Teaching and Research Staff

Dr Heather Boetto

Lecturer in Social Work
Wagga Wagga
Building 26


Heather is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Charles Sturt University.

Heather completed a double degree in Bachelor of Social Work/Bachelor of Arts, majoring in psychology in 2001, a Master of Social Work (with distinction) in 2010, and a PhD (with Higher Degree by Research University Medal) in 2017.

Heather has worked in the human services sector as a practitioner for over 10 years in various fields, including disability, child and family welfare, and school social work. She has also worked as a consultant for the Department of Community Services undertaking parenting assessments and foster care assessments.

Heather commenced working for Charles Sturt University as a lecturer and researcher in 2009.


Heather teaches in the social work and human services discipline at Charles Sturt University. She is passionate about supporting students through their studies and teaches at all levels, including undergraduate and post graduate levels, and using online and face-to-face (on-campus) classes. Heather teaches in a range of areas relevant to social work and human services. She also supervises students as part of their practicums at the undergraduate level of social work, and at the honours, masters and doctorate levels of study. Heather has been particularly involved in an innovative team to develop a suite of ‘ecosocial’ work subjects at Charles Sturt University, which aligns with her research interests.


Heather’s research focuses on environmental social work, also known as ‘ecosocial work’ and ‘green social work’. Heather was awarded the University Medal in 2017 for her PhD, which culminated in the development of a ‘transformative ecosocial work model’ for practice, also published in the British Journal of Social Work (Boetto, 2017). Heather has undertaken action research with practitioners to facilitate the integration of ecosocial work in professional practice in Australia and Finland (Boetto et al., 2020), and was awarded the 2018 Best Article from the International Journal of Social Work exploring the ethics of environmental sustainability in social work (Bowles, et al., 2018). Heather is currently leading a research project with human service organisations aimed at developing disaster preparedness, which is funded by the NSW Government Community Resilience Innovation Program. Heather also pursues a general interest in research relating to a range of social justice and equity issues, including gender, international, and refugee areas.

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3606-7878

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?hl=en&user=YQNxodAAAAAJ&imq=Heather+Boetto&view_op=list_works

Charles Sturt University: https://researchoutput.csu.edu.au/en/persons/hboettocsueduau


  • Australian Association of Social Work (AASW)
  • International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
  • Relationships Australia, Advisory Group, Riverina Branch
  • The Riverina Anglican College, Board Member


  • Boetto, H., Bowles, W., Närhi, K., & Powers, M. (2020). Raising awareness of transformative ecosocial work: Participatory action research with Australian social workers. International Journal of Social Welfare, 29(4), 300-309. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijsw.12445

  • Bell, K., Kime, K., & Boetto, H., (2019). Gender, environmental degradation and eco-feminism. In M, Rinkel & M. Powers (Eds.), Social Work promoting community and environmental sustainability: A workbook for social work practitioners and educators (Vol.3). Rheinfelden, Switzerland: International Federation of Social Work.

  • Boetto, H. (2018). Transformative ecosocial work: Incorporating being, thinking and doing in practice. In M. Pawar, W. Bowles, & K. Bell (Eds.), Social work: Innovations and insights. (pp. 79-93). North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

  • Boetto, H., Bell, K., & Kime, K. (2018). Holistic ecosocial work: A model for transformative change through being knowing and doing. In M, Rinkel & M. Powers (Eds.), Social work promoting community and environmental sustainability: A workbook for social work practitioners and educators (Vol.2). (pp. 46-57). Rheinfelden, Switzerland: International Federation of Social Work.

  • Kime, K., Boetto, H., & Bell, K. (2018). ‘Wise practices’ with Indigenous Australians: Adapting to a changing planet. In M, Rinkel & M. Powers (Eds.), Social Work Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability: A Workbook for Social Work Practitioners and Educators (Vol.2). (pp. 117-132). Rheinfelden, Switzerland: International Federation of Social Work (IFSW).

  • Boetto, H., & McKinnon, J. (2018). Social work, sustainability and the environment. In M. Alston, S. McCurdy & J, McKinnon (Eds.). Fields of social work practice (3rd Ed.). (pp. 277-292). Oxford University Press.

  • Boetto, H. (2017). A transformative eco-social model: Challenging modernist assumptions in social work. British Journal of Social Work, 47(1), 48-67. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw149
  • Bell, K., Moorhead, B. & Boetto, H. (2017). Social work students’ reflections on gender, social justice and human rights during a short-term study programme to India. International Social Work, 60, 132-144. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872814559559
  • Boetto, H., & Bowles, W. (2017). Ecosocial transitions: Exploring the wisdom of our elders. In A. Matthies & K. Narhi (Eds.), Ecosocial transition of societies: Contribution of social work and social policy. (pp. 190-205). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  • Boetto, H. (2016). Developing ecological social work for micro level practice. In J. McKinnon & M. Alston (Eds.), Ecological social work: Towards sustainability (pp. 59-77). Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Boetto, H., & Bell, K. (2015). Environmental sustainability in social work education: An online initiative to encourage global citizenship. International Social Work,58(3), 448-462. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872815570073
  • Boetto, H., Moorhead, B., & Bell, K. (2014). Broadening the ‘environment’ in social work: Impacts of a study abroad program. Critical Social Work, 15(1), http://www1.uwindsor.ca/criticalsocialwork/broadening_environment_SW

  • Boetto, H., & McKinnon, J. (2013). Gender and climate change in Australia: A review of differences. Critical Social Work,14(1), 15-18. http://www1.uwindsor.ca/criticalsocialwork/system/files/Boetto_McKinnon.pdf
  • Alston, M., Duncan, G., & Boetto, H., (2004). Empowering young rural women: The provision of a social work service for young women in a disadvantaged high school. Women in Welfare Education, 7, 1-63.

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