The University of Newcastle, Australia

International Social Work education honour

Monday, 2 July 2018

Professor Mel Gray, School of Humanities and Social Science has been recognised with the prestigious International Association of Schools of Social Work’s (IASSW) Eileen Younghusband Lecture Award 2018 for her powerful contribution to international social work education. The award is presented biannually to ‘a distinguished social work educator, who has an international reputation and recognition’.

Professor Mel Gray

Mel will travel to Dublin in July, where she will receive the award and deliver the Eileen Younghusband Memorial Lecture at the forthcoming Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development.

Mel is a powerful advocate for social work that is both theoretically informed and evidence based. She came to academia having already spent 15 years practising social work in the complex, morally challenging and politically charged society of South Africa.

Whether championing new practices or pioneering new ideas, Mel’s unwavering ambition is to create lasting change that improves the lives of individuals and society.

In a testimonial supporting her application, Professor James Midgley, Harry and Riva Specht Professor from the University of California, Berkeley wrote:

“Perhaps her most important contribution has been to scrutinize the way practitioners apply knowledge and the extent to which academic enquiry is having a positive impact on practice outcomes.”

The IASSW gives two awards in recognition of social workers’ contribution to international social work. Mel was nominated for both awards in this round by colleagues in South Africa and Australia. The IASSW Nominations Board requested she proceed with the Eileen Younghusband award as both could not be awarded to the same nominee in the same year.


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