Centre for Health and Social Research

Prof Ruth Webber
Honorary Professor

Faculty of Education and Arts


Relevant professional roles

  • Member – Disability Service Board, Victorian Government
  • Member – Catholic Social Services Victoria – Social Policy Committee
  • Member – The Bishop Perry (Research) Institute: Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, Academic Reference Committee
  • Member – National Disability Services Research Advisory Group.
  • Member – (Honorary) Pastoral Research Office, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
  • Honorary Professor University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Honorary Professor University of Divinity

Brief summary of expertise
Professor Webber has a recognised track record of conducting large scale research projects through both telephone and web-based surveys and through qualitative methods. For the past twelve years Professor Webber has been conducting research on health and ageing and has published widely on this topic and spoken at number conference in Australia and at international conferences. She has developed a number of training programs for health and welfare workers and provides high quality and analytical analysis and input to not-for-profit community organisations, local government, State government departments and church bodies as they relate to families, children, and health professionals. She has published over 80 journal articles, books or book chapters published that are read widely by Western audiences.

Completed disability research projects

  • Funder: National Disability Services Queensland Division (Australia) (NDSQ). Developing a Queensland version of the Supporting Older People with an Intellectual Disability to Age at Home: A Manual for Support Staff and Carers (Queensland Australia) with B. Bowers & K. Nolet.
  • Funders: Department of Human Services Victoria. Webber, R. (2012-13). Developing a static website regarding supporting older people with intellectual disability in grouphomes. ACU Melbourne
  • Funders: ARC Linkage, St John of God Accord, Wesley Mission Melbourne, National Disability Services, (NDS), Victoria, Office of the Public Advocate, Victoria, Catholic Homes and the Gill Family Foundation. Increasing organisational capacity of community residential units to facilitate ageing in place for people with intellectual disability, with C Bigby & B Bowers.
  • Funder – ARC Linkage, Peter and Margaret Gill through Valesell Pty Ltd as ATF trustee for Gill Family Foundation, Accommodating the needs of people with lifelong intellectual disability in residential aged care, with C Bigby & B Bower).
  • Webber, R., Bowers, B., McKenzie-Green, B., & Caddy, J. Intellectual disability and ageing: matching systems to evolving needs, ACU IRIS Scheme with Peter and Margaret Gill as ATF trustee for Peter Gill Agency Trust and CSSV as partner.
  • Webber, R., Bowers, B., Seibold, C., & Caddy, J. Older parents and siblings perceptions and experiences of caring for an intellectually disabled adult child: ACU IRIS Scheme with Peter and Margaret Gill as ATF trustee for Peter Gill Agency Trust and CSSV as partner.
  • Funders: Peter and Margaret Gill, through Valesell Pty Ltd as ATF trustee for Peter Gill Agency Trust. Mapping the terrain: Ageing people with lifelong intellectual disability living in residential aged care facilities in Victoria Researchers: Webber, R., Bigby , C., McKenzie-Green, B., & Bowers, B

Disability research publications

  1. Webber, R., Bowers, B., & Bigby , C. (2016). Confidence of group home staff in supporting the health needs of older residents with intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability (JIDD), DOI: 10.3109/13668250.2015.1130218, 1-8.
  2. Bigby , C., Webber, R., & Bowers, B. (2014). Sibling Roles in the Lives of Older Group Home Residents with Intellectual Disability: Working with Staff to Safeguard Wellbeing,. Australian Social Work, on line, 1-15.:DOI: 10.1080/0312407X.2014.950678
  3. Bowers, B., Webber, R., & Bigby , C. (2014). Health issues of older people with intellectual disability in group homes. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 39: (3), 261-269. DOI: 10.3109/13668250.2014.936083
  4. Webber, R., Bowers, B., & Bigby, C. (2014). Residential aged care for people with intellectual disability: A matter of perspective. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 33 (4), 36-40. DOI: 10.1111/ajag.12086
  5. Bowers, R., Webber, R., & Bigby, C. (2009). Aging and health related changes of people with intellectual disabilities living in group homes in Australia. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disability, 6(2), 98.
  6. Bigby, C., Bowers, R., & Webber, R. (2009). Chaotic and poorly informed: decisions about the transition from group homes to residential aged care for older people with intellectual disability. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disability, 6(2), 96.
  7. Webber, R., Bowers, B., & Bigby , C. (2010). Hospital experiences of older people with intellectual disability: Responses of group home staff and family members. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 35(3), 155-164.
  8. Webber, R., Bowers., B., & McKenzie-Green, B. (2010). Staff responses to age related health changes in people with an intellectual disability in group homes. Disability and Society, 25(6), 657–671.
  9. Bowers, B., Bigby, C., & Webber, R. (2009). Intellectual disability and ageing. In R. Nay & S. Garratt (Eds.), Interdisciplinary Care of Older People: Issues and Innovations (pp. 60-77). Sydney: Elsevier.
  10. Bigby, C., Webber, R., Bowers, B., & McKenzie-green, B. (2008). A survey of people with intellectual disabilities living in residential aged care facilities in Victoria. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 52(5), 404-414.
  11. Neophytou, K., & Webber, R. (2005). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: The family and social context. Australian Social Work, 58(3), 313-325.