AASW Welcomes Torres Strait Islander Member Muriel Wymarra as Board Director

The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is delighted to announce the appointment of Muriel Wymarra as an Ordinary Director of the Association. This appointment further diversifies the Board and highlights the Board’s commitment to inclusivity and representation within the profession. Muriel, a Torres Strait Islander woman born and raised in Gimuy (Cairns), will bring a wealth of experience and cultural insight to her role, amplifying the diverse voices within Australia’s First Nation cultures.

Linda Ford, the recently appointed National President of AASW, stated that she and the Board were pleased to welcome Muriel as the newest member of the Board and that her appointment was a long-awaited achievement of representing both First Nations people of Australia on the AASW Board, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Muriel’s extensive experience, particularly in advocating for the social health and well-being of Torres Strait Islander people, aligns perfectly with our commitment to cultural integrity and professional responsibility”, said Ms. Ford.

Muriel emphasised the significance of being appointed to the AASW Board. “This is an exciting opportunity for a Torres Strait Islander social work practitioner to represent and amplify the rich diversity of Australia’s culture”. Muriel’s commitment to situating the voices, cultural knowledge, and identity of Torres Strait Islander people has been evident throughout her career in Federal government administration and not-for-profit organisations.

Muriel’s journey includes:

  • Challenging departmental policies in remote Aboriginal communities.
  • Serving as the National Indigenous Social Work Group (NISWG) chairperson in Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services, Centrelink).
  • Providing counselling support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy at Central Queensland University, Muriel’s research focuses on professional helping in Torres Strait culture.

Reflecting on Muriel’s achievements, Linda Ford remarked, “Muriel’s extensive experience, dedication to social work, and ongoing PhD studies showcase her commitment to advancing the profession and addressing the unique needs of Torres Strait Islander communities. With Muriel’s appointment, we now proudly boast a Board with three out of nine members hailing from Aboriginal backgrounds and, for the first time, a member representing the Torres Strait Islander community. This reflects our dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment within the AASW.”

Find out more about AASW’s Board