Health Sciences

Intergrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge in Australian Social Work Educaton and Practice

OLT Development Grant

Project leader

Associate Professor Joanna Zubrzycki, School of Social Work, ACU Canberra

Other staff involved in the project

Associate Professor Dawn Bessarab, Curtin University
Associate Professor Sue Green, School of Social Work, Univeritsy of New South Wales (UNSW)
Dr Sue Young, School of Social Work, Univeritsy of Western Australia (UWA)
Dr Katrina Stratton, School of Social Work, Univeritsy of Western Australia (UWA)
Victoria Jones, Senior Social Worker, NSW Health

Purpose of the project

The aim of this 2 year (2011-2013) project is to (re) centre social work education and practice and align it with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, principles and knowledge. The purpose is to make a substantial contribution to the process of Indigenising Australian social work education. In 2012 the Australian Association of Social Work (AASW), will for the first time release new national educational guidelines aimed at increasing curriculum content in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social work education. The guidelines, developed by a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social workers, outlines the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curriculum content that will need to be taught in all 26 Schools of Social Work. The Getting it Right project will strengthen and add value to the AASW's objectives by supporting all Schools of Social Work in their local integration and development of this new curricula. The aim is to better prepare social work graduates to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a range of contexts in the human services. The development of more appropriate teaching and learning in this area also has the potential to attract and retain more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to the profession.

Project objectives

  1. Develop effective mechanisms to identify, develop, disseminate and embed effective individual and institutional practice in learning and teaching of Indigenous education in social work
  2. Develop a national network and community of social work educators who are involved in the teaching of the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curriculum.
  3. Convene an inaugural National Roundtable on teaching and learning in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social work education