Dr Doris Testa has dual qualifications in education and social work. Her professional life encompasses some thirty seven years in a quest to bring her two passions together – education and welfare. With roles as primary school principal, child protection officer, social work sessional and project manager, Dr Testa is Senior Lecturer in VU's Social Work Unit. 

Dr Testa's PhD explored the contribution of social work to student wellbeing. Dr Testa has co-published chapters in social work texts which focus on social work supervision and has also published in the areas of school based social work.

Dr Testa is also the recipient of several awards:

  • 2006: Victoria's Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs – Service Delivery to Multicultural Victoria, Community Services
  • 2005: APA Scholarship - Victoria University
  • 2003: Madeline Crump Award - Outstanding Fieldwork Teaching in Social Work
  • 2003: Centenary Award: Contribution to Youth and Community.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Testa, D. (2017) Hospitals, nationality and culture: Social workers, experiences and reflections. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 29,(2) 96-107

Testa, D & Egan, R. (2016). How useful are discussion boards and written reflections in helping social work students critically reflect on their field education placements? Qualitative Social Work, 15(2), 263-280

Testa, D. (2014), ‘What do student say about school social workers?’ in International Journal Qualitative Studies in Education 27 (4)

Grace, M., Daddow, A., Egan, R, Fox, J., Noble, C., O’Maley, P., Ridley, C.,& Testa, D., (2013) 'Student diversity as grass roots internationalisation in social work education', Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 15 (1), 120-134

Testa, D. (2012) ‘Cross disciplinary collaboration and health promotion in schools: A case study in Australian Social Work’, in Australian Social Work, Volume 65, Issue 4 


Bellinger, A., & Testa, D (2016) Student led services. In A. Bellinger, & D. Ford (Eds), Practice placement in social work: Innovative approaches for effective teaching and learning (ppp 5-19). UK: Policy Press

Book chapters

Egan R., and Testa D (2013), 2nd ed ‘Models of Supervision’ in Clinical and Field Work Placement in the Health Professions, Stagnitti K, Shoo, A and Welch D. 

Papers in refereed conference proceedings

Testa, D (2012), 'What do students say about school social workers?' paper presented to ACEN Collaborative Education: Investing in the future conference, Deakin University Geelong, 29 October - 2 November

Grace, M, Townsend, R, Testa, D, Fox, J, O’Maley, P, Custance, J & Daddow, A, (2011) ‘Blurring the boundaries: a collaborative approach to language and learning support for Social Work students’, Multiculturalism Perspectives from Australia, Canada and China Conference, 21-22 November, 2011, University of Sydney

Conference presentations

Grace, M, Townsend, R, Testa, D, Fox, J, O’Maley, P, Custance, J & Daddow, A (2012), 'Student diversity as grass roots internationalisation in social work education', paper presented to AASWEE Celebrating Diversity: Navigating the challenges of inclusivity Conference, University of South Australia, McGill Campus 27-28 September.

Testa, D & Egan, R (2012), 'Finding Voice: How do CALD students negotiate field placements?' paper presented to ACEN Collaborative Education, Investing in the future Conference, Deakin University, Geelong, 29 October - 2 November.

Testa, D (2011), 'Teachers and cross disciplinary collaboration: the challenges', paper presented to the ACEN Valuing Teacher Education: Policy, Perspectives and Partnerships Conference, Victoria University Melbourne, Victoria, 3 - 6 July

Noble C, Egan R, Testa, D and Walker R, (2009). ‘An exploration of cross- cultural teaching and learning needs for CALD students in social work education’. Presented at the VU, Learning and Teaching Seminar, 9 December. 

Public lectures

Testa, D (2011), 'How does social work respond to Australian education policy?', Malta University, 18 May

Teaching responsibilities

ASW2203 Interpersonal and Communication skills

ASW3101 Skills for Social Work Direct Practice

ASW3300 Working with Individuals and Families

ASW3106 Schools and student wellbeing


Academic Leader Field Education

Course Coordinator, Bachelor of Social Work

Professional affiliations

  • Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), Reviewer for AASW journal
  • Member: Victorian Institute of Teaching

Community recognition

Recipient 2006: Award for Excellence for Multi-Cultural Affairs

Recipient 2006: Madeline Crump Award: “Outstanding Fieldwork Teaching in Social Work”

Recipient APA Scholarship 2005: Victoria University

Recipient 2003: Centenary Medal: “Services to Youth”

Recipient: Centenary Award 2003: “Contribution to Youth and Community

Areas of expertise

  • Field education
  • School based social work
  • Teaching and learning

Contact details

(03) 9919 5010