Episode 18 – Music, Mental Illness and Social Work with Alexandra Pajak.

Hello friends,

Apologies for the long time no post. My own social work research and writing has definitely waylaid my plans to regularly update the podcast this year. I’m hoping things begin to change soon though.

Nonetheless, here’s my conversation with social worker and composer Alexandra Pajak. We discuss so many interesting social work practice experiences throughout this discussion, particularly involving Alexandra’s time with county jails in the U.S.

From these experiences, Alexandra has composed a full-length album titled ‘Mind/Electric: Music inspired by Mental Illness’. Be sure to download or stream on iTunes or Spotify, its a great listen! Any funds raised from the album go to supporting mental health services in the United States.

Please let us know what you think by reaching out to us on twitter @swdiscoveries. I hope you enjoy the conversation and the music.

Cheers, Ben.

Episode 05 (Part 2) – Researching disability, violence, sex and language with Denise Beckwith.


Hello friends,

Here’s the second part of my conversation with Denise Beckwith. We hope you found it interesting and helpful.

Please share with your friends. And always feel free to reach out and say hello on twitter or facebook – @swdiscoveries – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s the ‘Silent Tears’ website – http://silenttears.com.au/



Episode 04 (Part 2) – Child and Youth research with Dr Fran Gale & Dr Michel Edenborough.

Hello Social Work Discoveries Podcasters,

This is your link to episode 4 (part 2) of the social work discoveries podcast with Dr Fran Gale and Dr Michel Edenborough. Last episode you heard all about teamwork, the purpose of research methodologies, and researching with children and youth in Western Sydney. This episode we move on to discussing the deep and broad topic of ethics in research and the future of social work research with Michel & Fran.

A big thanks to you all for listening! Find me on twitter using the tag @swdiscoveries if you want to say hello. I hope you are enjoying the discussion as much as I am 🙂


Episode 04 (Part 1) – Child and Youth research with Dr Fran Gale & Dr Michel Edenborough.

Hi Listeners,

This is the first part of my conversation with Dr Fran Gale and Dr Michel Edenborough from Western Sydney University.

Fran and Michel have been working on a fantastic social research project involving ‘digital mapping’ in the Blacktown (Greater Western Sydney) local government area with children and young people.

In this episode you’ll hear about what it’s like working on a social work research team, as well as explore further the term methodology in social research, among other things. Keep an ear out for Fran & Michel’s description of their project – you’ll be able to hear the joy and passion in their voices!

Part 2 of the conversation will be following shortly. I hope you enjoy! Tweet me @swdiscoveries if you have any questions or just want to say hello. Cheers!



Welcome to the Social Work Discoveries podcast – Episode 00.

Welcome to Social Work Discoveries. A podcast on social work, research, and making the world a better place. My name is Ben Joseph. And I’m so glad you’ve made it here!

This is great! Somehow you’ve found your way to the Social Work Discoveries podcast. A podcast that highlights social work research projects past, current and future. We hope to share with you some of the exciting, innovative, evidence-informed projects that social work researchers have developed and implemented within your communities. As well as talk about how social work research is a crucial element in the process of creating sustainable community development, that enhances the lives of the marginalised, the vulnerable, the oppressed, and the forgotten within our communities.

So, Why have I created this? The year is 2017. And social workers have never been more needed. We live in a time when the neoliberal agenda is the status quo, and the welfare state is vastly diminishing. The wealth gap is increasing, the health budget is a perpetual news headline, and we can’t keep up with the rate at which the population is ageing. We’re seeing the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme before our eyes, and are watching with baited breath the push to constitutionally recognise Australia’s first people, as well as playing witness to the debate on ‘Same Sex Marriage’.

As social workers we are knee-deep in the glorious and dynamic quagmire of what we call community, inching our way along the tightrope of social cohesion vs social change, serving the deserved and undeserved, trying our best to give a voice to the voiceless and creating a space for community members to plan the route they would like their futures to take, while at the same time consoling the heartbroken and advocating for those who seek a more just and equitable existence during their short time on this planet.

While my hopes and dreams for this podcast are broad and somewhat nebulous at this point in time, I do have one desire for this podcast… My desire is to provide listeners with the opportunity to hear from contemporary social work researchers on the different projects they have been a part of, including a discussion around the specifics of social work research, and how these projects can effect real, positive social change throughout society, as well as within ourselves. My goal is to elucidate the ways in which social work research can highlight social justice issues within our communities as well as create positive social change.

Now there’s no denying that we live in a time-pressured environment, and I understand that you don’t necessarily have time to listen to a detailed and in-depth discussion around the minutiae of social work research, so we will keep our podcast limited to no more than 10-15mins in length.

We’ll interview a social work researcher each episode who have conducted various forms and methodologies of social work research, so that we can begin to gain a snapshot of the vast mosaic of social work research approaches being undertaken out there in our communities.

We have a twitter account where you can ask us questions or find out more details on each social work researcher’s work and projects, so be sure to follow us on our twitter handle @SWDiscoveries.

Finally, before I say goodbye… I just wanted to give a shout-out and thank you to a few key supporters and important influences that have encouraged me to jump head-first into this adventure of the podcasting and social work research.

Big thanks to Western Sydney University and each and every one of your social work academics who run an amazing social work program. You are building ethical, competent, creative, and highly professional social workers who will change the world for good. We can’t thank you enough.

I also wanted to point you in the direction of some other important social work research and academic research podcasts and blogs that I follow – and I’d really encourage you to check out:

  • The Social Work Podcast by Dr Jonathan Singer
  • The Podsocs Podcast supported by Griffith University
  • Research in Action Podcast by Dr Katie Linder
  • And finally two blogs that I love to read The Thesis Whisperer & the Social Work Helper

For now though, that’s it from me. I hope that this pod sparks your interest and helps you discover more about the field of social work, social work research, and how we can (through social work research) continue to build stronger more inclusive communities, highlight ways to bring about social justice and flexible person-centred care for the marginalised, the vulnerable, and the oppressed within our communities, and enable social work research to become part-and-parcel of everyday social work practice.

Be sure to keep your eyes and ears out for new episodes coming your way soon of the Social Work Discoveries podcast. Until then. It’s been a pleasure. Goodbye.