Dr Karenne Hills

Dr Karenne Hills

Honorary Associate

Karenne Hills works from a private practice that combines her professional qualifications and personal interests in the areas of counselling, teaching, disability, autism and nursing. She completed her PhD titled “Spirituality in the Context of Nonverbal Autism” in 2019, and her research explores the spiritual experiences and expressions of people who experience barriers to traditional religious teaching and involvement. Karenne is Director of the National Inclusion Network for Australia (NINA), an initiative that supports people with disabilities.

Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy (Griffith University)
Dissertation Title Spirituality in the Context of People with Non-verbal Autism 2019

Master of Counselling (Christian Heritage College) 2012

Graduate Certificate in Couple Counselling (Christian Heritage College) 2013

Bachelor of Counselling (Christian Heritage College) 2001

Bachelor of Nursing (Griffith University) 1997

Research Interests

Spirituality and disability, nonverbal autism

Book Chapters

  • 2018
    • Luetz, J., Bergsma, C., & Hills, K. (2018). The poor just might be the educators we need for global sustainability – A manifesto for consulting the unconsulted In W. L. Filho, A. Consorte-McCrea et al. (Eds.), Sustainability and Humanities: linking social values, theology and spirituality towards sustainability. World Sustainability Series. (pp. ). Springer: Switzerland.
    • Hills, K., Andersen, K., & Davidson, S. (2018). Personalised learning and teaching approaches to meet diverse needs: A prototype tertiary education program In J. Luetz, T. Dowden, and B. Norsworthy (Eds.), Reimagining Christian education - Cultivating transformative approaches (pp. ). Springer: Switzerland.

Journal Articles

  • 2021
    • Hills, K., Clapton, J., Dorsett, P., & Andersen, K. (2021). Conducting collaborative research with people who are nonverbal from their own perspective: A first hand methodological approach. Journal of Social Inclusion, In Press.
  • 2019
    • Hills, K., Clapton, J., & Dorsett, P. (2019). Spirituality, silence and solitude: A reflective interpretation regarding mystery and people with nonverbal autism. Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 9 (2) 138-151.
    • Hills, K., Clapton, J., & Dorsett, P. (2019). Spirituality in the context of nonverbal autism: Practical and theological considerations. Practical Theology, 12 (2) 186-197.
    • Hills, K., Clapton, J., Dorsett, P., & Andersen, K. (2019). Spirituality in the context of nonverbal autism: A research process – Findings and Analysis. Journal of Disability and Religion, 23 (4) 365-386.
    • Hills, K., Clapton, J., & Dorsett, P. (2019). Ethical considerations when conducting research with people with nonverbal autism: A commentary on current processes and practices. Journal of Social Inclusion, 10 (2) 58-64.
  • 2016
    • Hills, K., Clapton, J., & Dorsett, P. (2016). Towards an understanding of spirituality in the context of non-verbal autism: A scoping review. Journal of Disability and Religion, 20 (4) 265-290.
  • 2013
    • Hills, K., & Meteyard, J. (2013). Disability: A fresh approach to an old dilemma. Journal of Religion, Disability & Health, 17 (1) 62-72.

Presentations

Academic Conference

  • 2021
    • Spirituality in the context of Non-verbal Autism (2021), Faith and Autism – Autism Awareness Month, Faith Inclusion Network, New Hampshire, USA, 01 Apr 2021
    • Spirituality in the Context of Non-verbal Autism (2021), Communities for ALL Conference, Faith Inclusion Network, New Hampshire, USA, 01 Feb 2021
  • 2020
    • Understanding people with autism who do not use speech to communicate (2020), Everyone’s welcome: A fresh conversation about disability, Midwest Jewish Inclusion Network, Minneapolis, USA, 01 May 2020
  • 2019
    • Who are you? Discovering the story to your true identity! (2019), Newheart Women’s Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 01 Oct 2019
    • On losing my dream and finding my hope: Perspectives on eugenic abortion (2019), Theology on Tap, Brisbane, Australia, 01 Jul 2019
    • Conducting collaborative research with people who are nonverbal from their own perspective: A firsthand methodological approach (2019), Asia Pacific Autism Conference, Singapore, 19 Jun 2019
    • Spirituality in the context of nonverbal autism: Methodological considerations when working with people who are nonverbal (2019), Summer Institute for Theology & Disability conference, Holland, MI, USA, 22 May 2019
    • Personalised learning and teaching approaches to meet diverse needs: A prototype tertiary education program (2019), L’Arche Australia 40th Anniversary Conference, Sydney, Australia, 06 Feb 2019
  • 2018
    • Towards a model for inclusive education in Christian higher educational institutions: A trial prototype program (2018), Christian Heritage College Research Forum – Reimagining Christian Education, Brisbane, Australia, 03 Sep 2018
    • Towards a model for inclusive education in Christian higher educational institutions: A trial prototype program (2018), Summer Institute for Theology and Disability, North Carolina, USA, 12 Jun 2018
  • 2017
    • (with Luetz, J. & Bergsma, C.) Consulting the unconsulted: Learning about spiritually-shaped sustainability from the poor (2017), Sustainability and humanities: Linking social values, theology and spirituality towards sustainability symposium, Canterbury, UK, 08 Nov 2017
    • Towards a model for inclusive education in Christian higher educational institutions: A trial prototype program (2017), ACHEA Envisaging Christian Higher Education conference, Sydney, Australia, 17 Aug 2017
    • Language and silence in the context of non-verbal autism: A theological exploration (2017), Summer Institute for Theology & Disability conference, Azusa, CA, USA, 01 Jun 2017
  • 2016
    • Towards a model for inclusive education in Christian Higher Educational Institutions: A prototype program (2016), Exclusion and Embrace: Disability, Justice and Spirituality conference, Melbourne, Australia, 01 Aug 2016
    • Towards a model for inclusive education in Christian Higher Educational Institutions: A prototype program (2016), Learning and Loves: Re-imagining Christian Education Research Symposium, Brisbane, Australia, 01 Jul 2016
    • Towards an understanding of spirituality in the context of non- verbal autism (2016), Summer Institute on Theology and Disability, Holland, MI, USA, 02 May 2016
  • 2015
    • Spirituality and people with a disability in the context of human sexuality (2015), Summer Institute of Theology and Disability 2015 conference, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 01 May 2015
  • 2014
    • Family considerations with a member with Autism (2014), Living, Loving, and Working with People on the Autism Spectrum Conference, Carindale, QLD, Australia, 02 Oct 2014
    • The unwitting academic (2014), Christian Heritage College Research Forum, Carindale, Australia, 01 Oct 2014
    • Spirituality and disability [Plenary speaker] (2014), ACS One Day Conference for Chaplains, School Counsellors and Pastoral Care Workers, Carindale, QLD, Australia, 01 Oct 2014
    • Spirituality and people with disability in the context of human sexuality (2014), Spirituality and Disability: Vulnerability, Dependency, and Interdependency Conference, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 01 Oct 2014
    • Teaching children with learning disabilities about God (2014), Mackenzie Special School, Mackenzie, Australia, 01 Sep 2014
    • Sexuality, spirituality and people with a disability (2014), Christian Heritage College Common Ground, Carindale, Australia, 01 Aug 2014
    • Spirituality & people with a disability (2014), Queensland Chaplaincy Conference, Alexandra Headland, QLD, Australia, 01 Aug 2014
    • Supporting students with Asperger's Syndrome [Staff PD presentation] (2014), Christian Heritage College Teaching and Learning PD, Carindale, Australia, 01 Aug 2014
    • Sexuality, spirituality and people with a disability (2014), Summer Institute Theology & Disability conference, Dallas, TX, USA, 02 Jun 2014
  • 2013
    • Parenting and sibling concerns in a family with a child on the Autism Spectrum (2013), Living, Loving, and Working with People on the Autism Spectrum Conference, Carindale, QLD, Australia, 02 Oct 2013
    • Spirituality of people with a disability (2013), Living, Loving, and Working with People on the Autism Spectrum Conference, Carindale, QLD, Australia, 01 Oct 2013
    • Personhood and disabilities (2013), Christian Counsellors Association PD, Carindale, QLD, Australia, 04 Feb 2013
    • Health skills and training (2013), Enhanced Care Association Inc., Sinnamon Park, Australia, 01 Feb 2013

Engagement Publications

Book Chapters

  • 2021
    • Ayre, C., Hills, K., & Luetz, J. (2021). Ecology, war, and nuclear testing in the pacific: The path of reconciliation In , Beyond Belief: Opportunities for faith-engaged approaches to climate-change adaptation in the Pacific Islands (pp. 17-37). Springer.

Journal Articles

  • 2020
    • Hills, K., Clapton, J., Dorsett, P., & Andersen, K. (2020). Conducting research with people with nonverbal autism: an inclusive methodological approach. Journal of Social Inclusion, 11(1) 5-23. | External link

Professional Memberships

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) (since None)

Centre for Disability Employment Research and Practice (CDERP) (since 2016)

Christian Counsellors Association Australia (CCAA) (since None)

International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IASSIDD) (since 2015)

Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) (since None)

Current Supervision

  • Current
    • Billard, J, Australian Pentecostal experiences of spiritual struggles – a hybrid hermeneutical phenomenological study and spiritual theology framework (PhD thesis)
    • Lenga, J, Challenges refugees in Australia, who live with disability face when accessing support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) (PhD thesis)

Completed Supervision

  • 2023
    • Seyed Aghamiri, F, The Lived Experiences and Wellbeing of Female Partners Following Discovery or Disclosure of their Male Partner’s Compulsive Sexual Behaviours: An Australian Phenomenological Study (PhD thesis)