An (interrupted) social work project in Vanuatu: A podcast with Julie Peake

Julie Peake is a social worker whose career spans many roles primarily within the field of child protection in Aotearoa. Most recently she was appointed as child protection technical assistant in Vanuatu, a role developed collaboratively by Volunteer Services Abroad (VSA) and UNICEF, and which saw Julie working alongside a local team to develop their child protection systems. She arrived in Vanuatu in February 2020 after many months of preparation and consultation, only to return to Aotearoa when the pandemic necessitated closing of international borders. In this podcast Julie reflects on the task she was invited to undertake, and her learning from this post, albeit brief, about what it meant to be a New Zealand social worker in Vanuatu, how she carried her child protection experience into this small Pacific nation, and some initial thoughts about what the global Covid crisis might mean for social work.

Resources referred to by Julie in the podcast

Family Violence Death Review Committee. (2020). Sixth report: Men who use violence | Te Pūrongo tuaono: Ngā tāne ka whakamahi i te whakarekereke.  Wellington, NZ.

Ravulo, J., Mafile’o, T., & Yates, D. B. (Eds.). (2019). Pacific Social Work: Navigating Practice, Policy and Research: Routledge.

Photo credit: Bruce Tuten

2 replies on “An (interrupted) social work project in Vanuatu: A podcast with Julie Peake”

Kia ora Julie (and Deb), Fascinating reflections on the time you spent in Vanuatu, thank you.
The openness and humility you approached the role with remind me that social work as a profession has so much to offer in terms of understanding community development approaches and our ability to work in that space between private and public issues.
I hope we are able to step up as a profession to make a contribution to the important work ahead.

Kia Ora Jude,
Thank you for listening and your comment. Yes we have some important work ahead. Collectively we are ready to step forward (or up depending on your preference!) while remaining humble, curious and courageous.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.