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ACT Branch Management Committee 2019

Branch President

Kate Soulsby
I completed a Masters of Social Work from Charles Sturt University after extensive experience practising in the human services. In my role as Manager of the Counselling and Treatment Service with the Alcohol and Drug Service of ACT Health I conduct clinical practice and support a multidisciplinary team of health professionals.
My practice experience is in support of people who have experienced the impacts of sexual assault, mental health and alcohol and other drug issues. I've held positions in the non-government community sector, in government health services in NSW and ACT, and with the Department of Defence where a new initiative assisted Defence personnel who had experienced sexual assault.
I'm passionate about providing support through evidence-based best practise and have worked with children, adolescents, couples, families and adult clients. I also conduct some private clinical practise, focusing on trauma.
My role with the ACT Branch Committee is a key part of my professional identity, and I am committed to contributing to the profession locally.

Branch Vice President

Helen Hopper
I hold a Bachelor of Social Work from Charles Sturt University, Bachelor of Arts (Social Welfare) and Masters of Public Administration. I have seven years’ experience as Company Secretary with the AASW. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. I've an interest in organisational governance, and am currently a member of the Board of Directors of Technology for Ageing and Disability (ACT) and of Abbeyfield Disability House.
In the role of professional field educator to social work students I enjoy the learning exchange, through which the student and I each develop skills and knowledge.
The ACT Branch Management Committee provides me the opportunity to give something back to the local social work community and to develop a social justice movement that supports and advocates for disadvantaged groups. My vision is an ACT branch in which social workers are engaged and provided with diverse professional development opportunities.

General Committee Members

Janice Bartram

I graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the Australian Catholic University, Canberra. I also have qualifications in early childhood education, counselling, and couple and family therapy. After finishing full time work I attained AASW accreditation in clinical Mental Health practice in early 2018 and established a private practice.

My social work experience includes working in the areas of out-of-home care, alcohol and drugs, and primarily in the area of counselling, worked for a number of years with veterans and their families. I have attended many functions organised by the ACT Branch over the years and am keen to give back to the organisation by helping to facilitate relevant professional development opportunities.

Since joining the Committee I am really appreciative of being immersed in a professional social work environment which supports social justice issues and look forward to when we become a registered profession.

Elisia Ramsey

I have experience across project management, program management, ministerial correspondence and policy coordination. Most recently, working as a Senior Programme Officer on the Department of Human Services’ Remote Servicing Strategy. Prior to this, I worked under the department’s financial capability agreement with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. I hold a Bachelor of Writing; a Postgraduate Certificate in Policy and Applied Social Research; and a Master of Social Work.

Rodney Stanton

I studied Social Work at Sydney University, undergrad at Omaha (USA) and using big data, organisation psychology and sustainability, and social media marketing.

As a social worker for fifteen years, local community ACTions drive my practice. I am twelve months into a social impact tech start-up. It is built for mental health local support for vulnerable small businesses and their ‘casualised’/part-time workforce. I want to contribute to the AASW ACT membership by jamming as much tech and social entrepreneurship into the local region that will contribute towards better outcomes, champion our members and support their growth. During my two years on the ACT Branch Management Committee I am keen to focus on ACTions to redress local injustices.

My sights are for a focused region and equipping all of us towards innovation, real social impacts, and having a personal connection with as many of our members as I can!

Joanna Zubrzycki

I hold a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) from University of New South Wales and a PhD from Curtin University.

After graduating in the mid 1980’s I worked in social work fields, including counselling, group work, family work and community development. As Associate Professor in Social Work at the Australian Catholic University I pursue my strong interests of research, teaching and supervision. Teaching and supervising social work students provides a constant reminder that our dynamic profession requires people from diverse backgrounds.

My particular areas of interest are working with migrants and refugees and undertaking collaborative work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social workers and community members. I love the challenges of constantly learning and developing effective social work practices.

Through the ACT Branch Committee I want to contribute my passion, perseverance and strong commitment to social justice and human rights. I am committed to sharing my experience with others for the purpose of developing a vibrant professional culture for local AASW members.

Parveen Kalliath

I have a Master of Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, USA and a PhD in Social Work from University of Queensland.

Currently Deputy Head of School and Course Coordinator for Social Work at Australian Catholic University in Canberra, I have more than thirty years of social work practice and teaching experience, including in India, USA, New Zealand and Australia. My strong passion for social justice and equity began while working in community development in India where I witnessed the difficult and insecure lives of millions of people living in slums. I was awarded the Mother Theresa and Altrusa Women's Fellowship by the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University.

I practised as a licensed clinical social worker in large medical college hospitals in St. Louis, Washington and in rehabilitation and assessment services in Waikato, New Zealand, where I became team leader. After 20 years of practice I joined academia in New Zealand and coordinated the Bachelor of Applied Social Sciences (Social Work) at Waikato Institute of Technology, before joining the Australian Catholic University in 2005.

Suzanne Smith

I have a Master of Social Work, a Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and post graduate qualifications in Business, Dispute Resolution and Adult Education and Training.

I have experience working therapeutically with individuals and as a group facilitator in community, hospital and custodial settings and private practice. I am an accredited mental health social worker, trained teacher in mindfulness and self-compassion. I specialise in the integration of mindfulness with other evidenced based approaches to the treatment of trauma and other mental health conditions. Following my retirement from the Royal Australian Navy as a Commander, I led a four year appointment in the Department of Defence, in which I was responsible for the delivery of all Family and Community Support programs for Veterans and their families. I have otherwise devoted my life to volunteering in the community, including as a Life Line and Youth Line Counsellor, an Alcohol and Drug Addictions Counsellor, and as a Family and Workplace Mediator.

I bring to the AASW ACT Branch, my leadership experience and passion for connection, community and professional growth.

Jackie Paul

After completing my Bachelors of Social Work at the Australian Catholic University of Canberra in 2005, I began my Social Work career at Woden Community Services. In 2007, I joined the Department of Human Services, then known as Centrelink, and never left.

I have had leadership roles in the implementation of complex social policy including the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure, Income Management and Participation Compliance. More recently, I facilitated Social Work engagement and the provision of our expertise into the department’s ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ modernisation of welfare services. I am currently the assistant director for external engagement in the National Redress Scheme and responsible for establishing and maintaining collaborative, cross-sectoral relationships to strengthen service delivery.

Through the Branch Management Committee, I aim to facilitate greater social and professional connections amongst Social Workers in the ACT, with a view to identifying and responding to the issues that affect our practice and professional identity.

Carolyn Minchin

Carolyn Minchin is an early career social worker, currently combining training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with relief teaching in primary schools. Her previous committee experience includes Health Care Consumers (2002-2004) and the Mental Health Professionals Network (2013-2014), where she facilitated network meetings on ACT, DBT and cultural safety. Carolyn ran the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT in the City Interest group for several years, and continues to facilitate networking among social workers and applied health professionals at the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). She facilitates an ongoing dialogue project with Gamarada Universal Indigenous Resources (GUIR) in Redfern, working on capacity building in suicide prevention and group supervision.

Amelia Watson

Contact us

Branch Office Manager
Katie Dircks

P: 03 9320 1030

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers