Dr Michelle Newcomb

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Lecturer, Faculty of Health

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Social Work (Queensland University of Technology), Graduate Certificate of Business Management (Queensland University of Technology), Bachelor of Social Science (Human Services) (Honours) (Queensland University of Technology)

Dr Michelle Newcomb is a social work lecturer at the School of Public Health and Social Work, QUT with extensive experience in her field. Dr Newcomb is an internationally recognised researcher in the area of practitioner and student well being in social work. In 2022 Michelle was announced as one of Australia's Top Five early career researchers in the Humanities by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). Over her 10 years as an academic Dr Newcomb has pursued research to better understand how to limit burnout and staff attrition in social work and human services. She is also striving to understand student disadvantage and its impact on learning and teaching.

This experience is enhanced by practical knowledge, gathered throughout a 15 year experience of domestic and international practice in human service organisations. Dr Newcomb began her career as a youth homelessness worker in London back in 2000, where she was a founding member of a complex needs project developed for young homeless people. Over time, she became the project coordinator for the Greater London Domestic Violence project between 2003 and 2005. After moving to Australia in 2006 with Mission Australia, where she become the Roma House Service manager she went on to become a domestic violence counsellor with DV Connect in 2008. Her considerable practical work experience propelled Dr Newcomb to significant roles culminating as Community Development Officer and Homelessness and Social Housing Coordinator with the Brisbane City Council from 2011 to 2014. Following this strong practical career, Dr Newcomb entered academia as a field visitor, tutor and lecturer sparking an interest in social work education.

Additional information

Current Research Projects
Dr Newcomb is involved in numerous research projects. These including the abolition of child protective services, the use of trigger warnings in social work education and reducing burnout in social work and human service sectors.

Peer Review Invitations
Dr Newcomb has been a peer reviewer on several Q1 journals, including the  Australian Social Work journal, The British Journal of Social Work and Social Work.

Teaching Awards, Affiliations and Training Programs
2016:                Vice Chancellors Award for Teaching Excellence
2016:                Awarded Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy.

Reference year
Awarded an ABC Top5 Humanities research residency