19 February 2020

In this edition, we cover:

  • Hurry!  Survey on the profession-wide capability framework closes soon!
  • World Social Work Day 2020: Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships
  • Updated ASWEAS published
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy online training
  • Update your details.

We want your views on the profession-wide capability framework


We are pleased to be developing a profession-wide capability framework to define the skills, knowledge and behaviours of social workers at each stage of their social work career. The capability framework will support the social work profession in articulating what capabilities are important for us to possess now and to develop for the future.  This ensures that we can continue to perform our roles with clarity and engage in meaningful, targeted learning and development related to our profession. To assist us in developing the framework, please participate in our survey.

The closing date for the survey is Friday, 21 February.


World Social Work Day 2020


Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships - hands shakingWorld Social Work Day is celebrated each year on the third Tuesday of each March. This year, it falls on Tuesday, 17 March 2020. World Social Work Day is when we celebrate and recognise social workers as champions for social justice, self-determination and human rights.

This year's theme is Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships.

On 17 March 2020, we want #WSWD2020 to trend on Twitter. Last year, we got to #2 on Twitter - can we take it all the way to #1 this year? Let's do it! Share your photos, videos and stories of 'human relationships' and let's celebrate social work!

We have events coming up right around the country.  Register today:

North Queensland
Cairns World Social Work Day Networking Breakfast

Mackay World Social World Day Dinner

AASW QLD & Griffith University World Social Work Day

South Australia
World Social Work Day 2020 breakfast

World Social Work Day Breakfast 2020 - Northern Region

World Social Work Day Breakfast 2020 - Southern Region

World Social Work Day breakfast 2020

Western Australia
World Social Work Day Research Symposium

There will be more to come shortly. 


Your new AASW member experience


Silhouette of woman on the phone at her computer.From today, you will notice a positive difference when you call the AASW. Your call will be directed to the department with whom you are trying to make contact via a new menu system. This will ensure your call is directed to the most appropriate person. We want to make sure our members receive prompt and professional service and increase your satisfaction when you contact your Association. 

We look forward to being of service to you. 


Find a Social Worker: Make sure your details are up to date!


UpdatePHNs are directing people who are enquiring about bushfire mental health support to the Find a Social Worker directory. Make sure your details are up-to-date so that people requiring support can contact you. If you need any help setting up or editing your listing, contact the membership team on 1800 630 124 or email membership@aasw.asn.au.


Want to know more about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?


Laptop in the grass with some headphones

Here’s some suggested professional development…

New Year, new opportunities for learning! The AASW CPD Team thought you might like to check out one of our most popular online learning programs on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – Introductory and Advanced level courses. Register for the online training.

Watch the preview

Read more about our ACT online training.


Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS) August 2019 published


ASWEAS August 2019

Following a collaborative process with the Australian Council of Heads of School of Social Work (ACHSSW) and other stakeholders, we are proud to release the updated ASWEAS August 2019. Please find a copy on our website.


Upcoming Mental Health Professionals Network webinar: Supporting the Families of Veterans


MHPNThe Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) is running a webinar on supporting the families of veterans on 16 March. The webinar will take you through supporting families, partners and children of veterans who are transitioning or who have transitioned out of the Defence Force. Register for this free session. 

MHPN has a webinar library with many useful topics relating to mental health, including family violence, suicide prevention and self-care for mental health professionals. All are free and available.


AASW submissions and inquiries


The AASW has recently made the following submissions:

  • Federal Budget 2020-2021
  • Religious Freedom Bills – Second Exposure Drafts
  • Mental Health Productivity Commission
  • Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System.

All submissions are posted to the social policy webpage when we have permission to make them public (as required).

The AASW is currently working on the following submissions:

  • Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

The social policy team welcomes input from any members who have expertise or interest in these topics. Please contact the social policy team at social.policy@aasw.asn.au if you would like to contribute to any of these submissions.

Current submissions

Our work on our submissions to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Interim Report is ongoing. The Royal Commission is accepting submissions until the end of April 2020 and more information is on the website.

The Federal Government has announced an inquiry into homelessness and the AASW will be making a submission to this. We’ll be beginning consultation with members soon and if you’d like to participate email us at social.policy@aasw.asn.au.


Australia's bushfires


Bushfire recovery

The AASW is continuing to monitor the bushfire crisis and our thoughts continue to be with those impacted. We recognise the important work social workers are doing during this time, with mental health support and general recovery efforts.

The Australian Government has announced free counselling and additional mental health supports for those affected by the bushfires. From 17 January 2020 those people who have been affected by the bushfires or who were/are first responders, emergency management employees or volunteers who worked during the bushfires will be able to access Medicare benefits for ten sessions in addition to those already available under the Better Access Program. The new item numbers are available. Please see the Australian Department of Human Services’ guide to support for people affected by bushfires.

A GP referral, MH Treatment Plan or diagnosis are not required, and people can directly self-refer to a provider. You do not need to register, just start using the MBS item number applicable to you.

This MBS counselling and psychological support can be provided through video telehealth services. AMHSWs can provide telehealth services from anywhere in Australia. If the person prefers a telehealth consult, there is no restriction on their postcode, they just need to have been affected by bushfires and have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone. There is a separate set of MBS item numbers for telehealth.

Email mhadvocacy@aasw.asn.au if you have any further questions.


AMHSWs – PHNs seek your services for Medicare Bushfire Recovery


A PHN in South Eastern NSW called Coordinare wants to identify mental health providers who can deliver services under the Bushfire Recovery Items, that came into effect on 17 January.

Coordinare covers many communities which have been seriously affected by the fires. Coordinare is publicising mental health services, including Telehealth services, to ensure that people affected by bushfires know about, and benefit from all the services available. They are interested in hearing from:

  • Telehealth providers from any location across Australia
  • Local face-to-face providers

who can provide mental health supports for people in South Eastern NSW.

Coordinare are also offering to identify and promote social workers from other bushfire affected areas, who are eligible to provide services under the MBS bushfire items and disseminate it to the appropriate PHNs.

If you would like Coordinare to promote your service to people in South Eastern NSW and/or other bushfire affected areas, please complete this online form


Bushfire recovery effort – AASW is seeking input from members


The AASW has been undertaking several pieces of work following the unprecedented bushfire crisis in Australia this summer and the subsequent rollout of new mental health supports under Medicare and the Department of Veterans' Affairs to help devastated communities.

The AASW is seeking to coordinate our longer-term response into local areas and we want you to assist us. We are keen to hear from social workers who live and work in bushfire-affected areas or who are seeing people affected by it.

We would like to know what you are experiencing and what you are seeing in terms of the coordination of the bushfire recovery response in your area. If you are happy to share your experience with us, please provide us with your phone number by sending a short email to mhadvocacy@aasw.asn.au.   


Life in Mind bushfire resources


The Life in Mind team at Everymind has worked with the suicide prevention and mental health sectors, and in collaboration with the National Mental Health Commission, to provide a comprehensive list of resources to support bushfire affected communities and the general public.

Read more at the Life in Mind website.


Message of support from Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers


Chief Executive of Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Lucy Sandford-Reed has sent AASW a message of support regarding the ongoing Australian bushfire crisis:

ANZASW extends deepest condolences to the families of those who have perished in the bushfires. We also extend sympathy to all who have lost everything in the fires.

We thank ANZASW and the international social work community who stand in solidarity with us. 


Royal Commission into Disability releases first progress report


Swimmer with a guide dogThe Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has released its first progress report. The AASW will be conducting consultations with members for our submission to the Royal Commission in the coming months; if you’d like to participate in the consultations, email us at social.policy@aasw.asn.au.


NDIS registration support


Allied Health Professions Australia logoAllied Health Professionals Australia (APHA) have set up a website to assist with the NDIS registration process. They held an introductory webinar last week and it will be up on their website shortly. The site takes you through a comprehensive step by step process on getting set up as a registered NDIS provider and is an easy to use resource for what can be a complicated system. 


Welcome to all social work students!


Aspire Your True Potential: student members

A new academic year is about to begin.  Have a look at our Student Centre to see how AASW supports you as a student member.  Do you know any social work students? Encourage them to become student members of the Association today.

Our Student Centre contains student resources, a study toolkit and much more. 

Check with your branch to join our student and new graduate practice groups around the country.


Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) update


In January 2020, a new coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China. Health authorities believe it originated in a seafood market (although it is not associated with eating seafood products). Cases have been identified in Australia.

Most people infected with 2019-nCoV live in, or have recently travelled to mainland China.

People are considered to be most infectious while symptomatic, however there is limited evidence that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people are also able to transmit the virus.  People who have recently returned from mainland China or who have had close contact with a confirmed case are being advised to self-isolate for 14 days and advised to call ahead to medical clinics if they require medical attention.

The Australian Government, through the Department of Health and the Chief Medical Officer, will work with airports and health professionals to identify biosecurity risks, keep local agencies informed and advise the general public.

Any changes to travel advisories can be found on the Smart Traveller website.

Find out more at Health Direct.


Horizon Career Centre


Horizon Career Centre: Dedicated Jobs website for social workers - girl smiling

Are you looking to advance your career in 2020? Do you have a role to advertise? Have a look at our Horizon Career Centre, for social work roles.

Members can create free locum listings.

We are also seeking a new Marketing and Communications Manager. Find out more.


Social Work Focus: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander edition


Social Work Focus: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoplesThe latest Social Work Focus edition is on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social work. We hope you enjoy the articles:

Aboriginal masculinities: A Tasmanian social worker's perspective - Jacob Prehn

Developing a culturally responsive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff mental wellbeing strategy - Julie Privett

Reaching across the divide - Amy Cleland, Sophie Diamandi, Antonia Hendrick and Trudi Marchant

Combatting white supremacy - Helen Basili

Reflecting on the AASW Reconciliation Action Plan - AASW

We are now seeking articles on the theme of the Asia Pacific. Please send us your articles by 27 March to editor@aasw.asn.au


Participate in research


We have research participation opportunities available:

Participating in research counts towards CPD.


Do you want to appear on a podcast?


A podcast called "Business Peers" will launch in mid-late March. It is a show for business owners to share wisdom and support each other through the sharing of stories and lessons in business. If you are a social worker who runs your own business, why not share your story? This is your opportunity to promote social work practice and publicise your business.

Find out more at Lee Brands podcasts.


WA social policy summits


Family and Domestic Violence and Trauma
Monday, 9
Rural and Remote Registrations

Mental Health + Drug and Alcohol
Monday, 23 March
Rural and Remote Registrations

The evenings will consistent of a presentation from the field to inspire and stimulate discussion, then group workshop discussions that the AASW will take forward as position papers for to the political parties.


AASW CPD events


All AASW branch and online events can be found in the events calendar or on SWOT.

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Branch Student and New Graduates Practice Group Meeting
Wednesday, 11 March

New South Wales

Northern Rivers NSW Practice Group
Tuesday, 17 March

NSW Aged Care Practice Group - Half Day Forum 2020
Wednesday, 25 March
Videoconference registration

Social Workers in Disability (SWID) Practice Group
Friday, 3 April

North Queensland

Mental Health Practice Group
Tuesday, 3 March

Mackay Social Workers Networking Event
Monday, 6 April

Northern Territory

NT Branch Planning Session
Wednesday, 26 February


Focused Psychological Strategies for Social Workers
Thursday, 27 and Friday 28 February

Working through the pain of loss - applying theory and evidence to grief and loss work across the lifespan
Friday, 27 March

South Australia

Aboriginal Bi-Cultural Awareness, Safety and Inclusion
Wednesday, 25 March


North West (Burnie) Peer Support and Reflective Practice Networking Group
Thursday, 27 February

North West Regional Group Networking Dinner
Thursday, 12 March


Social Work Management and Leadership Series (A Five-Part CPD Program over Breakfast – attend one, multiple or all)
Sessions include Management Essentials, Leadership Foundations, Influencing for Outcomes, Managing Unconscious Bias, Managing Workplace Change
February through June 2020, 8.00am–10.30am

Approach to Narrative Therapy: Reclaiming lives and understanding shame
Thursday, 19 March (FPS Relevant Activity)

Focused Psychological Strategies for Social Workers
Wednesday and Thursday, 22 and 23 April (FPS Relevant Activity)

Western Australia

Hopeful Voyager: Navigating your way through the ambiguous losses of mental ill health (Changed from a 2 day event to a one day event)
Thursday, 27 February

Mental Health Screening and Assessment Tools for Everyday Practice
Wednesday, 11 March

World Social Work Day Research Symposium
Tuesday, 17 March
Rural and remote registration




The Australian and New Zealand Society of Jungian Analysts

For further information and prerequisites: http://anzsja.org.au/training-2/ or contact Yvonne Condon- ANZSJA Executive Assistant admin@anzsja.org.au

Application documents available:1 February 2020
Applications close: 18 July 2020


Trauma Education with Dr Leah Giarratano offered in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland in 2020.

Treating PTSD (Day 1-2) and Treating Complex Trauma (Day 3-4). These two acclaimed, highly practical, evidence-based workshops will underpin your clinical practice in this field for both adult and adolescent populations. Endorsed by AASW, ACA & ACMHN. Please note that you must attend Day 1-2 in order to attend Day 3-4.  Leah Giarratano is a clinical psychologist with 25 years clinical and teaching expertise in traumatology.

For details and to register, please visit http://www.talominbooks.com

Study Gerontology This March: CQU

Darryl Wade Psychology

Become a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner


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