Dear members of social work@flinders

A warm welcome to you all!

First Alumni event

The alumni organising committee would like to thank you very much for your overwhelming support to our first alumni event: The one day social work conference on Generating Social Work Knowledge for the Future. We are very happy to inform you that this 1 day conference which was held on 16 February 2011 at the Flinders University city campus was a success.

This conference attracted nearly 100 alumni members and the day started with a welcome by Prof Phyllis Tharenou, Executive Dean, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Flinders University. Keynote speakers for the day were Helen Disney, Deputy Team Leader, Implementation Services Provider for PNG-Australia Law and Justice Partnership, Papua New Guinea and Peter Sandeman, Chief Executive, Anglicare Canberra and Goulburn.  As alumni of social work@flinders these two keynote speakers shared many useful memories of their days in Flinders University and their reflections at the social work profession in Australia. These two alumni have had an interesting career path and their reflections on social work knowledge for the present time and for future were very inspiring.

The keynote speeches were followed by morning tea which helped members to catch up and socialise with their friends with whom they seem to have not had contacts for many years! Particularly alumni members who finished their studies many years ago were very happy to catch up with their friends in uni days and also to get to know the younger generation social work professionals. After the tea there were two concurrent sessions during which alumni members got an opportunity to present their papers followed by interesting and stimulating discussions on the future of social work profession in Australia. These concurrent sessions were followed by lunch which provided another opportunity for members to catch up and widen their friendship network.

In the afternoon alumni organising committee members Karen Ballintyne and Ian Cox organised a group session on: What next for the social work alumni?  During this session members of the alumni were provided with an opportunity to share their vision for social work@flinders. Following is a summary of ideas expressed during the group sessions:

  • members would prefer an alumni event or something similar at least six monthly
  • develop Alumni skills register to run regular short informal seminars which are locally based
  • get a small group of alumni to prepare a one hour session on a social work practice related topic
  • PhD student presentations on their research topics
  • half day seminars (2 – 3 hours) which are offered jointly by academics and alumni presenters
  • mentoring programs by alumni members aimed at helping both young and experienced social work alumni to reinvent creativity in their professional and personal lives
  • short professional courses on challenging and current areas of social work practice offered by the Department of Social Work which attracts CPE points

The day finished with drinks and an official launch of the Social Work alumni. This session provided a valuable opportunity for the alumni to reflect on the future of the alumni and to say goodbye to their uni friends whom they met after many years.