Ms Penny Crofts
Manager Programs and Operations
Penny Crofts has an extensive career in the social and community services sector as a practitioner, educator and researcher. Penny’s career began in local government as a community worker and after long stints as an educator and researcher in the university sector, Penny has come full circle to her current role as Manager of Programs and Operations at the FAC.
Prior to taking up her current position at the FAC in 2007, Penny worked as a lecturer in social work at the University of Newcastle. In this role Penny was engaged in a number of research studies focusing on the interaction between the social and business sectors in local communities. Penny’s research explored the opportunities and barriers to business-community relationships in the not-for profit sector, the emergence of social enterprise as a strengths-based social and business strategy, and a specific case study in social enterprise as an alternate approach to the Australian Government’s employment services program. Penny’s research has been informed by the concept of social development – a field of theory and practice that seeks to integrate social and economic goals and means, to achieve social justice ends. Penny’s published work is largely based on this research.
As Manager of Programs and Operations at the FAC Penny is continuing to participate in research projects. Her research role is largely concerned with the concept of engaged scholarship – that is, the means by which university education and research is developed through partnership with community interests/stakeholders for mutual benefit. Penny is particularly interested in researching and documenting the contribution of the FAC to the field of engaged scholarship.
Penny has been involved in many research projects and instrumental in receiving numerous project grants. See below for a list of Penny's recent project grants.
- 2006 (AI) University of Newcastle Pilot Grant 2006 AI University of Newcastle Pilot Project Grant Capacity building in aged residential care: An intervention research project $10,000
- 2005 (AI) Australian Association of Social Work and Welfare Educators (AASWWE) Mentoring Male Social Work Students ($2,750).
- 2003 (AI) DEST. Innovative Project Initiative Grants for National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and Projects Program Commonwealth of Australia ($75,000).
- 2003 (AI) Department of Community Services (DoCS). Integrated Service Centre for the Hunter ($75,000).
- 2003 (AI) Ethnic Affairs Policy Statement Review. Newcastle City Council ($5,000).
- 2002 (CI) RMC Special Project Grants, Job Seeker Assistance in a Rural Context: A Study of a Community Social Work Approach, (RMC $5,000, Industry Partner – TBT - $5000).
- 2002 (CI ) RMC Early Career Researcher Grant Engaging With Business: A Third Sector Perspective ($5,500).
- 2002 (AI) RMC Project Grant Not-For-Profits Running For Profit Enterprises: Case Studies In Social Entrepreneurship ($10,500).
- 2001 (AI) RMC Project Grant Towards a developmental model for business social investment in the Hunter Region ($5000).
List of publications
Gray, M & Crofts, P 2008, "Social development and its relevance to social work", Australian Social Work, (61 (1), pp. 88–103.
Crofts, P & Begg, P 2005, "Defying the odds: Lessons from an innovative rural employment project", Rural Society. 15 (3), pp. 330–47.
Gray, M & Crofts, P 2004, "Partnerships: Marrying the strengths and resources of diverse interest groups", Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk., 40(3), 246–59.
Gray, M, Healy, K & Crofts, P 2003, "Social Enterprise: Is it the Business of Social Work?" Australian Social Work, 56(2), pp. 149–62.
Gray, M & Crofts, P 2003, "Social entrepreneurship and its implications for social work", Asia-Pacific Journal of Social Work, 12(2), pp. 95-122.