Dr Mary Elizabeth

Dr Mary Elizabeth Whiteside

Head, Community and Clinical Allied Health, Senior Lecturer, Social Work and Social Policy

College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Allied Health

Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health

Melbourne (Bundoora)

Research centres

Living with Disability Research Centre





Membership of professional associations

Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), Associate Editor, Australian Social Work

Area of study

Social Work

Brief profile

Mary is currently Head of Department, Community and Clinical Allied Health. She has a lengthy 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 social and emotional wellbeing, community development, Indigenous health, and living with disability, using qualitative and participatory research approaches.

Teaching units

Inclusion in Communities

Reflective Communication and Social Work

Social Work Research

Recent publications

Whiteside, M., Bould, E., Tsey, K., Cadet-James, Y., Venville, A. & Morris, M. Promoting 21st Century student competencies: piloting a wellbeing intervention (2017). Australian Social Work. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2016.1263351

Kitau, R., Whiteside, M., Kinchin, I., Hane-Nou, G. & Tsey, K. (2017). Transferring the Aboriginal Australian family wellbeing empowerment program from a Papua New Guinea University context to broader community settings: A Feasibility Study, Pacific Journal of Medical Sciences, 17 (1), 22-38.

Kitau, R., Kinchin, I., Whiteside, M.,Hane-Nou, G. & Tesy, K. (2016). Effectiveness of the uptake and implementation of an Aboriginal Australian empowerment program in the context of public health training in Papua New Guinea. Pacific Journal of Medical Sciences, 16 (2), 16-24.

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2015.1137101

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 http://www.springer.com/shop or e-copy at  springer.com/mycopy

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. Gambling in the Mildura Aboriginal Community; an exploratory study. Co-investigators: Sarah MacLean and Mary Whiteside. Funded by Mallee District Aboriginal Services Limited. $59, 000.

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.