Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Jessica Russ-Smith

 Jessica Russ-Smith

Jessica Russ-Smith is a Wiradyuri Wambuul woman, Associate Lecturer in the School of Indigenous Australian Studies at Charles Sturt University, Social Worker, and Scientia PhD Scholar at the School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales.

Jessica graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons. Class 1, University Medal) from UNSW in 2016 and began her PhD in 2017 where she was a first-round recipient of the UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship program. Her doctoral research explores Indigenous embodiment of sovereignty based upon the Wiradyuri cosmology and the sacred Wiradyuri relationship of grandmothers and granddaughters. Her thesis is entitled ' ‘Balayanhi Wiradyuri Garingundhi’: We are sovereign my granddaughter. Embodying Wiradyuri women’s sovereignty through Wiradyuri knowing, being and doing’. Jessica has taught within Bachelor and Masters Social Work programs at UNSW and ACU. Jessica's research interests relate to Indigenous sovereignty, decolonising social work, and the connections between research, theory and practice.

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Jessica has taught over the last 6 years within the Social Work Bachelor program at UNSW, and the Social Work Bachelor and Masters (Qualifying) programs at ACU, including units related to social work and law, social policy, ethics, research, working with children, your people and families, Aboriginal social work, field education and  introductory to social work including pre-Social Work programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

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Jessica's research has also explored decolonising social work, Indigenous social work, ethics, activism, embodying sovereignty, working with Aboriginal children and young people, and experiences of Indigenous researchers. Jessica has worked across several research projects including School, Faculty and ARC-funded projects.

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  • Russ-Smith, J., and Wheeler, A. (2021) 'A culturally supportive ethics of care: Working with Aboriginal children and young people', In B Bennett (Eds.) Aboriginal Fields of Practice. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Russ-Smith, J., and Wheeler, A. (2021) 'Aboriginal Activism and embodying activism in social work', In B Bennett (Eds.) Aboriginal Fields of Practice. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Russ-Smith, J. (2019) ‘Indigenous social work and a Wiradyuri framework to practice’, in B Bennett and S Green Our Voices: Aboriginal Social Work (2nd Edition). London: Red Globe Press: 103-116.
  • Russ-Smith, J. (In press) ‘Sovereign fire: Indigenous women and solutions to war’ in M McKenzie and N Wegner Feminist Solutions for Ending War.
  • Russ-Smith, J. (2019) ‘Embodiment of sovereignty’, in B Bennett and S Green Our Voices: Aboriginal Social Work (2nd Edition) London: Red Globe Press: 238-243.
  • Green, S., Russ-Smith, J., and Tynan, L. (2018) ‘Claiming the space, creating the future’, Australian Journal of Education Special Issue: 1-10.

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Current Membership in Professional  associations
  • AASW Member
  • AASW ACT Branch Management Committee Member

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