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Colin Benjamin (1942 - )

Colin Benjamin circa 2000s

The son of pioneering social worker and psychologist Eric Benjamin, Colin completed the University of Melbourne’s four-year Arts-Social Work program between 1961 and 1965, and has pursued a career with an emphasis on strategic and social change based on fundamental social work ideals.

His first job after graduating was as a social worker with Sunbury Mental Hospital, later known as Sunbury Training Centre, where he was employed from 1965 to 1969 in working towards the de-institutionalisation of its 1,300 patients. Then came a position as Director of Education and Welfare with the City of Sunshine at a time when local government social work, particularly with Colin’s preferred social action approach, was just emerging as a profession. From 1972 Colin was Executive Director of the Victorian Council of Social Service, moving from there in 1974 to become Director of Research and Policy for the Social Welfare Department of Victoria. This was a time of restructuring of social welfare policy for Victoria, and Colin was involved in both writing the White Paper on social welfare policy, and then in the design of the family and community services program. At the end of 1974 he was appointed Disaster Welfare Coordinator for victims of Cyclone Tracy before working with Minister Brian Dixon to establish a Victoria Ministry of Employment and Training.

After a period of leave from the public service during which he completed his MA in Social Work and worked for a time as Associate Director of the Public Policy Unit at Melbourne University, Colin returned to the Social Welfare Department in 1982 and worked on establishing an Equal Opportunity Unit, designed to increase the number of women in the upper levels of the public service. During further leave from the public service he became the Director of the Futures Division of Ogilvy and Mather, an international advertising company, and worked with colleagues in New York and London on the development of a global values study. This was followed in 1985 by running the Horizons Division of Carroll Partners International, working on large scale strategic planning with multinational companies. From 1991 till the time of his interview on 5 June 1997, Colin ran Horizons CAT Network, undertaking strategic thinking and customer service work.

Transcript of Interview


Audio of Interview

Audio File


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Victorian Branch Services Coordinator
(Monday to Friday)

Ph: 03 9320 1000 or 1800 630 124 (toll free alternative)

Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne

PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville Vic 3050

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