Information for the Media

Information for the Media

We connect journalists to the National President Vittorio Cintio, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board Director Susan Green and AASW social workers with expertise on a wide range of social justice and social work practice topics.

AASW National President Vittorio CintioAASW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Director Susan Green

Here are their bios:

AASW National President Vittorio Cinto

Vittorio Cintio is National President of AASW, elected in September 2020. Vittorio is based in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales and has over 40 years’ experience in the health sector and in private practice, counselling individuals and families. Vittorio is currently a social work leader in NSW Health, with management, teaching and research responsibilities. Vittorio was the Association’s National Vice President (from 2018 to 2020) and has previously served as a Director between 2010 and 2012.

AASW Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander representative director Susan Green

Susan Green is a Galari woman of the Wiradjuri nation and the Association’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Director. Sue holds the role of Professor in Indigenous Australian Studies and GCWLCH Co-ordinator at Charles Sturt University. Sue has had an extensive history spanning 20 years in Indigenous Higher Education across a number of roles such as student support, teaching and research. She also has sat on various committees, councils, boards and networks including the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council and National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network.

Sue’s research interest includes Welfare History, Indigenising Social Work education and practice, Cultural Responsiveness and Cultural Support, Colonial History and Decolonisation. Her foremost interest is ensuring that Wiradjuri Language and Culture underpins her all aspects of her personal and professional life. Susan is Chair of the Association’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group and a Member of the National Ethics Committee.

Contact us on 03 9320 1005 or [email protected].

Representation of social workers in the media: Information for journalists and media outlets

What is a social worker?

A qualified social worker in Australia has an AASW accredited, 4-year minimum bachelor or masters qualification in social work; or overseas equivalent as assessed by the AASW.

Misrepresentation of the social work title

The ‘social worker’ title is not legally protected in Australia meaning that unqualified workers often use the term to describe themselves, or the term is used by others; such as the media; to generically describe people employed in social and community services.

The AASW takes instances of misconduct by qualified social workers very seriously, however inaccurate use of the term ‘social worker’ in the context of reporting misconduct is detrimental to the reputation of the profession and misleads the public.

What is the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)?

The AASW is the membership body for professionally qualified social workers in Australia.

The social work profession is currently not formally regulated in Australia; however the AASW self-regulates the profession by setting the educational, practice and ethical standards; as well as manages its own complaints process.

The AASW has over 13,000 members and estimates there are over 32,000 professionally qualified social workers in Australia.

Who is eligible to join the AASW?

Those who have graduated with an AASW accredited tertiary qualification in social work (or overseas equivalent) are eligible to join the AASW. Those who are in the process of studying a course accredited by the AASW can join as student members.

How to find out whether someone is a legitimate, professionally qualified social worker

If in doubt about a person’s professional qualification, the AASW encourages the media to contact us before referencing the term ‘social worker/s’ in articles; particularly when it concerns matters relating to misconduct or harm to the public.

Where this is not possible the AASW requests that other generic terms are used, for example ‘family care worker’, ‘aged care worker’, ‘social welfare worker’, or ‘youth worker’.

The AASW is happy to be consulted on matters relating to social workers and their public profile in the media.

Contact our Marketing and Communications Team, [email protected], with any enquiries.