Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2012 (Day)
Caulfield First semester 2012 (Off-campus)
Singapore First semester 2012 (Flexible)
Coordinator(s)Assoc. Prof. Philip Mendes and Grace Brown


Honours students will be introduced to an understanding of leadership in the human services in Australia as a requirement for social work practice, one that is not always understood or accepted professionally. Students undertaking this unit will be introduced to theories of leadership of human service organisations, their programs and policies, and leadership of the new organisational phenomena in this sector, large community service departments, non-governmental consortia, and advocacy organisations. They will also be introduced to notions of leadership in social work - leadership through research, advocacy and community action.
In addition, the unit provides students with an advanced understanding of social policy including progressive and conservative critiques of the welfare state, an introduction to the relationship between globalisation and the welfare state, and an introduction to key welfare advocacy and lobby groups such as the Australian Association of Social Workers, the Australian Council of Social Service, and Christian welfare organisations.


  1. Critically analyse theories of leadership for the human services in Australia.
  2. Contrast leadership theories with selected leaders' experiences and identify and analyse the differences.
  3. Articulate where leadership opportunities and responsibilities exist within the human services sector.
  4. Identify the components of leadership in the human services sector and the distinguishing features of leadership in the human services field.
  5. Develop a compendium of materials on leadership in the human services.
  6. To debate marxist, feminist, neoliberal and other ideological critiques of the welfare state, and their implications for particular policy areas;
  7. To critique the roles, strategies, and effectiveness of a range of NGO and consumer advocacy/lobby groups in social policy debates;
  8. To articulate the link between local and global welfare trends.


One oral presentation (70%):
Students will individually present an analysis of their proposed Honours study focusing on the following key areas:
1. The theoretical, political and policy context of the problem they are examining (Meets Learning Objective 6, 7, 8)
2. Relevant leadership theories and styles which could be utilised to implement their study in the human services sector (Meets Learning Objectives 1, 2)
3. The challenges to 'leadership through research' in the current human services sector and strategies for addressing these (Meets Learning Objectives 3, 4, 5)

This assessment is both summative - requiring students to demonstrate understanding of the social and practical context of their research; and formative - students will engage with ideas which they will develop further in the Honours dissertation (SWK4003)

One written paper (30%): outlining the oral presentation.
This can either be a formal written essay (Word limit 1000 words) or a PowerPoint presentation (Limit 10 slides).

Chief examiner(s)

Assoc. Prof. Philip Mendes

Contact hours

2 hours per week