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Key staff

Cindy Smith

Cindy Smith
Chief Executive Officer

Cindy has led the AASW since 2016 to deliver the Strategic Plan with a clear focus on promoting and advocating for the profession and members; providing a strong voice for social justice; building the professional capacity of members; upholding responsibilities for regulation of the profession; advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social work; collaborating with international colleagues; and providing responsible governance and management.

Cindy is a qualified social worker with more than 15 years’ experience in a range of positions including leadership in community health and out-of-home care, managing a counselling team, senior management of a Child, Youth and Family Directorate in community health, and Executive Director of a not-for-profit organisation.

Cindy is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Services Management, holds a Bachelor of Social Work, a Masters in Health Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Health Service Management.

Cindy served as a Board Director of the AASW from November 2011 to June 2016.

Phone: 03 9320 1022

Nathan Watts

Nathan Watts
Chief Financial Officer

Nathan has been the CFO of AASW since November 2016. He has been a qualified Chartered Accountant since 2000.

Prior to joining the AASW, he worked both in private and publicly-listed organisations in Australia and overseas. Nathan has held a range of senior accounting positions across industries, which have enabled him to bring senior, strategic and operational financial experience to his role at AASW.

Phone: 03 9320 1009

Geoff Bennett

Geoff Bennett
Company Secretary

Geoff has been the Company Secretary of AASW since 2017. He is a risk and governance professional and a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA).

Prior to joining the AASW, he had a 38-year career with the National Australian Bank (NAB), including as Director, Special Projects in the Enterprise Risk division of NAB. Other roles included Principal Advisor, Wholesale Banking; Head of Process Improvement in nabCapital; Group Manager, Financial Governance and Head of Strategy and Planning in Group Treasury.

As well as being a CPA (Fellow), he is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Phone: 03 9320 1017

Deb Parnell

Debra Parnell
Social Policy and Advocacy Manager

Debra has been the Social Policy and Advocacy Manager since February 2018. She brings to the AASW extensive skills and experience in policy development, consultation, engagement, strategic planning and organisational management.

Prior to joining the AASW, she held a range of senior management positions with various peak bodies, including VICSERV (now Mental Health Victoria), COTA Victoria and Alzheimer’s Australia Vic.

Phone: 03 9320 1027

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers