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Dr Patricia Fronek


Patricia Fronek

Senior Lecturer
School of Human Services and Social Work
+61 (0)7 5552 9345 (Work)
G01 3.02, Gold Coast Campus

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As a researcher, educator and social worker with thirty years experience in the field, I am deeply committed to social work values including social justice, human rights, respecting and valuing the worth and self-determination of all people, and professional integrity. I am passionate about social work's value to society and research-informed public policy as opposed to policy informed by ideology, personal opinions or political influence. As past President of the Australia and New Zealand Association of Social Work and Welfare Education and Research (ANZSWWER), an accredited member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), member of the Australian College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Asia Pacific Association of Social Work Education (APASWE), and creator and producer of Podsocs (the podcast for social workers on the run), I value the worth of social work research and the education of qualified and skilled practitioners. The breadth of my research and consultancy experience is broadly located in a number of social work fields including international social work. My recent research has focused on international social work particularly child protection and alternative care in Cambodia which has included high level government consultations with international organisations on the development of national policies and laws related to alternative care and surrogacy; and consultation and collaborations with other key stakeholders. For several years, I have worked as a member of an expert international group for ISS (Geneva) developing international surrogacy principles (The Verona Principles) based on the rights of children in consultation with national governments, international organisations and stakeholders. My research is nationally and internationally recognised. As such, I have served on the National Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee (NICAAG) for the Federal Attorney General’s Department of Australia as the Academic Member, the Intercountry Adoption Tracing and Reunification Advisory Committee for ISS Australia, and as an international expert for the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). I has given evidence to Senate Inquiries and Australian and UK roundtables and currently serve on the Australian Child Rights Taskforce. My research is widely published, generates media interest, and I regularly present at national and international conferences. I teach into university social work programs, conduct clinical supervision, and supervises Higher Degree by Research students. I have been fortunate to accept invitations to teach at other universities such as Rutgers University, New Jersey. I was also a visiting Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield.


  • Member
    Disability & Rehabilitation2018 - 2019
  • Member
    Law Futures Centre2018
  • Member
    Law Futures Research Centre, Law, Governance and Social Change Program, Griffith University, Australia1 Jan 2018
  • Member
    Griffith University Human Research Ethics Committee, Australia1 Jan 2018
  • Member
    Health Program(s) Advisory Committee (Griffith College), Australia1 Jan 2018
  • Co-convenor
    Griffith University Social Work Programs Reference Committee, Australia1 Jan 2011
  • Member
    Health Group Interprofessional Learning Steering Group, Australia1 Jan 2012 - 1 Jan 2012


  • Director Bachelor of Social Work Program (Gold Coast, Logan and External)
    Griffith University, School of Human Services and Social Work, Gold Coast, Australia1 Jan 2011
  • Visiting Research Fellow
    University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom1 Jan 2014 - 1 Jan 2016
  • Academic member
    National InterCountry Adoption Advisory Group (NICAAG), Federal Attorney-General Department, Australia2010 - 2013


  • Doctor of Philosophy
    University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Social Work
    University of Queensland, Australia


  • Accredited member
    Australian Association of Social Workers
  • Member
    Australian College of Social Work (ACSW)