Strengths, justice and collective action: what social work and community welfare can offer Australian indigenous education

McMahon, A.P. (2002) Strengths, justice and collective action: what social work and community welfare can offer Australian indigenous education. In: Proceedings of the Indigenous Education Conference 2002. From: Australian Indigenous Education Conference, 2-4 July 2002, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Social Work and Community Welfare are professions with a long association with Indigenous Australians, some of it good, some of it bad. But these professions also have traditions of social commitment and social action that reject the status quo when it continues to oppress people. We believe that it is not enough just to understand society; the task is to change it. This paper will set out three positions drawn from social work and community welfare which may be useful for educators. The first is 'the strengths perspective'. This is an approach to working with people that rejects problem-based assessment and concentrates on developing the resources individuals and communities possess. The second position, 'critical theory', analyses the unjust historical, cultural and material conditions of our society and its negative impact on individuals, families and communities. The third position, 'social action', emphasises strategies to change these unjust social conditions through consciousness raising, participation, education and collective action. These three positions move well away from attitudes of stigma, failure and blame in working with people. We are no longer interested in describing failure but in assisting and achieving success.

Item ID: 14640
Item Type: Conference Item (Scholarly Work)
Keywords: Indigenous peoples; social work
Additional Information:

This work has also been published as McMahon, Anthony (2003) Strengths, justice and collective action: what social work and community welfare can offer Australian Indigenous education. In: McGinty, Sue, (ed.) Sharing Success: an indigenous perspective. Common Ground Publishing , Altona, VIC, Australia, pp. 95-99 and can be accessed in ResearchOnline@JCU through the related URL.

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Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2017 22:57
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940102 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Development and Welfare @ 100%
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