Member profile


Photo of Janelle White

Full name:
Janelle White
Role and company:
I'm an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and have been in private practice, originally in Griffith NSW and now Batemans Bay, since 2012. I'm the sole Director of Red Symmetry Pty Ltd and my business is Batemans Bay Counselling Service
What do you love and/or inspires you most about being a social worker?
Being a social worker brings a lot of challenges to your everyday practice, particularly as you never quite know what issues or the level of distress a client may bring to a session. While this can be stressful, I like the fact that I have to think on my feet, problem solve, draw on all my skills and experience, and I get to work with the most incredible people. Helping them to sit with deeper emotions in therapy is so rewarding, and it's so wonderful when they come out the other side of therapy and feel like they are back in control and ready to take on the world. I suppose their gratitude also meets my needs!
Who has been the most inspiring role model in your career and why?
The person who really inspired me when studying social work, was Professor Wendy Bowles, at Charles Sturt University. Wendy is a social work rock star! She has an amazing capacity for work, and gently challenged and broadened my thinking about what social work is and what it can be. Wendy has been my informal mentor on and off over the years and if I picked up the phone today, she would still be willing to offer support in a positive and grounded way.
What is the best advice you can give to someone starting out in their career?
Don't expect to know what you're doing! The act of 'doing' social work is learned over time and because there is so much to know, it really does take a commitment to lifelong learning. Find an experienced supervisor who can help guide your practice, focus on your strengths, and who is willing to provide critical feedback in supervision. 
If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Morgan Freeman comes to mind because he seems wise, kind, intelligent and knowledgeable about life in general. I think it would be an interesting dinner!

Western Australians invited to inform new workforce strategy


The WA Government released the draft Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Workforce Strategic Framework 2018-2025 for community consultation earlier this week.

The framework aims to guide growth and development of a qualified, skilled workforce to provide high quality mental health and alcohol and other drug services for the Western Australian community.

The framework is an important initiative toward supporting implementation of more mental health and alcohol and other drug community based services, part of the WA Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025.

[Read More]


Workforce Initiatives to improve Aboriginal Mental Health


The Andrews Labor Government is investing $8.4 million to boost the number of Aboriginal health workers in the system and provide more culturally appropriate mental health services for Aboriginal Victorians.

Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley said the funding would support two new workforce initiatives designed to improve the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal Victorians.

The new initiatives include an Aboriginal Mental Health Traineeship Program for Aboriginal people interested in a career in mental health services, and the provision of ten new clinical and therapeutic mental health positions in Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations across Victoria.

[Read More]


Australia's Mental and Physical Health Tracker


Australia’s Mental and Physical Health Tracker is the first Australian study to quantify the risks of physical health conditions contributing to a wide range of mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Released by Professor Allan Fels AO of the Australian Health Policy Collaboration Advisory Board member on 7 August, the latest national report card reveals the strong links between chronic physical ill health and mental ill health.

The national report card should be read in conjunction with the background paper that provides context and extends the data summarised in the report card.


Train your mind: headspace message to young men


Minds need training too.  Headcoach - our new national campaign for young men.

One in seven young men aged between 16 and 24 experience depression or anxiety each year - yet a meagre 13 per cent seek help. Furthermore, suicide is the leading cause of death for young men in Australia.

Young men have a tough time recognising the importance of maintaining their mental health for a number of reasons including traditional gender role stereotypes, inability to identify early warning signs and a reluctance to let anyone know if they are struggling.

By bringing together some of the country’s most elite athletes to share tips and advice from their own experience, headcoach  highlights the importance to young men of training their bodies and their minds.

[Read More]


Unlocking 'non-memories' a key to better PTSD treatment 


New research unlocking the complexity of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder points to the potential unrecognised effect of 'non-memories' that may compound troubles for patients, and hamper effective treatment programs. Flinders University researchers believe that tackling this hidden problem could be an important step in improving outcomes for PTSD sufferers.

[Read More]


‘Invisible’ children of imprisoned parents at risk of falling through the cracks


Australia’s imprisonment rates have risen rapidly over the past decade, with a large proportion of those in prison being of child-rearing age. This suggests there may be increasing numbers of children with one or more parents in prison. However, it’s difficult to know exactly how many children are impacted by their parents being in prison. This is because there are no standard procedures at the point of arrest, sentencing, or when offenders first enter prison to determine if they have dependent children. As a result, these children form a somewhat ‘invisible’ group who are currently not adequately identified, assessed, or supported by either child- or adult-oriented services.

[Read More]


New report shines a spotlight on Australia’s ‘rough sleepers’


A new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) provides insights into this complex and vulnerable group in our society. The report Sleeping rough: A profile of Specialist Homelessness Services clients, uses 4 years of Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) data to build a comprehensive picture of this group, the challenges they face and the services they use. The report shows that compared to other clients of SHS rough sleepers are generally older males, often with drug, alcohol or mental health issues.

[Read More]


AASW events


Australian Capital Territory

Saturday, 1 September 2018

New South Wales

Thursday 30 August 2018
9 am - 4.30 pm
Tuesday 16 October, 2018
9 am - 4.30 pm

North Queensland

Friday, 7 September 2018

Northern Territory

Wednesday, 17 - Friday, 19 October 2018


Friday, 31 August 2018
9 am - 4 pm


Thursday, 30 August 2018
Friday 31 August 2018
Monday, 3 September 2018
2:30 pm - 5:15 pm
Thursday 6 September 2018
8:45 am - 4:30 pm
Tuesday 11 September and Wednesday 12 September 2018
9 am - 5 pm
Monday 17 September 2018
9:15 am - 1:15 pm
Wednesday 10 October 2018
9 am - 4:30 pm

Western Australia

19 September  2018
9 am - 4:30 pm
20 October 2018
9 am - 3 pm
09 November 2018
9 am - 5 pm



Stress-proofing the brain - woman's face smiling with glasses against a blue background

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