Making the world a better place

Published 16 September 2008

If you have ever dreamed of a career helping others, then a free information evening to discuss careers in social and human services at Southern Cross University tomorrow, Wednesday September 17 could be for you.

Hosted by leading social welfare academics Dr Richard Hil and Mr Maarten Rothengatter, the evening will provide information on welfare services, career opportunities and the formal qualifications needed for employment in this crucial and growing field.

Final year Bachelor of Social Sciences student Craig Miller is already putting his studies into practice as a youth support worker with Gold Coast based youth service Restart.

“After spending 25 years in hospitality, I decided I wanted to do something more aligned with my heart – and that meant helping people,” said Craig.

“I could see that there were groups of people who are marginalised and who don’t have a voice, and I decided I’d like to be involved in correcting that in some way.”

“Just seeing one person move forward makes it all worthwhile.”

Craig, who aims to one day have his own counselling practice, works with young people to help them to understand and express their emotions and needs in a healthy way, as well as supervising the provision of practical support in the form of computer skills training, budgeting and basic cookery.

Craig said the course at Southern Cross University had prepared him well for the workplace.

“My studies were invaluable for things like developing appropriate communication skills with people who are distressed and in conflict, and for providing support and counselling in a group setting,” he said.

“The small classes and intimate surroundings of the University meant personal contact with the lecturers, which aided my own personal development and helped me to link the theory learned in the classroom with their valuable real world knowledge.”

The Bachelor of Social Sciences offers a wide range of specialty areas leading to careers in youth work, migrant services, child protection, family support, legal services, mental health, alcohol and drug counseling, or working with refugees and asylum seekers.

Senior lecturer in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University’s Tweed Gold Coast campus, Dr Richard Hil, said that qualified graduates in this area were essential for tackling some of the social problems we face today.

“There are a number of strands of study available to students, from social welfare and community studies to government and policy, each offering a different approach in addressing current critical social issues,” said Dr Hil.

“The course provides theoretical and professional knowledge, as well as supervised and assessed practical experience in the field.

“By helping to reshape government social policy or in working with individuals, experienced graduates in this field have the capacity to achieve greater equity and social justice for all members of the community.”

A free information evening on careers in social and human services will be held at Southern Cross University’s campus in Brett Street, Tweed Heads, on Wednesday September 17 from 7pm to 9pm in room 2.24.

For more information or to book, call Richelle Blackshaw-Smith on (07) 5506 9351 or email richelle.blackshaw-smith@scu.edu.au

Media contact: Zuleika Henderson media officer, Southern Cross University Tweed Gold Coast Campus: 07 5506 9385 or 0408 644533