Seeking Social Good is a wide-ranging autobiography of the career, life and times of Australia's first professor of social work, and pioneer social policy scholar. It is well-organised, carefully referenced, and enlivened by the author's photographs. The work is organised into 6 volumes - 'Getting Educated', 'A Career Under Way', 'Working in Australia', 'Living and Working Overseas', 'Working with International Organisations', and 'Disengaging from Work and Later Life'.
Each is substantial and is worth reading in its own right, as well as being integral to the whole story. 'Later Life' in the final volume is told largely through the author's photos. In pursuit of social good, Australia's first social work professor and pioneer social policy scholar, worked with international social welfare and social work bodies - additional to periods of living and working overseas covered in the previous volume. Chairing the Pre-Conference Working Party in Manila in 1970 for the international social welfare body proved a catalyst for his international work.
The present volume provides an account of his subsequent work with the International Council on Social Welfare and the International Association of Schools of Social Work, the global social welfare and social welfare education bodies, and with more specialised bodies like Rehabilitation International, ECAFE/UNICEF, the Social Welfare Development Centre for Asia and the Pacific, and the International Federation on the Ageing. A career highlight was the first Eileen Young husband Memorial Lecture in 1984, arguing for an urgent need for a reflective universal morality.
About the Author
John Lawrence has taught social policy for thirty years, taking a special interest in the ethical justification of policy and professional intervention. He is a graduate of the Universities of Adelaide and Oxford, and the Australian National University. Australia's first Professor of Social Work, he headed the School of Social Work at the University of New South Wales for fourteen years, chaired the University's Faculty of Professional Studies, was a member of the University Council, and was directly involved in the development of its Social Policy Research Centre, a national centre directly funded by the Australian Government. A former federal president and life member of the Australian Association of Social Workers, he served on its National Ethics Committee.
For eight years, he was an elected member of the Executive Board of the International Association of Schools of Social Work. He has had membership of the governing bodies of community agencies, including a vice-presidency of ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Service). He is a firm advocate of international experience, and has spent almost seven years away from his native Australia, studying, researching, teaching and acting as a consultant in England, the United States, Canada, Thailand and Sweden. This has been assisted by various awards - a Rhodes Scholarship, Fulbright senior awards, the Moses Distinguished Professorship at Hunter College in New York, and a Canadian Commonwealth Fellowship - and university study leave and exchange arrangements. He is a member of the Order of Australia.