Matthew Williamson is the Vice-President of the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and is studying for a PhD in Social Work at the University of Tasmania. Matthew relocated from Queensland and enrolled in the Social Work program to explore his interests in childhood development.

“I studied a degree in sociology when I lived in Queensland and later became a fitness instructor working with children. I was interested in the dynamics between the children and their families, and how this influenced their participation in the exercise classes. This inspired me to study social work and I decided the University of Tasmania was where I wanted to be,” he said.

What really grabbed me about this course is the face-to-face instruction you get in tutorials and the opportunity for placements – with the Social Work program, you do two 500-hour placements, which is just fantastic industry experience.

The Tasmanian social work industry is comprised of government and non-profit organisations, and there is growing demand for university-qualified professionals in all areas.

“Having a degree in Social Work definitely gives you an edge in the job market. Many other members of the AASW work quite closely with the program, feeding into how the program is delivered, and that gives the course a lot of industry credibility.

The landscape of the social work industry is shifting in a significant way with changes in the NDIS. This, along with advancements in technology, means that the delivery of social work services is moving to all-new digital platforms. My research focuses on how people interact with these platforms and how they could be made more effective and more efficient.

The Social Work program is designed in consultation with industry experts to help meet the ever-evolving needs of the Tasmanian community.

“In the industry, having a higher qualification really makes a big difference – people listen when you can tell them ‘I’m a social worker’.

I would tell anyone wanting to study one of the University’s Social Work courses to take advantage of the fantastic industry connections, so you can forge relationships right across the State. It’s absolutely key.

Interested in studying Social Work? Apply now.