University of Newcastle's Social Work Program presents their annual fourth year student conference, titled Australian Social Work: Beyond Pleasantries

2014 Social Work Conference

Wednesday, 18 June 2014, 09:00 am — Thursday, 19 June 2014, 01:30 pm

Location Mathematics Building lecture theatres: VG01, VG02 and VG07
Contact Rhys Ashpole E:
RSVP Wednesday, 11 June 2014



Australian Social Work Conference Beyond PleasantriesThe University of Newcastle's Social Work Program is proud to present their ninth annual fourth year student conference, titled Australian Social Work: Beyond Pleasantries. 

The conference provides an exciting opportunity for practitioners to be informed about the latest practice research covering a diverse range of topics.

Conference theme

In setting Beyond Pleasantries as our conference theme, we challenged ourselves as student researchers to develop informed positions on the issues that matter to us. Our presentations draw on current evidence, social work knowledge and our values to construct arguments for change. 

We hope to challenge stereotypes of social workers as merely "helpers": social work is also about critical thought and action. This includes re-imagining well-established social work issues, as well as exploring less conventional topic areas. We are looking to revitalise old conversations, and start new ones.

Beyond pleasantries will also inform our presentation styles: audience members can expect presentations with personality, which showcase us as people as well as future practitioners. Given our approach, we expect elements of our conference to be at times unsettling for presenters and audience members alike. We invite you to join us for two days of ideas, passion and critical discussion around an eclectic mix of social work topics.

Keynote speaker

Professor Donna Baines

Keynote speaker Professor Donna BainesProfessor Donna Baines is a Professor of labour studies and social work at McMaster University, Canada. Her work focuses on anti-oppressive and other social justice approaches to social work theory and practice, as well as how the work of social service and other care workers has been restructured in the context of welfare state austerity and constraint. A bit of an Aussie-phile, Donna has been spending her six month research leave at the social work and social policy program at the University of Sydney.


Register now

Registration is essential, and includes entry into all sessions, materials and morning tea on both days.

To register: 

  1. Download the Registration Form (DOC, 344KB)
  2. 'Save as' and title the document, complete details and save.
  3. Email to Rhys Ashpole before Wednesday 11th June 2014.