“For Josh, knowledge is relational, it’s not about power” – Emer Prof David Giles
I am a qualitative researcher and educator. I live and work on Kaurna country (Adelaide, South Australia). I hold a BA and PhD from Flinders University, and a Master in International and Community Development from Deakin University. I have over 20 years of experience working across the youth, music, local government, not-for-profit and higher education sectors. Previous appointments include Adjunct Research Associate at Flinders University, Lecturer in the Youth Work program at Tabor Adelaide, SA State Coordinator at TEAR Australia, Recreation, Arts and Cultural Development Officer at the City of West Torrens, Youth Worker at Baptist Care SA, and Music Coordinator for the annual Schoolies Festival (Victor Harbor) at Encounter Youth. My first book Heidegger and the Lived Experience of Being a University Educator (based on my PhD research) was published in 2018 by Palgrave Pivot (UK), and received praised from distinguished scholars across the globe, including Nel Noddings, Max van Manen and Ronald Barnett.
My current research agenda addresses a variety of topics, including the experiences and support needs of PhD students living with a disability (with Associate Professor Kris Natalier, Flinders University). I have also published work exploring the temporal dimensions of good care for disadvantaged young people in youth work practice and higher education. I have coordinated courses and led teaching teams at Flinders University and the University of South Australia across multiple professional disciplines, including social work, teacher education, psychology, youth work, counselling, nursing/midwifery and health care. My main areas of teaching lie in the fields of social research, community development, education, social planning, sociology, youth studies, cultural studies and continental philosophy. You can read my extended biography here.
PhD, School of Education, Flinders University, 2016
Master of International and Community Development, Deakin University, 2011
BA (Australian Studies, Sociology, Development Studies), Flinders University, 2003
Adjunct Research Associate, College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, Flinders University, Australia, 2016–2019
Lecturer, Humanities and Social Sciences, Tabor College Adelaide, 2011–2014
SA State Coordinator, TEAR Australia, 2008–2011
Youth Worker, Supported Accommodation Assistance Program, Baptist Care SA, 2007
Recreation, Arts and Cultural Development Officer, City of West Torrens, 2003–2006
Spier, J. (2018). Heidegger and the lived experience of being a university educator. London: Palgrave Pivot.
Guest editor for a special issue of New Community Journal on Education, 2016, Issue 55, 14(3).
Refereed Journal Articles
Spier, J. (2013). A walk in the park: An experiential approach to youth participation Youth Studies Australia, 32 (3), 13-25.
Spier, J. (2019). Authentic caring: an Australian experience. In J. Hoffman, P. Blessinger, P. and M. Makhanya (Eds.), Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 17) (pp. 31-40). England: Emerald Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120190000017003
Manuscripts in Preparation
Spier, J., Natalier, K., Rozengarten, T. & Hallahan, L. Who is accommodating whom? Being a disabled PhD student in an ableist world (in preparation; intend to submit by May 2020. Target journal: Studies in Higher Education IF 2.85 Q1).
Spier, J. & Macaitis, K. Recalling childhood experiences of being included and excluded from adult decision-making: a collective biography (in preparation, intend to submit by June 2020. Target journal: Child & Youth Services)
Spier, J. ‘Being’ a youth work educator in Australian higher education: an ontological analysis (in preparation, intend to submit by July, 2020. Target journal: Journal of Youth Studies IF 1.732 Q1)
Spier. J. Variations of temporal experiences of meaningful work as a university educator (in preparation, intend to submit by September 2020. Target journal: Work, Employment & Society Q1).
Spier, J. What does it mean to be a university educator? A hermeneutic review of literature (in preparation, intend to submit by October 2020. Target journal: Journal of Occupational Science Q2).
Spier, J. Applying feminist, queer and crip phenomenologies of time to advance temporal equity in doctoral education (in preparation, intend to submit by December 2020. Target journal: Higher Education Research and Development IF 1.825 Q1)
Spier, J. (2016). Just a ‘spoonful’ of pop culture to help the theory go down? Journal of Applied Youth Studies, 1(3) pp. 123-127.
Awards and honours
Nomination for the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Ray Debus Award for Doctoral Research in Education, 2017
Australian Postgraduate Award, PhD Scholarship, Australian Government, 2012–2015
Chancellor’s Letter of Commendation, Flinders University, 2003
Academic professional development
HDR Supervisor Development Program, Office of Graduate Research, Flinders University, 2019
Using Creative Tools in Your Research, Flinders University, 2012
Writing a Research Proposal for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Flinders University, 2012
2017, School of Social & Policy Studies, School Research Support Grant, Flinders University. Chief Investigator: A/Prof Kris Natalier (Amount funded: $3,465.50)
2015, City of Unley (Amount funded: $3,000)
2014, Research Student Conference Travel Grant, Flinders University (Amount funded: $1,726.00)
2014, Postgraduate Conference/Workshop Grant, Education, Humanities & Law Faculty, Flinders University (Amount funded: $1,000)
2013, Education, Humanities & Law Faculty, Research Project Funding, Flinders University (Amount funded: $1,392.20)
Invited talks and workshops
2018, Stressing about ‘youth stress’. Edith Cowan University Youth Studies Occasional Lecture Number 8, Joondalup campus, Western Australia, 21st June.
2017, The art of storytelling. Youth Leaders Retreat, Blackwood Hills Baptist Church, 28th October.
2016, Retracing the footsteps of a hermeneutic phenomenological doctoral project. Engaging with Lived Experiences: Phenomenological Research in Practice Conference, Flinders on the Square, Victoria Square, Adelaide, 12thApril.
2015, Letting our experience speak. Insights into Leadership Program, Flinders Leadership and Management in Education (FLAME) Research Group, Flinders University, 10thAugust.
2015 (with Jem Bishop), Mutual benefit: What does this mean for young people? Community Development Unit, City of Unley, 18th June.
2010, Opening address. The Senate Forum: Women’s Empowerment & the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), convened by TEAR Australia, Micah Challenge & Make Poverty History, Westcare Baptist Church, 24th July.
2009, Community development principles for working with young people. City of Playford, Playford Civic Centre, 25th August.
2018, What strategies can universities use to foster meaningful academic work? 2018 HERDSA Conference: (Re)Valuing Higher Education, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA), Adelaide Convention Centre, 5th July.
2015, ‘Being an educator’ in university-based youth work education. Postgraduate Scholars Conference: Educational Futures, Flinders University, 22nd June.
2014, Using hermeneutic phenomenology to explore the lived experiences of lecturers in the field of youth worker education. Institute for Heideggerian Hermeneutical Methodologies, Indiana University, 13th June.
2014, (with co-presenter Dr Kirsten Macaitis), ‘I will follow you into the dark’: How do bereaved young people experience the care of others? Burning Conversations Conference, Tabor College Adelaide, 2nd October.
2013, Using hermeneutic phenomenology to explore the lived experiences of youth work educators. Postgraduate Scholars Conference, Flinders University, 24th June.
Completed PhD supervision
Susan Furness, Walking in Paramedicine: An Ontological Inquiry, PhD awarded 2018, La Trobe University
Researcher Assistant to Assoc Prof Kris Natalier College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University, 2017– 2018
Research Assistant to Assoc Prof Deb King College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University, 2018
Research Assistant to Prof David Giles School of Education, Flinders University, 2015
University of South Australia
Tutor for Social Enquiry Methods (SP1 2020, online)
Tutor for Working with Community (SP5 2019, internal)
Tutor for Social Enquiry Methods (SP4 2019, online)
Tutor Working with Community (SP4 2019, online)
Tutor for First People’s Health (SP5 2017, internal)
Course Coordinator for Working with Community (SP5 2016, internal and external)
Topic Coordinator, Lecturer & Tutor for Community Development (S1 2019)
Topic Coordinator, Lecturer & Tutor for Reading Australian Culture (S1 2019)
Topic Coordinator & Lecturer for Australian Studies: Identities (S1 2019)
Tutor for Sociology of Everyday Life (S1 2018; S1 2017; S1 2016)
Tutor for Critical Social Analysis of Health (S1 2017)
Guest lecturer for Teaching Indigenous Australian Students (S2 2019)
Guest lecturer for Sociology of Everyday Life (S1 2018)
Marker for Managing Human Resources (NS2 2018), core topic in the Master of Educational Leadership and Management (external – China)
Assessor of non-academic assessment tasks (Teaching Capabilities Statements), submitted by applicants to initial teacher education courses (Nov 2018 – Jan 2019)
Topic Coordinator for Social Planning Theory (S2 2018)
Topic Co-Coordinator, Lecturer & Tutor for Teaching Indigenous Australian Students (S2 2018)
Tutor for Teaching Indigenous Australian Students (S2 2017)
Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS) Tutor for Social Policy Practice (S1 2017) – one-on-one
Curriculum development and assessment design for Exploring Contemporary Spirituality (S2 2015)
Guest lecturer for Introduction to Sociology (2015-2016) & Theories of Youth (S2 2015)
Assistant lecturer and marker for Exploring Contemporary Spirituality (S2 2015)
Subject Coordinator, Lecturer & Tutor for Theories of Youth (S2 2014) – internal
Subject Coordinator, Lecturer & Tutor for Youth Participation and Community Development (S1 2014) – internal and online
Developed and delivered a lecture for Principles and Practices of Relational Youth Work (S1 2014)
Lecturer for Introduction to Sociology and Culture in Australia (S1 2014)
Subject Co-Coordinator & Lecturer for Introduction to Sociology and Culture in Australia (S2 2013)
Subject Coordinator, Lecturer & Tutor for Youth Participation & Community Development (S1 2013)
Lecturer for the Certificate IV in Christian Life and Ministry (2011 – 2012)
Subject Coordinator for Youth and Community Development (2009)
Tutor for Issues in Youth Work (S2 2007)
Junior Associate Fellow, The International Institute of Hermeneutics (IIH), 2016–
Academic service and leadership
Reviewer for Journal of Youth Studies, 2019
Reviewer for the journal Phenomenology & Practice, 2018
Convenor and organiser of book launch for Professor David Giles, with public lecture by Emeritus Professor John Halsey, in partnership with the Flinders Leadership and Management Group (FLAME), Flinders at Victoria Square, 2018
Convenor and organiser of public lecture by Emeritus Professor Ronald Barnett (UK), in partnership with the Flinders Leadership and Management Group (FLAME), Flinders at Victoria Square, 2018
Convenor and organiser of research seminar with visiting scholar Dr Susan Furness (La Trobe), Flinders at Victoria Square, 2018
Convenor and organiser of research seminar with visiting scholar Dr Filip Vostal (Czech Academy of Sciences), Education Building, Flinders University, 2018
Reviewer for one PhD proposal, School of Education, Flinders University, 2017
Reviewer for the journal Child and Youth Services, 2016
Initiator and Co-Convener for the Engaging with Lived Experiences: Phenomenological Research in Practice Conference, Flinders on the Square, Adelaide, 2016
Voluntary work and service
Assistant Coach of the U12 Team 5 (Division 2), Goodwood Cricket Club, 2019/20
Coach of Goodwood Primary School’s C Grade Cricket Team (Years 4-5), 2019
Founder and co-organiser of Annual T30 Charity Cricket Match (Total amount raised so far is $14,000), 2009 – current
Member of the Student Learning and Wellbeing Committee, Goodwood Primary School, 2016 – 2017
Founding Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee, Tabor College Adelaide, 2013
Producer of compilation CD fundraiser, with all proceeds raised donated to TEAR Australia’s Development Project in Darfur, 2008
Pianist at weddings, funerals and other community events, 1996 – current
Coach for emerging musicians and songwriters, 2003 – current
Music Program Coordinator, Schoolies Festival (Victor Harbor), Encounter Youth, 1999-2002
Venue Manager – Club CareerOne, Schoolies Festival (Victor Harbor), Encounter Youth, 2007