Gibson, Faith (6 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 6: University of Queensland was in Brisbane opposite the Botanic Gardens with a new campus called St Lucia. Education Faculty had relocated to St Lucia but the Remedial Education section was in the city centre. in the old university building Social work teaching was at St Lucia. Freddie was Dean of the Faculty. Hazel Smith was the Head of Social Work. Links with Sydney School of Social Work. Federal government had responsibility for rehabilitation. NSW had an Association of Social Workers, later replicated in Queensland. [09:30] Her job was to compile social histories of children who were coming into the Centre. Difficulties in having two jobs. Hazel Smith had done some practitioner work before becoming head. She was the only lecturer to begin with, later Faith. 10-12 students on the first course. Diploma in Social Work. She had a flat in Brisbane. She was also a tutor in social history at undergraduate level while living in the Womens College and doing research with Morvan Brown. [18:00] Numbers of practitioners who went abroad in social work was very small but academics very high. Head of Social Work in Sydney had been to America so some precedence. Felt she knew something of where she was going. Mentions the Settlement Movement in Australia and links with the UK and USA. Adams sisters in Chicago. Sailed to America. On the ship met an American family from the University of Illinois who befriended her. The University of Chicago was mind-blowing. Being a student at Chicago you met people who were pushing the limits of practice. Teachers like Charlotte Towle and Helen Perman were very supportive. Describes some of the issues they discussed. Moved straight into the second year of the Masters programme after completing a summer quarter in which there were 10 students from across the world. She lived in International House founded with Rockefeller money. [37:05] Met Norman Gibson there in the last quarter and got engaged very quickly. She was intent on being the first Australian social worker to get a PhD but then changed her mind as she was getting married to an Irishman and was moving to Northern Ireland. [40:03] Norman had a Commonwealth Fund award called a Harkness Fellowship and was completing a PhD in Economics from Queens in Belfast. He did three months travelling in the States. She was obliged to go back to Australia. She went home then returned to be married in September 1959 in New York. Then sailed to Ireland. [42:54] Did a small piece of research whilst in Sydney. Still had a foot in the evangelical camp and Billy Graham had been to Sydney. A friend who was a sociologist was investigating conversions and Faith did some interviews on to research whether there was durability in the conversions. [45:40] End of three months she went back to America. Family were apprehensive. Describes the wedding. Mentions Commonwealth Fund and Mrs Ibby Read whose son worked for the Commonwealth Fund who lent them her cottage in Maine for their honeymoon.
Life story interview with Faith Gibson, Emeritus Professor of social work at the University of Ulster.