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Professor, Social Work

Bunbury, Australia
Closing date
28 Apr 2024

Job Details




We are looking for an outstanding forward-thinking academic leader to become our next Professor of Social Work, with a particular emphasis on regional and rural education and research.

The School of Arts and Humanities, Edith Cowan University seeks to appoint a Professor of Social Work who will be the senior academic in our well-established social work program, contributing to the development of the next generation of social work professionals through research, teaching, and professional engagement. This new continuing position, located at the South West campus in Bunbury (our primary campus of delivery), joins an existing team of academics who work both in the South West and Perth offering a Bachelor of Social Work and (from 2025) a Master of Social Work. this team also undertakes vital research into a range of social justice matters. We have recently appointed four new social work academics and this position will complement their arrival and build on the long-term successes of social work at Edith Cowan University.

The role

The Professor of Social Work will provide outstanding, forward-thinking academic leadership in the discipline of Social Work, encompassing all aspects of academic development (teaching, research, and industry / community engagement). The Professor will collaborate with other senior leaders on innovative developments in related course and research programs, including social leadership, social justice, and social care. A particular focus of the role will be to mentor and develop more junior colleagues while maintaining a strong research program and contributing to teaching, curriculum development, and course innovation.

The Professor reports to the Associate Dean (Social Sciences, Social Work, and Youth Work) and will work closely with the teaching and research staff in that discipline cluster, particularly the course coordinators for the Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work. The Professor will collaborate closely with the Director of the University Department of Rural Health (South-West) to enable the participation of social work staff and students in the UDRH. The Professor will also collaborate with other senior academics in the School to forge transdisciplinary solidarity in our academic work.

Who we are seeking

You will be an outstanding academic already working as an Associate Professor or Professor within the Australian higher education system and closely involved in the scholarship of social work through teaching and research. You will have a strong commitment to regional and rural education. You will thrive in an environment where leadership, partnerships, engagement, and solidarity are the key enablers of academic success. You will be passionate about the future of social work, an active champion of inclusion and diversity, knowledgeable and committed to transnational development, and be skilled in external negotiations to forge strong partnerships and professional alliances.

Selection criteria

You will have a PhD in social work or an equivalent closely related field and must be eligible for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

You will need to demonstrate, based on a track record of outstanding achievement, excellence in the following domains of work:

  1. Leadership founded in academic collegiality that promotes a culture of resilience, courage, innovation, and excellence in the school and university.
  2. Research (including research leadership), with a particular emphasis on discovering innovative, real-world solutions of significance and benefit to society.
  3. Teaching (including online teaching and work-integrated learning) that generates sustained excellence in the student experience and meets the needs and expectations of our students and their communities.
  4. Engagement with external stakeholders that advances teaching and research success through industry and community partnerships.
  5. Innovation in identifying problems and designing solutions that help achieve the goals of the school and university.

Experience in, and knowledge of, the operation of social work within regional and rural contexts is highly desirable.

You will be expected to demonstrate personal attributes congruent with the University’s values of integrity, respect, rational inquiry, personal excellence, and courage.

About the School and University

Edith Cowan University (ECU) is a young and progressive university with a strong reputation for excellence in teaching. ECU has been rated the maximum of five stars for teaching quality by their graduates for 17 years in a row, making ECU the only public university in Australia to achieve such a consistently high rating. ECU’s reputation for teaching quality and student experience has been built on the productive relationships they have with their students, industry, communities, and alumni- sharing knowledge for the benefit of all.

The School of Arts and Humanities (SAH) is one of the largest at ECU with many diverse disciplines arranged into three main clusters: Creative Humanities; Psychology, Counselling and Criminology; and Social Sciences, Social Work and Youth Work. In the latter cluster, we are well known for our strengths in research into ecosocial and cultural care, the social response to climate change, social ageing futures and transnational social concerns.

The School operates across four campuses, with more than 140 academic and professional staff, and has a strong online education presence. The diversity of the School is a strength, enabling interdisciplinary innovation, a sustainable financial platform, and many opportunities for collaborations with industry and community. In 2026, the School will begin to operate its creative humanities program from the outstanding new ECU City Campus while maintaining and expanding operations at ECU’s Joondalup and South West campuses and our off-shore campus in Sri Lanka. We have the ambition to be an outstanding school whose research and teaching build the caring and creative professions and contribute to achieving more equal and positive social relations; fostering the realisation of individual human potential; and enabling diverse creative expression. Our key priorities for the period 2024-2029 are: care, climate change, decolonisation, digital futures, global transformation, intersectional inclusion, and storytelling, enabled by an operational emphasis on engagement, leadership, partnerships, and school solidarity.

Inclusion and diversity

Edith Cowan University is a diverse and inclusive workplace reflecting and celebrating the differences in our society. Strategies and initiatives are in place to address underrepresentation of specific groups. We welcome applications from suitably qualified people from all backgrounds and are committed to sustaining a workplace where we value our people, celebrate everyone’s contributions to success, and work together on overcoming our challenges. We strongly encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to apply.

Benefits and remuneration

This position provides a full-time salary of $205,952 pa plus 17% University superannuation contribution.

ECU supports a work/life balance for staff. Benefits such as flexible working arrangements may also be negotiated to meet your personal circumstances.

ECU has an Award-winning Health and Wellness Program and an extensive range of staff benefits across entertainment, financial, health, travel and consumer goods and services.

For information on the benefits of working at ECU, please visit our website Employment Opportunities Overview.

ECU is a smoke-free environment.

How to apply

Your application is in two parts. The first part is a statement (maximum 4 pages) that clearly demonstrates your suitability for the role and the difference you will make for the school and ECU if appointed. You should highlight key examples of your experience and your capabilities: you do not need to address each point in turn so long as all the criteria are covered. The second part is a detailed curriculum vitae, including summaries of your prior roles and achievements. Please include details for three referees including your current supervisor / manager (we will not contact referees without your approval). A covering letter is not needed.

Applications close: Sunday, 28 April 2024 at 11:30 pm ASWT

More information

You are encouraged to contact Professor Matthew Allen, Executive Dean, Arts and Humanities, to discuss the role and your application and learn more about the exciting opportunities ahead in the School of Arts and Humanities at Edith Cowan University. 

You are also encouraged to read the “School of Arts and Humanities Plan (2024-2029): Purpose, Principles, Ambition and Strategic Directions”.

ECU is a diverse and inclusive workplace reflecting the differences in society. Specific strategies and initiatives are in place to address underrepresentation of specific groups. Applications are encouraged from suitably qualified people from all backgrounds. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply.


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