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Constitution Review 2022

FAQs: Proposed change to AASW structure

What are the proposed changes and the advantages?

  1. This model will focus on building communities across career paths and areas of practice rather than geographic locations. The aim is to better support social workers to develop professional identity, pride and future scope in their areas of practice specialisation and careers.
  2. We will support dedicated work streams focusing on career pathways and area of practice through the development of clinical guidelines, specific CPD, professional networking, supportive consults, actively connecting members with like interests and networking through the Social Work Australia Online Community Hub.
  3. We will build communities of social workers in areas of practice, advocacy, leadership and across career journeys.
  4. The new model will provide more opportunities to have informal and formal groups that cross state and territory boundaries, and there will be more active support of the special interest groups.
  5. The current Branch Management Committee structure will transition into State/Territory Advisory Committees with Board appointed positions. The AASW already has the Editorial Board and National Research Committee operating this way. The State/Territory Advisory Committees will be an important way to provide the Association with strategic advice on a range of issues. Political issues, advocacy, stakeholder engagement and practice focused initiatives are likely areas of advice.

Will the model cost more?

No. This structure allows the AASW’s limited resources to be more efficiently spent. We will be able to deliver more services to you.

What are the next steps?

Over the next six weeks the AASW office will develop a discussion paper which will be circulated to members. From December 2021 to February 2022 we will have a consultation process leading to the distribution of the proposed constitutional change and the members will be asked to vote in March 2022.

The consultation process will give all members the opportunity to provide meaningful feedback on the structure. We are currently in the process putting in place the feedback mechanism which will be shared with members soon

Why are we going to members in March with the vote?

We are waiting until March 2022, so that members can provide their feedback in plenty of time.

What happens if the vote is successful and the constitution is changed?

The Association will transition over the new model over a period of time to ensure a smooth change. We don’t know exactly how long that will be right now.

What happens if the vote doesn’t go through?

If the vote is unsuccessful it means the Association structure remains. The current structure limits what the Association can deliver for its members under the Constitution. We know the members want more focused support and development in areas of practice and across their career trajectory and it is the aim of the Association to provide this. However, the AASW has finite resources, and big responsibilities especially in its role as the regulator of a self-regulating profession.

The financial investment across the self-regulating functions is significant for the Association. It is an important role and requires significant investment to ensure it is done well, but combined with the current structural requirements of the Association there are limited resources that can be dedicated to supporting the members in their career and areas of practice.

The AASW wants to be able to deliver more services to members in areas of practice and where they are in their career journey.

Accurate as at 15.10.2021

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers