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School news

Social Work celebrates 40 years at Massey and new school name

Over the past 40 years, Massey University’s social work programme has produced more than 2000 graduates from its recognised professional social work qualifications. These graduates have made a significant impact on people’s lives and contributed to a humane and just society.

“Several graduates are leaders in health social work, advisers in the Chief Social Workers Office, Managers of non-government organisations, and/or Social Work Educators”, says the Head of the School of Social Work, Associate Professor Kieran O’Donoghue.

He was paying tribute to the contribution to society by the many graduates of Massey’s renowned social work programme and its founders Merv Hancock, regarded as the founder of the modern social work profession in New Zealand, and Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Graeme Fraser who led the establishment of social work at the University.

The afternoon tea on 22 January 2015 celebrated 40 years since Social Work was established at the University as an academic discipline.

Associate Professor O’Donoghue, was one of four speakers at this gathering of current and former staff, as well as guests from various stakeholder agencies, to honour the programme’s founders. The Vice-Chancellor, underlined the importance for social workers to have an analysis of the influence of social factors on people’s lives and to work as a profession to change social systems. Emeritus Professor Fraser, paid tribute to the team that developed the Bachelor of Social Work degree which comprised of Merv Hancock, Ephra Garrett, Tom Curran and himself.  He also emphasised the importance of reflective practice in professional education and strong community connections within social work programme. Professor Robyn Munford, paid tribute to the people, both past and present, who have contributed the development of social work in the University.

The event concluded with a cake cutting ceremony to launch the renamed School of Social Work, with Merv Hancock, the first Director of the Social Work Unit and Professor Munford, cutting the cake.

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