At its Sydney campus Graduation Day on March 16, the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) acknowledged its milestones in Social Work. The event also featured unique personal celebrations for three families.
Proud wins for Social Work
The first Bachelor of Social Work cohort graduated in March, along with ACAP’s largest number of Master of Social Work (Qualifying) students to date.
With their accredited skills qualifying them to enter a workforce with projected employment growth of 22.5 per cent to 2022*, this group faces a future performing meaningful work in Australian communities.
To mark the discipline’s achievements, Carolyn Noble, former Associate Dean and founding Professor of Social Work at ACAP, gave the ceremony’s Occasional Address. She noted ACAP’s status as “the first private provider to offer the full range of social work programs from Bachelor to Masters” and the Asia-Pacific region’s growth in social work as the largest by the sector, globally.
Professor Noble, co-editor of a new book, Radicals in Australian Social Work: Stories of Lifelong Activism, recounted her early career experiences at Rozelle Psychiatric Hospital and her motivation for devoting her professional life to the discipline.
“Social work’s history is linked with the disciples of counselling and psychotherapy and psychology despite each of these disciplines developing distinct identities and separate training pathways,” she said.
“Each profession seeks to improve the wellbeing of those with whom they work and they often work in interdisciplinary teams to achieve similar goals. Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to its work.”
A family affair
For three pairs of new graduates, in Psychology, Counselling and Youth Work, the occasion was cause for unique family celebrations.
Married Bachelor of Psychological Science graduates Maddie and Tim Christian travelled with their two children from the Hunter District to the Sydney CBD ceremony. The couple studied online for four years, juggling family and work commitments, with the help of extended family and each other’s invaluable support, all the way.
After the ceremony, the pair were almost as excited about finally meeting some of their lecturers in person as they were about holding their well-earned testamurs in their hands.
“After being an online only student for so many years it was so exciting to personally meet and to thank the amazing educators who had helped us in gaining the skills and knowledge they had taught us online. The educators’ smiles showed us just how proud they were of all us students, whether we are on campus or online,” said Tim.
Both Maddie and Tim began their studies with the Diploma of Counselling as a pathway to their Bachelor degrees. Maddie has started her Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy and Tim will apply for his Honours degree as soon as possible. Read the couple's story, here.
Robyn and Matthew Neufeld received their Graduate Diplomas of Counselling at the Sydney event. Soon after the ceremony the couple left on a world trip to celebrate their two years of hard work, and will begin their new careers on return to Australia.
Sisters, Fatima and Zinab Al Bashara graduated with Diplomas in Youth Work. Fatima has used her completed course as a pathway enrolment to the ACAP's new degree, the Bachelor of Psychological Science and Criminology, which she begins in May after a break from study.
Nilaab Mansuri MAPS (pictured, left), addressed the ceremony on behalf of all graduates. She noted the “unconditional support of classmates and teachers, family and friends” common to her peers.
Recalling the sense of trepidation shared by her fellow students starting out, and with the hard work behind them, Nilaab thanked the ACAP community, adding, “We not only survived, but thrived towards our pursuit of excellence.”
Find out more
ACAP offers three starting dates for all courses each year, in February, May and September. Discover our selection of Diploma to Postgraduate qualifications here.
*Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2017 Occupational Projections five years to May 2022.