When you become the lived experience: The journey backwards from academia


  • Mim Fox University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Sarah Wayland University of Sydney, Australia




Academia, narrative, reflection, grief, social work


The transition from lived experience to social work researcher or teacher is well known and, in many ways, an expected pathway. What is less documented is the lived experience that happens to the social work researcher or teacher, the moment the researcher becomes
the research topic, or the teacher becomes the lesson. In writing these reflections we, the authors, have reflected on, and engaged with, our experience as researchers and academics who know and understand grief from a distance. We have previously positioned ourselves as experts and, through lived experience, have come to a place of not knowing. From there we have stumbled awkwardly on to new understandings, hopefully to enrich our future research and teaching.


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How to Cite

Fox, M., & Wayland, S. (2020). When you become the lived experience: The journey backwards from academia. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 32(2), 32–36. https://doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol32iss2id739