Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Celebrating 25 years of Social Work education at CSU

Social Work Education and Practice: Insights and Innovations Colloquium, 2-3 Nov 2016

2016 marked the 25th anniversary of Social Work education delivered by Charles Sturt University and coincided with renewed AASW accreditation of our Social Work programs.

To celebrate this achievement, on 2 -3 November CSU hosted a colloquium, Social Work Education and Practice: insights and innovations, bringing together participants from around Australia and providing the opportunity to reflect on where we have come from and consider our future directions in this dynamic profession.

Over 25 papers were delivered from academics, researchers and HDR students across the themes of:

  • philosophy of social work education
  • community engagement
  • anti-oppressive practice
  • social work practice research

Attendees also participated in two plenary sessions; 'Trends and Challenges in Practice' and 'Innovations / Future Directions in SW Education and Practice'

The first day culminated in a celebratory dinner with a history of CSU's Social Work program development by Emeritus Professor Ross Chambers, awards for the 'pre-millennials' who were part of the original academic staff, and a small memorial service for colleagues who have passed away, and much conversation and reminiscing.

Program of Speakers

Link to Prime News story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzDlCyEAnjA‚Äč

Keynote speakers

Professor Margaret Alston, OAM

Professor of Social Work and Head of Department at Monash University.

Margaret Alston OAMOur first keynote speaker is Professor Margaret Alston OAM, who previously worked at Charles Sturt University for 21 years. She is now with Monash University, where she has established the Gender, Leadership and Social Sustainability (GLASS) research unit.

Professor Alston's influence and interests in the field of social work are broad-ranging. She is a member of the UN Women's Major Group; a past-Chair of the Australian Heads of Schools of Social Work (ACHSSW) and was appointed a Foundation Fellow of the Australian College of Social Work in 2011. She was on the Advisory Working Group for Health Workforce Australia from 2010-14, and is currently on the editorial advisory committee of the British Journal of Social Work. Margaret was awarded an Order of Australia in 2010 for her services to social work and to rural women.


Associate Professor Sue Green

School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales

Associate Professor Sue GreenA/Prof Susan Green (BSW, PhD, Grad Cert Indigenous Language,  Culture & Heritage) is a Kalari woman of the Wiradjuri nation. She is a  mother and grandmother and has worked in higher education for over 20 years.  Susan's thesis was on the Welfarisation of Aboriginal people and concluded that  there is a need to decolonise welfare practices and also decolonise the stories  of Aboriginal people. Susan has focused on the development of Indigenous social  work curriculum and Indigenous social work theory and practice for all of that  time. She is currently looking at ways of developing and implementing social  work programs that specifically meet the needs of Aboriginal social work  students in training to be Aboriginal social workers rather than social workers  who also are Aboriginal. Susan's research interests include Aboriginal welfare,  Australian history and decolonisation.


Christine Craik

National Vice-President, Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)

Christine CraikChristine Craik has over 25 years' experience as a social worker in family support, housing, community health and hospitals where she has focused on domestic violence, sexual abuse and refugees. Christine is currently the program manager of the Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) and the Bachelor of Social Work (Hons)/Psychology at RMIT University in Melbourne where she also lectures in the Masters of Social Work. She is currently completing her PhD and exploring routine domestic violence screening for women in emergency departments of Australian public hospitals. Christine has been National Vice President of the AASW since 2011.


Emeritus Professor Ross Chambers

Emeritus Professor Ross ChambersEmeritus Professor Ross Chambers was Head, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the time social work was introduced at CSU and was closely involved in the establishment and development of the course. He subsequently served as Dean, Faculty of Arts, (1992-2002) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (2002-2012) at CSU.