Social Work Field Education in Australia: Sharing Practice Wisdom and Reflection


  • Ines Zuchowski James Cook University
  • Cate Hudson University of South Australia
  • Brenda Bartlett Western Sydney University
  • Sophie Diamandi University of South Australia


Field education, Neoliberalism, Diversity, ; International students, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, External supervision, Use of technology


This paper highlights current issues relevant for Australian social work field education preparation and delivery, and shares some of the challenges that impact on schools of social work in rural, regional and urban settings. Topics discussed include the neoliberal context of social work education, its impact, and issues for rural and remote, international and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student placements. The paper explores some existing models that have emerged as responses to current challenges and environments. It also stresses that, despite economic rationalism and the neoliberal context, Australian social work educators still need to provide quality experiences for social work students, their field educator and the field. The importance of engagement in discussions about the future of Australian social work field education is emphasised.


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