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Associate Professor Trudi Cooper

Associate Professor

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 6304 5637, Mobile: 0431 734 519, Email:, Campus: Joondalup, Room: JO4.221
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 5637
Mobile: 0431 734 519
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO4.221  


Trudi is the Associate Professor of Youth Work in the School of Arts and Humanities. Trudi leads the Bachelor of Youth Work and the Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) courses and is Director of the Social Program Innovation Research and Evaluation group.

Current Teaching

My current teaching includes Youth Work specific units, generic community studies units, and across school research units for honours and Masters students.

  • CSV3116 Ethics in Human Services
  • RES5115 Research Preparation: Principles and Approaches
  • YWK3107 Ideology and Youth Work
  • YWK3203 Theories of Youth


Trudi Cooper has over three decades of professional experience as a practitioner and educator in Youth and Community Work in the UK and Australia. She is currently Leader of the Social Program Evaluation Unit and a previous Coordinator of the Youth Work Studies degree program at Edith Cowan University.

Trudi has been involved with in-service training and workplace based learning and assessment since 1981 when she became involved with designing implementing and assessing part time youth worker training programs as part of her work for Lancashire County Council. Since 1994 she has been developing portfolio-based assessment for workplace based university learning.

  • 1991-present: Associate Professor in Youth Work. Leader of the Social Program Innovation Research and Evaluation research group at Edith Cowan University. Leadership and contribution to coordination of the Youth work major, contribution to other social science programs as required
  • 1987-1991: Lecturer in Community & Youth Studies St Martins’ College, Lancaster, England
  • 1981-1989: Youth worker, Youth work trainer Lancashire County Council, England

Some of this work has been reported in publications including:

  • S. Dawson, 'In touch' Youth in Society vol. 127, 1987.
  • G. Ingram 'Youth Workers as Entrepreneurs' in T Jeffs, & M Smith, (eds) (1987) Youth Work Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Summary of other relevant experience

  • 1980: Lecturer, Communication and General Studies, W. R. Tuson College, (now part of the University of Central Lancashire), Preston, England, teaching general studies courses to apprentices and other vocational education students
  • 1979-1980: Part-time youth worker , Lancashire County Council, working in youth centres in both Lancaster District and Wyre District, including a mobile rural youth service
  • 1979: Summer play-scheme assistant coordinator, Lancaster City Council, with responsibility for staffing and equipment
  • 1975-1976: Occupational therapy assistant, Isle of Wight Area Health Authority, at Whitecroft Psychiatric Hospital, where most of my work was with elderly patients on psycho-geriatric wards
  • 1984: Home tutor (for young woman excluded from school), Lancashire County Council, where I provided home based education for a school phobic young women, whilst her tutor was on extended leave.
  • 1975: Relief Teacher, Ryde High School, Isle of Wight, England, where I was employed mostly with the English Department to teach classes to pupils in the Middle Secondary Years (aged 14-16).
  • 1975: Teacher of English as a foreign language, E.F. Language Schools, Ryde, Isle of Wight, where I was employed to teach English to foreign students, both adults and young people

Professional Memberships

  • Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia
  • Australian Youth Affairs Coalition
  • International Sociological Association, Research Committee 34, Youth Research
  • Australian Evaluation Society
  • Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
  • Informing Science
  • Australian and New Zealand Systems Group

Awards and Recognition

University and National Teaching Awards

  • 2016 - Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow 2016 (Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Education and Training)
  • 2006 - Carrick CAAUT Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Learning and Teaching, Citation title: ‘For enhancement of quality of student learning, through systematisation of portfolio-based assessment within professional degree programs and dissemination of learning to other professional fields’.
  • 2006 - Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Citation for outstanding contribution to student learning: Citation Title: ‘Development of portfolio-based assessment within a social science professional degree program and dissemination of learning across other professional fields’
  • 2005 - Highly commended application for Professionalism In Teaching And Learning Awards: Trudi Cooper, Erin Donovan, Judy Kulisa, Orietta Simons – Innovation in Practicum Delivery


  • 2014 - Youth Work Leader: Special commendation awarded by the Western Australian Association Youth Workers
  • 2011 - High performance in research (in ‘top 20’ ECU researchers as measured by RAI in 2010), awarded December 2011.
  • 2010 - Faculty of Computing Health and Science Award for ‘Course Coordination under difficult circumstances’
  • Best paper award: Love, T and Cooper, T., ‘Designing Online Information Systems for Portfolio-Based Assessment: Design Criteria and Heuristics’ Informing Science Conference, Pori, Finland: June 2003
  • Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship (2001-2004)
  • Edith Cowan Postgraduate Excellence Award (2001-2004)
  • Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision: Awarded by the Postgraduate and Honours Student Council, Edith Cowan University, 1996.
  • Postgraduate Scholarship Social Science Research Council, (1977-1979)
  • Special commendation in Education Studies in Graduate Certificate in Education, 1977 (This category of award was given to only one other student, out of 42 graduates in 1977.)

Research Areas and Interests

  • Social Program Innovation and Evaluation
  • Youth work research
  • Systems methodologies
  • Quality management
  • Teaching in higher education
  • Building cross-disciplinary research in social program innovation and evaluation
  • Documenting the theoretical basis and tacit knowledge of youth work


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Edith Cowan University, 2005.
  • Master of Science, England, 1984.
  • Graduate Certificate in Education, England, 1977.
  • Bachelor of Arts, England, 1974.


Recent Research Grants

  • Participative approach to professional development, peer learning and evaluation in youth work,  Lotterywest,  Grant,  2017 - 2018,  $86,980.
  • Evaluation of the KindiLink Pilot for the Department of Education,  Department of Education WA,  Department of Education - Tender,  2016 - 2018,  $100,000.
  • Research to improve responses to the needs of independent young people under 16 years of age who experience homelessness. ,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration Grant - 2017 Open Round,  2017 - 2018,  $80,730.
  • Achieving economic sustainability for niche social profession courses in the Australian higher education sector - a nationwide collaborative strategy.,  Office for Learning and Teaching,  OLT - Fellowship,  2016 - 2018,  $154,056.
  • The use of new technologies in human services: facilitating democracy or amplifying exclusion?,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Collaboration Enhancement Scheme - 2016 Round 1,  2016 - 2017,  $8,100.
  • Scoping study on homelessness with young people under 16 years,  Commissioner for Children and Young People WA,  Grant,  2016 - 2017,  $10,000.
  • Research into efficacy of program processes and evaluation of the `Ballajura Connect? program,  Dungeon Youth Services Inc,  Grant,  2015 - 2017,  $36,363.
  • The economic and social impacts of contemporary music in Western Australia (WAM project),  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Capability Enhancement Scheme - 2015 or earlier,  2015 - 2016,  $28,410.
  • Mission Australian Inner City Evaluation (Youthbeat),  Mission Australia,  Mission Australian Inner City Evaluation Grant,  2013 - 2015,  $36,364.
  • External Evaluation of the Industry Skills Centre Program, Victoria Prisons,  Department of Justice and Regulation,  Industry Skills Centre (ISC),  2013 - 2015,  $84,443.
  • Australian Youth Work Education: Curriculum Renewal and a Model for Sustainability for Niche Professions,  Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations,  Novated ALTC Grant,  2010 - 2015,  $214,000.
  • Why do mentoring relationships breakdown?,  Department of Local Government and Communities,  Grant,  2013 - 2014,  $5,000.
  • Evaluation of Indigenous Justice Programs,  Attorney-General - Commonwealth,  Grant,  2010 - 2013,  $336,000.
  • Investigating the social welfare indicators of regional art centres: a pilot study,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration - Grant,  2010 - 2012,  $66,860.
  • Consultancy Services for the Rapidly Degenerating Neurological Conditions Pilot Program,  Disability Services Commission WA,  Grant,  2008 - 2011,  $63,636.
  • Evaluating the Rocky Bay School Aged-Therapy Service ,  Rocky Bay Inc,  Grant,  2010,  $46,000.
  • An Evaluation of the YiELD Wilderness Project,  Department of Sport and Recreation WA,  Grant,  2009 - 2010,  $5,000.
  • Evaluation of Reel Connection Project for the City of Stirling,  City of Stirling,  Grant,  2007 - 2010,  $56,045.
  • Evaluation of the Integrated Services Centre (ISC) Pilot Project,  Office of Multicultural Interests WA,  Grant,  2007 - 2009,  $32,124.
  • Evaluation of the City of Stirling Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Youth, Sport and Leisure Project,  Department of Sport and Recreation WA,  Grant,  2007 - 2009,  $46,933.
  • Research into Criminal and Anti-Social Behaviour on the Southern Rail Line,  Office of Crime Prevention WA,  Grant,  2007 - 2009,  $22,724.
  • Evaluation of Western Australia COAG Care Coordination Initiative,  Department of Health WA,  Grant,  2008,  $5,455.
  • Research of Participation in Organised Sport and Recreation by People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Backgrounds,  Department of Sport and Recreation WA,  Grant,  2008,  $29,270.
  • Young People's Participation in Communities (Indicators and Performance Measures) - Scoping Study,  National Youth Affairs Research Scheme,  Grant,  2006 - 2007,  $20,000.
  • Evaluation of the YMCA Wheatbelt Multi Purpose Mobile Youth Service Project,  National Council of the YMCA of Australia,  Grant,  2005 - 2006,  $8,861.
  • Research the effectiveness of mentoring as a crime prevention strategy with homeless young people,  Joondalup Youth Support Services (Inc),  Grant,  2004 - 2006,  $5,000.
  • Research into integrated crime prevention strategies for rail station environs,  Office of Crime Prevention WA,  Grant,  2005 - 2006,  $104,262.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Book Chapters

  • Cooper, T., (2016), Spirituality in a secular age: possibilities for youth work. Spirituality in Youth Work: new vocabularies, concepts and practices, 32-51, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Cooper, T., Ferguson, C., Chapman, B., Cucow, S., (2015), Success Stories from Youth Suicide Prevention in Australia: The Youth Work Contribution. Youth and Inequality in Education, 71-93, New York, United States, Routledge.

Journal Articles

  • Cooper, T., Scriven, R., (2017), Communities of Inquiry in curriculum approach to online learning: strengths and limitations in context. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 33(4), 22-37, DOI: 10.14742/ajet.3026.
  • Maccallum, J., Beltman, S., Coffey, A., Cooper, T., (2017), Taking Care of Youth Mentoring Relationships: Red Flags, Repair and Respectful Resolution. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 25(3), 250-271, Oxon, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13611267.2017.1364799.
  • Sims, M., Cooper, T., Barclay, E., Scott, J., (2017), Making sense of Indigenous youth night patrols. Administration and Society, Online(March 2017), p. 23, California, USA, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0095399717700225.
  • Cooper, T., Love, T., (2017), A youth curfew: a retrospective view of the rise, fall and legacy of the Northbridge Policy. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 52(3), 204-221, Victoria, Australia, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, DOI: 10.1002/ajs4.17.
  • Cooper, T., (2017), Curriculum renewal: barriers to successful curriculum change and suggestions for improvement. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 5(11), 115-128, Beaverton, USA, Redfame Publishing, DOI: 10.11114 /jets.v5i11.2737.
  • Cooper, T., Scott, J., Barclay, E., Sims, M., Love, T., (2016), Crime prevention and young people: Models and future direction for youth night patrols. Crime Prevention and Community Safety: an international journal, 18(4), 266?283, Palgrave MacMillan, DOI: 10.1057/s41300-016-0009-9.
  • Cooper, T., (2013), Institutional Context and Youth Work Professionalization in Post-Welfare Societies. Child and Youth Services, 34(2), 112-124, United States, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/0145935X.2013.785877.


  • Powell, R., Ryan, M., Lambert, C., Cooper, T., Giles, M., Hope, C., (2016), Report for WA Music: Preliminary Economic Impact of the Music Industry in WA., Joondalup, WA, Edith Cowan University.
  • Cooper, T., Bessant, J., Broadbent, R., Couch, J., Edwards, K., Jarvis, J., Ferguson, C., (2014), Australian youth work education: Curriculum renewal and a model for sustainability for niche professions., Sydney, NSW, Department of Local Government and Communities.
  • Cooper, T., Sims, M., Scott, J., Henry, P., Barclay, E., Love, T., (2014), Evaluation of Indigenous justice programs. Project D, Safe Aboriginal Youth Patrol Programs in New South Wales and Northbridge Policy and Juvenile Aid Group in Western Australia : final report., Commonwealth Attorney General's Department.
  • Maccallum, J., Beltman, S., Coffey, A., Cooper, T., Jarvis, J., (2014), Youth Mentoring Relationships: Understanding how to prevent breakdown., Perth, WA, Department of Local Government and Communities.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Master of Social Science,  Accommodation For Adults With Intellectual Disability: Exploring The Lived Experiences Of Ageing Parent Carers And The Reasons Behind Their Decision To Continue To Care In The Family Home

Co-principal Supervisor

  • Master of Science (Environmental Management),  Boundaries Of Governance: Social Responsibility In Mining In Western Australia.

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Developing Practice: Youthwork With Young Women Living With Violence.
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