School of Arts

Kerryn Bagley

Position: Lecturer
Study area: Community and Human Services
Location: Mt Helen Campus
Phone: 5327 9255


  • Doctor of Philosophy – University of Otago - 2013
  • Bachelor of Social Work (Hons H1) – RMIT University - 2001



  • Master of Social Work (Qualifying)
  • Bachelor of Community and Human Services


  • Social Work Practice with Children, Young People and Families (MSWPG7107)
  • Advocacy for Individuals, Families and Groups (MSWPG7214)
  • Social Work Field Education 1 (MSWPG7106)
  • Social Work Field Education 2 (MSWPG7208
  • Preparation for Professional Practice (WELRO3107)


Kerryn is a lecturer in the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) and Bachelor of Community and Human Services programs. She joined Federation University Australia in 2016 after fifteen years working in social work contexts. Her professional experience encompasses child and family services, mental health, refugee and migrant services, community health, and brain injury, working in large and small organisations across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Over the last ten years, Kerryn has been particularly active in researching and providing support for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Through her doctoral research (2009-2013) she helped build capacity for FASD diagnosis and support in New Zealand, and subsequently established a private practice providing Intervention, support and advocacy for young people with FASD and their families in Australia and consultancy and training to professionals across health and social service sectors. Kerryn has presented widely on her FASD research in Australia and overseas, in academic, health sector and community contexts. She is an Ambassador for the National Organisation for FASD Australia, was the inaugural co-chair of the Australian and New Zealand FASD Clinical Network and currently chairs the Victorian FASD Special Interest Group.

Areas of expertise

Kerryn’s work as an academic is strongly informed by her practice experience and geared towards community engagement and social inclusion, especially in the rural and regional context. She is active across two broad fields of expertise:

(1) Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Kerryn’s FASD research aims to support and improve responses to FASD in professional practice contexts. She is passionate about building professional capacity across health, allied health, social service, and justice and education systems so that parents, carers and individuals affected by FASD can access the support and services they need. Kerryn strongly believes in the importance of interdisciplinary and parent/carer collaboration and has taken a strong role in promoting and advocating for international best practice models for FASD diagnosis and intervention. Through workshops and other engagement activities, her research has directly informed the work of professionals in organisations including the QLD Department of Justice and Attorney General, the NSW Department of Education, Brisbane Catholic Education, Health Promotion Aotearoa/ Whakaata Tohu Tohu Mirror Services New Zealand, and Monash Health. In 2014, Kerryn’s FASD research was the basis of a Creswick Foundation Fellowship, and in 2018 she is a keynote speaker at the 2nd Australasian FASD Conference, Perth.

(2) Co-design and Collaborative Participatory Research and Practice

Kerryn’s commitment to working with communities and families has led her to specialise in collaborative approaches to research and industry collaboration, encompassing methodologies derived from co-design and collaborative consumer principles. She extends this methodological interest in projects beyond the domain of FASD, working mainly in interdisciplinary teams and in partnership with community organisations. At present, she is involved in a range of co-design and interdisciplinary research and industry partner projects with organisations including Berry Street (Grampians Region), Alcohol Healthwatch New Zealand, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and the NDIA.

Research interests

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) support and Intervention
  • Consumer participation in research, co-design and collective impact
  • Intersection of disability and mental health
  • Interdisciplinary professional practice in health and human services
  • Social Work practice in rural and regional areas


Current supervision

Rachel Goff – “It takes a village to raise a family: A place-based response to support families under pressure” Doctor of Philosophy (Associate Supervisor)


Refereed journal articles

Snow, P., Bagley, K. & White, D. (2017) “It’s not just been improvement in their communication”: Youth justice staff responses to a trail of speech-language pathology intervention in a custodial setting, International Journal of Speech- language Pathology

Industry reports/publications

Commissioned Report: FASD Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Services Training Project: Report to Funders. Alcohol Healthwatch, Auckland

Keynote presentations

2nd Australasian FASD Conference: Our Science Our Stories, Perth, 2018 : “Bridging the sector-based knowledge divide: Towards an integrated approach to FASD”

Inaugural Central Queensland FASD Awareness Symnposium, Rockhampton QLD, 2018: “FASD, neurodiversity and the neurobehavioural lens”

Conference/Symposium presentations

The Australian Association of Social Workers National Symposium, Tasmania, 2017:  “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: A hidden disability in need of social work support” (sole presenter)

IASSIDD 15th World Congress, Melbourne, 2016: “Interventions for FASD: How it differs from standard behavioural approaches” (sole presenter)

4th Annual Younger People with Very High and Complex Care Needs Conference, Melbourne, 2016: “FASD- Advocacy in Complex and Inflexible Environments” (Invited speaker)

16th International Mental Health Conference, Gold Coast, 2015: “Understanding FASD in mental health practice” (sole presenter)

1st Australasian Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Conference, Brisbane, 2013: “FASD intervention in the New Zealand context: When traditional approaches fail and what this reveals about FASD service provision” (sole presenter)

5th International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Vancouver, 2013: “Working with FASD in the Absence of Policy and Practice Frameworks: A New Zealand Study” (sole presenter)

5th International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Vancouver, 2013: “Slotting FASD Capacity into Paediatric Health Services in New Zealand: A model for training, diagnosis and treatment for places where few exist” (panel presentation)

4th International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Victoria (BC), 2011: “FASD intervention in New Zealand: A Case Study of Lived Experience and Professional Practice” (poster presentation)

Funded research

External Grants

Co-designing online modules to strengthen the capacity of mainstream schools to make accommodations through collaboration with allied health to meet the developmental, functional, educational and psychosocial needs of children with a disability 2017-2018. $167,102 National Disability Insurance Agency Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Grant. Researchers: Teresa Iacono, Mary Keefe, Carol McKinstry, Kerryn Bagley, Nerida Hyett, Oriane Landry, Jo Spong.

The strengths and challenges of embedding trauma informed care in child and family service delivery: A Grampians Region case study, 2018-2019. $5000 Australian Association of Social Workers Practitioner Research Grant. Researchers: Kerryn Bagley, Tejaswini Patil, Isaac Moses.

Building Capacity for FASD Intervention and Support in Australia, 2014. $11,890, Creswick Foundation. Researchers: Kerryn Bagley

Internal Grants

Developing capacity to respond to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in New Zealand and Australia: the FASD Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Services Training Pilot Project, 2017-2018. $3720, Federation University Early Career Researcher Grant. Researchers: Kerryn Bagley

The strengths and challenges of embedding trauma informed care in child and family service delivery: A Grampians Region case study, 2017-2018. $5854 Federation University Partnership Development Grant. Researchers: Kerryn Bagley, Tejaswini Patil.


101 East, Al Jazeera, ‘Hidden Harm: Australia’s Drinking Mums’, pre-taped television interview, 3 December 2015

4 Corners program, ABC, ‘The Hidden Harm’ pre-taped television interview, 2 November 2015

AM with Sabra Lane, ABC ‘High demand for FASD finds QLD clinic’ Radio interview, 2 November 2015

Radio New Zealand National, ‘Poor support for caregivers of children with foetal alcohol damage’ live radio interview, 10 August 2014

Community/ Industry engagement roles

  • Chair (2017- present) Victorian FASD Special Interest Group
  • Steering Committee member (2018-present) The Australian and New Zealand FASD Clinical Network
  • Member (2018-present) FASD Hub Australia Subject Matter Expert Panel
  • Inaugural Co-Chair (2015-2017) The Australian and New Zealand FASD Clinical Network
  • Ambassador, (2016-present) National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Australia (NOFASD)
  • Clinical Advisor (2015-2017) National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Australia (NOFASD)


  • Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
  • National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)