Rachael Fox

Professors and Lecturers

Dr Rachael Fox

BScPsychology(Hons), PhD, GCULT, CPsychol, MAPS

Senior Lecturer
Wagga Wagga
Building 26 Room 122

I completed a BSc(Hons first class) in Psychology at the University of Stirling, UK, before going on to complete a PhD in Community Psychology, also at the University of Stirling.  The title of the PhD was 'Scottish secondary education from a critical community psychological perspective: power, control and exclusion'.  This research involved extended ethnography in a number of secondary educational settings and participatory research with young people who have experienced school exclusion.  The work examined education from a standpoint with these young people using Foucauldian discourse approaches to reveal problematic power relations in education.

I have since been engaged in qualitative research involving: migrant children and families; young LGBTIQA+ people; young carers; evaluating health and mental health service provision; and student experiences of Higher Education.

In 2010 I joined the School of Psychology at Charles Sturt University on the Wagga Wagga Campus.  I teach qualitative methods and critical community psychology and my current primary research interests include the social exclusion experiences of young people and collaborative, ethnographic methodologies. I am a member of the Faculty research group on Health Services, which aims to provide a cross-disciplinary perspective that will seek to explore problems and challenges that the health industry faces.

I am the Editor of the Australian Community Psychologist.

Australian community psychologist

Google scholarResearchGate ProfileCharles Sturt Research Output


My research fields and the subjects I am primarily involved in teaching, simultaneously engage in issues which relate directly to learning and teaching practice in Higher Education (critical psychology; discourse theory; research on education).  It is therefore possible and in addition highly desirable for my teaching and learning philosophy to be informed by the content of my teaching (and research) and vice versa.  Much theory in critical community psychology is concerned with ways of engaging meaningfully with people and concerns about institutional structures: these relate directly to working with students within Higher Education.  My research in secondary schools has focused on philosophical theory relating to education and I now research in Higher Education exploring social inclusion in universities.  I am therefore actively engaged in developing a philosophy of teaching practice which reflects the theories about the social world which I am teaching on.

I co-ordinate the following subjects:

  • Introduction to Psychology (PSY101). The subject provides a thorough introduction to psychology, including philosophical, historical, theoretical and methodological backgrounds to psychology as well as a range of content areas. For each topic, fundamental principles, theories, methods and research findings are studied. Students are also given practical experience in writing in psychology.
  • Qualitative Methods in Psychology (PSY309). This compulsory third year undergraduate subject aims to facilitate students' understanding of the differing philosophical, ontological and epistemological assumptions underpinning different approaches to qualitative research. Qualitative research spans a broad range of historical, philosophical and contextual assumptions and in this subject students are exposed to the various paradigms in qualitative research. By the end of the subject, students should be able critically to evaluate a broad range of approaches to qualitative research and published material. The subject also engages students in a range of qualitative methods and methods of analysis, giving students practical experience in carrying out qualitative research.

To date I have supervised twelve undergraduate psychology final year Honours dissertations; four postgraduate clinical research projects and four PhD projects.  I currently supervise a number of postgraduate research students:

Katrina Andrews (principle supervisor, PhD). What is the relationship between stressful or potentially traumatic life events and hoarding behaviour? An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Sheree Baker (principle supervisor, PhD). A qualitative exploration of family and domestic violence.

Yvette Eriksen (co-supervisor, PhD). Ecological evaluation, acceptability and effectiveness of the standard eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) protocol for post-traumatic symptoms with a remote Aboriginal Australian community: A collaborative mixed methods enquiry.

I am keen to supervise postgraduate research and am happy for prospective students to contact me – take a look at my research page for an idea of my research interests.


I run a number of research projects that involve experiences of inclusion and exclusion for students in Higher Education. I am also conducting collaborative research with my undergraduate students which asks the question: What does psychology offer community? (alongside colleague Bróna Nic Giolla Easpaig).  This project has interviewed stakeholders, including psychologists and community members from around the world, to examine the question from a global and discursive perspective.

I am currently conducting, with colleagues in the faculty, an evaluation of a LiCBT NewAccess program being run by headspace, Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) and beyondblue (with Oliver Burmeister (CI), Russell Roberts and Bróna Nic Giolla Easpaig). I am currently engaged in research work with young LGBTIQA+ people in the Murrumbidgee area.

I am keen to be involved in new research projects or postgraduate supervisory work, particularly along the following research interests.  Please contact me if you would like to know more.

Research interests include:
  • The rights of children and young people and their experiences of social exclusion and marginalisation.
  • Critical and Community Psychology.
  • Methodologies involving praxis, participatory, collaborative and transformative approaches, qualitative methods, ethnography and critical approaches to discourse.
  • School exclusion and relationships between adults and young people in education; Students' experiences of exclusion in Higher Education.
Previous and current research projects

Evaluation of NewAccess (current). An evaluation of the LiCBT NewAccess program being run by headspace, Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) and beyondblue, competitive funding awarded from MPHN & beyondblue, $75,000.

Experiences of LGBTIQA+ young people in regional, rural and remote Australia: A participatory approach to improving wellbeing and social connectedness (2015). International funding from Society for Community Research & Action (27th Division of American Psychological Association) $1000.

Training for change: Improving the mental health outcomes for LGBTIQA+ youth (2013). Consulted on two year project with Headspace, an Australian national mental health organisation for young people. The project researched experiences of services with young LGBTIQA+ people.

Inclusion and participation in Higher Education: Examining the subjective experience of prospective students from less advantaged backgrounds (2012). University Faculty competitive grant, $40,000.

A participatory exploration into widening access through students' participation and engagement in Higher Education (2012). University 'Scholarship in Teaching' competitive grant, $11,000.

At home abroad: The life experiences of children of Eastern European migrant workers in Scotland (2009). Research Fellow on ESRC funded research carried out at the University of Strathclyde, UK, £185,969. (http://www.researchcatalogue.esrc.ac.uk/grants/RES-061-25-0121/read)

Scottish secondary education from a critical community psychological perspective: Power, control and exclusion (2008). Completed PhD work carried out at the University of Stirling, UK.  (http://hdl.handle.net/1893/411)

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