Empowering Excellence


Empowering Excellence: Social Work Online Training - Register Now - AASW - gold letters, purple background

The Empowering Excellence program has new content. These new webinars are essential for social workers, with experts in their fields giving you the tools to provide specialist interventions for your clients. Register now.

New releases

Existing content in the Empowering Excellence program includes the following:

Contact cpd@aasw.asn.au for further information.

Member profile
Full name:  Shraevani Giri
Role and company
Full time private practice now but most of my career has been in public mental health services (clinical). My business name is Accolade Therapy Services.
What do you love and/or inspires you most about being a social worker?
I have always been drawn to working with people and contributing to society as best as I can. The school I went to, in India, had interest groups and hobby societies. At the age of 10 I joined the Social Work group. I remember doing little projects with the local village children. In senior school and university, I was in Interact and Rotaract (the school and university clubs of Rotary). So, you can see I have always been drawn to the field.
I am inspired my many things, nature, animals, ordinary people and how they manage in trying circumstances and activists who give so much of themselves to the betterment of others. People like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and so very many others. When I think of what these people did I think about what I can do in my own small way to contribute positively. This is what inspired me to become a social worker.
Who has been the most inspiring role model in your career and why?
I have had many colleagues who have inspired me from whom I have learnt a lot. I wouldn't like to mention any one person. I am also inspired by organisations like Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature, Get Up and their founders.
What is the best advice you can give to someone starting out in their career?
Social work is a challenging profession to get into. It is very rewarding but sometimes it can seem as if you are always fighting an uphill battle. Depending on where you work, you may have a clear identity as a social worker or you may have to carve out an identity for yourself. For instance, if you are a hospital social worker your non- social worker colleague may think your role is to buy cigarettes and find accommodation only. As social workers, we know differently, and we need to be able to clearly articulate exactly what it is we do and demonstrate the same. This may take a couple of years to develop so get a good supervisor and be active within the profession. Professional networks and support will go a long way. This will also go a long way to help you care for yourself. Self-care if very important to prevent burnout.
If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Hmmm... I have many people I would like to have dinner with but if I have to name one person I think I would have loved to have dinner with my great grandfather, Sir Venkataratnam Naidu. He was a well-known social activist in India.

Mental Health Month: Social work student Talitha Power combines music, mental health and social work


Talitha Power with a guitar on the beachTalitha Power is a student member of the AASW, studying at JCU in Cairns and currently on her final placement. Along with a passion for helping people, Talitha also has a passion for music  and understands its power of bringing people together and helping people heal. She has a dream of combining music and social work, whether that be in a musical community development sense, or individually through music therapy.

Talitha is currently in the national finals for the Listen Up Music Songwriting Festival. This event is run yearly to spread positive messages around mental health. This year’s festival had 2,780 entries across Australia and the UK, with over 1,800 of these being from Australia, and Talitha being in the Australian top ten!  Having personal and professional experience in the mental health area, and understanding the ubiquitousness of mental health in the social work field, Talitha decided to enter a song in this year’s festival. The song was written to incorporate personal experience and some aspects covered in the fourth year mental health subject at JCU, with a message of “I’ve been where you are, I know it’s hard, you can get through this, and I’ll hold your hope”. The song can be heard on Talitha’s Facebook page.

As the proceeds from the festival go towards R U OK? Talitha has to make her own way to Sydney for the national finals, which as you can imagine, is quite difficult whilst in the middle of a 500 hour placement. She has started up a GoFundMe to assist with travel and accommodation costs for the event. You can donate at GoFundMe and Talitha would be immensely appreciative.


A giant in the field: Vale Professor Beverley Raphael AM


Professor Raphael was a giant in the field of mental health and traumatic stress both nationally and internationally, and was a generous source of wise, compassionate and insightful advice to clinicians and researchers in this field over many, many years.



Frank Quinlan speech: suicide statistics released


National suicide data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently showed a 9.1% increase in the number of lives lost to suicide in Australia over the last year. Australia's suicide rate, currently 12.7 per 100,000, now exceeds the World Health Organisation's global average suicide mortality rate by 2.1%.

They revealed 3,128 Australians lost their lives to suicide in 2017. That makes suicide the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years.

That also means, in the week since the report was published, a further 60 Australians are likely to have lost their lives to suicide.

Suicide Prevention Australia, Lifeline and other organisations at the coal face of the suicide crisis have welcomed the Government's injection of $36 million to help deliver important awareness and stigma reduction activities, research and leadership through a variety of suicide prevention projects.



Enabling supported decision-making in practice


How can the community be supported to make informed decisions and understand choices about their treatment and care in mental health? What principles are essential for good practice and implementation?

Co-produced with the community and clinicians working in equal partnership, a Subcommittee of the Victorian Branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP Victorian Branch) has developed a position paper to promote supported decision-making in mental health care.

To participate, contact Niamh Byrne, Acting Project Manager Clinical and Professional Practice on (03) 9236 9103 or via Niamh.Byrne@ranzcp.org.



End-of-life law in Australia


Are you a health professional or aged care worker? Do you know how end of life law applies to your practice?

For practical information about end of life law in aged care, visit the ELDAC Legal toolkit or call the ELDAC Helpline on 1800 870 155 for more information.


Every Australian Counts' Make it Work forums


Make It Work forums, featuring people with disability and their families talking about their experiences with the NDIS, will be held in capital cities and regional towns across Australia. The forums will give people with disability and their families the opportunity to have their say about the issues that matter most, and to shape the future of the NDIS.

Register for your local forum here.


Employer's Guide to Implementing a Peer Workforce


The Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network is pleased to announce these valuable resources that support organisations to establish quality Peer Work models. These employer guides are currently under review but can be downloaded from the Peer Work Hub. Resources include an employer's guide to implementation, a planning toolkit and a language guide. 




Anthony Hillin - FPS experiential workshops

OSWA Conference 8-10 Novembe 2018 ACT

Trauma education workshops with clinical psychologist Dr Leah Giarratano in November 2018

These two professional development workshops provide mental health professionals with practical skills and up-to-date research in traumatology.

Treating PTSD is offered in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne Brisbane and attracts 14 CPD hours.

Treating complex trauma (helping survivors of abuse and neglect) is offered in Sydney and Melbourne (you must attend Treating PTSD beforehand) and attracts 14 CPD hours.

For further details and to register, please visit www.talominbooks.com 


Mind Performance

Clinical Hypnosis plus Focussed psychological Strategies (FPS) based upon CBT training is available in various locations throughout the country. Presented by Dr Alan Fahey

The training is CPD endorsed by numerous health and allied health organisations including: the AASW: the RACGP; the GPMHSC; the ACMHN and several other colleges of nursing. This training supports attendees with the Focused Psychological Strategy component of their professional development. 

Register today.


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