Want to connect with your local profession?


Expressions of Interest

Would you like to make a difference?  If so, we are looking for new members to join our Convenors Helen Sheeran and Merryl Gee representing the Mental Health Practice Groups in Townsville and Mackay:

About the Convenors

Helen Sheeran is a member of the Branch Management Committee and has volunteered as the Convenor for the Mental Health Practice Group in Townsville.  Helen is an accredited Mental Health Social Worker and psychotherapist with a career spanning 26 years and currently works in private practice in Townsville providing counselling, hypnotherapy, supervision and organisational education and training programmes.

Merryl Gee is a member of the Branch Management Committee and has volunteered as the Convenor for the Mental Health Practice Group in Mackay.  Merryl is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and a member of the Australian College of Social Work - Clinical Division and has been a social worker for 29 years with experience in Commonwealth and State government departments, NGOs and in private practice.  Merryl is currently the Team Leader of Hinterland Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Service based in Moranbah. 

Why participate?

Private practitioners often find themselves isolated from their peers especially when working as a sole practitioner.  Mental Health Social Workers are expected to continue to enhance their knowledge and keep abreast of changes in the field in order to maintain accreditation status.  These are some of the challenges that are unique to those working in the area of mental health whether in private practice, government or private agencies.  In other areas across the country Mental Health Practice Groups have been set up to support MHSW in their work.

You are invited to join Helen and Merryl in being part of a group in Townsville and Mackay and benefit from:

  • Meeting other MHSW in the area
  • Information exchange on important issues impacting those in private practice
  • Discussion around state and national mental health initiatives that will have an impact on your work
  • Support through the accreditation process
  • Meetings count towards CPD credits. 

We are also seeking expressions of interest for a Convenor of Social Policy Action Group. 

Please register your interest with Nicola Towler by email at aasw.nqld@aasw.asn.au by 22 March 2018.



The Red Cross


The Red Cross in Townsville undertake a variety of programs to help people.  There is the Homestay project which supports those who are at risk of losing their rental properties and avoid homelessness.  This is achieved by negotiating with landlords, helping people to get their tenancy and rent payments back on track, finding more suitable accommodation or helping clients to manage the underlying issues which contribute to their housing problems encompassing income management, working to address misuse of alcohol or other drugs, or with problems like compulsive hoarding.  There is also the Street to Home project which supports people who are homeless and facilitates guidance to live safely and develop pathways out of homelessness.  The Homelessness Service Hub provides a range of information, support, housing and specialist services to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  The Hub works in collaboration with Housing Connections, where people can find various support options located under the same roof.  Red Cross in Townsville also operates a Targeted Family Support Program and Parenting Support through the Communities for Children Giggle and Grow Playgroups.  These programs are in addition to accommodation support for people attending hospital through the Wellbeing Centre, social inclusion activities through opportunities for volunteering and support for communities who have experienced the impacts of natural disasters.

Red Cross is excited to soon be working in the Townsville Women’s Correction Facility and introducing a new Community-based health and first aid in action (CBHFA) program.  CBHFA has been successfully implemented around the world, it is a community-based approach in which Red Cross Special Status volunteers work with their community in disease prevention, health promotion, first aid and disaster preparedness where different aspects of vulnerability are identified and addressed.  CBHFA in the corrections facility places the inmate community at the centre of this process. You can find out more about Australian Red Cross through their website https://www.redcross.org.au/





Collective Trade Marks


Did you know that as part of the AASW’s goal to strengthen the regulation of the social work profession in Australia, a legally protected trade mark can be used by eligible Accredited members?

The AASW continues to campaign for inclusion in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS). For more information on the campaign click here.

The Accredited trade mark is the gold standard in professional recognition and communicates to employers, clients and other professionals that the social worker:

  • has an AASW Accredited degree level qualification (or overseas equivalent) in social work
  • is a member of the AASW, the professional body for social workers in Australia
  • has made a commitment to ethical practice and is accountable to the AASW's complaints process and
  • commits to, and has completed the minimum amount of annual, ongoing continuing professional development.

To register to use one of the trade marks, first click here to read the AASW Collective Trademark User


Member reminder


Have you moved recently, changed your personal details?  If so, please remember to update all of your details by logging onto the AASW website.  You can also update your subscription preferences here as well.  If you wish to receive up to date information and newsletters relevant to where you live this is really important!  If you experience any difficulties, please contact me and I can update the information for you aaswnqld@aasw.asn.au



Offset the cost of your membership


Offset the cost of your membership

You can offset the cost of your fees by taking advantage of our Member Benefits program. Members receive great discounts on a range of products and services, such as;

Criminal record checks

Telco & IT

Finance & insurance

Motor vehicle benefits

Travel & holiday benefits

Lifestyle benefits

To arrange your discounts, phone AASW Member Benefits on 1300 304 551. For more information about the benefits program, phone the membership team on 1800 630 124.

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