Dr Stephen Larmar, Senior Lecturer for our School of Human Services and Social Work, had a keen interest in helping people and contributing to the building of a better world from a young age. “I have always valued the significance of acting justly,” he explains, “and strengthening the voices of marginalised people in society.”
Stephen initially wanted to pursue a career in the medical profession in order to offer practical assistance to others and, after exploring the world of fine arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, found himself teaching art in a secondary school. “I quickly learned that I had a set of skills that assisted me to work with vulnerable young people and their families,” he says, “I was awarded a scholarship to complete a Master’s Degree focusing on counselling which led to future work opportunities in the human services sector.” During his PhD in psychology at Griffith University he became interested in training human services and social work students and this was the culmination of his life-long dream to help people and build a more socially just world.
Working within the School of Human Services and Social Work means that Stephen is committed to teaching excellence, as many of the School staff have been the recipients of national awards in recognition of their approaches to learning engagement with students. “I have the privilege of working in an innovative school that includes partnering with inspiring human services and social work colleagues whose core business is to prepare passionate and responsive human services workers to work within a range of contexts,” he says, “Our school offers diverse learning opportunities including face to face and online options that centre on new and innovative learning technologies to capture student interest and to enhance individual strengths.”
The staff in the School are trained human services practitioners and work with students in a way that is consistent with human services values, providing compassionate support and individualised care. The School of Human Services and Social Work has excellent ongoing partnerships with the broader human services sector. “Our students have opportunity to undertake placement experiences in a wide range of human services areas that focus on children, youth, families, aging populations, people with disabilities, first Australians, child protection, domestic violence, mental health, early childhood education, the LGBTIQ community; the list is endless,” says Stephen, “Many of our graduates are providing innovative services across Australia, enhancing human services delivery in a range of contexts.”
The School of Human Services and Social Work provides endless opportunities to their graduates upon completion of their degree and in an industry that is rapidly expanding globally. “Human Services requires competent workers who have the capacity to respond to a range of contexts in a rapidly changing world,” says Stephen, “Our students have the attributes to assist in making the world a more socially just one, which is incredibly exciting!”