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This paper provides a thematic analysis of the Presidential Addresses delivered at conferences of the Australian Association of Social Workers from 1969 to 2008. It argues that although each of the Addresses needs to be understood within the context of its time, they are linked thematically by their focus on defining and defending the status of social work as a profession. In the early years, the Presidents, while recognising social work's commitment to social justice, sought to contain the Association’s more radical members in order not to threaten the profession’s respectability. However, as neo-conservative economics and managerial management practices eroded both the autonomy and the distinctiveness of the social worker, there was a call to embrace marginalisation.


School of Arts

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Social Work Commons