Who We Are
The Australian Association of Social Workers is the professional representative body of Social Workers in Australia, with more than 7,000 members nation-wide.
The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is the lead national Association for Australian Professional Social Workers. We set the benchmark for professional education and practice in Social Work. We have a strong voice on matters of social inclusion, social justice, human rights and issues that impact upon the quality of life of all Australians. We seek a close and collaborative relationship with educational institutions, industry, government, client associations, and the community. The AASW acknowledges the critical importance of the contribution made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members.
The AASW has corporate responsibility for promoting and regulating the Social Work profession in Australia. The AASW represents Social Workers by ensuring the sustainable development of the profession, the maintenance of accountability and compliance with the benchmark standards, and the promotion of Professional identity. Membership offers Social Workers the opportunity to work collectively to contribute to Australian Society, its communities and institutions, in a way that is dedicated to improving social inclusion and social well-being.
The AASW's objectives are to:
- Promote the profession of social work
- Establish, monitor and improve practice and ethical standards
- Contribute to the development of social work knowledge and research
- Develop, review and accredit the education standards for social workers
- Advocate for the pursuit of social justice and changes to social structures and policies in order to promote social inclusion and redress social disadvantage
- Promote and facilitate members’ professional development and life-long learning
- Represent and advocate for the interests of members as a group
The AASW is an incorporated company, guided by a constitution and nationally managed by a Board of Directors, elected from and by the membership. A Branch Management Committee, also elected from and by their respective Branch membership, manages each of our 9 Branches. We also have a vibrant community of national committees and practice groups further supporting the work of the association. The Chief Executive Officer leads our team of 30 staff working in the Branches and our national offices located in Canberra and Melbourne.
The AASW was formed as a national association in 1947 with the federation of several state branches which had already been established. Throughout its 65 year history, the AASW has supported its membership through a changing profession.
Today, with our nine branches and vibrant community of national committees and practice groups, further supporting the work of the Association, the AASW aims to cater for the professional needs and interests of the growing membership base with their varied working fields, employment and locations.