Gibson, Faith (5 of 17). Oral History of Oral History
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2011-03-10, 2011-07-21, 2011-09-20, 2012-03-22
Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland
Gibson, Faith, 1931- (speaker, female)
Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)
Part 5: On the degree course in 1948 there were a lot of ex-servicemen some classes were as large as 500. Social work classes were much smaller with 20-30 students. Describes their typical backgrounds. Residential placements during the holidays. Contact with home. Last year of university her family moved to Sydney. Father worked as a salesman for an ice cream firm. He retired from this job. Brother was a very successful pilot based in Australia. Sister moved to England and married, then moved back to Australia. [13:30] Describes what she studied on her courses and what she learned. Mentions John Anderson, the Professor of Philosophy, who was a Scot and freethinker. He developed students capacity to critically question. [20:10] Talks about the influence of her parents. Religious background important in a cultural sense. From 14 onwards her beliefs developed and she developed an evangelical point of view, later agnosticism grew. Now has a liberal approach to religion which is still important to her. [26:17] Describes the organisation of State social care. Some church input. Worked in Queensland and social work training was just beginning at the university. She and the students visited a Catholic orphanage at Nudge Some 500 children resided there. New South Wales ran a fostering service as a result of their Director visiting London. Mentions the Curtis Report which influenced NSW. Reflects upon what was wrong in 1950s especially with aboriginal children and child abuse in institutions. Was unaware of this at the time. Child migrants and the work of Barnados and Catholic institutions in Queensland- children portrayed as orphans. [39:20] Pockets of advanced practice in hospital social work and child guidance. People in fieldwork appeared to work as individuals rather than teams. [42:14] Two year teacher training. University of Sydney Social Studies Dept worked for Professor Morvan Brown and then University of Queensland with the foundation of social work there, plus the Remedial Education Centre. She would have been 24-5. [47:30] Queensland Education Faculty was expansionist Freddie Schonell had a commitment to developing remedial education. Staff development was encouraged. She embarked on the B.Ed there. She realised that Australian academics had to go abroad for further development. More so for social work where people went to England or America. Sydney had a link with University of Chicago and Columbia. Chicago appealed to her. She got a Fulbright Travel Grant and an American Association of University Womens Scholarship and went to Chicago in May 1958.
Life story interview with Faith Gibson, Emeritus Professor of social work at the University of Ulster.