The eco-social approach to social work curricula – a live example

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Social work curricula and education is undertaking a transformation. Eco-social models of practice that encompass environmental and sustainability issues can no longer be ignored, especially in a dominant capitalist society. This paper will present insight into the journey and challenges undertaken in delivering environmental social work and sustainability curricula and education for practice. In 2016 Charles Sturt University was the first university in Australia to be certified as carbon neutral and recognised as being ‘green’. This is not only reflected in the footprint of the University, but also in the curricula and education perspectives for social work education and practice. In 2016 key decisions were undertaken by the Course Director to build core and elective components into both the undergraduate and postgraduate social work course structures that were dedicated to eco-social and environmental social work. This encompassed governance, policy and practice for future practitioners in a range of areas including mental health, vulnerable populations, climate change, eco refugees, disaster recovery, and community resilience. The revision also integrated core curricula reflecting Indigenous Australian practice for human service workers that views sustainability and eco-social work through the lenses of our traditional custodians. This journey is taking social work in the right direction.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventANZSWWER Symposium 2017 - University of Auckland, Epsom Campus, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 07 Sept 201708 Sept 2017 (conference website) (conference program) (Conference abstracts)


ConferenceANZSWWER Symposium 2017
Abbreviated titleChallenging Dominant Discourses
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
OtherANZSWWER was previously known as the Australian Association for Social Work and Welfare Education (AASWWE).

ANZSWWER, an independent commentator on social work and welfare education, encourages membership from social work and welfare educators, field supervisors, practitioners and students in Australia and New Zealand. Together we work towards sustainable, quality and world class social work and welfare education through networking, national and international relationships, our journal, annual symposium and the recognition of achievements in the field.
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