She went on to endure aggressive chemotherapy, the loss of one leg and nine months in a residential rehabilitation facility before regaining her mobility.
The experience ultimately inspired her.
“Disability is not a core part of my identity but it is a core part of my life experience and shapes my view of the world,” Associate Professor Hallahan says in the new Flinders University’s 50th Anniversary publication The Investigator Transformed.
“I knew once I left the rehabilitation clinic I would be back with my family and would continue with my education, but there were a lot of people who had been knocked off track, who wouldn’t ever have the benefits of an income or the opportunity to feel they were contributing to the wider community.
“My experience with witnessing poverty, disability and other life hurdles that other people have encountered has been critically important in shaping my understanding of effective social policy,” she says.
Associate Professor Hallahan now leads the social work discipline at Flinders and chairs the University Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee.
After becoming a social worker 35 years ago, she has contributed as an advocate, educator and researcher to social policy in the areas of housing, women’s policy, disability and more recently in child protection.
She is part of the Flinders University team conducting the formal evaluation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
In 2015 she conducted an independent review of the SA Adoption Act with the State Government accepting all her recommendations which are now under parliamentary debate.
Adoption and foster care in light of the SA Child Protection Systems Royal Commission will be discussed at a special Flinders University-AnglicareSA seminar in Adelaide next week.
The Australian Centre for Community Services Research at Flinders will host the annual AnglicareSA Oration as part of the four-hour Research to Practice Seminar: Response to the Nyland Report seminar on Monday (24 October).
AnglicareSA CEO, the Reverend Professor Peter Sandeman, will address the Nyland Report’s recommendations to improve child protection in SA. AnglicareSA is South Australia’s largest foster care agency.
Following the AnglicareSA oration, Flinders researchers will cover intersections with current issues in adoption and Associate Professor Damien Riggs will address carer concerns with the Nyland Report.
Register to attend the free seminar below:
Response to the Nyland Report: An AnglicareSA Oration & Research to Practice Seminar
Monday 24 October, 1-4pm
Flinders University, 182 Victoria Square, Adelaide, 5000, Australia
Register online: http://events.flinders.edu.au/show/event/response-to-the-nyland-report-an-anglicaresa-oration-research-to-practice-seminar
An extensive collection of profiles on Flinders University leaders, students, graduates, researchers, academics and supporters can be viewed online at the Flinders 50th Anniversary website here.
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