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Youth Work Public Lecture Series

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

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The Youth Work, Social Work and Social Science disciplines within the School of Arts and Humanities are proud to present three exciting public lectures to be held across both the ECU Mount Lawley and Bunbury campuses. These lectures welcome two prominent figures from RMIT University, Melbourne, Professor Judith Bessant and Professor Rob Watts to ECU. These lectures welcome all staff, students and members of the public to engage in critical discussion around the future of Human Services, the role of technology and how political influences affect the field.

The Question Concerning Technology: Winners and losers, and the future of Human Services – Mount Lawley and Bunbury

Public Lecture by Professor Judith Bessant, RMIT University, Melbourne.

New forms of technologies will have a major impact on how human services are conceived, organised and practised in the near and not so immediate future. Choices made about how technologies are developed and applied have potential to distance and disengage service users from providers or improve practice and the lives of those whom human services workers ‘serve’. In this challenging lecture Professor Judith Bessant addresses the future of human service work against the backdrop of the ‘digital disruption’ now under way. She says this radical social and economic transformation is larger in scale, speed and significance than anything humans have ever experienced including the Agricultural and Industrial revolutions. It’s a transformation she calls the New Axial Age. In the lecture Judith Bessant asks how can we best understand what is happening? What ethical, political and intellectual resources can we draw on to create new mindsets and navigate this rapidly changing landscape? What should we do?

Event details

Mount Lawley Campus Lecture

Date: Tuesday, 25 October, 2016
Time: 5.00pm
Venue: ECU Mount Lawley Campus, 2 Bradford Street Mount Lawley, Building 18 Room 18.101
RSVP: Light refreshments provided so RSVP is appreciated by Friday, 21st October to Alida Byatt
Parking: Off Learoyd Street in Parking Lot 10, outside Building 18 in the blue staff parking bays. Parking is free from 5.00pm.

Bunbury Campus Lecture

Date: Wednesday, 26 October, 2016
Time: 4.30pm – 6.30pm
Venue: ECU South West Campus, 585 Robertson Drive, Bunbury WA. Building 6 Room 103
RSVP: Light refreshments provided so RSVP is appreciated by Monday, 24 October to Annemarie Pankhurst
Parking: Enter through Robertson Drive entrance, parking Lots 2 & 3, outside Building 6 in the red student parking bays. Parking is free for this event.


Transforming Youth Work: Digital Politics and Republican Ethics – Mount Lawley

Public Lecture by Professor Rob Watts, RMIT University, Melbourne

Contemporary youth work operates in a time when neoliberalism supplies a common-sense understanding of our world. One criticism often levelled at contemporary youth work is that it lacks both an explicit political orientation and a coherent and defensible ethical orientation. This criticism is not really rebutted e.g. by recent attempts by various youth work associations to develop a youth work code of ethics. In this lecture Professor Rob Watts explores the role and value of a republican theory of politics grounded in a virtue ethics account of human flourishing as a possible way of addressing this criticism. He reports on a new exciting curriculum experiment designed to introduce young people and human service workers to the republican tradition. That tradition in the hands of writers like Aristotle, Hannah Arendt and Phillip Pettit argues that we become most fully human when we engage in public life. The lecture reports on the use of new technology as part of a radically different approach to political inquiry and practice in professional education. He draws out some of the implications of such an approach for contemporary youth work practice.

Event details

Mount Lawley Campus Lecture

Date: Thursday, 27 October, 2016
Time: 5.00pm
Venue: ECU Mount Lawley Campus. 2 Bradford Street, Mount Lawley, Building 18 Room 18.101
RSVP: Light refreshments provided so RSVP is appreciated by Tuesday, 25 October to Alida Byatt
Parking: Off Learoyd Street in Parking Lot 10, outside Building 18 in the blue staff parking bays. Parking is free from 5.00pm.

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