Returned from Oxford to Adelaide in 1956, the author and Patricia Berry were married, and John worked in the social work field - briefly in a family welfare agency, and then in the social work section of the Commonwealth Department of Social Services. Rapid national experience came as organising secretary of a conference of the Australian Association of Social Workers. A PhD scholarship at the embryonic Australian National University in 1958 enabled him to research the history of professional social work in Australia. In 1961, he was appointed to Australia's first academic appointment in social policy - at the University of Sydney. A sabbatical year in 1967 at the University of Michigan in the USA, was memorable for all of the family. It was at the time of race riots, the Vietnam War, the 'war on poverty', and student protests. A summer tour included Expo '67 in Montreal. After 12 professionally productive years, living in Adelaide, Canberra, and Sydney, the University of New South Wales appointed him in 1968 to the first chair of social work in the country.