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Journal history

Welfare in Australia

The official journal of The Australian Institute of Welfare Officers, Welfare in Australia, was first published in December 1971. Its first editor, Brother Camage, was a Friar in the Franciscan Order working in a community aid centre in Paddington NSW. From the outset, Camage stressed that the quality of the journal would depend on the support of members. He made a call for contributions of original articles and suggested some topics, emphasising the fact that the ‘pages of this journal are offered to anyone who wishes to share an idea, an experiment, or even a vision for the future’.

The journal’s first issue was dedicated to the organisation, informing the readers on its beginnings and purpose. The aims and the direction of the Institute along with brief ‘pen pictures of the executive’ were presented for members’ information. Articles of general interest included the problems of the migrant, pre-retirement counselling, and the company welfare officer. Two small articles described the work of the Victorian Youth Welfare Service and the Church of England Counselling Service in NSW. Finally, a full list of members was published including five members from PNG.

Welfare in Australia had a number of editors throughout its years of publication, Brother Camage (1971-1977) was succeeded by Carmelita Steinke (1977-1984), then Bob Brown, Jan Fook and Larry Pohl (1985-1986), Jan Fook (1986-1987), Norm Wotherspoon and Margaret MacMahon (1984-1986), Michael Collingridge and Brian Innis (1986-1990) and finally George Morgan (1991-1993). Each editor brought different interests and flair to the role. Welfare in Australia ceased publication in 1993.

Practice Reflexions


At the Annual General Meeting of 2005, it was decided to revitalise the journal. Ian Murray negotiated with the Community Welfare section of Monash University Gippsland Campus on behalf of AIWO and mooted the idea of a joint electronic journal to be named Practice Reflexions.

The aim of the journal was to combine the interests of the social and community welfare and human service sectors through active, reflexive, collaborative and informed engagement between practitioners, service users, communities, researchers, policy makers and academics. By November 2006 the first edition of PR was ready for publication and contained both refereed and non-refereed articles, letters, comments, a discussion forum, photographs and book reviews. Practice Reflexions was published up until 2015 when it once again lapsed.

Australian Journal of Community Work

As of May 2019, ACWA has embarked once again on revitalising the journal to be renamed the Australian Journal of Community Work. Dr Annette Maher, former editor of the Australian Journal on Volunteering, has been appointed as editor of the ‘new’ journal and its future, as they say, is yet to be written.


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