Faculty of Education and Arts

Dr Debra Manning

Position: Lecturer
Study area: Community and Human Services
Location: Gippsland Campus Room 1E119
Phone: 5122 6577
Email: debra.manning@federation.edu.au


  • Doctor of Philosophy - Monash University - 2009
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education - Monash University - 2003
  • Master of Social Work - Monash University - 1993
  • Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) - Monash University - 1980
  • Bachelor of Behavioural Science - La Trobe University - 1976



  • Master of Human Services Management
  • Bachelor of Community Welfare and Counselling


  • Interpersonal practice and counselling (ATSGC1362)
  • Counselling and group work skills (ATSGC363)
  • Insights into Practice (ATSGC3848)
  • Program Planning and Evaluation in the Human Services (APGGC4761)


Debra has been employed as a counsellor, community development worker and a human services manager primarily in statutory welfare fields such as probation and parole, child protection and youth justice. She has also worked in community development both in Africa and with the Australian Defence Force. As a lecturer and researcher Debra draws extensively on her experiences as a community development/ extension officer in a rural village in Botswana, southern Africa to inform her teaching, welfare practice and research approaches based around social justice and different ways of knowing about the world.

Areas of expertise

  • higher education pedagogy
  • social and community connection
  • social welfare theory and practice
  • auto-ethnographic and poetic research methods

Research interests

  • Social justice pedagogies
  • Regional and rural social sustainability, and human services provision
  • Statutory service provision theories and practice models: Youth justice and child protection
  • Emancipatory and anti-oppressive social work/welfare theory and practice frameworks
  • Dis/ability practice and service provision partnerships
  • Qualitative, social justice based research methods

Research approaches

  • primarily qualitative, social justice based methodologies
  • participatory action research
  • creative arts methods
  • auto-ethnography
  • narrative approaches

Recent research projects

Stories of Safety: Creating inclusive, participatory and respectful ways to speak about and stop violence in shared supported accommodation (2014) Department of Human Services, Department of Human Services, Disability Services and Scope, Gippsland. $38,000

"Everything affects everything else: power, perception and hidden forms of restrictive practices in disability accommodation services" (2013) funded by the Office of the senior Practitioner, Disability Client Services, Department of Human Services. $36,789

Men and Parenting: Stories of Hope in Nauru (2014) This practice research project looks at establishing men's behaviour change programs with Nauruan men who use violence at home, and collecting the stories of Nauruan school children about their experiences. Commissioned research funded by the Nauruan Government. $10,000.


PhD Raising the Dust: Exploring traditional medicine from a place of change (Main supervisor) Faculty of Arts.

PhD Rural Family Therapists experiences of practice. (Co-supervisor) Cross discipline/cross campus, Faculty of Medicine (MUDRIH).

Masters of Education: Speak Up or Shut Up (Koorie Cohort) (Co-supervisor) Cross discipline, Faculty of Education


Book chapters

Crinall, K., Manning, D. Feely, M. (2013) "'The power of pyjamas': Everything effects everything else: power, perception and hidden forms of restrictive practice in shared supported accommodation", in From Theory to Practice; Context in Praxis, 8th Action Learning, Action Research and 12th Participatory Action Research World Congress Proceedings 2010, ed. By Dr Susan Goff, Melbourne: Alara Inc: 13-24.

Manning, D. (2013) Complicated conversations: sharing stories with students to create socially just learning and practice possibilities, in (Ed.) E. Lyle Bridging Theory & Practice: Pedagogical Enactment for Socially Just Education. Nova Scotia: Backalong Books, pp. 99-130.

Refereed journal articles

Crinall, K. Manning, D., Glavas, A. & Feeley, M. (2011) Everything Effects Everything Else: Power, perception and hidden forms of restrictive practice in shared supported accommodation. Churchill, Australia: Monash University:

Crinall, K. Manning, D., Glavas, A. & Feeley, M. (2011) Everything Effects Everything Else: Power, perception and hidden forms of restrictive practice in shared supported accommodation. Churchill, Australia: Monash University.

Edmondson, E.A., Manning, D.J. (2009) The primacy of philosophy for effective learning, The International Journal of Learning [P], vol 16, issue 10, Common Ground Publishing, Champaign Illinois USA, pp. 553-568.

Manning, D (2008) Poetic Possibilities. Creative Approaches to Research. Vol 1, No. 2, pp.55-70.

Refereed conference proceedings

Manning D. (2008) Auto ethnography: a journey of self indulgence?Proceedings of AARE International Education Research Conference 2007, Fremantle, Western Australia: Australian Association of Researchers in Education pp1-16.

Seminar presentations

Partnership-based training consultancies
2014 Department of Human Services (Child protection/Youth Justice/Disability/Housing for Managers and Team Leaders and Staff).

Victorian Government Services Connect Training Program 4 day pilot project. Consultancy in partnership with DHS. 2012 Department of Human Services (Homelessness and Family Violence workers in funded agencies)

Case management, risk assessment and referral 2-day training program. Consultancy in partnership with DHS. 29/11/2012 & 13/12/2012.

2011 Outlook Vic (Inc) I day Case work training program 15/4/2011. Consultancy in partnership with Outlook Vic (Inc)

2010 Department of Human Services Case Management 2-day training program 21/9/2010 and 19/10/2010: Consultancy in partnership with DHS


  • Gippsland Multicultural Services: member, management committee member
  • Gippsland Women's Health Service Board Member