Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Bernadette Moorhead

 Bernadette Moorhead


Bernadette completed her Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) degree in 2008, at CSU.

Bernadette has been employed in the non-government sector in the areas of disabilities, school counselling, generalist counselling, community education and community development.

Top of page


Bernadette has taught in subjects such as communication, grief and loss, case management, social policy, and fields of practice.

Bernadette currently teaches in theory and practice subjects, and workplace learning.

Top of page


Bernadette is undertaking doctoral research on the identities of newly qualified social workers, within the first twelve months post-qualification. New social workers are in an important development phase of their careers and face a range of issues, including stressful workplaces and negotiating role and organisational identities. A phenomenological research design is employed to holistically explore this phenomenon.

Research interests:

  • Lived experience of professional identity in social work
  • Professional development and support needs of social work practitioners
  • Social work education, field placement
  • Phenomenological and critical research methodology

Top of page

Selected publications

Thesis - honours
  • Moorhead, B. (2008).  The Social Work Response to the Situation of Asylum Seekers in Detention. Wagga Wagga: CSU.
Journal publications
  • Moorhead, B., Bell, K. & Bowles, W. (2016). Exploring the development of professional identity with Newly Qualified Social Workers. Australian Social Work, 69(4), 456-467. doi:10.1080/0312407X.2016.1152588
  • Bell, K., Moorhead, B., & Boetto, H. (2015). Social work students' reflections on gender, social justice and human rights during a short-term study programme to India. International Social Work. doi:10.1177/0020872814559559
  • Boetto, H., Moorhead, B., & Bell, K. (2014). Broadening the 'Environment' in Social Work: Impacts of a Study Abroad Program. Critical Social Work, 15(1), 1-17. 
  • Moorhead, B., Boetto, H., & Bell, K. (2013). India and Us: Student Development of Professional Social Work Identity through a Short-term Study Abroad Program. Social Work Education, 1-15. doi:10.1080/02615479.2013.768614
  • Johnson, S., & Moorhead, B. (2011). Social Eugenics Practices With Children in Hitler's Nazi Germany and the Role of Social Work: Lessons for Current Practice. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 8(1). Retrieved from
  • Moorhead, B., & Johnson, S. (2010). An Ethical Practice Dilemma Involving a New Social Work Graduate: Implications for Social Work Practice. Practice: Social Work in Action, 22(1). 45 – 53.
Book Chapters
  • Mlcek, S., Moorhead, B., Morrissey, J., & Norris, G. (2014). Chapter 1: Communication and learning; two sides of the same coin. In S. Mlcek, B. Moorhead, J. Morrissey, & G. Norris (Compilers), Communication management and beyond, (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson Australia.

 Conference papers/presentations

  • Moorhead, B. (2016). Who am I? Lived experiences of social work identity during the first twelve months post-qualification. Joint world conference on social work, education and social development 2016. Seoul, South Korea.
  • Moorhead, B. (2016). Fostering professional identity: a multidimensional issue for social work. Joint world conference on social work, education and social development 2016. Seoul, South Korea.
  • Moorhead, B., Bell, K., and Bowles, W. (2014). Newly qualified social workers' (NQSW) experiences of professional identity: initial findings from a phenomenological doctoral study [e-poster presentation]. Social work, education and social development conference 2014, Melbourne.
  • Moorhead, B. (2012). Well-Being and Meaning-Making in the workplace: Expect what? In M. Ditton (Ed.), New Thoughts about Work: Theoretical and Practical Aspects (Vol. 189, pp. 119-129). Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Symposium Presentations

  • Moorhead, B., Bell, K., Mutton-Jones, T., Boetto, H., and Bailey, I. (2017). Pedagogies for developing students' professional identity in neo-conservative environments. Australia New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research Symposium 2017. Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Moorhead, B. (2016). Professional identity at the forefront of curriculum and practice: Challenges and opportunities for social work. Charles Sturt University 25th Anniversary Social Work Symposium 2016. Wagga Wagga, Australia.
Professional writing
  • Johnson, S., & Moorhead, B. (2010). Melbourne, Darwin, next stop Dili: Social workers on the loose. AASW National Bulletin, 20(1). 19 – 20.

Top of page