Richard Hugman

Postgraduate Coordinator

Richard Hugman is a Professor of Social Work in the School of Social Sciences (SoSS) at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW.

Richard is a qualified social worker who spent a decade in practice. His current research includes developing new approaches in ethics for the caring professions, virtue ethics in social work (ARC Discovery, with colleagues at Charles Sturt University) and an anlysis of the meaning of human rights for refugees settled in Australia (ARC Linkage, with the Centre for Refugee Research). He is also working on a critical analysis of international social work, with particular reference to culture, difference and shared values, and on social development as social work practice. Since 2004 Richard has worked with UNICEF Vietnam to advise the Vietnam Government on the development of professional social work. Between 2008 and 2014 he was the ethics commissioner of the International Federation of Social Workers and he was a member of the ‘expert panel’ which drafted the current international statement on ethics for social work. Previously he has undertaken various research projects concerning late life, community and social welfare, mental health, and the organization of social services. Richard is a member of the Asia-Pacific regional editorial board of Ethics & Social Welfare, and member of the editorial board of Australian Journal of Human Rights. He is a Foundation Fellow of the Australian College of Social Work and a Fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology.

Research Areas

Professional ethics, including research ethics; international issues in social work and social development; old age/late life; mental health; social policies relating to social work, social care, human services and community welfare

Current Research Projects

  • The meaning of human rights for refugees settled in Australia (ACR Linkage - with Centre for Refugee Research)
  • Virstuous practitioners: virtue ethics in social work practice (ARC Discovery - with Charles Sturt University)
  • Social Development in Social Work (contracted with Routledge)
  • Rethinking Social Work Ethics (contracted with Palgrave-Macmillan)
Subject areas



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