Archer, Verity

Position: Lecturer, Social Welfare/Community and Human Services
Study area: Social Welfare, Community and Human Services
Location: Mt Helen 
Phone: 03 5327 6428


Doctor of Philosophy – Australian National University – 2006



  • Bachelor of Community and Human Services
  • Graduate Certificate in Social and Community Services


  • FEAFN3001 Research Methods in the Social Sciences
  • CHSUG1003 Theories and Models for Practice
  • GCSCS6001 Theoretical Models for Practice: Assessment and Intervention
  • GCSCS6002 Historical and Contemporary Issues in Social Welfare


Dr Verity Archer began working at Federation University, Lecturing in Sociology, in 2013. She is now a Lecturer in Social Work Community and Human Services. Prior to this she was employed as Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy at Deakin University and as Williamson Postdoctoral Fellow in the Australian Centre at Melbourne University. Verity has also worked in the community sector as a Research Manager at The Brotherhood of St Laurence. Verity’s work on the history of the Australian ‘dole bludger’ has won multiple awards. She is a frequent media commentator on ABC radio. Verity also holds the position of Vice President (academic) on the Fed Uni Branch of the National Tertiary Education Union, and the position of Victorian academic representative on the NTEU Women’s Action Committee. Verity is also part of the NTEU EBA negotiating team and the IEAC academic workloads committee. She is an Australian representative on the Association for Working Class Academics.

Areas of expertise

Social Welfare Policy
Verity’s work to date has revolved around social welfare policy, and in particular, income support policy and its relationship with political ideologies within the political and social sphere.

Class and Class Relations
Verity’s work has always involved an element of class analysis and she is particularly interested in discourses related to class and class relations. Verity’s work has a particular focus on how ideologies impact understandings of (and acknowledgement of) class and class relations. She also enjoys blending class analysis with intersectional analysis.

Labour History
Verity has spent much of her career within the field of labour history and has been a past winner of the Eric Fry Labour History Prize (ECR) for the best article published in Labour History Journal. She is broadly interested in how ideologies shape social movements, discourses, and policies in Australia.

Social Theory
Verity is fascinated by social theory and its applications to the interpretation of events and discourses. She is especially interested in the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Loic Wacquant, the Frankfurt School, bell hooks, and a range of intersectionalists. She enjoys playing with theoretical synthesis to develop new approaches to subject matter.

Industrial relations
Verity is presently conducting research into the development of EBA clauses that improve the workplace for women and minority groups, including carers, the disabled and neurodivergent people. Verity is also interested in evidence-based academic workloads.

Research interests

  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Class and Class Relations
  • Labour History
  • Social Theory
  • Industrial relations



Nick Butler (2018) Anti-war, Radical Youth Revolt, Victoria, 1965-1975

Sarah McMaster (2019) Taking fire, making fire: settler colonial understandings of Aboriginal fire practices in Victoria, Australia – Principal Supervisor

Heatheranne Bullen (2023) Pathways through the desert: Coledge Harland and multiple experiences of Country in the Lake Eyre Basin, 1850s to 1920s. – Principal Supervisor

Present doctoral students

Justine Topham, Online Self-Improvement Discourses: Constructing the ‘Ideal Self’ – Principal Supervisor

Linda Morella, Patriarchal control killings: paternal filicide in the context of separation in Australia – Principal Supervisor

Ophelia Rose Robbins, Has the current moral panic changed the way queer players interact with the game of Dungeons and Dragons? – Associate Supervisor



  • Association for Working Class Academics (Australian representative)
  • NTEU Federation University Executive (Vice President, academic)
  • NTEU Women’s Action Committee (Victorian academic representative)
  • Journal of Australian Studies (editorial committee member)
  • Journal of Class and Culture (editorial board member)