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From very early on in my life, I actually witnessed some of the most
challenging social realities around me, which in fact challenged my way of
thinking -- what could I contribute, what can I do about this?
My name is Abraham Francis and I'm an Associate Professor at the James Cook
University of Townsville campus in Australia. Social work is a practice-
based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change
and development, social cohesion and the empowerment and liberation of people. It
is all about helping people help themselves. Some of the harsh realities
are poverty, displacement, unemployment, mental health issues -- all of them have in
fact challenged me and have prompted me to respond to them. Hence, my research in
those areas. I really wanted to know of the art behind helping, the science
behind helping. We do it with a scientific knowledge. We do it with
commitment. We do it with a passion because we believe that people can make
change. I have been involved with many research projects. Some of them are in
the areas of criminal justice social work, international social work, strengths-
based practice in social work, mental health in the higher
education sector and all of them have contributed to my understanding about
these harsh realities, which I was talking about. Recently we organised a conference
on mental health in higher education in Townsville. As researchers, we were able
to bring many stakeholders from around the country and some of the
international speakers to talk about and create a momentum at JCU and we have
been successful in a way to talk about this issue
on a wider level. Social Work education at JCU
is grounded on the principles of social justice and human rights. We welcome our
students to be connected to the grass-root realities around them.
Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and
respect for diversity are central to social work practice. Social work engages
people and structures to address challenges and enhance well-being.
When injustices and problems do occur just before your eyes, can you sit in silence?
What I'm really passionate about is responding to the call for justice.
We need competent, confident and compassionate social workers and human
service professionals in the field. Social work is about working with people,
empowering people. It is about engaging with communities.
We can really inspire our students to be agents of change and that's what we need
in today's society.
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Passion for Social Work

54 Folder Collection
540455851 published on January 20, 2020
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