Ann Carrington


Ann Carrington, PhD, BSW (Hons), is a Lecturer in Social Work at James Cook University. Her practice has been predominantly with those who have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault. She developed the ‘Vortex of Violence’ practice model for working with women who have experienced domestic violence as published in the British Journal of Social Work. She continues to research and write in the area of domestic violence, violence against women, integrated responses and other social and gendered issues. Her other area of research and practice interest is the integration of spiritual theory and practice in social work. Areas of interest within this field include: integration of spirituality in social work theory, practice, research, ethics and pedagogy; and exploration of how spiritual theory and practice may add to social works understanding of issues of power, control, privilege, vicarious trauma/burnout and reflective practice.

Dr Ann Carrington is a critical feminist social theorist. Ann joined JCU in 2015 and previously worked at Deakin University, Geelong. Ann’s teaching and research philosophy is informed by her position as a critical feminist social theorist. She brings a critical feminist intersectional critique to the systems and processes in higher education, believing this to be of particular importance in Social Work, where there are high numbers of traditionally marginalised groups. Ann sees education as a transformative process that empowers people, personally and politically, which can work to change the lives of individuals through the redistribute of power in the broader social and political context. Educating for an awareness of and response to issues of power, privilege, oppression and exploitation at personal, cultural and structural levels is essential to social work. In line with these concepts, as a researcher, Ann’s key areas of interest include gendered issues and domestic violence, homelessness, spirituality and pedagogy.

Gendered issues and domestic violence

As a social work practitioner, Ann practiced in the areas of sexual assault and domestic violence. Through her experience working with women subjected to DV and sexual assault she developed ‘The Vortex of Violence’ as published in the British Journal of Social Work. She is currently working in collaboration with Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service and JCU Dentistry on an innovative program designing and delivering a scaffolded curriculum program to teach dentistry students how to recognise and respond to patients affected by domestic violence.

Ann, with support from Sally Watson, conducted a research project with a regional collective responding to domestic and family violence to explore the influence of discourse and the construction of domestic violence on collaborative community responses. The findings of this project were presented at the 2017 Not Now Not Ever Symposium. Ann recently collaborated with Professor Bob Pease (Deakin University) to provide a commentary for a White Ribbon research paper on the accountability of men as allies.


Ann, with co-investigator Jo Mensinga, was invited to conduct an evaluation of a local Mission Australia program. The report was published in March 2017, with components of the project findings currently in preparation for broader publication.


Ann has contributed to the development of knowledge in the area of spirituality and social work over the last decade. She has produce two theses and a number of papers exploring spiritual research methodologies, paradigms and practice frameworks. More recently, she contributed a chapter to the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work.


Ann has worked with colleagues (from Deakin University Dr Sophie Goldingay, Dr Danielle Hitch, and Ms Viola Rosario and Dr Sharlene Nipperess from RMIT) exploring the embedding of academic literacy within social work curriculum. A current focus is on the use of online and blended learning technologies to teach social work and interpersonal skills. Ongoing focus on educating social work and health professionals in recognising and responding to domestic violence.