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Personal profile

Research Biography

Lorna was appointed in September 2006. She holds a PhD from Flinders University (2005) having completed a B. Soc. Wk. from University of Queensland in 1982. Prior to coming to Flinders, Lorna practiced in a range of settings, including disability advocacy and the management of a loss and grief service. Lorna speaks and writes regularly on ethical issues for workers in complex human services.

Lorna was Head, Flinders Social Work from 2014-mid 2019 and was President Australian Council of Heads of Schools of Social Work from mid-2018-mid2019. During this period she was also Chair, Flinders Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee. 

Lorna has been a significant and long term contributor to the development and analysis of disability policy incuding the development and evaluation of the Trial of The National Disability Insurance Scheme. In 2015, Lorna was appointed the Independent Reviewer of the SA Adoptions Act (1988). From July 2019 until end 2020 Lorna was seconded to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disabliity as Senior Research Advisor. She is a member the SA Premier's Women's Council; the NHMRC Research and Advisory Committee on COVID-19 and the Board of Relationships Australia SA.

Research Interests

Lorna conducts research in these areas:

  • Social work theory and moral philosophy especially related to ethical practice with vulnerable people
  • Assessment and planning in indiviualised services
  • Child protection, domestioc an family violence, adoption and social work
  • Social work in the disability sector
  • Social work education and related professional issues

Lorna conducts consultancies in these areas:

  • Ethical practice related to vulnerable people reliant on complex human services
  • Innovative practice frameworks and organisational change
  • Disability policy development and analysis
  • Loss and intentional relationship building

Completed Supervisions

Principal Supervisions:
  • ethics and social work practice (1)
  • refugees and social work practice (1)

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Flinders University

Award Date: 1 Dec 2005

External positions

Member, Board, Relationships Australia, SA

2021 → …

Member , NHMRC Research and Advisory Committee on COVID-19

2020 → …

Member, SA Premier's Council for Women

2013 → …

Senior Research Advisor, Disability Royal Commission


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Social work

Supervisory Interests

  • Social work practice and spirituality
  • Ageing
  • Social work theory and practice
  • Child protection
  • Disability and policy


  • HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare


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