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Professor Susie Costello



Susie is a social work practitioner and educator who came to ACAP to launch the Master of Social Work degree in 2020, having taught at RMIT University for 20 years.

As a social work practitioner, Susie worked in child protection, domestic violence, sexual assault, disability, youth psychiatry and family therapy in private practice. Management roles include senior social worker of family resource centres and coordinator of local government community support program responding to families from diverse backgrounds.

Susie’s publication and research interests are international social work education in Thailand, Myanmar and Palestine, male violence against women, indigenous homelessness, female genital cutting, impacts of vicarious trauma on social workers and interpreters and advocacy in child protection.


2019-2021 Evaluation of Victoria Legal Aid’s Independent Family Advocacy Service

2018-2020 Interpreting Vicarious Trauma

2016–2018 UNICEF Palestine: Review and update social work programs in the State of Palestine to integrate child protection core modules.

Teaching coordination responsibilities

  • SWSP6013 Social Work Theory and Practice (Critical Theories and Skills)
  • SWSP6033 Social Work Theory and Practice (Individuals and Families)
  • SWSP6313 Interpersonal, Family and Structural Violence
  • SWSP1013 Social Work Theories
  • SWSP2003 Critical Social Work Theories
  • SWSP 2003 Critical Social Work Theories
  • SWSP 3043 Interpersonal and Structural Violence
Expert Comment Topics
International social work education
Interpreters and Vicarious Trauma
Child Protection and violence against women

Research and scholarship

Recent peer reviewed publications:

Lai, M. and Costello, S. (2020) Professional Interpreters and Vicarious Trauma – An Australian Perspective Submitted to Qualitative Health Research  (in press)

Costello, S., Kanyi, T., and Dalling, M. (2019) Child Protection and Family Group Conferencing curriculum for social workers in Palestine Critical and Radical Social Work, 7 (2)173-188.

Costello. S. (2015) Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): risk management and strategies for social workers and healthcare professionals Risk Management and Healthcare Policy. (8): 225–233.

Costello, S. and Aung, T. (2015) Developing Social Work Education in MyanmarInternational Social Work, 58 (4) 582–594.

Costello, S., Quinn, M., Tatchell, A., Jordan, L. and Neophytou, K. (2015) In the Best Interests of the Child: Preventing Female Genital Cutting (FGC) The British Journal of Social Work. 45 (4) 1259-1276.

Research Supervision (current and completed)

2020 Nano Koury: MSW Thesis: CALD women experiencing male violence

2020 Manjila Shrestha: MSW Thesis: Youth gambling in Nepal

2020 Ashmita K: MSW Thesis: Menstrual Stigma in Nepal

2020 Andrea Hisola: MSW Thesis: Self Care in social work practice

2020 Sumin Giri: MSW Thesis Alcohol in Nepal

2020 Samaundra Magar: MSW Thesis: Homeless in NSW

2020 Stephanie Pimm: BSW Honours thesis: Violence against women

2015 – Donna Teekens, Master’s Thesis: Social work and youth suicide

2014 – Emily Hanscamp, PhD: Women exiting sexual exploitation.

Professional Affiliations and Fellowships

2015 Australian Palestine Advocacy Network

2015 Board member Australia Myanmar Institute

2014 International monitor for NZ Social Workers Registration Board

1998 Member Amnesty International

1987 Clinical Member Victorian (now Australian) Association of Family Therapist

1973 Member Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

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