Staff profile

Dr Mary Elizabeth Whiteside

Senior Lecturer

College of Science, Health and Engineering
School of Allied Health
Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health
Living with Disability Research Centre

Melbourne (Bundoora)



Membership of professional associations

Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), Member of the Editorial Board, Australian Social Work

Area of study

Social Work

Brief profile

Mary is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Policy, Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health, La Trobe University. She is Ajunct Research Fellow, Melbourne Health.

Mary has a long history of involvement in research and development in health and community settings, including Australian Aboriginal and international contexts. The focus of her social work practice and her research has primarily involved individual and family wellbeing, community development, Indigenous health, and living with disability, using qualitative and participatory research approaches.

Research interests

Social work

- Please contact me to discuss a topic.

Teaching units

Inclusion in Communities

Reflective Communication and Social Work

Social Work Research

Recent publications

Whiteside, M., Klieve, H., Millgate, N., Webb, B., Gabriel, Z., McPherson, L. & Tsey, K. (2016). Connecting and Strengthening Young Aboriginal Men: A Family Wellbeing pilot Study. Australian Social Work. To link to this article:

Price, D. & Whiteside, M. (2016). Implementing the 2:1 student placement model in occupational therapy: Strategies for practice. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 63, 123-129. DOI: 10.1111/1440.1630.12257

Frederico, M. & Whiteside, M. (2016). Building School, Family and Community Partnerships: Developing a Theoretical Framework. Australian Social Work. DOI: 10.1080/0312407X.2015.104248

Whiteside, M., Smith, R., Gazarek, J., Bridge, F. & Shields, N. (2015). A Framework for Enabling Evidence Based Practice in Allied Health. Australian Social Work. DOI: 10.1080/0312407X.2015.1059465

Tipping, S. & Whiteside, M. (2015). Language Reversion among People with Dementia from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Backgrounds: The Family Experience, Australian Social Work, 68 (2), 184-197. 

Whiteside, M., Tsey, K., Cadet-James, Y. & McCalman, J. (2014). Promoting Aboriginal health: the Family Wellbeing empowerment approach. SpringerBriefs in Public Health. Cham Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London. Springer. Purchase on line at or e-copy at

McCalman, J., Bridge, F., Whiteside, M., Bainbridge, R., Tsey, K., Jongen, C. (2014). Responding to Indigenous Australian sexual health: a situated systemic search of the       literature. SAGE Open. DOI:10.1177/2158244013518931.

Bainbridge, R., Whiteside, M., & McCalman, J. (2013). Being, knowing and doing: A phronetic approach to constructuing grounded theory with Aboriginal Australian    partners. Qualitative Health Research, 23(2), 275-288.    

Whiteside, M., Mills, J. & McCalman, J. (2013). Using secondary data for grounded theory analysis, Australian Social Work, 65 (4), 504-516.   

Whiteside, M., Tsey, K., Crouch, A. & Fagan, P. (2012). Youth and Relationship Networks (YARNS): mobilising communities for sexual health, Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 23(3), 226-230.   

Kitau, R., Tsey, K., McCalman, J. & Whiteside, M. (2011) .The Adaptability and Sustainability of an Indigenous Australian Family Wellbeing Initiative in the Context of Papua New Guinea: A Follow Up. Australasian Psychiatry, 19 Supplement 1, S80-S83.  

Whiteside, M., Tsey, K. & Earles, W. (2011). Locating Empowerment in the Context of Indigenous Australia, Australian Social Work, 64(1), 113-129. 

Whiteside, M., Tsey, T., Cadet-James, Y. (2011) A Theoretical Empowerment Framework for Transdisciplinary Team Building Australian Social Work, 64(2), 228-232.  

Older publications


Tsey, K., Whiteside, M., Haswell-Elkins, M., Bainbridge, R. Cadet-James, Y. & Wilson, A. (2009). Empowerment and Indigenous Australian health: a synthesis of findings from Family Wellbeing formative research.Health and Social Care in the Community, 18 (2), 169-179.

McCalman. J, Tsey, K., Wenitong, M., Wilson, A, McEwan, A., Cadet-James, Y. & Whiteside, M. (2010). Indigenous Men’s support groups and social and emotional wellbeing: a meta synthesis of the evidence. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 16, 159-166.    

Mayo, K., Tsey, K., McCalman, J., Whiteside, M., Fagan, R. & Baird, L. (2009). The research dance: university and community research collaborations at Yarrabah, North Queensland, Australia. Health and Social Care in the Community, 17 (2), 133-140. 

Whiteside, M., Tsey, K., Cadet-James, Y. (2009). Empowerment as a social determinant of Indigenous Australian health: the case of the Family Wellbeing Program. In P.Bywaters, E. Mcleod & L. Napier (Eds)., Social work and global health inequalities: practice and policy developments (Chapter 11.1. pp. 165-171). Bristol UK: Policy Press.

Tsey, K., Wilson, A., Haswell-Elkins, M., Whiteside, M., McCalman, J., Cadet-James, Y., Wenitong, M. (2007). Empowerment-based research methods: a 10-year approach to enhancing Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing. Australasian Psychiatry, Vol. 15 Supplement, S34- 38.

 Whiteside, M., Tsey, K, McCalman, J., Cadet_James, Y. and Wilson, A. (2006). Empowerment as a framework for Indigenous workforce development and organisational change, Australian Social Work, 59(4), 422-434.  

Tsey, K., Travers, H., Gibson, T., Whiteside, M., Cadet-James, Y. Haswell-Elkins, M., McCalman, J. & Wilson, A.(2005). The role of empowerment through life skills development in building comprehensive Primary Health Care systems in Indigenous Australia, Australian Journal of Primary Care, 11(2), 16-25.   

Tsey K., Whiteside M., Daly B., Deemal A., Gibson T, Cadet-James, Y., Wilson A., Santhanam R. & Haswell M. (2005), Adapting the family wellbeing empowerment program to the needs of remote Indigenous young people, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 29(2), 112-116.    

Whiteside M.,(2004).The challenge of inter-disciplinary collaboration in addressing the social determinants, Australian Social Work, 57(4), 381-393.    

Tsey, K., Patterson, D., Whiteside, M., Baird, L., Baird, B. & Tsey, K. (2004). A micro analysis of a participatory action research process with a rural Aboriginal men’s health group. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 10 (1), 64-71.   

Tsey, K., Wenitong, M.., McCalman, J., Baird, L., Patterson, D., Baird, B., Whiteside, M., Fagan, R., Cadet-James, Y. and Wilson, A., (2004). A Participatory Action Research Process with a rural Indigenous Men’s group: monitoring and reinforcing change, Journal of Primary Health, 10 (3), 130-136.    

Tsey, K., Whiteside, M., Deemal, A. and Gibson, T. (2003). Social determinants of health, the ‘control factor’, and the Family Wellbeing Empowerment Program, Australasian Psychiatry,Vol.11 Supplement, S34 - S39. 

Tsey, K, Patterson, D, Whiteside, M., Baird, L. and Baird, B.(2002).Indigenous men taking their rightful place in society? A preliminary analysis of a participatory action research process with Yarrabah Men’s Health Group, Australian Journal of Rural Health. 10, 278-284.   

Research projects


Current major research projects activities include:

2016-2018.  Sustainable implementation of Indigenous early childhood family support programs that work: a Family Wellbeing case-study. Yvonne Cadet-James, Komla Tsey, Cath Brown, Roxanne Bainbridge,  Mary Whiteside, Lynne McPherson, Helen Klieve, Irina Kinchin. Funded by the Lowitja Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research.

2016 - 2017. A family intervention for methamphetamine use in Aboriginal communities. Sarah MacLean, Mary Whiteside, Sarah Callinan, Patrick Keyzer, Deb Neal.  Funded by La Trobe University Building Healthy Communities Research Focus Area. 

2014- 2015. Supporting people with cognitive disability to make decisions. Christine Bigby, Jacinta Douglas, Mary Whiteside. Commissioned by Scope and funded by the Legal Services Board, Victoria.

2015 -  continuing.  Membership of a La Trobe University/Melbourne Health allied health research partnership aiming to foster allied health research at Melbourne Health. 


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