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National Symposium 2017

National Symposium 2017


280 social workers. 122 first time attendees. 41 student members. 90 presenters and 2 keynote speakers contributed to the success of the National Symposium 2017 - Advocacy and Social Work: Creating individual and social change.

Exploring the role of social workers as social advocates in research, practice, education and policy the program provided a forum to engage, connect and reflect.

The Honorable Michael Kirby AC CMG (pictured with AASW National President, Christine Craik and AASW CEO, Cindy Smith) spoke about advocacy, the law and social change in an inspiring keynote address highlighting advocacy for minority groups in Australia.  His speech featured in the Saturday edition of Hobart’s The Mercury newspaper with an article titled ‘Churches told to catch up’. You can read the article here.

Julian Burnside AO QC who responded to a personal invitation to speak at the symposium dinner reflected on his experiences as an advocate for individuals and broader human rights and refugee causes.

Feedback from delegates has been overwhelmingly positive and will be incorporated into planning for our next National Symposium (Adelaide 2019)

"I was impressed with the wide range of presentations. It made me proud of my profession and has given me inspiration to further my studies and grow my involvement with social work"

"Thank you-it’s always a blessing to be with other social workers for a couple of days and to learn and network"

"Julian Burnside was brilliant"

"The symposium was very well organised, great environment. Loved the different structures of sessions- some plenary, some parallel and some workshops. I thought the College session was particularly well run with opportunities for discussion at tables. Loved the presentation of RHD research- made me feel the future is in safe hands"

"A great forum to start talking more about social work identity."

"I enjoyed volunteering and this made me feel more connected at the conference"

"I particularly valued Michael Kirby's presentation, including his very strong validation of us and our work."

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers