‘Australian Social Work’ journal release

‘Australian Social Work’ journal release

15 Mar 2011

This year ‘World Social Work Day’ is  celebrated on Tuesday 15 March 2011, which coincides with the release of a special issue of Australian Social Work which is published by Taylor and Francis on behalf of the Australian Association of Social Workers and edited by Social Workers from La Trobe University’s School of Social Work and Social Policy.   

Holding handsSocial work is a profession that promotes human rights, social justice and the empowerment of people to enhance wellbeing. Roles within the field include casework, counseling and clinical interventions with individuals, families, groups and communities.

The articles featured in Australian Social Work focus on Australian Indigenous Social Work and Social Policy which make a vital contribution to social work scholarship in Australia. This issue includes papers from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics and practitioners looking at issues surrounding reconciliation, Indigenous practice approaches, culturally-sensitive practice and Indigenous perspectives on social work education, policy, and social program development.  

Australian Social Work is a scholarly publication edited by La Trobe University’s Social Work Academic Professor Christine Bigby and staff in the School of Social Work and Social Policy who have contributed three of the papers to this issue along with contributions from social work practitioners and other Australian universities. Two of these papers were co-authored by honours students:

  • Locating Empowerment in the Context of Indigenous Australia

Authors: Mary Whiteside, School of Social Work and Social Policy La Trobe University, Komla Tsey, James Cook University, Wendy Earles, James Cook University

This study examines the meaning of empowerment for Indigenous Australians through an analysis of the stories of people who participated in an Indigenous Family Wellbeing empowerment program.

  • Promoting ‘Critical Awareness’ and Critiquing ‘Cultural Competence’: Towards Disrupting Received Professional Knowledges
Authors: Mark Furlong; James Wight, School of Social Work and Social Policy, LaTrobe University

Mark Furlong and James Wight's provocative paper contests the accepted assumption that cultural competence can be achieved by 'adding on' educational components on Aboriginal culture and history to existing, supposedly objective western knowledge.  

  • Rethinking the ‘Best Interests’ of the Child: Voices from Aboriginal Child and Family Welfare Practitioners

Authors: Maureen Long; Rene Sephton School of Social Work and Social Policy, LaTrobe University

In Victoria, recent reforms to the child and family welfare system, through the introduction of the Children Youth and Families Act (2005), have significantly strengthened the principle of the ‘‘best interests’’ of the child. How this is to be applied is of particular interest to the Aboriginal child and family welfare sector, given that historically thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were removed from their families on the basis of their race.

For further information please contact:

Professor Christine Bigby
Director of Postgraduate Programs
School of Social Work and Social Policy
T: 03 9479 1016 E: c.bigby@latrobe.edu.au

Lisa Prowling
La Trobe University Media and Communications Officer
T: 03 9479 5517 M: 0401 044 784 E: L.Prowling@latrobe.edu.au



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