In Memory of Wayne Patrick McCashen (1950—2018)

Posted: 17/12/2018

It is with great sadness and deep respect that St Luke’s Innovative Resources acknowledges the passing of our friend and colleague, Wayne McCashen.  Wayne died peacefully at home with loved ones by his side on 14 December 2018, aged 68. His beloved family—his partner Baz, and children Shae and Liam, and dearest friends Di and Shan—described Wayne as a gentle, compassionate and respectful man who contributed greatly to community.

Wayne was a social worker, author, trainer and consultant in the strengths approach. He was a pioneer and leader in the development and articulation of strengths-based practice and has written material and developed various frameworks that are used both nationally and internationally. His many years of experience in human services include youth work, family work, community development, staff supervision and management.

Wayne is the author of three books published by St Luke’s Innovative Resources: Communities of Hope and two editions of The Strengths Approach. He also co-authored Name the Frame, a set of card which, while in print for many years, created conversations and reflection on the components of social justice as they can be enacted in communities, organisations and in daily interactions between people.

Since it was first published in 2005, and with a new edition being released in 2017, Wayne’s book The Strengths Approach became the absolute classic in the distinctive style of human service work known as ‘strengths-based’ practice. Pivotal to this approach is human rights, equal partnership and respect between people or ‘power-with’. In this clear, compassionate and practical book, Wayne synthesizes and clearly articulates the principles, tools and frameworks that help create effective, socially-just ways of working with people.  Near the beginning of the book, Wayne writes:

‘The strengths approach is a positive, powerful and profound philosophy for practice that has the power to transform and build interdependence and community. For many it is not only a philosophy for practice but also a philosophy for life, because it is built on attitudes and values so deeply respectful of people’s intrinsic worth, their potential and their human rights.

For Wayne, it was never enough simply to espouse the philosophy of the strengths approach—he led by example, travelling that often challenging road of living it in his life, right in the nitty-gritty context of daily interactions. And, he was passionate in training people all over Australia in this approach.

St Luke’s Innovative Resources is deeply indebted to Wayne’s major contribution to the understanding and articulation of the strengths approach in human services. Our resources and training stand squarely on this solid foundation, and we feel very privileged to have known Wayne, to have worked alongside him, and to have benefitted so fully from his uplifting company.


8 responses to “In Memory of Wayne Patrick McCashen (1950—2018)”

  1. Paul Beckett says:

    Loved Wayne’s writing and philosophy in the Strengths Approach. He has been a major influence in my own thinking and practice and I frequently cite him in my own training. Very sad to hear of his death

  2. Amanda says:

    My thoughts to his family and friends. He is a social worker who has and will continue to inspire me to be the best I can be.

  3. Peter Lehmann says:

    I am so so so sad to hear of Wayne’s passing. My deepest sympathy goes out to his friends and family.

    I came to know Wayne only through email but mostly by his revolutionary text “The strengths approach.” I always thought his work was groundbreaking and virtually unknown in North America.

    I had used his first edition for perhaps 10 years in my teaching here in Texas but it is his second edition that I believe will forever stand the test of time, thinking and makings for better practitioners. I was always so proud of his ideas and how they were consistent with what I thought minus Wayne’s incredible ability to be articulate with the written word.

    IR, you have lost a pioneer, a real creative master, to Wayne’s family a giant for me in the classroom on whose shoulders I could stand on.

    Again, such a big loss for the field in someone who made such a big difference to many many students including this one.

    Peace to you.

  4. David O'Toole says:

    Kyabra Community Association is indebted to Wayne for helping us to shape a better and more decent world. Our thoughts are with family and friends. It was a great privilege to know such a beautiful man.

    David O’Toole

  5. Kerry Thomas says:

    We are all richer in our practice for the work that Wayne did. He made concrete many concepts and ideas that while possibly ‘known’ to practitioners were thus more able to be articulated and shared with each other and with our clients and communities.
    Wayne’s capacity to articulate a ‘lived’ strength based practice has been critical to my work and that of Gateway Family Services over the last 25 years.

  6. Sandra Makande says:

    My sincere condolences to Wayne’s loved ones.

    His book ‘The strengths based approach,’was prescribed text for my teaching degree. I learned so much from his book and will be reading the 2 books he authored and co- authored.

    Such a sad loss.

  7. Dawn says:

    To Wayne’s family, friends and colleagues, you’re all in my thoughts at this time. I love strength based approaches in my work that he and the team at Innovation Resources have produced. All the very best and may he always shine on in your hearts.

  8. Kathy says:

    To Wayne partner and family deepest sympathy to you all.
    Wayne delivery of the Strength Based training in social work field was very interesting to do and very approachable with the way he delivered this training.
    A great loss to all who knew him in this field of work, will be miss and remembered.
    God Bless to the family.

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