SWAN has received news that this morning (Wednesday 8th October 2014) our friend and colleague, Rona Woodward (McLeod), lecturer in social work at the University of Stirling, Scotland passed away this morning after a long illness. The following piece is a short tribute by SWAN founding member and close colleague of Rona's, Iain Ferguson.
Rona was an inspiration in so many ways to those of us who had the privilege to know her. She was a superb colleague - supportive, collegiate, well-organised, always accessible and insightful. She was a wonderful tutor, much loved by students, especially female students for whom she was a superb role model. Above all, though, Rona was a fighter, an activist for whom interpreting the world was never enough – her passion was to change it.
She played a huge role in building the Social Work Action Network at local and national level, through her writing, organizing and conference presentations. She will be known to many of you as the co- author of the book Radical Social Work in Practice. For several years, she was a leading activist in the University of Stirling University and College Union branch. For Rona, the fight for women’s liberation and for a classless society were inseparable. Almost until she lost consciousness, she was cursing the Tories for trying to take revenge on the tens of thousands of working-class people in Scotland who had refused to pay the poll tax!
The world is a better place as a result of the life of Rona Woodward. And the best tribute we can pay her is to step up our efforts to cleanse this world of poverty, inequality and oppression.