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First Pasifika Professor in an Australian university

21 April 2021

Jioji Ravulo appointed Chair of Social Work and Policy Studies

Born and raised in Sydney to an iTaukei (Indigenous) Fijian father, and Anglo-Saxon mother, Professor Ravulo hopes to inspire people from culturally diverse backgrounds including Pasifika people to pursue higher education studies.
Professor Jioji Ravulo

Professor Jioji Ravulo

Professor Jioji Ravulo has been appointed to Chair of Social Work and Policy Studies in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work. He joins the university after an academic career at Western Sydney University and the University of Wollongong.

He is the first Pasifika Professor at a University in Australia.

“I’m proud of my Pasifika heritage,” Professor Ravulo said. “Pasifika is a shared word used to describe Indigenous people from the Pacific Islands. I am humbled and I acknowledge the invaluable contributions made by other Pasifika academics working in Australia.”

I’m excited to further promote the visibility of diverse people in higher education and the role we can play alongside broader society in creating culturally safe spaces.
Professor Jioji Ravulo, Chair of Social Work and Policy Studies

Professor Debra Hayes, Head of the Sydney School of Education and Social Work, welcomes Professor Ravulo. “We are proud to have appointed the leading scholar in Pacific social work as the first Pasifika Professor at an Australian University. Jioji is a highly ethical and conscientious person. In a short time, members of our School have welcomed his warmth and commitment to collegial relations.”

Ravulo has experience working as a manager in youth crisis centres and is involved in clinical work across the community, including external supervision for staff members at The Wayside Chapel, and providing counselling support for players across the National Rugby League.

“My desire to go into social work came from growing up in a low socio-economic environment in public housing in Western Sydney,” Professor Ravulo said. “I was culturally different based on ethnicity and sexuality. I saw the way in which people were marginalised for being different and I wanted to explore the ways in which we could create communities, and more broadly societies that were more inclusive and socially just.”

Ravulo’s key areas of research revolve around youth mental health issues, problematic alcohol and other drug usage, youth development and engagement, marginalised communities and opportunities to meaningfully include diverse perspective in the mainstream, including indigenous perspectives.

“I have an ongoing passion to contribute to the next generation of social work practitioners, policy makers and researcher striving to make a difference,” he said.

“I’m the first in my family to attend university and I’m inspired to further explore the role education can play in promoting fair and just societies, and continue to look at ways in which social work practice, policy and research can assist in creating opportunities to help use education to contribute to self and others.”

Professor Jioji Ravulo is the new Chair of Social Work in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work.

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