depicts in depth interviews with a Vietnamese social worker and his impressions

Depicts in depth interviews with a vietnamese social

This preview shows page 9 - 10 out of 13 pages.

depicts in-depth interviews with a Vietnamese social worker and his impressions of the challenges faced by Vietnamese refugee youth in the Cabramatta community in the early 90s. These narratives are great learnings for both social work academics and social work practitioners. ‘Once Upon a time in Cabramatta’ needs to form part of the curriculum when teaching cross cultural social work. A recent study from Canada on settlement of Syrian refugees in Canada published in the prestigious International Social Work Journal by Drolet et al. (2017, p.5) urges social workers and social work academics to engage in practice with immigrants and refugees by bringing greater awareness in practice of structural racism, and building knowledge of political practices that oppress, whilst recognising the impact of historical and ongoing colonial processes. The study emphasises that social work has a distinct contribution to make to the important area of immigrant resettlement, particularly the refugee settlement process. Here, the evidence presented in ‘Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta’ can provide reflexive narrative and case studies for social workers to rely on in building the case for good practice approaches in refugee settlement and the importance of advocating good practice frameworks with multicultural communities. Conclusion: Uncomfortable realities for social work practice in the multicultural space Professor Andrew Jakubowicz’s impression on multiculturalism and refugees provides social work with an impetus to ground policy and practice frameworks that are inclusive, reflexive and competent. These are grounded in critical understanding of Australian political history at the centre of which is the discourse on the importance of ‘welfare’ for multicultural communities. Jakubowicz’s (2016, p.160) stark reminder of the double standards of refugee policy in Australia is worth reflecting on here, he argues that more often ‘it is the cultural background of the refugees that is the problem, not merely their method of seeking refuge’ (Jakubowicz, 2016, p.160). Social work is grappling with the concept of ‘culture’ and dealing with cultural difference. This is evidenced in the writing of a number of scholars aspiring to good practice approaches with multicultural communities. Chomsky (2017, p. 77) when talking about the role of intellectuals emphasises that ‘it is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies, in the Western world’. Chomsky describes academic power as coming from political liberty, access to information and freedom of expression’. In synergy with Chomsky’s ideals, Jakubowicz throughout his academic career has sought and revealed the challenging aspects of Australian multiculturalism. This has been a difficult conversation for Australian public policy and the wider audience. Jakubowicz has fulfilled his responsibility as an academic and public intellectual. His works can be deemed of great value to Social Work policy and practice in
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