Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Faith in Action reviewed

It's an honour to have had Faith in Action: Hammondcare reviewed recently by Professor Shurlee Swain, one of Australia's leading scholars in the field of welfare history! Among other things, she says:
'Faith in Action is a commissioned history but suffers from few of the problems of that genre.Lake enters into the mind of the organisation,trying to understand the challenges it has faced during its long history and exploring the ways in which it has remained faithful to its Christian mission in an increasingly secular environment.'

'Rather than simply document the people and places associated with HammondCare, Lake consistently seeks to situate its story in the wider context of changes in social welfare provision ... The result is a monograph which smoothly balances people, places and policies as it makes its way from the dire poverty of the Depression through to the early decades of the twenty-first century.'

'At the height of the welfare state, voluntary organisations justified their existence by arguing for their ability to identify unmet need and develop innovative services in response. As government retreated from welfare provision they needed to adapt these services to a competitive tendering model, with survival dependent as much on their business skills as on their commitment. Lake’s study of how one organisation has successfully navigated this changing landscape while staying firm to its central beliefs makes a valuable contribution not only to the history of welfare, but to other organisations seeking to make mission central to service delivery.'


Review by Shurlee Swain, Australian Catholic University
Australian Historical Studies no.45 (2014) pp.154-5

3 comments:

Roj said...

well that's pretty lovely to hear! Great job, Meredith.

Stephen Garner said...

Excellent.

Cread said...

Enjoyed revisiting these well-deserved review comments on Faith in Action. Book available here: http://www.hammond.com.au/shop/leadership/faith-in-action-hammondcare