Staff Information

Naarm (Melbourne)
karen.r [at]

Karen is an experienced researcher and evaluator with a strong portfolio of work in the education and human services sectors.

Originally trained as a social worker, Karen has been working as a researcher since 2008. Karen led Lirata's evaluation of Oakwood School, a multi-campus school in Melbourne's south-east which specialises in educational pathways and outcomes for young people who are disengaged from mainstream schooling. She contributes her research and evaluation expertise to a wide range of Lirata projects. Karen has a specialist focus on education but also works on projects across many other fields including family violence services, youth and family services, housing and homelessness services, financial inclusion, community legal services and more.

Prior to her role with Lirata, Karen worked as a Research Officer at Victoria Institute, on projects related to education programs and service responses to vulnerable young people. In 2014, Karen was one of the key researchers for the Young Australians, Illness and Education study. In 2015, Karen was an integral member of the research team for the Professional Learning for Flexible Learning Programs study and for the Education at the Heart of the Children’s Court – Evaluation of the Education Justice Initiative project.

Karen has strong skills in project management, research ethics and quantitative data analysis. She has excellent interviewing skills, and outstanding qualitative analysis skills, including in analysis of data from in-depth interviews and focus groups.

Karen's experience as a practitioner and analyst in the health and community services field spans the acute health, mental health and family violence sectors. Karen also has strong experience in the education sector, both within Jewish Education and as a sessional lecturer in tertiary education. Karen worked as a teacher educator at La Trobe University from 2007 to 2012.


2006 Bachelor of Teaching (Primary), University of Melbourne
2004 Master of Arts in Jewish Education, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion - Jerusalem, Israel and Los Angeles, USA (Rhea Hirsch Memorial Award for Scholarship in Jewish Education)
1993 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours), Monash University
1987 Bachelor of Arts (Criminology & Psychology), University of Melbourne

Key service areas



Data analysis and reporting


Education and training
Family violence
Mental health

Population groups

Refugees & culturally diverse groups
Young people

Working with Lirata

- current

Projects led by Karen

Other projects involving Karen

Karen's articles & resources