In 2015 I completed my doctoral thesis on the experience of hope for the families left behind when someone is missing. I was the recipient of the Chancellors Medal for Doctoral research, from the University of New England.

I now work as a Lecturer in Behavioural and Social Sciences in Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney.

My public health research interests include missing people, suicide bereavement and Justice Health exploring the needs of vulnerable and marginalised populations.

I am a qualitative research methodologist skilled in data collection using narrative-based in depth interviews as well as online and face-to-face focus groups. My passion is to explore the translation of research findings with industry stakeholders, as a way to impact the lives of those who seek support in our community.

If you have a query about my current research or want to know more about getting involved in any of the studies I work on please contact me. I update this page regularly with information about the outcomes of my projects.

My research publications are listed below – as at December 31 2018.

Kendall, S; Redshaw, S; Ward, S; Wayland, S; Sullivan, E. (2018) Systematic review of qualitative evaluations of reentry programs addressing problematic drug use and mental health disorders amongst adult prisoners & Justice. Health and Justice, in Press, due for publication 2018.

Wayland, S & Hindmarsh, G. (2017) Understanding safeguarding practices for children with disability, when engaging with organisations. CFCA paper, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Australia. Link

Wayland, S; Smith-Merry, J; Hancock, N. & Kokany, A (2016) Identifying Ways to Broaden Recovery Narratives – The Lived Experience of Mental Health Consumers Participating In Western Sydney Partners in Recovery Programs. Conference Paper for THEMHS Book of Proceedings, Auckland, New Zealand.

Wayland, S, Maple, M & McKay, K. (2016) ‘Those who walk away’ Book review The Lancet Psychiatry London, United Kingdom.

Llewellyn, G, Wayland, S & Hindmarsh, G (2016)Disability and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts: A Discussion PaperRoyal Commission into child sexual abuse in institutional settings, Sydney Australia.

Wayland, S, Maple, M & McKay, K. (2015) Holding on to Hope: A Review of the Literature Exploring Missing Persons, Hope and Ambiguous Loss. Death Studies DOI: 10.1080/07481187.2015.1068245

Wayland, S (2015) Reliving, retelling, remembering: exploring the use of narrative inquiry with families of missing people, International Journal of Qualitative Methods,

Wayland, S. (2014) Hope in the liminal space. Grief Matters: The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement. 17 (1). Melbourne Australia.

Publications – Technical and health translation reports

Maple, M., Hess, N., McKay, K., Pearce, T. & Wayland, S. (2017). StandBy Response Service Evaluation University of New England, Armidale Australia.

Wayland, S., Smith-Merry, J., Kokany, A., Hancock, N. (2017). What recovery means to us: understanding real-life recovery. Blacktown: Western Sydney Partners in Recovery. Link

Wayland, S. (2007) Supporting those who are left behinda counselling framework for healthcare professionals. Australian Federal Police, Canberra Australia.

Wayland, S. (2005) To study the international approach to counselling and unresolved loss. A Peter Mitchell Fellowship. Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Canberra, Australia.

Wayland, S (2005) A Glimmer of Hope – stories of courage for families of missing people. NSW Attorney Generals Department, Sydney Australia.


Publications – selected media contributions


Wayland, S (2017) Welcome home: Why we need to hear from missing people who return. SBS Life Link

Wayland, S (2017) Trauma: managing the ties that bind Mindfood Magazine, McHugh Media

 Wayland, S. (2013) Missing and Found: Understanding the privacy needs of missing people. The Conversation (AU) Link

Wayland, S. (2013) An expert takes us inside the minds of the located Cleveland Women. Link 

Wayland, S. (2012) Have you seen Dan? Daily Life Fairfax Media Link

Wayland, S. (2012) Making meaning from loss: how three woman found meaning after being bereaved by suicide. Mindfood Magazine, McHugh Media

Wayland, S. (2012) Vanishing Acts: what happens to families of missing people when they turn to the media for answers? Mindfood Magazine, McHugh Media.