Section: Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Sociology of Education and Social Justice
  • Childhood and youth studies
  • Inclusive Education
  • Local spaces and places
  • Gender

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Fiona MacDonald

Dr Fiona MacDonald is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities (ISILC), Victoria University. Fiona's research sits within the sociology of education discipline. Her research interests include middle childhood, social justice, social inclusion, inclusive education, gender and the significance of local spaces and other spaces. She has a particular interest in social and cultural influences in the lives of children in their middle years, from eight to twelve. Her doctoral research explored the complex everyday negotiations of belonging and identity for 11-12 year old girls (the tweens) in an Australian primary school.

Her research is positioned at the intersection of education, belonging and identity for children and young people. Fiona’s research in schools and learning environments, both mainstream and alternative, investigates the significance of these spaces in the everyday lives of children and young people. Her research explores how children and young people negotiate these spaces.

Fiona was the Chief Investigator on the Victorian Government’s School Breakfast Clubs Program which investigated the impact of providing breakfast in 500 Victorian primary schools on student’s academic outcomes, school engagement, relationships and school communities. She is currently a Chief Investigator on the Educational Transition from Custody Project and the BNHCRC Diversity and Inclusion: Building Strength and Capability project. 


  • PhD, Monash University, Australia, 2014
  • BA (Hons), Monash University, Australia, 2007

Key publications

Year Citation
2016 MacDonald, F. (160101). Childhood and Tween Girl Culture. Palgrave Macmillan UK.

doi: 10.1057/978-1-137-55130-6

Year Citation
2020 Shelley, B., te, Riele., Brown, N., & Crellin, T. (200101). Harnessing the Transformative Power of Education Brill | Sense.

doi: 10.1163/9789004417311

. (700101). Complexities of Researching with Young People Routledge.

doi: 10.4324/9780429424489

Year Citation
2019 Macdonald, F. (190228). Evaluation of the School Breakfast Clubs Program, Final Report. Melbourne: Victoria University.

Year Citation
2019 MacDonald, F. J., Bottrell, D., & Johnson, B. (190601). Socially transformative wellbeing practices in flexible learning environments: Invoking an education of hope. Health Education Journal, 78(4), (377-387).

doi: 10.1177/0017896918777005

2019 Macdonald, F. J. (190204). The affective quality of sound: repositioning the listener. Qualitative Research Journal, 19(1), (41-48).

doi: 10.1108/QRJ-D-18-00028

2019 MacDonald, F., & Smith, D. (190101). Educating the children of returning foreign fighters: fear as the antithesis of inclusive education. International Journal of Inclusive Education,

doi: 10.1080/13603116.2019.1707305

2017 MacDonald, F. (170101). Positioning young refugees in Australia: media discourse and social exclusion. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION, 21(11), (1182-1195).

doi: 10.1080/13603116.2017.1350324

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Educational Transition from Custody
From: Department of Education and Training, Victoria
Investigators: Dr Alison Baker, Aspr Julie White
For period: 2019-2020
Not disclosed

Building Strength and Capability through Diversity
From: Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Ltd
Investigators: Dr Joanne Pyke, Prof Bruce Rasmussen
For period: 2017-2020
Not disclosed

EREA Youth + Model of Wellbeing
From: Trustees of Edmund Rice Education Australia
Investigators: Prof Katarina (kitty) Te riele, Dr Dorothy Bottrell
For period: 2016-2017
Not disclosed
Evaluation of School Breakfast Club Program
From: Foodbank Victoria Grant
Investigators: Prof Katarina (kitty) Te riele, Ms Claire Brown
For period: 2016-2018
Not disclosed

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
3 PhD Associate supervisor
4 PhD Principal supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (3) Associate supervisor
PhD (4) Principal supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
1 PhD Associate supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (1) Associate supervisor


Details of this Researcher's career are currently unavailable.