Liz researches and lectures in clinical and community psychology. Her work focuses on advanced contemporary practice, the social determinants of mental health and well-being, gender, and sexuality, with particular expertise in addressing issues of discrimination.

Liz is an experienced clinical and community psychologist who has taught, researched, supervised, and practiced in mental health and wellbeing since 1986. She has extensive experience in public, independent and community mental health settings, and in public policy, service and service system development, and capacity building.

Liz coordinates the research program of the Masters of Psychology (Clinical Psychology), is an appointee of the Australian Psychological Society’s (APS’s) Public Interest and Advisory Committee and of the VU Human Ethics Committee, and a member of the VU Public Health Network and Feminist Research Network.

She contributes her expertise within the University, the health professions and the community. Her research has been presented at more than 40 local, national and international conferences, and she is a regular invited speaker, and reviewer for national and international journals.

Selected publications

Refereed journal articles

Perera, D., Short, L. & Fernbacher, S. (2014). "There is a lot to it": Being a mother and living with a mental illness. Advances in Mental Health: Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention, 12(3): 167–181.

Perera, D., Short, L. & Fernbacher, S. (2014). "It’s not that straightforward": When family support is challenging for mothers living with mental illness. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 37(3): 170–175.

Short, E. (2007). Lesbian mothers living well in the context of heterosexism and discrimination: Resources, strategies and legislative change. Feminism and Psychology, 17(1), pp. 54–74.

Short, L. (2007). "It makes the world of difference": Benefits for children of lesbian parents of having their parents legally recognised as their parents. Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, 3(1), pp. 5–15.

Short, L. (2007). Group 'debriefing' following 'critical incidents': The controversies, lessons to be learnt and new directions in supporting the mental health of staff and others following 'critical incidents'. In Moore, K (Ed), Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Australian Psychological Society Conference: Psychology Making an Impact, pp 366–371.

Refereed collections

Short, E. & Riggs, D. (Ed) (2007). Parenting, family issues and heteronormativity. Special edition of Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, 3(1).

Reports & monographs

The National LGBTI Health Alliance (2014). Working therapeutically with LGBTI clients: A practice wisdom resource. Sydney: The National LGBTI Health Alliance. 1–50.

Short, E., Riggs, D.W., Perlesz, A., Brown, R. & Kane, G. (2008). Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) parented families: A literature review. The Australian Psychological Society, Psychology in the Public Interest Division: Melbourne.


The Women’s Coalition Against Family Violence (1994). Blood on whose hands? The killing of women and children in domestic homicides. Melbourne: The Federation Press.

Conference presentations

Smee, M. & Short, L. (2015). Gender diversity and mental health: An exploration of risk and protective factors. Celebrating the past, looking toward the future: 50th APS Annual Conference. Gold Coast, Australia.

Hoiles, L. & Short, L. (2015). Building foundations: Promoting the mental health and wellbeing of young male Building and Construction Industry (BCI) apprentices. Positioning workplaces for the future: Sustainability, agility and performance. 11th Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference. Melbourne, Australia.

Mordech, S. & Short, L. (2014). Situating wellbeing and support: A community-oriented, ecological perspective of young adults' processes of re-establishing wellbeing following a natural disaster. Community is the answer: Conference of the International Association for Community Development. Glasgow, UK.

Short, L. (2013). "This is how it should be": Human rights and the benefits of legal parentage recognition of non-birth mothers in the families of lesbian couples. 1st International Conference on LGBT Psychology and Related Fields - Coming out for LGBT Psychology in the current international scenario. Lisbon, Portugal.

Kaczan, R., Fisher, A., & Short, L. (2013). Mindfulness in the ivory tower: Brief mindfulness-based stress reduction for PhD students. Mindfulness Science and Practice Conference 2013. Melbourne, Australia.

Teaching responsibilities

Unit co-ordination and teaching


Completions: 1 PhD, 2 Doctorate of Psychology (Clinical), 1 Masters of Psychology (Community), 1 Honours.

Current supervisions: 1 Doctorate of Psychology, 3 Masters of Community Psychology, 1 Masters of Clinical Psychology, 2 Honours.

Past and current topics of research supervision include:

  • The support needs and experiences of mothers who have a psychiatric illness
  • ‘Moving forward’ after leaving an abusive partner: What promotes mental health and well-being?
  • (Mis)representations of domestic homicides in the media
  • Processes and experiences of developing parenting plans post separation
  • Potential benefits of yoga in recovery from sexual assault
  • The benefits of mindfulness for PhD students
  • Same-sex attracted people’s experiences of considering, seeking and engaging with psychologists
  • Gay and lesbian people’s experiences of and responses to heterosexism
  • What promotes and compromises the mental health and well-being of transgender people?
  • What promotes and compromises the mental health and well-being of young male apprentices?
  • Discourses of masculinity and fatherhood in contemporary parent-craft resources
  • The support needs, resilience, community building and other experiences of young people effected by bushfires
  • The lived experience of obesity-related stigma, and it’s health and other effects.

Professional memberships

  • Australian Psychological Society (APS):
    • Public Interest Advisory Group
    • College of Clinical Psychologists
    • College of Community Psychologists
    • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Psychology Interest Group
    • Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Interest Group
    • Perinatal and Infant Psychology Interest Group
    • Psychologists in Oncology Interest Group
    • Refugee Issues & Psychology Interest Group
    • Women and Psychology Interest Group
  • Australian Women's and Gender Studies Association
  • Victoria University Human Research Ethics Committee
  • Endorsed Clinical psychologist, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • Endorsed Community psychologist, AHPRA
  • Registered Clinical psychology supervisor, AHPRA and APS
  • Registered Community psychology supervisor, AHPRA and APS

Appearances in the media

Liz regularly contributes to and is quoted in the media. For example:

Short, L & Dane, S. Why a plebiscite on same-sex marriage is dangerous and divisive The Age, 16 April 2016.

Millbank, J. & Short, L. (2008). Keeping mums: The legal move we have to make. The Age, Melbourne, p. 19. (Also in The Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane Times and WA Today).

Former MP threatens to distribute millions of anti-marriage equality pamphlets. The Guardian, 29 February 2016.

Children at risk of negative messages in marriage equality plebiscite, Senate told. The Guardian, 10 September 2015.

Areas of expertise

  • Addressing inequality and discrimination
  • Advanced contemporary mental health practice
  • Gender
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Qualitative research
  • Sexuality
  • Social determinants of health

Contact details

(03) 9919 2332