Hearing the stories of Australian aboriginal and torres strait islander social workers: Challenging and educating the system

Bindi Bennett, Joanna Zubrzycki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hearing the stories of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social workers highlights the powerful influence that cultural identity has on their practice. Their identity is continuously negotiated alongside a professional social work identity that is dominated by Western discourse. The tensions that these social workers experience in their practice is revealed in the findings of a qualitative research project conducted by an Indigenous and a non-Indigenous practitioner and researcher. The researchers spoke to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social workers engaged in diverse areas of practice across Australia. Their stories reveal a complex range of cultural and professional challenges. These include the difficulties encountered when working with their own kinship networks and the need to constantly negotiate personal and professional boundaries. The paper concludes with some thoughts about how the practice of Indigenous social workers can provide valuable lessons for Australian social work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Social Work
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes

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