth and family services sector of Victoria. Catherine is also involved in numerous reference groups which inform government policy in the area of family violence and the vulnerable children, youth and families sector.

Catherine's commitment to inspiring the next generation of social workers is evident in her work teaching managers and front line workers in Victorian community sector organisations and government, as well as her supervision of PhD and Research Masters students at the University of Melbourne.

The exceptional nature of Catherine's work is evidenced by the emphasis she places on engaging closely with government and the not-for-profit community welfare and family violence sectors, both to conduct her research and to apply its findings to the development of changes in policy and practice.

Catherine has published extensively in the area of violence against women and children, making a substantial contribution to the research, policy and practice discourse in Australia and internationally.

Catherine's work exhibits the social worker's ethos—to intercede wherever the circumstances of those whose lives are damaged by violence can be improved; to build a system that disrupts cycles of violence and disadvantage; and to advocate strongly and protect the rights of vulnerable people. Her sustained attention to the role of statutory intervention has been used to inform child protection training and policy development in England, Scotland and Australia.