Personal activism and holistic continuity of practice within eco-social work.
Play • 41 min

GUEST: Trena - social worker, social work educator and serial activist, based in Boorloo (Perth) WA


A particularly important principle within eco-social work practice is the emphasis given to the concept of holism. Holism and holistic framing are important ideas also found in ecological, environmental and systems theory. Defined in one way, holism is concerned with understanding and appreciating the dynamic interconnection of the parts or elements which go to make up a system; and gaining knowledge of ways to support those systems, understood as the interactive sums of their parts.

Within eco-social work, an example of a holistic framing might be observed in the reflections of a practitioner who consciously aligns their professional values and interventions with those in their personal life, or vice versa; or who is aware of the holistic continuity of their personal value system with their professional practice principles; or who seeks alignments, wherever possible, on their interventions across micro, meso and macro levels of work; for instance in the role of individual, employee or professional/citizen activist.

My guest on this episode of the series, Trena, is a social worker of long experience who has achieved such a holistic integration of her personal values and professional practice orientation. She considers that all of her professional practice, her SW teaching, as well as her personal life history with its various roles, are unified by her longstanding concern for the marginalised in society; and the goal of improving their wellbeing through social justice advocacy. In our conversation, Trena reflects on some of these holistic personal and professional continuities in the context of recent social work concerns about uncontrolled climate change impacts and other sustainable development concerns (SDC), as well as the public uproar over recent evidence of continued, misogynistic disrespect for women and girls in Australian society in 2021.

INTERVIEW TALKING POINTS - with approximate location in minutes elapsed.

Guest self-introduction -  2.15

Climate Change interests in more detail - 7.48

Links between traditional and eco-social work principles - 11.30

What is eco-social work practice in 2021? - 15.15

Why should mainstream social work be concerned

with climate change & SDC? - 25.19

How can ESW practice adoption be progressed in the future? - 28.06

What are some constraints to greater adoption? - 33.50

Guest summary and take-home message - 38.31

Closing remarks - 39.58


May be separate or incorporated into talking points listing depending on extent of detail


Guest: Trena

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE):

T 07 4639 2135 E W



Produced for HOPE by Andrew Nicholson. E: T: 0413979414

This episode recorded in Toowoomba, S.E. Queensland, Australia in March 2021

Artwork: Daniela Dal'Castel   Incidental Music: James Nicholson


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