Meet your Committee


Sacha King is an NT Branch Committee Member and we are proud to call her our own. Committee Members come to the Branch with a range of professional skills and experience. Sacha is one of the volunteer members who is helping the NT Branch to punch well above its weight.

Sacha works for Team Health and provides important First Aid Mental Health Training in the Territory. Shown here (picture left) Sacha at the 2017 Northern Territory Disability Services Awards on 11 November 2017 received the well-deserved, Highly Commended Award for Excellence in Promoting Community Awareness. Sacha told us she was surprised and humbled to receive the Award and had a fantastic, fun night at the event. The Awards are put on by the NT National Disability Services (NDS) and are a great celebration of the achievements across Disability Services in the Territory.

At the NT Branch we were not surprised Sacha received the Award for her work! Sacha came to the NT Branch in April 2017 with enthusiasm and commitment, in particular to see the growth of the Branches ability to reach out to members through the creative use of technology. 2018 is going to be an even bigger year for the NT Branch, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Sacha and all the members of the Committee.

You will meet more of our Committee in future editions of the E-News. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch with the NT Branch.


Your Territory Narrative


Lucy Van Sambeek speaks 'metaphorically' with the NT Branch about her successful podcasts interviewing people in the NT and beyond. Lucy tells us her motivation for starting the Metaphorically Speaking website and her commitment to continuing even though she is moving from the Territory.

You may well know Lucy's weekly podcast and blog episodes where she shares about the practise of remote workers. Lucy tells us that, "interviewing and doing the podcasts and blogs is PD (professional development) for me. It helps me to think about my practice".

Lucy has been a Social Worker since 2005, she completed her studies at University of Queensland. Lucy said she always had a passion for the Indigenous subject area at University and moved to the NT. She worked with Relationships Australia and spent many years out on the remote Tiwi Islands. Lucy suffered a serious back injury, literally being laid up started her thinking, "what can I do?"

Coming from a narrative therapy base, Lucy decided to start a website to share Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stories, in her words "to create a watering hole, where people could come". Lucy wanted to "listen to practical experiences, not everyone reads a journal".

Lucy reflects on what to remember when working with Aboriginal people, "a good relationship is important and giving people the right to 'growl you' when you have done wrong. It is important to notice the signs, like silence or not hearing from people." To work towards a "transparent, honest relationship" and if you have done wrong then to "admit you have made a mistake and thank the person for letting you know".

Whilst Lucy interviews far and wide, it all began in the Territory. Lucy wasn't sure how it would all go and has been surprised and pleased at how it has taken off. There are currently 80 subscribers to her blog and podcasts and 270 facebook followers. Podcast episode 8 had approximately 600 downloads and the AASW links Social Worker members to her professional development resource. 

Although Lucy comes from the framework of her social work profession, she recognises the diversity of approaches across the NT due in part to skill shortages and retention issues affecting remote areas. Lucy says that there are real learnings to be gained from other professions and it is important to consider the therapeutic work and its application from an individual and systems perspective.

"I like getting to know what drives people, the turning point that set them on their career path, maybe something that happened as a child, in their family, their challenges and struggles. If they want to tell me".

In relation to 'burn out' Lucy says, "people need to think carefully about their motivations for doing the work" because "the injustices are huge". Lucy concludes by saying it is important "to avoid it becoming too much or becoming disappointed". Lucy shares a tool she uses working in the field which is "each day to think of one great thing to keep me going, not 10 things, one thing".

Where to from here? "With a background in narrative and art therapy, I'm moving more into ecotherapy to reconnect with nature and listen to the messages that nature is giving us". Lucy talks about the growing research in this area of where healing and growth is promoted by a healthy relationship with the earth. Lucy is working towards setting up a healing space in NSW that she can invite people to.

If you would like to tell your story, Lucy would very much like to hear from you, you can email Thank you to Lucy for sharing her wonderful story with the NT Branch.



Don't miss out


Update your membership information. Have you recently moved or changed your personal details? If so, please remember to update by logging into the AASW website. You can update your subscription preferences there too. If you are having problems, phone 1800 630 124 or email the membership team.


We want to hear from you


We would love to hear from our NT members about positive social work experiences. If you have a story you would like to share, please email it to the NT Branch to be included in a future issue!

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