Social workers without borders:Challenges to building partnerships. Learning from a PNG/Australian social work education relationship

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Journal Article
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Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
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Lawihin, Dunstan
Flynn, Catherine
Kamasua, John K.

Although there are contentious debates concerning the nature of international and globalised social work, there is considerable evidence that Schools of Social Work Education are actively engaged in cross-border collaborations. Whilst this is occurring and although Social work as a professional discipline exists in diverse contexts across the globe, experiences and voices from the South Pacific have had limited attention. Building on ‘data’ drawn from the literature and a discussion of international social work, this paper reflects on a collaboration occurring between an Australian social work education program and one in Papua New Guinea. We review and describe a model that is based on transparent, collaborative relationships between equal, although different, partners. We continue to work on how to encourage louder voices from UPNG, but we conclude that focusing on long-term outcomes, built on small steps, offers a framework for meaningful and sustainable cross-border engagements in social work education.

partnership, social work education, social worker, international collaboration, Papua New Guinea, Australia
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ANZSRC fields of research
CC BY 4.0