Jenny Aitchison, MP

Jenny Aitchison was elected as the Member for Maitland on March 28th, 2015. As a small business owner and mother of two school age children, Jenny understands the pressures local families face and the challenges facing Maitland as one of the fastest growing communities in NSW. In March 2016, Jenny was appointed by Opposition Leader Luke Foley to the position of Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. In this capacity she advocates on behalf of the people of NSW to ensure that victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have access to adequate resources and care.


Ruth Bridgstock

Ruth Bridgstock is passionate about fostering ‘future capable’ learners, teachers, and educational institutions. Her scholarly activities are all centered on the question of how we can foster capabilities for productive participation in the 21st century knowledge economy and society. Ruth engages in research and scholarship into the changing world of work and the social challenges we all face, capability needs, and approaches to learning in the digital age. She designs, develops and evaluates innovative curricula and teaching approaches for the development of these capabilities, and is also engaged in teacher capacity building and university transformation projects.

Ruth is Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, and Australian National Senior Teaching Fellow for ‘Graduate Employability 2.0’, which is concerned with how students, teachers and universities can build and use social networks for innovation, career development, and learning. She is author of Creative Work Beyond the Creative Industries: Innovation, Employment and Education (Edward Elgar, 2014), and Creative Graduate Pathways Within and Beyond the Creative Industries (Routledge, 2016). Her latest book Higher Education and the Future of Graduate Employability: A Connectedness Learning Approach (Edward Elgar) is due out in early 2019.

Graduate Employability 2.0
Connecting for life and work in the 21st Century

The graduate world of work is undergoing significant shifts under the influence of digital technologies, economic and social change. For graduates, productive participation requires a different set of capabilities than in the previous industrial age. This presentation asks: What can tertiary education institutions do to foster vital 21st century capabilities, such as social network skills, enterprise, and career self-management? This presentation explores a model of the tertiary education institution as a hub of a knowledge network, building authentic learning partnerships between students, teachers and other learning partners as a way of fostering lifelong capability development and renewal. In so doing, it unites several powerful themes in the 21st century learning literature into one integrated model. These constituent themes include connected learning (Siemens, 2005), communities of practice and legitimate peripheral participation (Wenger, 1999), and learning lives (Biesta, Field, Hodkinson, Macleod, & Goodson, 2011). Drawing upon Bridgstock’s National Senior Teaching Fellowship Graduate Employability 2.0,  the presentation suggests practical ways for educators and institutions to start embracing the possibilities afforded by connectedness.

Paul Evans

Paul Evans was a member of Victoria Police for 38 years.  He worked in general duties, criminal investigations, education and other specialist areas.  Paul rose to the rank of Assistant Commissioner in charge of education and operational areas.  He holds a Master Degree in Public Policy and Administration and was awarded an Australian Police Medal in 2005.  During his retirement he enjoys working as a sessional lecturer at ACAP Melbourne.

The Critical Role of Human Services: A policing perspective

This presentation focuses on the change in society, in a policing perspective, over a forty year period. The influence of unprecedented immigration, the information technology revolution, growth of illicit drugs and escalated terrorist activity has impacted on all our lives. The ever increasing need for trained professionals in the fields of psychology, criminology, social science, community, youth and health workers has never been so important. By the time there is police involvement it is often too late!

Sharon Moore

Sharon has a lively and varied career in Social work and Human Services Management. Since 2014 she has been working at ACAP with Professor Carolyn Noble in developing an innovative School of Social Work, based on adult learning pedagogy with a focus on critical theory and internationalism.

Sharon began in Correctional Social Work with young people in the criminal justice system and families in need of care and protection. She helped lead the move to community-based corrections and a strong focus on education and training, which in part resulted in prison numbers radically reduced in favour of alternative community justice. She then moved to social work education as a lecturer at Phillip Institute of Technology, which later amalgamated with RMIT in Melbourne.  She had a leadership role in the development of a Structural and Anti-oppressive practice approach pioneered in Australia by PIT/RMIT Social Work School, and was responsible for developing programs in AntiSexist and AntiRacist Social Work as well as Rural Social Work and Community Development. She held a dual appointment with the Western Regional Council for Social Development bringing social work services to the west of Melbourne through an innovative field education unit resourcing human services development from environmental action to older people services and forging new roles for social workers in politicians’ offices and industry.

Sharon’s next move was to establish and lead the Carers’ Movement in Victoria for a ten-year period, complementing Carers NSW, leading to the establishment of Carers Australia and the International Carer Movement. This commitment to primary care and support for people with disabilities and family carers led to her writing community care and disability policy for all major political parties, and a range of government policy and leadership roles and increasingly, international work on aged care  and community care service development. At this time she completed her PhD on Community Care with a thesis entitled “From Women’s Caring to Markets and Managers” reflecting the privatisation and marketisation of care services.

What is to be done about Privatisation of the Community Services Industry?

It can be argued that the failures of health and community services privatisation make it clear that those who promote privatisation are offering false policy and practice solutions. In a global study of more than 3000 case studies of privatisation of former public services, RMIT researcher Hodge (2010) argued that the policy to privatise rather than keep public services in public hands is neither economically or socially beneficial and is often politically unpopular as community attitudes have traditionally strongly supported universal public provision.

However Privatisation is popular in Australia, while governments are reluctant to raise taxes in the hope that the private sector will finance public infrastructure, public services and reboot an economy battered by global forces (Australian Government 2018).  Further, the privatisation driver  also prevails at the UN, World Bank and OECD, is emerging in the G20 and in ongoing negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals and Financing for Development programs. China, the emerging economic superpower is not immune, as evidenced in its 2018 Belts and Roads global infrastructure program.

Having critiqued community services privatisation and PPPs on both economic and social grounds, I will outline some challenges for social work and other community service students as they prepare to practice for public good in an increasingly privatised industry. By being encouraged to work within and against the state, and status quo, drawing on a social sustainability and rights perspective , we can begin to offer more strategic and sustainable solutions to wicked social problems.

Pam Stavropoulos

Pam Stavropoulos, PhD is an educator, consultant and psychotherapist who is Head of Research with the Blue Knot Foundation (formerly Adults Surviving Child Abuse). A former Fulbright Scholar, she is a member of the Advisory Board of the ISSTD Scientific Committee and co-author of the nationally and internationally endorsed Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery (Blue Knot Foundation; formerly ASCA, 2012). Pam has held lectureships at Macquarie University and the University of New England and is a former Program Director of the Jansen Newman Institute. The author of Living under Liberalism: The Politics of Depression in Western Democracies (Florida: Universal, 2008) she has written research reports in the community health sector and is a clinical supervisor who specialises in complex trauma-related issues.

Threading and Embedding Trauma Informed Practice

Recent, current, and upcoming Royal Commissions expose the depth of abuse, corruption and malpractice within and across the full spectrum of mainstream social institutions of this country. Trauma-informed practice is an emergent paradigm in mental health and human service delivery, the implications of which extend far beyond the mental health sector from which it derives. It stems from recognition that trauma is highly prevalent, that current organisation of human services does not reflect this reality, and is inadequate to cope with it. It also stems from acknowledging the disturbing reality that far from providing safe environments for the many traumatised people who access services, `trauma has often occurred in the service context itself’ (Jennings, 2004:6; Davidson, 1997; Bloom and Farragher, 2011). This address will summarise the core principles of trauma-informed practice, their enormous potential for human service delivery, and identify key challenges and viable ways of addressing ongoing tensions between the `transactional’ and `transformative’ modes of operating in the human services sector.