Bruce Callaghan interviewed by Gail Winkworth in the Children and the State oral history project [sound recording] is an oral history interview held by the National Library of Australia. Callaghan speaks about his experiences working in child protection and social work.
Written permission required for research, personal copies and public use during the lifetime of the interviewee.
Bruce Callaghan speaks about his role as managing director of BCA National Training Group; working in the Kimberleys; Indigenous social workers; approaches to social work; Bringing Them Home Report; the challenges of bureaucracy; The Homeland Movement; Noel Pearson; studying for seven years in Brisbane at a provincial seminary; working as a priest in rural Queensland for two years; his academic background; his early work experience; the policy for Aboriginal families and Child welfare legislation; the Daruk institution for delinquents; Metropolitan Boys Shelter; becoming a district officer; interaction between wards of the state, social workers and single mothers; the relationship between officers and children in institutions; how the Department of Community Services (DoCS) was transformed after Whitlam's election; the establishment of the Wickham Community Centre; changes occurring in the (1970s); working as a social planner in the Hunter; returning to the Department of Youth and Community services.
Callaghan talks about becoming the deputy in charge of the Community Liaison Bureau; the notion of child and social welfare broadening to incorporate a sense of community; regionalisation of the Department of Youth and Community Services; becoming Regional Director of Hunter and later moving to the Sydney metropolitan area; moving to position as Acting Director of Operations; the children's rights movement; multiculturalism, housing, welfare and Aboriginal Affairs; policy framework and resources; the contracting out of alternative care to the non-governmental sector; the purpose of Department of Community Services (DoCS), protecting children and supporting families; the changing role of government in relation to family welfare; leadership and the role of the state; new national framework for protecting Australia's children.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 14 March 2018