DR Susan Webster

DR Susan Webster


  • Health services policy and systems research (Health care for children and young people in Out-of-Home Care)
  • Qualitative research



  • Dr Susan Webster is an Honorary Research Fellow (2014-2019) in the Department of General Practice. In 2015 she was also awarded a Victorian Parliamentary Library Fellowship.

    Her critical research interests are in health services policies and systems relating to children and young people whose health and development can be at risk as a consequence of maltreatment or neglect. These interests encompass both the history of political decision making in Australian jurisdictions about health services for children who are taken into protective care as well as contemporary health service system design. Her three key goals are to foster and participate in new research in this field, to encourage and support relevant research higher degree studies and to provide input into policy and implementation related to new practice initiatives.

    Susan held a Primary Health Care Research & Evaluation (PHCRED) Fellowship at the University of Melbourne in 2007. She was awarded a Master of Primary Health Care (Research) degree in 2009 with a study of general practitioner willingness and readiness to undertake comprehensive health assessments for children in Out-of-Home Care in Victoria (Webster SM & Temple-Smith MJ 2010)

    In 2014 Susan completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Her thesis "Fostering Health: An Australian health policy and systems study of health assessment for children and young people in Out-of-Home Care" was among those considered for the Chancellor's Prize for Excellence at the University of Melbourne.

    Susan's earlier career spanned 35 years in Commonwealth and Victorian government and community service organisations working across diverse areas in employment, equal opportunity, youth welfare, justice and health.  She was appointed in 1987 as an inaugural Member of the Victorian Guardianship & Administration Board within the Victorian Justice Department, serving on the Board f   


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 2015
  • MPHC, University of Melbourne 2010
  • BA, University of Melbourne 1977

Awards and honors

  • Not in List, 2014
  • MA Bartlett Research Scholarship, 2012
  • Melbourne Abroad Travelling Scholarship, 2012
  • Vice-Chancellor's Engagement Awards Dreamlarge Student Engagement Grant, 2010
  • Australian Postgraduate Award University of Melbourne, 2010



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Susan is available to co-supervise research higher degree students in the Department of General Practice. She conducts occasional tutorials and has an interest in the further development of teaching and  professional development materials for primary health care practitioners and child welfare practitioners around systems of primary health care for vulnerable children.