Addressing Social Work Shortage

La Trobe University’s Rural Health School is helping to meet social work shortages in the Goulburn Ovens region by hosting a dedicated Social Work Student for a Day event on Tuesday, 9 May.

The pilot event will see year 11 & 12 students from Greater Shepparton Secondary College attend La Trobe University’s Shepparton campus to learn about education opportunities and career paths in social work.

The students will be taken through key elements of social work teachings: support through social justice, advocacy, and self-awareness. The day will allow students to decide if a course and career in social work is for them, in a way that extends beyond what you can read online or in a course guide.

Dr Corina Modderman, Senior Lecturer of Social Work at La Trobe’s Rural Health School, said a degree in social work opens many doors and leads to diverse job opportunities.

“Social workers work in schools and youth services, in family support and child protection, drug and alcohol response, crisis management and family violence; there are so many opportunities on offer to make a real difference” Dr Modderman said.

“If you search for social work jobs in Shepparton online, you will see there are more than 40 vacancies across multiple agencies, demonstrating the pressing need for qualified social workers” Dr Modderman said.

“We have a strong community on campus, our social work students work together with their peers and their lecturers who are all local and understand the pressures in our communities. All of our graduates have a job offer before finalising the course,” Dr Modderman said.

Greater Shepparton Secondary College representative Mary-Ann Linehan said social work is a growing industry with a skill shortage.

“Being able to introduce students to this industry while they are at secondary school gives them an advantage to understand the possibilities locally and how they can obtain entry and various pathways into the course. They find out what the job is about, and expectations of working in this area,” Ms Linehan said.

The Social Work Student for a Day is a pilot event offered to Greater Shepparton Secondary College, but planning is underway to extended to other select partner schools in future.

More information about La Trobe University’s social work courses can be found at

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