“I don’t have all the answers for what works but I am often asked ‘how’ I work.  I hope that this Blog and Podcast provides an opportunity for all of us working in this challenging field of healing and recovery in Indigenous communities to reflect on our practice; share knowledge about our experiences; provide hope, reduce isolation and prevent worker burnout; and most importantly, keep our relationships at the forefront of our minds.  Because in my experience, what matters most to Aboriginal people is not so much what we do, but how we do it.” – Lucy Van Sambeek

About my Blog

My name is Lucy and I am a non-Indigenous social worker trying to walk the talk in my practice with First Nations Australians.  In 2014, when I was laid up in bed with a back injury, I decided to set up ..metaphorically speaking as a blogging space to share my work.  This is a beautiful exercise to do in so many ways, helping me to reflect on my practice and being able to share the ups and the downs with a wider audience for critical analysis.

My vision was to offer this space for all social workers to join in the conversation and share their stories of practice too.  Sometimes we just feel the need to hear real stories from real practitioners in the field, not academics.

I’ve had some challenging learnings, but when things go beautifully, you just want to shout it from the mountain top, because there is a learning in that for someone else!  You will find a lot of reflections here on everything from narrative therapy with Aboriginal communities to strategies for promoting your own health and wellbeing.  Browse our Topics of Interest menu or click the button below to see the latest posts.

Feel free to comment or get in touch if something resonates with you here.  And I really encourage you to think about writing your own blog too.  You have a story that is too good not to share with others!

Indigenous Social Work Podcast

‘Talk the Walk’ is the podcast putting legs on ‘Social Work with Indigenous Communities through Story.’ 

How do we walk in solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters?   This was the question I wanted answered when I graduated with my Social Work degree.   I was so passionate about living out my social work values of human rights and social justice, that I upped and moved my young family from big city life to the remote North.   Like many others, I was thrown in the deep end, flying out to remote communities, with nothing but a listening ear to offer.   For two years, I felt like I was in a big bucket of water, with just my mouth sticking out, gasping for air, just surviving.   I continually questioned  ‘Am I making a difference?  Or am I contributing to the problem?’

While I am not encouraging you to throw away your text books, there is real value in hearing stories of experience, straight from the mouths of those covered in dirt, sweat and dust.

“Talk the Walk” explores what it means to bring all of our head, heart and hand to social work, using the power of narrative from everyday practitioners on the ground.”

The podcast showcases:

  • good news stories
  • what inspires people to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, groups and communities
  • the challenges they’ve faced along the way
  • the skills and knowledge used to overcome the lows
  • what contributes to sparkling moments of success and the highs
  • the values and beliefs that underpin their work and who has been most influential in their development
  • future hopes and dreams

Interviews feature Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal social workers, community development workers, counsellors and other allied health professionals, as well as Elders and community members with lived experience of working with or alongside social workers.

‘Talk the Walk’ is a resource for graduating social work students preparing for the journey ahead and a place of refreshment for the rest of us who continue to learn every day!

If you or someone you know would make a great interview, please Contact Us.

Let’s ‘Talk the Walk’ together.

Access the latest podcast episodes here.



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