New course designed to address social worker shortage

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A new course at The University of Western Australia aims to tackle the shortage of social workers across the State with a focus on training students in regional, rural and remote areas.

Associate Professor Stephan Lund, Head of UWA’s Division of Social Work and Social Policy, said the curriculum had been designed by award-winning staff and experienced practitioners.

“It provides students with up-to-date, future-focused content that prepares graduates to thrive in an ever-evolving world,” Associate Professor Lund said.

“The course has a strong foundation in contemporary knowledge and skill building, including Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing and evidence-informed practices, ensuring that students are prepared for social work after graduation.”

To suit students’ needs the course offers flexible learning options including on-campus, online and part-time study.

“Residential learning components are designed for delivery in regional locations such as Broome, Albany, Geraldton and Karratha to ensure that rural, regional and remote students can engage in group and peer learning,” Associate Professor Lund said.

“Students will complete 1000 hours of supervised field placement across various social service settings in Perth and/or country locations.

“The placements will allow students to work with prospective employers, apply theoretical knowledge to the real world and gain valuable workplace experience.”

The required ATAR for the course is 75 and Indigenous applicants with an ATAR of 70 or higher are automatically eligible. Indigenous applicants can also apply for the Aboriginal Orientation Course via TISC or apply directly to the UWA School of Indigenous Studies via the Provisional Entry Scheme.

WA Centre for Rural Health Project Officer and proud Mullewa Wajarri woman Lenny Papertalk completed the UWA Master of Social Work in 2021.

“As an Indigenous student studying remotely, I felt well supported by my UWA lecturers and mentors throughout my university study,” Ms Papertalk said.

Applications for the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) are now open, with the first cohort to begin in Semester 1, 2024. Visit the website to learn more about the program.

Photo caption: WA Centre for Rural Health Project Officer Lenny Papertalk completed the UWA Master of Social Work in 2021.