Dr Lesley Hughes

BA(Hons)(UNSW), BSocStud(Sydney), MSW(Merit)(Sydney), GradCertHEd(UNSW), PhD(UNSW)

Honorary Senior Lecturer


Phone:  9351

Fax: +61 2 9351 5027

Building.Room: .

Research interests

Educational history, sociology and philosophy

  • History of education

Research on teaching and learning

  • Learning and teaching in higher education

Social work and social policy

  • Knowledge building in social work practice and education

Professional and community roles

  • Professional Biography

    Following professional practice mainly in the field of child and family welfare Lesley worked for 25 years as a social work educator and academic, teaching research methods, field education, and social work in organisations.  Lesley’s MSW and PhD research projects were on social welfare history, the latter on Catholic sisters and social welfare in the late Nineteenth Century.

     Professional and community roles

    Lesley is a founding co-editor of the Women in Welfare Education Journal, which provides a vehicle for women involved in social welfare to publish their research in social welfare  practice policy and education.  

     She was a foundational member of the  NSW and ACT Combined Universities’ Field Education Group which takes a collaborative approach to field education in social work and welfare. 

     From 2003 – 2012 she was a member of the Board of Directors of Mackillop Rural Community Service, an incorporated work of the Sisters of St Joseph NSW Region, founded in 2003, which provides services to individuals and families in western NSW.

    Current memberships include:

    • Australian and New Zealand History of Education Society
    • Golding Centre for the Study of Women’s History, Theology and Spirituality
    • Australian Catholic Historical Society


Current projects

  • • Issues in historical research with religious institutes • Challenges and supports in religion-inspired social care work • Retired social workers’ experiences of education and practice

Selected publications


  • Fernandez, E., Heycox, K., Hughes, L. and Wilkinson, M.(eds). (1998). Women Participating in Social Change. Sydney: International Association of Schools of Social Work, Women's Symposium (Hong Kong) Publications Commitee.
  • Thorpe,R. and Petruchenia,J. (eds)with Hughes,L. (1992). Community Work or Social Change: An Australian Perspective (New edition) . Sydney: Hale and Iremonger.

Book chapters

  • Hughes,L. and Heycox,K. (2011). Reflective Practice and Policing. In Birch, P. and Herrington, V. (Eds.), Policing in Practice Australia: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hughes, L. and Heycox, K. (2000). Assessment of Student Performance on Practicum. In Cooper, L. and Briggs, L. (Eds.), The Human Services Practicum (pp. 84–95), Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
  • Heycox, K., Hughes,L., Duffy A. and Studdy,L. (1999). Keeping Pace with Practice: Social work practicum in hospitals. In Yarrow, A. and Millwater, J. (Eds.), Practical Experience in Professional Education research monograph No. 3 (pp. 1–13), Brisbane: PEPE Inc, QUT Publications and Printery.
  • Heycox,K. and Hughes,L. (1997). 'Where have all the placements gone?': Factors which help and hinder the provision of social work practicum in large teaching hospitals in Sydney. In Yarrow,A. and Milwlater, J. (Eds.), Practical Experiences in Professional Education Research Monograph No. 2 (pp. 165–177), Gold Coast Qld.: PEPE Inc. Griffith University.
  • Heycox,K. and Hughes,L. (1996). Three Perspectives on Assessment in Practice Learning. In Doel, M. and Shardlow, S. (Eds.), Social Work in in a Changing World (pp. 85–102), Aldershot: Arena.

Journal articles

  • Hughes,L. (2010). Catholic Sisters and Australian Social Welfare History. Australasian Catholic Record, 87(1), 30–46.
  • Davis, C., Hughes, L.,Sloan,M.,Tang,C. and MacMaster, S. (2009). HIV/AIDS Knowledge,sexual activity and safer sex practices among female students in Hong Kong, Australia and the United States. Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services, 8, 414–429.
  • Hughes, L. (2008). Social Care Work in the Recent Past: Revisiting the professional/amateur dichotomy. Australian Social Work, 61(3), 226–238.
  • Moran, C. and Hughes, L. . (2006). Social Work Students and Humour. Social Work Education, 25, 501–517.
  • Davis,C.,Sloan,M.,Macmaster,S. and Hughes,L. (2006). The International AIDS Questionnaire-English Version (IAQ-E): Assessing the validity and reliability. Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Children and Youth, 7(2), 29–42.
  • Hughes, L. (2004). Women and Management: Catholic Sisters in late Nineteenth Century Sydney. Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 6(1), 16–29.
  • Hughes, L. (2002). Poor Law Principles, Sectarianism and the State: The work of Catholic Sisters in Nineteenth Century New South Wales. Voluntary Action, 5(1), 89–106.
  • Bolzan, N., Heycox, K. and Hughes, L. (2001). From Pillar to Post: Women and social work education in the Twenty-First Century. Australian Social Work, 54(1), 67–79.
  • Hughes,L. (1998). Catholics and the Care of Destitute Children in late Nineteenth Century New South Wales. Australian Social Work, 51, 17–25.
  • Eisenberg,M., Heycox,K. and Hughes,L. (1996). Fear of the Personal: Assessment of students on practicum. Australian Social Work, 49(4), 33–40.
  • Hughes,L., Heycox,K. and Eisenberg,M. (1994). Fear of Failing: Field teachers and the assessment of marginal students. Advances in Social Welfare Education, 1994(1), 139–146.