CQUni Noosa hosts nation's top social work educators
Published on 25 July, 2011
Australia's leading social work educators have converged on the Sunshine Coast to discuss the challenges facing tertiary training and research in the sector.
Held over two days at CQUniversity's Noosa Campus, the biannual Australian Council of Heads of Schools of Social Work (ACHSSW) meeting brought together 18 representatives from universities around the country.
CQUniversity School of Health and Human Services spokesman Darren de Warren said hosting the event at the Noosa Campus gave the Council a better understanding of the issues impacting social work in the region.
"The Sunshine Coast is a very big growth area, but this level of growth brings its own challenges," Dr de Warren said.
"Relocation brings a range of situations which could impact the need for social workers, including moving to an area without family support and the need to find employment.
"The Sunshine Coast is particularly interesting because its natural beauty draws so many people."
The ACHSSW promotes the development of social work policy and practice through education, research and active engagement with stakeholders.
Among the issues addressed at the conference were the national shortfall of placement opportunities for social work students, an upcoming Australian Association of Social Work Educators review of social work teaching, and a plan to integrate culturally sensitive practice into social work education across Australia.
The ACHSSW meeting was the first to be held at CQUniversity and has bolstered the solid reputation of the institution's social work program, which was extended to the Noosa Campus earlier this year after previously being delivered exclusively from Rockhampton.
Commenting on CQUniversity's move to the Sunshine Coast, ACHSSW President Professor Margaret Olsten said it would provide great benefits for the region in years to come.
"CQUniversity has always had one of Queensland's leading social work programs and its presence on the Sunshine Coast is a valuable one," Professor Olsten said.
"With the Sunshine Coast being such a strong growth corridor it makes sense to move the program to the region and help address what will be a growing need for social workers in the future.
"It is a move that is consistent with CQUniversity's emerging role as a leading provider of social work education and research in the state."