VALE Dr Robert Carew

Vale Dr Robert Carew 1937 - 2022, B. Soc. Sci. (SW), Natal, MSW, Newcastle, UK, Ph.D. Monash

Robert Carew was one of the earlier staff members of the Department of Social Work, Monash University, joining the Department in 1980 as a lecturer, moving to a senior lecturer in 1989, Acting Head in 1991, and Head, 1994 to 1996, before retiring as a senior lecturer in 1998.

Robert, known to all as Bob, was born in South Africa and undertook his first Social Work degree there.  He followed this up with a more advanced Social Work degree from Newcastle, UK, before migrating to Australia with his wife, Margaret, and son John, of whom he was very proud and about whom he spoke often.  While working full time at Monash, he completed his Ph.D. His teaching was in the groupwork and casework areas, and he wrote two books, one sole authored on group work, Group Leadership Skills (1986), and one co-authored with Chris Goddard on Child Welfare, Responding to Children (1993). Bob served as Deputy Head of Social Work to Professor Thea Brown, then, as Acting Head and Head.  During those years as Deputy Head and Acting Head, he contributed greatly to the development of the new distance education BSW degree, a major international innovation at the time, while carrying a teaching load and an administrative load at the same time.

Bob’s outlook on Social Work was influenced by the extremes of poverty and racism that he had experienced in South Africa and to a lesser extent in the UK. These experiences gave him an international outlook and made him a supporter of innovation.  He was a staunch supporter of Social Work values in practice.  As a colleague he could be quite surprising -intellectual but also down to earth, calm, and helpful but also stormy sometimes.   He had a surprising sense of humour and, with his colleague Chris Goddard, enlivened staff meetings with an absurdist English style of humour.

Tribute prepared by Professor Emeritus Thea Brown