February 2018

Building Australia’s future social service workforce

Our submission to the Senate Select Committee on Submissionthe Future of Work and Workers Inquiry, Building Australia’s future social service workforce, hit home a few key points. Namely that the social service workforce is the workforce of the future, and that to foster it to meet rapidly growing demand, Australia needs serious policy shifts that bring better training, better pay, greater diversity and greater recognition.

Future Social Service Institute – Submission to the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers inquiry – 30 January 2018

Word Accessible version 

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January 2018

Insight into Acquired Brain Injury

By Christine Durham and Paul Ramcharan

Insight into acquired brain injury book coverInsight into Acquired Brain Injury offers an empowering approach to working with people with an acquired brain injury (ABI) based upon the views and perspectives of people with ABI themselves. Drawing upon Christine Durham’s own ABI experience and Paul Ramcharan’s extensive disability research, this volume gives voice to 36 participants with ABI, as well as carers and other professionals.

Ready-to-adopt-and-adapt scripts, guided interviews, research checklists, thinking tools and other innovative techniques help engage with people and colleagues about brain injury to support them to feel and fare better. With compassion and firsthand awareness, Insight into Acquired Brain Injury deepens understanding and translates the complicated life-worlds of people living with ABI to motivate, empower and increase their participation.

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About the authors
Christine Durham found her life turned upside down after a horrific car accident. She was left with a broken brain, broken body and broken spirit – a shattered shadow of her old self. Her books share stories of how she found herself and her voice. She now speaks to a wide range of audiences including community groups, academic, medical, business and educational professionals. Durham is passionate about raising awareness of the overwhelming footprint of traumatic brain injury and road trauma.


Black and white photo of paul ramcharan

Paul Ramcharan is Deputy Director of Research at the Future Social Service Institute and Associate Professor at the Centre for Applied Social Research at RMIT University. His 25 years’ of research with people with disability has a strong focus on advocacy, empowerment, human rights and choice. In the UK Paul coordinated a national research initiative to support implementation of Valuing People, an English white paper to improve the lives of people with intellectual disability. At FSSI Paul develops co-design in research processes to establish empowering practice through both research and action.

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Conceptions of Care

Picture of Sue Yeandle
Sue Yeandle

What happens when we apply a feminist lens to the shifting arrangements for care? Director of the University of Sheffield’s Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities, Sue Yeandle, lifted the lid on this important topic.

View the Conceptions of Care lecture slides here.

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Lessons from the UK

In August 2017, International Fellow Dr Shereen Hussein highlighted lessons Australia can learn from the UK as it enters the NDIS market-based system of providing services for people with disability.

Dr Shereen Hussein

View key presentations here from Dr Hussein’s visit.

Public lecture – A workforce for the future (30 August)

Key issues for the Social Services Workforce: Reflecting on the European experience for the Australian context

Workforce for the Future – Trends and challenges in an age of marketisation: Lessons from the UK and Europe

Advocacy’s role in ensuring choice, control and safeguarding of service users

Personal budgets and their impact on users and workers

Worker engagement, burnout and personal accomplishments among social workers

The Value of Data for informing policy and practice

Designing accessible and usable data for researchers (Mohamed Ismail)

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A focus on research

Research is central to the Future Social Service Institute.

Consumer-driven social sector reform is well underway in Australia and in other parts of the world, particularly Asia, where a new welfare state is under rapid construction.

FSSI will support researchers to solve the sector’s most pressing, practical problems.

How do we want this new world to look? 

How can it best support those in need of support and assistance?

Our research output will align with the existing VCOSS-RMIT Industry Fellowship Research Program and PhD Scholarship program.