Diana Batzias was raised in country Victoria and educated in Adelaide. Immediately after her graduation from the University of Adelaide in 1963, she practised for a few years in London, working directly with immigrants and witnessing their lives. On her return, Diana worked with migrants and asylum seekers for about ten years at the Ecumenical Migration Centre in Melbourne. Building on that grassroots experience, she moved to the Victorian Department of Human Services in policy and program development and worked there for about 18 years, contributing significantly to the implementation of the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) and Youth Homeless Allowance, and initiatives arising from the Burdekin inquiry into youth homelessness. Diana then assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre, formerly “Turana”—a custodial facility for young men—and was there for about nine years. During her term in office important institutional reforms were introduced under challenging circumstances. Diana had a practice career of about 40 years, but after retirement she continued to offer her honorary/voluntary services to non-government organisations such as the Victorian Women’s Trust and Whitelion, which supports young people returning to the community from custody. The analysis of her life story reveals her faith, commitment to core values and ability to fight with determination.
|Title of host publication||Empowering social workers|
|Subtitle of host publication||Virtuous practitioners|
|Editors||Manohar Pawar, Richard Hugman, Andrew Alexandra, A.W. (Bill) Anscombe|
|Place of Publication||Singapore|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|