Cooper, Kimberlea

Position: Scholarly Teaching Fellow
Study area: Community and Human Services
Location: Mt Helen Campus, H Building, Room 247
Phone: 5327 6572

Video: Meet Kim Cooper


Doctor of Philosophy, Federation University, 2020

Graduate Certificate in Education (Tertiary Teaching), Federation University, 2021

Master of Social Work (Qualifying) – RMIT University - 2011

Honours in Psychology – The University of Melbourne – 2006

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology & Criminology) – The University of Melbourne - 2005



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


  • Foundations of Social Work Theory (MSWPG7101)
  • Introduction to the Community & Human Services (CHSUG1001)


Kimberlea joined Federation University in 2015, initially teaching at the Gippsland Campus until commencing a Scholarly Teaching Fellow position at Mt Helen in 2016.  Kimberlea completed her PhD at Federation University in 2020.

Kimberlea is a qualified social worker and has practice experience in casework, advocacy and counselling in non-governmental organisations, community health, and state government departments. Kimberlea has primarily worked with people seeking asylum, refugees, young people, and families.

Prior to her social work career, Kimberlea worked in neuropsychology and developmental research groups at Monash University and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Research interests

Kimberlea completed her doctoral research through an academic-industry research partnership in the Ballarat region (Central Highlands Children & Youth Area Partnership), in conjunction with the Out-of-Home Care team at a regional child and family services agency.  Kimberlea’s research was a grounded theory study investigating how foster and kinship carers go about their support of children and young people, with a particular focus upon the tensions carer’s experience in their role and their use of trauma-informed practice.

Kimberlea continues to develop research collaborations in the Central Highlands region and is interested in collaborative social work research in regional areas.

‘Being a parent, but not: The role of foster and kinship carers in supporting children and young people’, Central Highlands Children & Youth Area Partnership, Federation University & CAFS


Refereed journal articles

Social work:

Patil, T., Hunt, M., Cooper, K., & Townsend, R. (2020). Developing a case-based experiential learning model at a program level in a regional university: Reflections on the developmental process. Australian Journal of Adult Learning60(2), 225.


Wood, A. G., Chen, J., Moran, C., Phan, T., Beare, R., Cooper, K., Litras, S. & Srikanth, V. (2016). Brain Activation during Memory Encoding in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Discordant Twin Pair Study. Journal of Diabetes Research, Volume 2016, Article ID 3978428

Sanders, L. M., Srikanth, V. K., Blacker, D. J., Jolley, D. J., Cooper, K. A., & Phan, T. G. (2012). Performance of the ABCD2 score for stroke risk post TIA Meta-analysis and probability modeling. Neurology79 (10), 971-980.

Glikmann-Johnston, Y., Saling, M. M., Chen, J., Cooper, K. A., Beare, R. J., & Reutens, D. C. (2008). Structural and functional correlates of unilateral mesial temporal lobe spatial memory impairment. Brain131 (11), 3006-3018.

Conference presentations

Cooper, K. (2021, May). ‘Being a parent, but not’: The role of foster and kinship carers in supporting children and young people’. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Practice Research, Melbourne, Victoria.

Goff, R. & Cooper, K. (2018, September). ‘University-industry collaborations – are community voices the missing piece of the puzzle?’. Paper presented at the Australian & New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education & Research Symposium, Adelaide, South Australia.

Cooper, K. (2018, July). ‘Whose voices do we choose to hear in research? Insights from designing social work research in an industry-university collaboration’. Paper presented at the Annual Society for the Study of Symbolic Interactionism (SSSI) Couch Stone Conference/ IX European SSSI Conference, Lancaster, United Kingdom.

Cooper, K. (2017, July). ‘When practice inspires research: The case of trauma-informed care’. Paper presented at the 13th Biennial National Rural Remote Social Work Conference, Albury, NSW.


  • Australia and Association of Social Workers
  • Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare Inc.