Dorothy is Senior Lecturer in Social Pedagogy in the College of Education. Her background is in secondary teaching, juvenile justice, youth and community work and TAFE teaching in community services.

Dorothy’s first academic post was at the University of Sydney (2007-13). Since joining the College in mid-2013, Dorothy has led a team of staff to develop the new degree, Bachelor of Education (Social Pedagogy). This course prepares educators to work in community and human services contexts. She has also taught in the 4th year Bachelor of Education P-12, Masters degrees in education, and supervised doctoral and Minor Thesis research.

Dorothy’s main area of research is resilience. Her current projects include ‘The resilience of African Australian young leaders in Melbourne’; and, in collaboration with Dr Charles Mphande (College of Arts), ‘Safety net networks: Structures and functions of informal social networks among Horn of Africa emerging communities in Melbourne’. At Victoria Institute, she also worked with Professor Kitty te Riele and Dr Vicky Plows (Victoria Institute, now part of ISILC) on alternative education research. Dorothy is a member of the Mobilities, Transitions and Resilience Network of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Martin, A., Bottrell, D., Armstrong, A., Ungar, M. & Liebenberg, L. (2015). The role of resilience in assisting the educational connectedness of at-risk youth: A study of service users and non-Users. International Journal of Educational Research, Online First, 74, 1-12.

France, A., Bottrell, D., & Haddon, E. (2013). Navigating and negotiating desistence from offending for educationally disaffected young people. International Journal on School Disaffection.

Bottrell, D. (2013). Responsibilised resilience? Reworking neoliberal social policy texts. M/C Journal of Media and Culture 16, M. Wilson & J. Arvanitakis (Eds.) (Invited article for ‘Resilient’ Issue).

France, A., Bottrell, D., & Haddon, E. (2012). Managing everyday life: The conceptualisation and value of cultural capital in navigating everyday life for working class youth. Journal of Youth Studies. iFirst article, 1-15. DOI:10.1080/13676261. 2012.733814.

Bottrell, D. (2009). Understanding ‘marginal’ perspectives: Toward a social theory of resilience, Qualitative Social Work. Research & Practice, 8, 321-339.


Groundwater-Smith, S., Dockett, S., & Bottrell, D. (2014). Participatory research with children and young people. London: Sage.

France, A., Bottrell, D., & Armstrong, D. (2012). A political ecology of youth and crime. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bottrell, D., & Goodwin, S. (Eds.). (2011). Schools, communities and social inclusion. Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bottrell, D., & Meagher, G. (Eds.). (2008). Communities and change. Sydney: Sydney University Press.

Book chapters

Bottrell, D. & France, A. (2015). Bourdieurian cultural transitions: Young people negotiating ‘fields’ in their pathways into and out of crime. In D. Woodman & A. Bennett (Eds.), Youth cultures, transitions and generations: Bridging the gap in youth research, (pp. 99-112). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bottrell, D. (2015). Schools and communities fit for purpose. In H. Proctor, P. Freebody, & P. Brownlee (Eds.), New and enduring controversies in education: Orthodoxy and heresy in policy and practice (pp. 27-38). Springer, Cham, Switzerland.

Ungar, M., Bottrell, D., Tian, G., & Xiying Wang, X. (2013). Resilienz, stärken und ressourcen im jugendalter. In C. Steinebach & K. Gharabaghi (Hrsg.), Resilienzförderung im jugendalter: Praxis und perspektiven (pp. 1-19). Berlin: Springer.

Bottrell, D., & Armstrong, D. (2012). Local resources and distal decisions: the political ecology of resilience. In M.Ungar (Ed.), The social ecology of resilience: A handbook of theory and practice (pp. 247–264). New York: Springer.

Bottrell, D. (2011). Learning through community development projects. In D. Bottrell & S. Goodwin (Eds.), Schools, communities and social inclusion (pp. 125-39)Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan.

Conference presentations

Bottrell, D. (2015). The resilience of African Australian young leaders in Melbourne. Paper presented at Pathways To Resilience III Conference, Halifax, 19-19 June.

Mphande, C & Bottrell, D. (2015). Doing resilience: Community resources and reciprocity post-settlement among emerging Horn of Africa in Melbourne, Australia. Paper presented at Pathways To Resilience III Conference, Halifax, 19-19 June.

Bottrell, D. (2014). Resilience and responsibility: Theorising young people’s marginalised perspectives. Paper presented at Competing Responsibilities: The politics and ethics of responsibility in contemporary life Conference, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ, 15-17 August.

Bottrell, D., Te Riele, K., & Plows, V. (2014). Flexible learning options for (re-)engaging young people with education. Paper presented at Youth Affairs Network Queensland, State Youth Affairs Conference, Brisbane, 21-22 August.

Bottrell, D. (2012). Resilience and re-engagement. Paper presented at Symposium, ‘Engagement, disengagement and re-engagement – Pathways to learning for post sixteen year olds’, with S. Groundwater-Smith, M. Vickers and K. te Riele (M. Mills Discussant), AARE-APERA Conference, December 2-6, University of Sydney.

Teaching responsibilities

Postgraduate research students and fellows

Completions: 1 PhD (Associate supervisor, University of Sydney), 1 Master of Education (Research) (Co-supervisor, University of Sydney), 5 B.Ed Honours (University of Sydney)

Current supervision: VU Co-supervision of 3 PhD students, 1 Minor Thesis; 1 EdD  (Associate supervisor, University of Sydney)

Research grants

  • Internal funding grants from University of Sydney, 2008, 2010-12, totalling $52,880.
  • 2009: UnitingCare Burnside, Campbelltown: $20,000.
  • 2011-12: Spencer Foundation: $US 37,078.

Professional memberships

  • The Australian Sociological Association
  • Australian Association for Research in Education
  • Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.

Areas of expertise

  • Alternative schooling
  • Community development and school-community engagement
  • Resilience
  • Social Pedagogy
  • Youth and crime

Contact details

+61 (3) 9919 1010