See More

> Events > Browse by Branch/Location > Online > Pathways into Research

Pathways into Research

Event Details
Date: Ongoing
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 1.5
CPD Category: 2 - Skills and Knowledge

AASW members: Free
Non members: $49

Organiser: AASW National Research Committee

Research is a key activity in social work practice. Not only can research be used for evaluation or assessing resources, it can inform the creation of new programs, practice frameworks and policies. Informed by our Code of Ethics, social workers bring a unique set of skills and values to conducting research, located in the imperative for human rights and social justice. However, contemplating where or how to start carrying out research can be overwhelming. Hence the creation of Pathways into Research. Pathways into Research is a module developed by the National Research Committee of the Australian Association of Social Workers. It was developed in response to AASW members contacting the Association and asking how they could get more involved with research. Members of the NRC developed a first draft of the content for the Module and trialled it at the 2015 AASW National Symposium in Sydney. Feedback from the symposium participants was then incorporated into this final version of the module.

The content of module does not provide training about research per se, but provides information about a range of pathways that can enable interested social workers to start to get involved with research. The Modules are organised in a logical order, so that it is possible to work through them from beginning to end. However, it is also fine to pick and choose particular presentations from within the module, based on personal interest.

There are six presentations as part of this module:

  • The first presentation focuses on quality assurance, evaluation and research; Grahame Simpson explains each of these types of activities and how they can serve as a starting point for involvement in research.
  • Second, Janice Brown presents an outline on evaluation as a research-based activity, while providing the story of how she became involved in evaluation.
  • The following two presentations are by Kim Hobbs who addresses the topic of practice research, as well as outlining her own journey of becoming a practitioner-researcher. One pathway into research is by enrolling in a higher degree by research at university.
  • The fifth presentation, Sue King outlines how social workers might take this path.
  • The sixth presentation is by Paul Hickey, who is a practitioner currently enrolled in a PhD, and in his presentation he outlines his story so far as a PhD student.

Presenter details

Associate Professor Grahame Simpson PhD leads the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Research Group at the Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research in Liverpool, Sydney Australia. He has academic appointments with the School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University and the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research, University of Sydney. He also has a clinical position as Social Worker-Clinical Specialist at the Liverpool Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit. He has 30 years experience as a practitioner and clinical researcher in the field of traumatic brain injury. He is recognised internationally for his work in conducting epidemiological, clinical, psychometric, intervention and translation-based research in suicide prevention, positive sexual adjustment, the community-based management of challenging behaviours and family resilience in the field of traumatic brain injury. He is Co-Editor of Brain Impairment, the official journal of the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment, and sits on the editorial boards for the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation and Australian Social Work. He is convenor of the National Research Committee for the Australian Association of Social Work and co-founding convenor of the International Network of Social Workers in Acquired Brain Injury.

Janice Brown BA in Social Work, M.Eval. has worked for more than three decades in child and family services for State and Federal Government and community agencies. Much of her direct practice, policy development and program management experience is of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in SA, NSW and the NT. Janice currently works for a small evaluation company, RobertsBrown Pty Ltd, and for Berry Street, a community agency. She is based in Melbourne.

Kim Hobbs MSW. has a long career in hospital social work, predominantly in the clinical area of oncology. She currently works at Westmead Hospital in the Department of Gynaecological Cancer. Kim has been a member of the AASW National Research Committee since 2014. As a practitioner-researcher she has been involved in a number of collaborative research projects in partnership with academic colleagues, focusing on the area of psycho-oncology. Research topics have included the effectiveness of cancer support groups, the needs of caregivers of people with cancer, sexuality concerns following cancer treatment and fertility concerns after cancer. Her most recent research project is investigating social work interventions in cancer care in Australia. Kim is the representative of Oncology Social Work Australia (OSWA) on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Psycho-oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG). She is committed to articulating social work values and perspectives in multidisciplinary research collaboratives investigating service delivery in the field of psycho-oncology. Kim’s research interests have led to several publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as many conference presentations.

Paul Hickey Adjunct Associate Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at University of Queensland and PhD candidate.

Dr Sue King is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of South Australia and a member of the UniSA Centre for Social Change. She has a particular interest in the partnerships that can be created between universities and the field. She Chairs the Board of Uniting Communities, an innovative and significant not for profit agency in South Australia. Sue is also an active member of the AASW SA Branch and National Research Committee.


1 hour and 30 minutes


This course can be claimed 1.5 H for CPD purposes, consistent with the CPD Goals and Hours Requirements.

Find out more today about opportunities to have your specialised social work skills recognised.


​AASW members: Free

Non members: $49


Please select the submit now button on the left hand side. If you are a member, you need to make sure you are logged in using your member credentials in order to access this course at no cost. You will receive email confirmation which will provide you with details as to how to access this course on SWOT.

Enquiries regarding the content matter or the National Research Commitee's work

e: [email protected]
w: NRC webpage

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers