Associate Professor Jennifer Martin has extensive experience as a social work practitioner, educator and researcher. Her most significant contribution has been the convergence of knowledge from social work, mental health, information communication technology, culture and conflict management to further knowledge development and innovative practices in the health and human services, and education sectors.
A key focus of her work is on social justice and social inclusion and issues of access and equity for the most marginalised and disenfranchised members of society. She has pursued this research and practice agenda for the past three decades with a main focus of her work on improving education and employment outcomes, and life opportunities for people experiencing mental health difficulties. She has worked tirelessly to inform knowledge and practices in universities, including innovative use of technologies to help students experiencing mental health difficulties to remain engaged in their studies and increase the likelihood of success, at the same time tackling head on issues of stigma and discrimination. Her work in conflict management and mediation also focuses on social inclusion and access and equity to ensure that the voices of all people, including those of people with mental illness, are valued and listened to. This work extends to improving the quality of life of other marginalised and vulnerable populations both locally and internationally with a focus on purposeful and meaningful participation in society and quality of life.
HUSO1298 Mental Health
HWSS2182 Mental Health Social Work
ARCH1271 Conflict Resolution and Mediation
Research and scholarship
Jennifer’s holistic multidisciplinary approach to research and scholarship has led to knowledge development that spans the boundaries of different disciplines resulting in the creation of new and innovative solutions to complex and new and emerging problems. Current research is further developing ongoing work on innovative use of technology to support students with mental health disabilities in tertiary education. Further mental health research collaboration is in the area of ageing well with a focus on depression as well as dementia. This work is in collaboration with academic colleagues from social work, health sciences, business management, information communications technology and industry partners in engineering, architecture and design.
Jennifer has written over fifty scholarly texts and articles on social work in both local and global contexts focusing on mental health and wellbeing, access and equity in tertiary education, information communication technology and cognition, cross cultural social work practice with refugees and asylum seekers, disaster recovery and conflict management. Her sole authored books, Mental Health Social Work (2012) and Conflict Management and Mediation (2007) are used as key texts in social work, and human services, courses locally and internationally. Her most recent book, Cross Cultural Social Work: Local and Global (2014), co- edited with social work colleagues, Professor Ling How Kee from the University of Malaysia and Professor Rosaleen Ow from the National University of Singapore considers social work practice and development issues in the Asia Pacific region. She has managed international relations between RMIT and the University of Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) for the past decade and is an Honorary appointment to the Centre for Excellence in Disability Studies at UNIMAS.
Current research topics
- Mental health and well being of older people
- Mental health, technology and post secondary education: access and equity
- Youth mental health: Suicide, media and technology
- International social development: Social Work Without Borders
Postgraduate student supervision topics (PhD, Masters and Honours students)
Jennifer has supervised Masters and Doctoral research students locally and internationally across a range of topics related to mental health and individual and community well being. These research topics have included older people, children and youth, refugees and asylum seekers, culture, conflict management and mediation, loss trauma and grief, gender, body image, disfigurement, violence and abuse, and alcohol and other drugs. Some postgraduate research topics have focused on lived experience of mental illness and service planning and delivery related to specific diagnoses including personality disorder, adjustment disorder, schizophrenia depression and dementia. Main theoretical approaches adopted have included critical theory, attachment theory and developmental theory. Methodological approaches have comprised grounded theory, interactionist theories and participatory action design with an emphasis on knowledge development to inform evidence based practice. Past and current student thesis topics include:
- Best practice in aged and disability services for newly emerging communities
- Social inclusion, mental health and urban design
- Health and well being of Indigenous young people
- Social work supervision in alcohol and other drug settings
- Body image and identity
- Refugees and asylum seekers without income support
- Adolescents in out of home care
- Adolescence and identity: Experiences of female Muslim secondary school students
- Deinstitutionalization of mental health services: Cross cultural experiences in Sarawak, Malaysia
- Psycho-social rehabilitation and employment
- Lived experience of post-natal depression
Prior to joining RMIT Jennifer practiced for 15 years in social work leadership roles in the areas of disability, community health and mental health and was a founding member of the first 24 hour psychiatric crisis response Community Assessment and Treatment Team (CATT) in Melbourne. She is an active member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and is a AASW Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, chair of reviews of social work programs, and consultant for the establishment of new social work degrees, throughout Australia at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels; a past Vice president of the Victorian Branch of the AASW, as well as representing the AASW and the social work discipline on numerous senior government consultations and working parties. She was recently appointed as an expert with the federal government Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA). As an accredited mediator and arbitrator, with the Australian Institute of Mediators and Arbitrators (AIMA), Jennifer chairs the RMIT University Appeals Committee.
Post Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, RMIT University, 2007
Doctor of Philosophy, LaTrobeUniversity, 1991–1995
Master of Social Work, University of Melbourne, 1988–1990
Certificate in Developmental Child Psychiatry - Coursework and Practical Training on Child Development, Austin Hospital/Travencore, 1987
Bachelor of Social Work, University of Melbourne, 1981–1982
Bachelor of Arts, LaTrobeUniversity, 1977–1980
Research grants and consultancies (past 10 years)
2013 Embedding 3D simulation into curriculum: Developing, integrating and sharing web-based resources for simulated learning (with Jenny Sim – Health Sciences).
2013 Ageing and micro-industry (with Siva Muthaly – Law).
2012 Invited consultation on social work curriculum development at UNIMAS. Sarawak Malaysia.
2012 Using 3D simulation environment to enhance student communication skills and interdisciplinary learning across multiple disciplines, (with Jenny Sim – Health Sciences).
2011 Best Practice in Aged and Disability Services for Newly Emerging Communities (with Spectrum MRC).
2010 Social Work and Continuing Practice Development in Focused Psychological Strategies (with AASW).
2009 Closing the Gap between the Wellbeing of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Youth: A Comparative Case Study (with Manfred Steger – Global Studies).
2009 Innovative use of Information Communication Technology in learning and teaching to enhance Work Integrated Learning experiences in RMIT Vietnam (with Damian Tan – Engineering).
2009 The Student Wellbeing project (with Andrea Chester – Psychology).
2008 Course Development Advisory Committee for Bachelor of Behavioral Science and Mental Health at Northern Metropolitan Institute of TAFE.
2008 AASW consultancy on: mental health teaching content in accredited social work degrees.
2007 Health and Wellbeing of Indigenous Youth (Australian Research Council Linkage).
2007 Chinese delegations: Australian Health and Welfare Systems and Services.
2006 Mental Health and Post-secondary Education: RMIT (joint research with Charles Sturt University NSW).
2006 Communities of Practice: Vocational Education Training and Higher Education: A framework for best practice in teaching and learning in conflict resolution and mediation. (joint research with David McElgunn and Irene Pagliarella – Justice Studies).
2004 (ongoing) International Exchanges and partnerships between RMIT University and the University of Malaysia – Sarawak.
2003 Social Work and Mental Health Education: Consultation on mental health content and courseware in social work courses by the AASW project on Education Standards.
2003 Eating Disorders and Mental Health Education: Consultation on educational resources and content by the Eating Disorders Association of Victoria.
2003 Recidivism Issue: A Study on Rehabilitative System of Prison Department of Malaysia: Project consultant on women prisoners and mental health with the Institute for Community and Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia.
2003 RMIT University-Business Mediation training for complaints officers.
2003 Social Impact Assessment and Community Engagement: Mediation and Conflict Resolution in the Mining and Manufacturing Industries (with John Jackson and Trish Caswell – Planning).
2003 Work-Finder Pilot Project: Enhanced Job Seeking Tools: Vocational Rehabilitation. RMIT Virtual Research Institutes funding (with Trang Thomas and Elspeth McKay – Business Information Technology).
- Martin, J. (2016). Acute mental health services in Victoria: A crisis of care In: New Community, 13, 82 - 84
- Hawkins, L.,Pattanayak, S.,Martin, J.,Hess, L. (2016). Beyond borders: International social work field education In: Handbook of Research on Study Abroad Programs and Outbound Mobility, IGI Global, New York, United States
- Martin, J. (2016). Interdisciplinary professional development for mental health workers: A human rights approach In: Professional Development: Recent Advances and Future Directions, Nova Science Publishers, New York, United States
- Martin, J. (2016). Mental health literacy and social work education In: Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 18, 103 - 120
- Hawkins, L.,Martin, J.,McKay, E.,Pattanayak, S. (2015). Internationalising social work education using massive open online courses In: Macro-Level Learning through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Strategies and Predictions for the Future, IGI Global, Hershey, PA United States
- Martin, J. (2015). A strengths approach to elder mediation In: Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 32, 481 - 498
- Martin, J. (2015). Conflict management, Ginninderra Press, Port Adelaide, Australia
- Martin, J. (2015). An exploratory study of the benefits of youth mental health literacy studies for social work students In: Social Work in Mental Health: the journal of behavioral and psychiatric social work, 14, 42 - 60
- Shankar, J.,Martin, J. (2014). Australian social work and human rights: A critical multicultural perspective to working with diverse cultures In: Social Work in International perspective: History, views, diversity and human rights, Garant Publishers, The Netherlands
- McKay, E.,Martin, J. (2014). mHealth for ageing populations: Community, participation, connectivity and mobile technologies for older people In: mHealth Multidisciplinary Verticals, CRC Press, United States
- A Partnership for Evidence-Based Resource Allocation and Enhanced Research Translation in Allied Health - Administered by Monash University . Funded by: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grants 2016 from (2015 to 2020)
- Closing the gap between the wellbeing of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth: A comparative case study. Funded by: ARC Linkage Project 2009 Round 2 from (2009 to 2012)
2 PhD Completions and 3 Masters by Research Completions3 PhD Current Supervisions and 1 Masters by Research Current Supervisions