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David Green (1939 - )

While still an Arts student, David decided that his initial interest in teaching and psychology as professions no longer applied; he wanted a profession that was broader and more societal in its focus, and he discovered that what he describes as the ”communitarian or religious communitarian interests” of social work seemed to fit him better. Accordingly, he enrolled in the Diploma in Social Studies at The University of Melbourne in 1961, and with credit for his previous Arts subjects took Social Work 3 in 1962 while working full time, and at the end of 1963 began an honours social work degree in Chicago, which he completed in late 1965.

His employment as a social worker began in late 1961, before he completed the final year of his Diploma of Social Studies program, when he took a position in the Probation and Parole Division of the State Social Welfare Branch of the Chief Secretary’s Department. On his return from Chicago he was appointed Deputy Superintendent of the Family Welfare Section of Turana, where he was responsible for the younger boys who were admitted to state care. Six months later he was Acting Superintendent of the whole institution. This was followed by eighteen months as Superintendent of Langi Kal Kal Youth Training Centre, and then another stint as Superintendant of Turana, then to the Head Office position of Supervisor of Classification and Treatment.

In 1972 David was appointed Director of Regional Services of the Social Welfare Department, a position he held for eight years as he oversaw the decentralization of the Department into eighteen regional offices. Feeling he needed a complete change, David moved in 1980 to become director of services at The Brotherhood of St Laurence before returning to the public service at the end of 1986 as a general manager in the newly formed Department of Community Services. This was followed in 1988 by time as Manager of the Office of Intellectual Disability Services, and in 1990 by time in the Older Persons’ Planning Office. In 1992 David became Assistant Director of the Aged Care Division in the new Department of Human Services, leaving that in late 1995 to become the State’s Public Advocate, a statutory officer appointed by the Governor-in-Council to act as an advocate of last resort and a guardian of last resort for people with disabilities. This was the position held by David when the interview took place on June 24, 1998.

Transcript of Interview


Audio available upon request - Please email


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