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Board of Directors

Please select the Board member's name to view their biography.

National President

Linda Ford Vittorio Cintio

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. Email Vittorio Cintio.

National Vice President

Linda Ford Linda Ford

Linda Ford is an Aboriginal woman from the Bigambul people of South West Queensland but grew up on Kalkadoon land in the North West part of Queensland. Linda has 26 years’ experience as a Social Worker in rural, remote and urban settings mainly in the fields of child protection, health, mental health and tertiary education. Linda has previously presented to national and international conferences in the area of Aboriginal Health and Mental Health. In May 2021, Linda was appointed Senior Academic Lead, Allied Health at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health at James Cook University, Mount Isa. She is a past president of the Association’s North Queensland Branch, past Chair of the Association’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, a member of the Finance, Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee and a member of the People and Culture Committee. In January 2021, Linda was appointed as the Australia representative for the International Federation of Social Work (IFSW) Indigenous Commission. Email Linda Ford.


Alex Bhathal Alex Bhathal

Alex has a 30 year background in the community sector and extensive experience in child protection and out of home care, social policy advocacy and community development. Alex has specialised in working with children and young people, and has worked in local government youth services, with newly arrived migrants and refugees, as a youth counsellor and health educator and with Aboriginal community controlled organisations. Alex is a graduate of RMIT University Social Work and between 2003 and 2017, taught in RMIT’s School of Global and Social Studies. Alex is now a lecturer in Social Work and Social Policy at La Trobe University. She is also employed as the National Manager of the Family Matters campaign, to end the over-representation of Aboriginal children in child protection. Alex is a member of both the Association’s Finance, Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee and the Constitution Review Committee. Email Alex Bhathal.

Suzanne Doorakkers-Sprague Suzanne Doorakkers-Sprague

Suzanne is the proprietor and Director of a counselling practice headquartered in Geelong, Victoria. Suzanne’s practice is dedicated to the provision of excellence in assisting the Geelong community with quality and skilled treatment for life transitions, mental health concerns and health conditions. In addition, Suzanne provides services for individuals and family carers with neurological disorders around adjustment, grief counselling and service system advocacy. Suzanne also provides assistance to allied health professionals in this area with supervision, compassion fatigue and Employee Assistance. Suzanne's practice also supports placements for students and student meeting groups. Suzanne holds BA, BSW and MSW degrees, Mental Health accreditation from AASW and is a Clinical Member of the Australian College of Social Work. She is a co-convenor of the Victorian Social Workers in Private Practice, Chair of the Finance, Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee and a member of the Association’s Constitution Review Committee. Email Suzanne Doorakkers-Sprague.

Dr Fotina Hardy Dr Fotina Hardy

Fotina has over 30 years’ experience in direct practice, policy and research and as an educator, most recently nine years as Coordinator of Field Education for the BSW, MSW(Qualifying) and BHS degrees at a major Brisbane university. Children and families, older people, aged care systems, people seeking asylum and refuge and the education and support of social work students and new graduates - are particular areas of interest for Fotina. Fotina served on the AASW Branch Management Committee (Queensland) for ten years, six as President. She has been co-convenor of the Queensland Social Policy sub-committee, Child Protection Practice Group and is a past member and convenor of the National Research Committee. Fotina continues to contribute to the Social Policy Sub Committee and Child, Youth and Family Practice Group. Fotina is on the management committee of the Queensland Youth Housing Coalition and a member of the ANZSWER Committee. Fotina holds a Bachelor of Social Work, Masters of Commerce, Doctor of Social Sciences along with a Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice. Fotina is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a current affiliate member of the AICD. Fotina chairs the Association’s People and Culture Committee and is a member of the Standards and Assessment Committee. Email Fotina Hardy.

Brooke Kooymans Brooke Kooymans

Brooke was elected as a Director of the Association in October 2018. Brooke is a current practising social worker with 20 years’ experience working with Australia’s leading government and non-government agencies, both in the public and private sectors. Brooke is currently undertaking a PhD with a research focus on “Social Work in Practice in the Community Sector”. Brooke resides in Brisbane, Queensland. Brooke is Chair of the Association’s National Ethics Committee and a member of the People and Culture Committee. Email Brooke Kooymans.

Jenny Rose Jenny Rose

Jenny has been an AASW Director since October 2017. Jenny works as a Social Work Student Educator and Emergency Department clinician where her clinical work is mostly trauma based. She has been employed by NSW Health for over 20 years. She has a commitment to ongoing education and has also completed a Master of Mental Health (Child and Adolescent), Diploma of Business (Frontline Management) and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Prior to coming onto the Board, she was an active member of the NSW Branch Management Committee for six years. Jenny chairs the Association’s Standards and Assessment Committee and is a member of the People and Culture Committee. Email Jenny Rose.

Julianne Whyte Julianne Whyte OAM

Julianne is the CEO and founder of a not-for-profit organisation providing therapeutic interventions and psycho-social support for people living in rural and regional communities in southern New South Wales, through the NDIS, Medicare and other funded programs. Julianne has over 40 years’ experience working in health, community services, community development, policy and program development and implementation and research. She is an accredited Mental Health Social Worker and is in the final stages of her PhD developing a framework for social work practice in palliative and end-of-life care. Julianne chairs the Association’s Constitution Review Committee and holds membership of the National Ethics Committee and the Standards and Assessment Committee. Email Julianne Whyte.

Director - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative

Susan Green Professor 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. Email Susan Green.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers