Dr Joshua Spier began his career in 1999, establishing the music program for the annual Schoolies Festival at Victor Harbor. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Australian Studies and Sociology, he worked as a Community Development Officer for the City of West Torrens. Subsequent positions include Youth Worker for Baptist Care SA, and SA State Coordinator for TEAR Australia. Former academic appointments include Lecturer at Tabor College Adelaide (2012-2014), where he developed and coordinated new core subjects in their Bachelor of Applied Social Sciences (Youth Work/Counselling).
After completing a Master of International and Community Development at Deakin University in 2011, Josh was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship, enabling him to undertake his PhD at Flinders University (supervised by Professor David Giles). Using Heidegger’s Being and Time as an interpretive lens, Josh’s doctoral research contributed a fresh ontological analysis of ‘being an educator’ in the everyday context of Australian university-based Youth Worker education programs.
Upon completing his doctorate in 2016, Josh was awarded Full Academic Status as a Research Associate at Flinders University, in recognition of his ongoing contribution to supporting and supervising HDR students. Specifically, he continues to provide methodological expertise in hermeneutic phenomenology for the analysis of ontological phenomena in everyday work-worlds. In 2016, he initiated and co-convened the Hermeneutic Phenomenological Research in Practice Conference.
His first book, ‘Heidegger and the Lived Experience of Being a University Educator’, based on his PhD thesis, was published early 2018 (Palgrave Pivot UK). Josh’s current research interests mainly focus on uncovering ontological and temporal structures of human experiences within the domains of higher education, youth work practice, and the music sector.
Josh is a reviewer for several international journals (including Phenomenology & Practice, Child & Youth Services and Journal of Youth Studies), and was a guest editor for a special issues of New Community – Australia’s only journal on Community Development.
He has coordinated core topics in social planning and Indigenous education across the Social Work and Education programs at Flinders University, and has advised local governments and education providers on their strategic planning for supporting young people.
Josh continues to perform as an accomplished musician and piano composer, with four solo releases (2002, 2005, 2007 & 2010).