Jim Poulter Author of Books on Aboriginal Culture and Child Protection

About Jim Poulter


I was born in 1941 and grew up in the in the near Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe in the context of the wartime and post-war years. I was educated at East Ivanhoe Primary and Scotch College. I then moved to the outer suburban fringe of Templestowe when I married Barbara in 1962. We have lived there since and raised four children, Joanne, Cameron, Samantha and Rick.

After leaving school I worked for six years in administration and finance control, but then found my vocation and entered the welfare field in 1965. Having been an average student at best while at school I now found a purpose in learning. I continued to work full time whilst rearing my family and studying. In succession I completed my matriculation, a certificate in youth work, a graduate diploma in social work, a postgraduate diploma of criminology, a social work honours degree, a master’s degree, and finally a doctorate in 2001 at the age of sixty. My full formal qualifications are therefore: (Dr.) Jim Poulter PhD (Monash 2001) M.S.W. (Monash 1983) Dip Crim (Melbourne 1973) Dip. Soc. Stud. (Melbourne 1971) M.A.A.S.W. (Acc).

As a Social Worker I have worked mainly in forensic fields and indigenous affairs. Throughout my forty year career in direct practice I have been a pioneer both in the development of new services and in case to cause advocacy. Together with clients and client groups I have frequently been able to directly influence governmental service delivery policy as well as legislative reform and case law precedent. I have thus frequently been able to redress the disadvantages experienced by many Australians in the delivery of social services.

I also have had a lifetime of involvement in my professional association, having been a Victorian president both of the Australian Association of Social Workers and the Australian Social Welfare Union. I am a past chair of the Victorian Branch Ethics Committee and past secretary of the Victorian Branch Ethics Group. I was a long serving member of the AASW Victorian Branch Management Committee and of the National Regulation Committee of the AASW, having relinquished both these positions in 2012. I was subsequently in 2013 awarded Life Membership of the AASW for my lifetime of contributions to the profession.

In my private life I have also been a lifetime contributor to my local community in the City of Manningham. This is a dormitory suburb of Melbourne in the Yarra Valley, where my forebears first settled in 1840 and established close relationships with the Aboriginal community. My civic contributions having been:

It was gratifying that these civic contributions were recognised on Australia Day 2012 (otherwise known as Survival Day) when I was named as ‘City of Manningham Citizen of the Year’ by the Manningham Council.

In between my civic and professional commitments I have since the mid 1980’s pursued an alternate career as an author and self-publisher. Not being able to find a publisher I decided to self-publish and seeing I had to do everything myself, have fittingly called my company Red Hen. Having now written and published some 18 books with total sales of more than 60,000 books I have been told that I am probably the most successful self-publisher in Australia. Not because I have made any money, but because I haven't lost any.

I am an eclectic writer covering areas including local history, Aboriginal history and heritage, illustrated children’s books, children’s novels, adult novels and academic texts. Through my family’s trans-generational involvement with the Aboriginal community and the knowledge I have been privy to, a number of my books have been of Aboriginal theme. Iconic Elders such as Banjo Clarke, Reg Saunders, Reg Blow and Bill Nicholson have assisted me, and given their names and blessings to my books and documentaries.

In my private life I have also continued with the interclub athletics I began as a teenager. I have now competed in interclub athletics for over fifty-five years, My pet event being the pole vault. I have won many State and National titles and am still the Victorian record holder in the over 55 age group for the triple jump and decathlon events.

None of these achievements would have been possible without my wife Barbara. In truth I had no motivation to make anything of my life before I met and married her.

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