International prize for CSU social work academics

3 JUNE 2019

International prize for CSU social work academics

Social work academics at Charles Sturt University and their co-authors have received the ‘best paper’ award for an article published in a leading international journal in 2018.

  • CSU academics win international annual prize for the best journal article
  • Winners chosen by reps from three peak international social work bodies
  • Social work practitioners increasingly deal with environmental issues

Social work academics at Charles Sturt University (CSU) and their co-authors have received the ‘best paper’ award for an article published in a leading international journal in 2018.

The journal International Social Work (ISW) has awarded its annual prize for the best article published in each year’s volume to Professor Wendy Bowles and Dr Heather Boetto in the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences, with co-authors Adjunct Professor Jennifer McKinnon and Professor Peter Jones (James Cook University).

They received the 2018 ISW Journal Prize for their article ‘Is social work really greening? Exploring the place of sustainability and environment in social work codes of ethics’.

Professor Bowles said, “The issues our article explores are increasingly important to our Charles Sturt University social work students, and to practitioners everywhere.”

She explained that the ISW Journal Prize is awarded to the authors of the article that best reflects the aims and scope of the journal to explore and promote the development of international social work, and all articles published in ISW in the given volume year are eligible for consideration.

“The editors draw up a shortlist and the Editorial Policy Committee with representatives from the International Federation of Social Work (IFSW), the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), and the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) select a winner based on specific criteria,” she said.

“Articles are judged according to the criteria of ‘scholarship, relevance to a wide range of readers, originality, international focus, and contribution to international theory, policy and research’.”

Professor Bowles noted a particular highlight of the award.

“For me, the exciting thing about the award is the composition of the committee who decided on the winners,” she said.

“In addition to the editorial committee itself, they had representatives from each of the key international peak bodies of social work practitioners and scholars - the International Federation of Social Work, the International Association of Schools of Social Work, and the International Council on Social Welfare.”

Dr Heather Boetto explained that their award-winning article undertakes a comparative analysis of the extent to which environmental sustainability is represented across three national social work codes of ethics – the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.

“Although the Australian code of ethics reflects greater recognition of environmental sustainability, the findings suggest that all three require further recognition,” she said.

“More importantly, it is argued the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) take more leadership in advocating for changes to codes of ethics for its member nations.

“And of course, the primary importance of promoting ethical practice with regard to environmental sustainability is that social work practitioners are increasingly dealing with environmental issues on a daily basis as part of professional practice.”

Since 2004 International Social Work has awarded an annual prize for the best article published in each volume.

The 2018 winners were announced in the May on the journal website: https://journals.sagepub.com/page/isw/collections/journal-prize-winners .

Previous winners can be found here: https://journals.sagepub.com/page/isw/collections/journal-prize-winners

The ISW Journal Prize for their article follows another recent accolade for the CSU social work team which was named ‘Social Work Educator of the Year’ for 2018.


Media contact:

Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362


Media Note:

Contact CSU Media via news@csu.edu.au or Bruce Andrews on 0418 669 362 to arrange interviews with Professor Wendy Bowles and Dr Heather Boetto who are based at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Photo (left to right): Dr Heather Boetto, Professor Wendy Bowles, and Adjunct Professor Jennifer McKinnon. 

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