Christine Craik is a social work lecturer at RMIT and the National Vice-President of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).
Describe the focus of your teaching expertise.
I worked in the field for 30 years, in casework, advocacy and social action, so my teaching comes from a lot of experience. I don't think you can do one without the other.
What inspired you to teach in this field?
I wanted social workers to come out of university with an eye for action, as well as casework. The philosophy of social work at RMIT is cutting-edge, a critical approach to meet the needs of our changing society. I'm really pleased to be part of this environment.
Alongside lecturing, you're also undertaking your own research degree. How did you come to decide on your thesis topic?
My research focuses on women, children and domestic violence and is largely inspired by my social work practice in these areas, and my after-hours work as a crisis de-briefer at The Alfred Hospital. It was quite obvious to me that the deaths of many women at the hands of their partners were not being picked up or included as family violence, and I wanted to do something to address this issue.
What are the possible future applications of your research topic?
Ideally, the outcomes of my research will lead to all hospitals having a routine screening program for family violence in their emergency departments. This would involve education and mentoring for staff to identify situations of domestic violence.