Career Development as a Partner in Nation Building Australia

Origins, History and Foundations for the Future


Despite examples of vocational guidance practice being evident in Australia since the mid-1800s, there remains a spasmodic and patchwork approach to practice across the country. For decades it is a field which has been paradoxically boosted and challenged by changing economic and political agendas. Repeated international, national and State reviews emphasise the vital nature of a systemic national approach to career development, however authors repeatedly lament the lack of a sustained focus on career activity as a major national priority.

There is no broad comprehensive historical reckoning of the history of career development theory and practice in Australia since this early period. Career development theory and practice in Australia has been forged in partnership with developments in an international context. In documenting the shared history with other countries, the author significantly adds to the body of knowledge on career development as a field in Australia and internationally. The book provides new understandings about the historical development of this field of knowledge, and in particular the challenging and cyclical nature of its policy history.

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Biographical Note

Wendy Patton, PhD (1991), University of Queensland, is Emeritus Professor at Queensland University of Technology and has published extensively in career development theory, research and practice. She is co-creator of the Systems Theory Framework and Founding Editor of the Career Development Series.


This book will be of interest to scholars in career development/ vocational psychology in Australia and internationally, in addition to broader academic fields of psychology, sociology, and applied disciplines such as counselling psychology and social work.

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