Member Profile


Name: Brooke Kooymans

Company: Rehability Australia

Role: Director/ Social Worker/ Case Manager/ Support Coordinator


Who has been the most inspiring role model in your career and why? 

Lesley Chenoweth was a pivotal role model in my career.  My undergraduate degree was a blur and when I returned to study my Master of Social Work I was lucky enough to have Lesley be my teacher and mentor. She was so encouraging with developing my professionalism and reinforcing that we can all make a difference. I followed her career and what she has done for the disability sector and for social work as a profession, leading to my motto that ‘Social Work Enriches Life'.

What is the best advice you can give to someone starting out in their career?  

When starting out in a career, don’t think you already know what your destination will be. Don’t be afraid to open your mind to new opportunities and enjoy the journey.  I always say to social workers starting out "our job is to do ourselves out of a job" that is a true indication that we have been successful with our work.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Stephen Hawking – (Physicist and cosmologist)  He is an incredibly inspirational person who has battled significant adversity in his life to overcome any barriers, limitations or judgment to become one of the greatest geniuses of our time – and demonstrate that anything is possible.


SA Mental Health Strategic Plan 2017-2022


The SA Mental Health Strategic Plan 2017-2022 (The Plan) has been launched. It is built on the powerful feedback and insights of over 2000 South Australians and the AASW SA Branch were a part of the conversation through membership in the SA Mental Health Commission's Community Advisory Committee (CAC) from the beginning, and represents the social work profession's role in mental health. The key emphasis which emerged has been on prevention and acting early on the signs and symptoms of poor mental health and before people reach a crisis point. The Plan 2017-2022 sets the strategic direction for South Australia to build a more resilient, compassionate and connected community. 

The Commission will now coordinate, facilitate and oversee the implementation of The Plan and the development of future actions to address key areas identified by South Australians. AASW SA Branch will stay connected through the CAC and continue to be involved as programs roll out.

If you would like further information and to download the South Australian Mental Health Strategic Plan 2017-2022, go to or phone 1300 293 220, email or write to PO Box 189, Rundle Mall, Adelaide SA 5000 to receive a copy.


Practice Groups


Seeking New Committee Members - Victorian Mental Health Social Workers 

We are a Victorian Practice Group for Social Workers (student or qualified) in Mental Health. We are passionate about mental health and enjoy robust discussions and promoting and advocating for people with a mental health issue and social workers working in mental health.  

The committee currently consists of five members, mostly working in an Area Mental Health Service and the Mental Health Community Support Sector. We currently have vacancies and are seeking people from a diverse range of areas who are interested in joining - membership is free. Involvement is on a voluntary basis, and requires a time commitment of a few hours each month to attend meetings held in the evening, plus any additional hours as required depending on any special area of interest you have, events being planned etc.

The Committee will be meeting via Skype and in person, in various locations which will be rotated in order to accommodate the different geographical locations of members and encourage diversity of participation.

If you are interested, or have any questions, please email

We look forward to hearing from you!


Your Development Opportunities


Mental Health Member Targeted Training/Events

Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA)

AHPA have a range of free  webinars that you can access. This includes NDIS training and a Digital Health webinar series.

Headspace (the National Youth Mental Health Foundation) offers free accredited online training on youth health and wellbeing for allied health professionals.

The accredited training modules outline the essentials of evidence-informed practice to assist clinicians in their work with young people.

Module 1 is out now: Youth Mental Health. You can locate the module here:


Social Work Management and Leadership Panel Discussion

Thursday 15 February 2018
8:00 to 10:30am, North Melbourne
Join us to hear some of Victoria’s most prominent social work leaders sharing insights into their careers and discussing some of the key challenges and opportunities for social workers as they progress their careers and move into management and leadership roles.
Register at event web page by Tuesday 13 February at 5pm.

The Use of Advanced Forms of Mindfulness in Social Work Practice
Monday 19 February 2018
9:00am to 5:00pm, North Melbourne
Register at event web page
Registrations have reached capacity. To join a waiting list should there be cancellations or be notified of a second possible workshop scheduled for May at this stage please email

**FPS Relevant Activity**

World Social Work Day Breakfast 2018

With guest speaker Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs - Past President of the Australian Human Rights Commission
Tuesday 20 March 2018
8:30 to 10:00am, University of Melbourne, Carlton
To register at web page

2 hours contributes to Professional Identify CPD goals

Skilful use of mindfulness in therapeutic practice and individual practice
Thursday, 26 April 2018
9:00am to 5:00pm, North Melbourne
Register at event web page

**FPS Relevant Activity**

Western Australia

Working with Fathers and Families Seminar 

13 February 2018, 6.00pm - 7.30pm, City West Lotteries House, West Perth - 1.5 CPD Hours - Event will also be broadcast as a FREE Webinar to Rural members

The AASW branch invites you to this seminar, Working with Fathers and Families run by Dr Joseph Fleming. This seminar will explore the importance of the fathers’ role in family services and how programs can engage and support this opportunity. It will allow participants to review strengths-based ways to engage men using a child-centred approach and is full of practical tools, tips and links to resources that will significantly add to practice outcomes towards working effectively with men and families.


Exploring Attachment in Couple Work

Trainers: Narelle Nelles and Susan Gregory

This half day workshop is designed to assist social workers, psychologists and counsellors to develop a better understanding of working with couples from an attachment framework.

This is relevant for social workers who work therapeutically with couples. The education material in the presentation is based on theoretical knowledge Attachment specialists and The Circle of Security.

Date Thursday 1st of March

Time 9.00am - 12.30pm (3.5 hours CPD)

Venue Brisbane, Qld

Members $95.00/ Student Members- $45.00

Non-Members- $120.00/ Student Non-Members - $55.00

Register/More Info

Introduction to Working with Children in Therapy Sessions

Trainer: Yaro Starak

This weekend intensive will cover the basic principles and practices of working with children in therapy sessions through experiential exercises, discussion and some personal exploration.  This will include: the paradoxical theory of change, the magic of role playing with children, being open to the unexpected – magic happens, experiencing the Now: savouring and chewing, the importance of being specific and concrete, the creative void and change in the Here and Now.

Date Saturday and Sunday 21 & 22 April 

Time 9.00am - 5.00pm (Sat) 4.00pm (Sun) 13 CPD hours total

Venue Brisbane, Qld

Members- $380.00/ Student Members- $180.00

Non Members $480.00/ Student Non-Members- $220.00

Register/More Info

This is a paid advertisement


Refer a friend