Shepparton / Pioneering social work students working their way towards campus-first Masters

For the first time ever in 2019, La Trobe is offering students the opportunity to study a Master of Social Work at its Shepparton campus.

The course is already in full-swing, with its pioneering first intake of students hitting the textbooks since early 2019.

MyLaTrobe caught up with two of the cohort, Michelle and Fazela, to learn more about their experience so far.

Before settling on social work, Michelle ran her own cleaning business and managed a Crossfit gym.

The aspiring counsellor sees the social work degree as a pathway to a more secure and meaningful career.

“I went through some things in my own personal life that changed my perspective, and brought the profession of counselling to mind,” she said.

She pictures herself working with men, especially older men, “who find it harder to talk about their feelings: farmers, tradies,” she said.

But she hopes to hone her ambitions on placements, which will start in the second half of the year.

“This’ll be the first time I’ve gone out into the field to actually put the knowledge to practice.”

Michelle came to the Social Work Masters via the Bachelor of Arts, also on offer at Shepparton.

The same is the case for her classmate, Fazela.

Fazela defines social work as: “Being there for the vulnerable people – people that need help and support.”

Her decision to carve out a career in social work was also inspired by her own lived experience.  

“I come from a refugee migrant background, so I know what it means to be helped by somewhere,” she said.

“When we came here we go that help.”

She also speaks highly of the supports on offer at La Trobe, which she chose after trying university in Melbourne.

It’s a smaller campus here, and support is always just around the corner,” Fazela said.

“We just become friend with the lecturers, rather than chase them up by email!”

To learn more about the Master of Social Work, visit the course page.

If you’re interested in studying the Master of Social Work, book an appointment with a La Trobe staff member here.