A human service learning community: At work in the Northern Territory

Deborah West, Gretchen Ennis, David Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Northern Territory provides a diverse, vibrant and challenging human service practice
environment. However the isolation of remote practice, entrenched social injustices,
inadequate supervision and difficulty applying mainstream social work knowledge to an NT
practice context are all factors which can negatively impact what should be a rewarding and
fulfilling experience. This article discusses challenges to optimising the practice learning
opportunities available in the NT. In addressing this topic we will reflect on taking a
‘learning community’ approach to human service education. This approach highlights the
need to build relationships, identify and build on strengths, and work with communities to
develop programs that are pedagogically sound and sustainable in the longer term within the
NT. We provide examples of theoretical frameworks and processes that guide this approach
in the hope of creating foundations for quality human service learning in the NT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
JournalPractice Reflexions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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