Faculty of Education and Arts

Rachel Goff


Master of Social Work (Qualifying), RMIT University, 2014

Master of Arts (Research), Monash University, 2011

Diploma of Professional Counselling, Australian Institute of Professional Counselling, 2008

Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Latrobe University, 2006


Rachel is a Social Worker and Professional Counsellor, who is undertaking her PhD candidacy under the Central Highlands Children and Youth Area Partnership Research Collaboration with Federation University. Prior to joining Federation University as both sessional staff member and student, Rachel worked with local families in the maternal and child health pilot program, right@home. She also has extensive group facilitation, teaching and subject co-ordination experience from Monash University and training telephone counsellors. Rachel has experience in private practice, local and state government, and community based organisations utilising her counselling, Social Work and engagement skills.

PhD Topic Summary

The focus of Rachel’s project is to gain a deep understanding of the lived experiences of families under pressure in relation to risk, support and community, who reside in the South West Ballarat region. The aim is to use these experiences to facilitate the co-design of community-based supports that may enable families in this region to thrive.

Rachel’s scholarship has been jointly funded by Federation University, the Department of Health & Human Services and Central Highlands Family Services Alliance. Rachel is co-located at the CAFS Legacy and Research Centre and the SMB campus. Her particular interest in this PhD project is the focus on sector collaboration, family partnership and co-design in strengthening communities, to meet the needs of families with lived experience of disadvantage and vulnerability, and to work with community members from an asset-based perspective.

Conference Presentations

Goff, R. (2017, September) Co-design: How innovative design methods have potential to challenge traditional engagement and service design paradigms, Paper presented at the Australia and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research Symposium, Epsom Campus, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Goff, R. (2017, July) From service design to research: opportunities of co-design in the academic context, Paper presented at the Making Your Vision a Reality: HDR Research Conference, Mt Helen Campus, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Australia

Goff, R. (2016, December) Poster presented at the Teaching, research and practice in the community and human services sector in regional Victoria: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities Symposium, Federation University Australia, Melbourne, Australia