Our PhD Scholars

Elizabeth Hudson
Gateways and Gatekeepers: An exploration of the issues facing people with episodic disability as they access self-directed support under the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme

Photo of Elizabeth Hudson in Black and White
Elizabeth is the former Research Manager of a large not-for-profit human services organisation.  As Research Manager, she was responsible for a team whose role was to explore national and international best practice within the disability, community service and mental health sectors through partnered research with universities and other community based organisations.

She is also the former CEO of The NEPS Centre, a specialised mental health employment service and has more than 15 years’ experience working in management roles in the community/employment industry.

Elizabeth has a teaching background and Master of Education with distinction at RMIT University and is a recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s award for academic excellence, 2014.  Her research interests include: community mental health, person-centred practices, recovery principles and practices, NDIS, culture and diversity and social inclusion.

To view the vlog with Liz Hudson, click here.

Amaya Alvarez
Reasonable and Necessary support? Mental health carers’ experience of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the context of carers’ needs, recognition and rights

Amaya has worked as an educator, researcher, and project officer across a wide range of areas from rural sustainability and regional community engagement, to healthy ageing and peri-urban planning.  Her work in applied research has always been motivated by a commitment to facilitating more equitable and just social change.

With the FSSI scholarship she is hoping to build on this commitment through a study of the impact of the marketisation of care (exemplified by the NDIS), on carers, and carers rights.  Her study intends to draw on evidence and experience from the UK to situate what is occurring in Australia in a broader socio-political context.

It is expected that Amaya’s research will identify and explore the tensions between carers rights, new systems of care, and the sustainability of carers’ work; while also highlighting the significant role social services will need to play in addressing the emerging and ongoing challenges carers face.

Liz Dearn
The impact of the marketisation of disability services on marginalised people with mental illness.Black and white photo of Liz Dearn

Liz has worked in the area of disability advocacy for eight years and policy and research for 20 years – in local and state government and not for profit organisations.  Liz started working life in residential rehabilitation services in the early days of deinstitutionalisation and has maintained a strong interest in mental health since that time.

As coordinator of the Policy and Research Unit at the Office of the Public Advocate, Liz had portfolio responsibility in the mental health area.  This entailed systemic advocacy in all areas of mental health including policy and legislative reform in Victoria.  Liz was instrumental in the Long Stay Patient Project, a Community Visitor initiative that raised concerns about the indefinite detention of many consumers in secure extended care units.

In 2011, Liz published research in the area of deaths of young people in nursing homes.  Over the past two years, Liz’s work has had a focus on violence against people with disability in disability residential services, specifically family violence in group homes.  Liz’s research will explore the experience of people with mental illness and complex needs living in supported residential services (SRSs) in the context of the NDIS.