Building collaborations in education and research: beyond the rhetoric


The Australia and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research (ANZSWWER) symposium will be held in Melbourne in 2015. In an environment where change is the only constant, a focus on collaboration across different stakeholders in the human service sector becomes more urgent. There is a danger that collaborations between stakeholders now mirror managerial imperatives which make them more opportunistic rather than beneficial for all parties. This symposium will focus on how we might build successful collaborations and the learning this provides.

hosted by


    • On Wednesday 2nd September,2015 (the day before the Symposium) ANZSWWER is pleased to announce a national meeting of Social Work Field Education staff to share information, develop a research agenda and take action on key issues impacting on Field Education. With Guest Speaker – Associate Professor Jane Maidment, Canterbury University, New Zealand – ‘The New Zealand Field Education Network’ this will be an exciting opportunity to share, learn and collaborate. For more information and to register your details –  Click Here.
    • RMIT University, Melbourne, 3-4 September, 2015, Building 80, 445 Swanston Street,
    • Registrations will be held in the Level 2 Foyer.
    • RMIT CAMPUS MAPS (including links to disability/mobility access and directions)
  • AGM

 Professor Donna Baines 

Professor Donna Baines

Donna Baines is currently Professor of Labour Studies and Social Work at McMaster University in Canada. She will be taking up the Chair in Social Work and Social Policy at University of Sydney in August of 2015. Prof. Baines has published extensively on managerialism and restructuring social service work under neoliberalism, and now under austerity.  She also publishes in the area of anti-oppressive and critical approaches to social work practice. Prof. Baines has published recently on care work in the Journal of Social Work, Critical Social Policy and Journal of Industrial Relations, and is working on the third edition of her best-selling (in Canada) edited collection, Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice, Social Justice Social Work.


The case for catalytic validity: building community and through knowledge transfer

As part of a trend for community-engaged research, knowledge transfer is a growing requirement in many types of funded research. Knowledge transfer has particular salience in social work where working closely with communities during and after the research process has long been part of our research model. Drawing on data collected as part of a

larger qualitative study of stress, workload and violence in the Canadian social services sector, this paper argues that knowledge transfer, as it is presently understood and structured, is limited and limiting through its own discourse of scientific neutrality, as well as by the political economy of universities and research funding bodies, which tend to reward those producing peer-reviewed journal articles and penalise those who spend time making research ‘accessible to the people for whom it could make a difference, or who could make a difference with it’.  In addition, the deepening of neoliberalism and austerity mean that communities are hard pressed to find the time to take up research without significant and ongoing support from researchers.

Using knowledge to improve social policy and practice would be better served if knowledge transfer was integrated into the research methodology itself. Though a number of techniques exist, in this paper I suggest as a measure of validity known as ‘catalytic validity’ which asks, what, if anything, changed during the process and/or finding dissemination on this project?  Weaving this measure of validity into funding proposals may produce the resources necessary to build the long term, on-going, time consuming and resource-intensive connections with community that are necessary for effective and respectful processes of knowledge mobilisation.

This paper argues that knowledge transfer needs to pivot on an acceptance of the

contested and politicised nature of knowledge building and transfer, and the challenges facing under resourced, increasingly stressed communities. This acceptance necessitates new kinds of research relationships and processes, new understandings of proof, and recognition of the kinds of engagements required to support communities in using research to challenge and change social conditions.


Associate Professor Liz Beddoe


Liz Beddoe is an Associate Professor in the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Liz’s teaching and research interests include critical perspectives on social work and social problems, social work education, health social work and professional supervision. Liz has published articles on supervision and professional issues in New Zealand and international journals.  She blogs at  https://socialworkresearchnz.wordpress.com/



Social Work and Social Media :  Kittens and Comrades

In April this year the New Zealand Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley announced the creation of a new review of Child Youth and Family, our national child protection agency. Both the terms of reference and the makeup of the review panel filled social workers with anger and dread.

Responding to such reviews is not new, rather it is an unrelenting task for those who take on leadership roles in our profession. What was different  about this response was the speed, inclusiveness and the powerful impact of a small group of people who spontaneously formed the social media presence – the Reimagining Social Work Collective. Liz’s address will talk about the powerful potential for social media to grow a much stronger space for social work in public debates.


For further information about the 2015 ANZSWWER Symposium, please contact admin@anzswwer.org