Integrating professional social work identity and social justice advocacy: an analysis of the Australian campaign to restore Medicare rebates for accredited mental health social workers

Philip Mendes, Samone McCurdy, Kandie Allen-Kelly, Karl Charikar, Kate Incerti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Summary This study utilises a recent social action campaign undertaken by the Australian Association of Social Workers to examine the skills, motives and factors of success for social workers and professional bodies in undertaking social action activities. Findings The evidence suggests effective social action is likely to rely on several, interdependent factors. Social workers appear more likely to actively intervene in policy issues when their immediate client base, professional identity or personal livelihood is threatened. Peak professional bodies are more likely to succeed in lobbying when they are able to mobilise broad-ranging support, present a united media presence and form alliances with key stakeholders and influencers outside their organisation. Application Results from this study may be useful for professional associations, social work educators and students who are interested in understanding social action in the context of social work practice and ensuring they have the skills and knowledge to fulfil their professional mandate as agents of social change
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516 - 536
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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