CS Research Officer
College of Design and Social Context
School of Global, Urban & Social Studies
Melbourne City campus
Dr Raelene West Research Fellow
Raelene West is passionate about creating positive social change. Her research areas include examination of support service frameworks for People with Disabilities and Older Persons, ableism, social inclusion and human rights. She has a PhD in Sociology - Disability from the University of Melbourne, has been on numerous disability advocacy committees and was the recipient of the 2014 field scholarship where she completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment associated with Disability Workforce Training. Raelene has lived experience of disability, becoming a quadriplegic as a result of a car accident 20 years ago.
She has worked as a researcher at RMIT University since 2014. Her recent work include authorship on the a report 'Mergers, Amalgamations and Acquisitions in the Australian Not-for-Profit Human Services Sector' with RMIT University School of Business-GAL and CPA Australia, and she assisted with formulation of disability workforce report 'Making it work – a workforce guide for disability service providers' as a part of implementation of NDIS.
- Centre for Health & Society (CHS) - School of Population Health - University of Melbourne
Course: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Awarded a Victorian State Disability Plan 2002-2012 PhD Scholarship.
Study Title: 'What do we mean by support? The receipt of support services and compensation for people with SCI in Victoria'.
Mar 2005 - Aug 2012
- Sandybeach Community Learning Centre; Sandringham, Vic
Course: Cert IV Training & Assessment
Awarded a field workforce development scholarship
Jan - Jul 2014
- School of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies (SAGES) - University of Melbourne
Course: Graduate Diploma in Environmental Studies
Jan 2002 - Dec 2004
- Social and Global Studies Centre (formerly Centre of Applied Social Research (CASR) - School of Global, Urban, Social Studies RMIT University
Position: Research Fellow
Working within research teams on a number of various projects related to delivery of disability and aged care support services, including examination of use of restrictive practises, human rights frameworks in health and service provision, ndis policy, mergers and amalgamations in the not-for-profit sector, the role of the community visitor programme and financial counselling for older persons. Outcomes of these research projects have included academic papers, industry reports, conference presentations and submissions informing on need for change in systemic policy and industry practice.
Jan 2014 - current
- Accommodation & Care Solutions (Attendant Care Agency)
Position: Quality Officer
Mar 2013 - Aug 2014
- Centre for Health & Society (CHS) - School of Population Health
University of Melbourne
Position: Academic supervisor - AMS (medical) research student/ Tutor – Health Practices 2 (medical students)
2006-2008 - semester 2 only
- Submission to Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, Mar 2020
- Submission to Royal Commission into Aged Care, Apr 2019 and Sept 202
- Johnson B, West R (2020) Ableist contours of Down syndrome in Australia: Facebook attitudes towards existence and parenting of people with Down syndrome, Journal of Sociology 00 (1-20). First Published online January 22, 2020
- West R and B Johnson (2020), The Sad Ableism in Australia Towards People with Down Syndrome and the Parents that Choose to have them: From an Online Study, Power to Persuade blog, 16th March, 2020.
- Ramcharan R and West R (2019) Understanding the Impact of the Roadmap for Achieving Dignity without Restraint. A Final Report to the Roadmap Control Group, FSSI and SGSC, RMIT University, Melbourne (and supplementary report West R and Ramcharan P (2020) Empowerment from Restrictive Practices in disability support services – The National Disability Services Empowerment Circle tool report); FSSI and SGSC, RMIT University, Melbourne
- West R and Ramcharan P (2019) The emerging role of Financial Counsellors in supporting Older Persons in financial hardship and with management of Consumer-Directed Care (CDC) packages within Australia, Australian Journal of Social Issues vol 54:32-51
- West R and David C (2019) Reaching out – Exploring the role and impact of the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) Community Visitors Program for people with disabilities (Vic); Social and Global Studies Centre (SGSC), RMIT University, Melbourne
- Hepburn, J., Despott, N., Davy, L., Fisher, K.R., Robinson, S., Speeding, J, Poredos, S., Neale, K., West, R., Laragy, C., (2018). Working Together Well: A Guide to Building a Stronger Working Relationship. Training Workbook, Inclusion Designlab: Melbourne (PDF)
- David C. & West R. (2017) NDIS Self-Management Approaches: Opportunities for choice and control or an Uber-style wild west? Australian Journal of Social Issues, 52:4 pp331-346
- West R, P. Ramcharan and L. A. Basser (2017). "Apparently we have human rights to health? Health and human rights frameworks of people with disabilities in Victoria." Australian Journal of Human Rights 23(1): 24-41
- West R and Jones M (2016) 'Support & Care Research Program: Opportunities, barriers and strategies for cross-disciplinary collaboration' Report, Feb 2016; School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS); College of Design and Social Context (DSC), RMIT University, Melbourne
- West R and Ramcharan P (2016) Evaluation of the Financial Consumer Rights Council (FCRC) - Dignity and Debt: Financial Difficulty and Getting Older Initiative Report, Centre for Applied Social Research (CASR), RMIT University, Melbourne
- West, R,A, (2014) 'Inquiry into Social Inclusion and Victorians with Disability', submission: Family and Community Development Committee, Victorian Government
- West, R, A (2010) 'Australia's Accident Compensation Framework: Quality Reform, Claimant Gaps Or A National Scheme?', conference paper: International Forum of Disability Management (IFDM), Los Angeles, USA
- West, R, A (2010) 'What do we mean by support?' conference paper: Disability Studies Conference, Lancaster University, UK