WELF 1011 Introduction to Social Work in Australia

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102860

Coordinator Sharlotte Tusasiirwe Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to social work, its common values, different perspectives, and current debates. Diverse constructions of social work embedded in different knowledge systems and models will be explored. Social work perspectives in a multicultural cosmopolitan Australia will be analysed including, amongst others, Indigenous social work, White western social work, Pacific social work, Afrocentric social work, memorial social work, Brazilian social work, etc. An overview of the changing Australian socio-political environment, policy and practice context will be explored and the role of social work in the different fields of practice analysed, to locate strategies for generating positive and creative social change.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Social Work

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Describe social work and the common values that underpin social work practice
  2. Discuss different constructions of social work embedded in different knowledge systems and their application in multicultural cosmopolitan Australia and globally
  3. Recognise Australia�fs socio-political environment and the nature of disadvantage experienced by certain socio-cultural groups such as women, refugees& asylum seekers, First Nations Peoples, older people, People with Disabilities, LGBTIQ, the unemployed, homeless etc
  4. Describe how government policies and practices are developed and implemented to address disadvantage
  5. Develop strategies that work towards the broader goals of social justice and human rights and individual and community advocacy and empowerment

Subject Content

Introduction to social work; unifying values like social justice, human rights, anti-oppressive practice
Current debates in social work (like westernisation vs indigenisation/decolonisation; social work as an agent of social control or social change; globalisation vs localisation; Universalism/professionalism vs multiculturalism)
Introduction to different social work perspectives and the types of social work they inform: Indigenous social work; Western social work
Pacific social work
Afrocentric social work, a Nepalese model of social work, etc
Australian socio-political context: contemporary social issues related to inequality: poverty & inequality
Australian socio-political context: Gender & Inequality, racial inequality; environmental injustice etc
Making and implementing social policy to address disadvantage
Social work fields of practice and our roles and responsibilities for practice (Social work with First Nations People, LGBTIQ, Older people and People with Disability, community work, mental health
Research, environmental and disaster work
Social work in a changing world; different landscapes: where to now?


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Proposal 5-10 minutes 20 N Individual
Essay 1,500 words 30 N Individual
Presentation 20 minutes 30 N Group
Reflection 1,000 words 20 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)



Subject Contact Sharlotte Tusasiirwe Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Sharlotte Tusasiirwe Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window