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Branch News

7 October 2021

To celebrate AASW's 75th Anniversary, the ACT Branch Committee hosted an online trivia night on Thursday 7 October 2021. There were 3 groups whom were close throughout the game and in the end it was an equal tie with Team Smiling Assassins & Cognitive Dissidents! During the trivia breaks, we had a panel of 5 special guest speakers who were long standing ACT members including former ACT Branch Committee members and former AASW Board members. The panel were asked about their achievements and the highlights of being an AASW member. They were also asked what message they would like to send across to current and future social worker students. Despite that the event was all virtual, the atmosphere and engagement was great and it was proven as the event went a little overtime!

2 October 2021

It was Mental Health Day Month in the ACT. On Saturday 2 October, anyone was able to join in virtually and be part of the mental health discussion. One of the main topics was about social workers and their mental health; self- care tips and coping strategies. It was held in the afternoon and the discussion was just over an hour. Due to a positive response we shall be running more of these networking discussion groups next year.

16 March 2021

The ACT Branch Committee held a morning tea and cultural nature walk led by aboriginal Elder Mr Wally Bell on Saturday the 13th of March for this years World Social Work Day, We had a great turn out and the weather even produced blue skies for the day. Thanks to all that attended and a special thanks to our branch committee for pulling it all together.

Unconscious Collusion with Perpetrators in Domestic and Family Violence Work

On Thursday 14th November 21 people attended the Unconscious Collusion with Perpetrators in Domestic and Family Violence Work seminar, delivered by Christine Craik, National President of the AASW.

Christine's presentation, based on the results of her PhD research, explored the ways in which workers are often unable to identify the presence of family violence, often unintentionally colluding with the perpetrators, leading to increased risk and silencing of victim/survivors.

Feedback from attendees was this wonderful, challenging and inspiring training is relevant and applicable to a range of work environments, from direct practice, in hospitals and through to legal services.

Thank you to Christine for her presentation and to all the attendees for their active and engaged participation.

Broadening the Lens of Trauma Informed Practice: Exploring the Social, Collective and Cultural

On Thursday 10th October, over 25 people attended this presentation exploring the theories and practices that inform the social and cultural experiences of trauma.

This interesting and inspiring activity, led by presenters Deborah Nelson and Joanna Zubrzycki, was well received with participants being provided with great resources to further their learning, and information they can take back to their workplaces to share, discuss, and reflect upon.

Thank you to Jo and Deb for this presentation.

Canberra as a Restorative Community

On Tuesday 13 August 19 people attended the seminar 'Canberra as a Restorative Community: What does it mean?', presented by Mary Ivec, Codie Bell and Fiona Tito Wheatland.

The seminar explored the idea of Canberra as a restorative city and the use of restorative approaches in various areas including child protection, public housing and health care.

Feedback from participants was that there were robust discussions across a range of topics including the interventions on sexual abuse in the Church/institutions and Defence, as well as an Indigenous context focussed discussion.

Anyone interested in joining the restorative community network can find out more at or on their Facebook page.

Gamarada - A Spiritual Awakening

On Wednesday 10 July the ACT Branch held a special NAIDOC Week screening of the short film, Gamarada - A Spiritual Awakening, followed by a yarn reflecting on the film, with a focus on healing practices.

Using a combination of different spiritual and healing techniques including Dadirri, Gamarada helps a growing number of Aboriginal men in Redfern to break the cycle of incarceration and addiction.

The thought-provoking film and discussion provided an understanding of healing in a cultural context and highlighted the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander training.

The documentary is available to stream online at

Countertransference and Supervision Seminar

24 people attended the Countertransference and Supervision Seminar presented by David Davis at ACU on Tuesday 18th June.

This presentation aimed to demystify, as well as adding depth and relevance, to the concept of countertransference while also exploring its clinical applicability, especially in regards to supervision.

Attendees found the session interesting and informative, finding it helped them to understand how to better deal with and work in supervision.

This thoughtful examination of many aspects to transference, countertransference and supervision improved the understanding and appreciation of these difficult concepts.

ADACAS Supported Decision Making Workshop

On the 28th May, the AASW ACT Branch held a workshop for AASW members on supported decision making. The workshop was run by ADACAS and focused on what supported decision making is and how it can be used.

Supported decision making is for people who may need support to make decisions. A person may need support to make a decision because their decision making capacity may be impaired. This could be due to age, disability acquired brain injury or mental illness.

Those being supported to make decisions are given as much support as they need to be involved in making decisions.

Supported decision making recognises that, with support all people can be engaged in the decisions that are important to them.

ADACAS have developed a supported decision making toolkit which can be found on their website:

Those who attended the workshop found it highly beneficial and would recommend it.

If you would like more information on supported decision making, contact ADACAS on: or (02) 6242 5060

Reconciliation in the Park

Despite the cold and rain, we were fortunate to gather on beautiful Ngunnawal country for Reconciliation Day on Monday 27th May.

It was a special day, coming together to celebrate culture and reflect on the theme of this year's National Reconciliation Week: Grounded in Truth, Walk Together With Courage. It was a chance to stand together, to give and gather courage from one another, to reflect on the truth of our history and to think about how we face our future.

Thank you to the organisers and to all the ACT Branch members who came out for the day.

Vigil for Christchurch March 2019

A book of condolences will open at the New Zealand High Commission, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Yarralumla between 12 and 4pm Monday 18 March for people to sign, and vigil will be held at the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell in Nara Peace Park at 6pm on Tuesday 19 March.

The event is organised by the Australian National University’s NZ Club and the ACT Government.

2021 Branch Management Committee Members

Post-Annual Members Meeting, the current BMC will be updated

AASW Life Membership 2018

Congratulations Emeritus Professor Maev O'Collins (ACT member) on being awarded AASW Life Membership in recognition of her devotion to the development of the social work profession in Australia and internationally.

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ACT Branch Services Coordinator

Ph: 03 9320 1000 or 1800 630 124 (toll free alternative)


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AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers