3 April

In this edition, we cover:

  • AASW keeps you up-to-date with COVID-19
  • We have extended our World Social Work Day Empowering Excellence promotion - 15% off for members
  • Join our COVID-19 Facebook Group

Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Coronavirus (COVID-19) - fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat.

The AASW is continuing to monitor the situation with COVID-19 and to provide accurate and up to date information to members as soon as it becomes available. We recognise the effect that the recent developments with COVID-19 have had on members and the general community. It is a difficult time for many and we know that social workers are concerned about the impact of coronavirus on not only their well-being but the people they provide services to, their families, and the wider community. Social workers are, just as in the bushfires, working at the frontlines of this pandemic.

We have set up a webpage which links to the Department of Health’s fact sheets and resources, as well as responses to questions we are getting from members, and a member guide which provides in-depth information to help social workers navigate their practice during these difficult times.

We understand and appreciate the difficult financial situation bulk billing of COVID-19 items has placed on members.

This has affected all Medicare mental health professionals and we are working with other allied health professionals to advocate for improved remuneration conditions for workers.

There was promising news from the Health Minister on 29 March as he announced that further changes will be introduced shortly that will allow GPs and other providers to apply their usual billing practices to telehealth consultations, while concessional and vulnerable patients will continue to receive services at no cost. We understand there will a further announcement in the next week or so.

We will provide further information as it comes to hand.

Read more about the Coronavirus update.


COVID-19 action accelerates AASW transformation


iPad and computerThe large investment program undertaken by the Association over the last two years has put the Association in good stead to weather the worst of the impacts of COVID-19.

Members will recall that last year, we embarked on a major modernisation of our communications platforms, to ensure equity of access and of participation for all members. We did this in light of changing methods of communications, with online delivery of and access to information, training and even participation in meetings being commonplace.

The investment means that all members have the same advantages of participation.  We retired the fixed office locations model and moved to a flexible ‘pay as you go’ model, effectively taking facilities to where the members are domiciled and not the other way around.

Costs associated with maintaining the fixed offices were redeployed  to support access for all members via improved communications technology platform.

And it hasn’t stopped there.

Read more about the AASW technology upgrade.


New AASW member Facebook Group


AASW members COVID-19 Group

The AASW has started a new Facebook Group to discuss COVID-19.This group will provide daily updates for AASW members, access to key resources including professional development, opportunities to take part of live Q&As with AASW representatives, and networking for members.

We will begin by launching a live Q&A on Tuesday, 7 April at 6.30pm AEST. For this first Q&A we will go through the most frequently asked questions from members and provide opportunities for further queries at the end. We plan for this to be a regular occurrence. For future sessions, we will ask members to submit questions beforehand (as some may require further researching from our team) as well as taking live questions. We will provide more information shortly.

Request to join today.


Online infection control training


The Department of Health commissioned the development of online infection control training.

An Infection Control training module has been developed for use by care workers across the health, aged care, disability and childcare sector: https://covid-19training.com.au/


DVA and COVID-19


DVA have mirrored the MBS in rolling out telehealth to all recipients of DVA and new items for telephone consultations where video-conferencing is not available have been announced. A new schedule has been released as well. More information on DVA and COVID-19 is available on our webpage.




The NDIA has made a number of changes to help NDIS providers to continue to deliver supports to participants through this time. A FAQ page is available to help providers understand these changes.


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Multilingual Resource Library


Ethnolink has developed a resource on COVID-19 in 24 languages so far, with more to come. 

Access the Covid-19 multilingual library.

Please get in touch with Ethnolink business@ethnolink.com.au if you require resources in other languages.


DVA provider webinars: services available to support older veterans


DVA in conjunction with OPAN are hosting a series of webinars on the services available to support older veterans. Topics include Veterans Home Care and Respite Care. Registrations are required but if you miss any they will be hosted on the OPAN website once available.




Disability webinarRoyal Commission into Disability

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has released its first progress report.

The AASW held a webinar on Thursday, 26 March to get members' input to guide our submission. Thank you to all who attended, your feedback was very useful and informative. We will be in touch with participants shortly on the next steps in the consultation process. It’s not too late to get involved though, email us at social.policy@aasw.asn.au if you would like to contribute.  

You can watch the webinar if you registered and missed it.

If you didn't register, you can do so, then watch it.

We also want member input into the NDIS Workforce Inquiry submission.

Read more about NDIS Workforce Inquiry and Homelessness in Australia.


CPD - World Social Work Day special


Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships: WSWD special - get your social distancing on with the Empowering Excellence program

We are extending our World Social Work Day offer for April. Get your social distancing on with our online Empowering Excellence courses! AASW members get 15% off the entire Empowering Excellence program during the promotion.


Completing your CPD with face-to-face activities postponed for now


Self-isolated learning

AASW on-demand training

  • AASW Empowering Excellence online courses – 15% discount for members extended throughout April. Log in to the member centre and purchase your course. You can complete your course anytime, on any device and when you need it.
  • A full list of all AASW on-demand courses can be found on our website

AASW live-online activities

  • Many of our face-to-face seminars and workshops will be converted to an online format. See your branch event listings for information.
  • Practice Group discussions and networking events will now be run online, please contact your local branch for more information.

Read more about how to keep up with CPD during the COVID-19 crisis


Documenting your CPD


CPD recording

Now is the time to begin documenting your CPD, if you haven't been doing so already. See our instructions on how to do it. 


Log into our website


Did you know that once logged on to the website, not only will you be able to benefit from access to the Member Only resources on the website, you can:

  • Register and pay the discounted member price for events
  • Create a listing for yourself in our "Find a Social Worker" or "Find a Supervisor" directories
  • Update your contact/profile information
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Access your online CPD record
  • Register for the Social Worker, Accredited Social Worker and other trademarks
  • Download your membership and insurance certificates
  • Download all invoice copies?

Log into the website.


Statement of Member Conduct


The AASW exists to promote the profession of social work, advance social justice, uphold standards and build the capacity of members. The Statement of Member Conduct describes expectations of member behaviour to promote and support a professional and respectful standard of conduct throughout the AASW. We have recently updated our Statement of Member Conduct.


Global survey on the working conditions of social workers


The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) is leading a long-term, global campaign, working closely with national member organisations, to improve the working conditions and environment of social workers. Working through IFSW member organisations and social media, a pilot global study of social workers was launched in November 2019. Social workers everywhere are invited to complete the online survey, which is available in several languages. The research is being undertaken in a partnership between IFSW and Bath Spa University Centre for Health and Cognition (in association with Ulster University Social Work Department).

Complete the survey now.


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


UpdateWith an increasing number of people seeking to access services via telehealth, we are referring members of the public to our Find a Social Worker portal. 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.


Social work students


Aspire Your True Potential: student members

The new academic year has begun in dramatic fashion, with many universities closed or offering online teaching options to control COVID-19. As a student member of AASW, you will receive updates on everything affecting the social work profession. 

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

We also have special information for students and education providers during the COVID-19 crisis.


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.


AASW submissions and inquiries


The AASW is currently working on the following submissions:

  • Select Committee on Autism
  • Inquiry into homelessness in Australia  
  • NDIS Workforce
  • Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

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.

The AASW has recently made the following submissions:

  • Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
  • Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Bill 2020

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

Current submissions

The AASW continues to work on a number of submissions however most have taken a backseat while we work to support members through the issues surrounding COVID-19 and social work practice.


Bushfire recovery


Bushfire recovery

The AASW is continuing to monitor the bushfire crisis as we move into recovery stage. Our thoughts remain 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. 

There is more information for the public on how to get mental health support.

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

Read more about the bushfire recovery.


NDIS registration support


Allied Health Professions Australia logo

Allied Health Professionals Australia (APHA) have set up a website to assist with the NDIS registration process. There are a series of webinars available on their website as well. 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. 


Social Work Focus


Social Work Focus: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples


We are seeking articles for the next edition of Social Work Focus. How are you practising social work during Coronavirus? We want to hear your practice experiences during this period.

Find out how to contribute to Social Work Focus.


Australian Social Work


Australian Social WorkThe latest edition of Australian Social Work is out now. Read it now!

Australian Social Work is calling for papers from practitioners and scholars on the topic of Embodiment and Social Work. The Special Issue guest Editors are Dr Jo Mensinga (James Cook University) jo.mensinga@jcu.edu.au and Professor Loretta Pyles lpyles@albany.edu

We are accepting submissions.

Deadline for submission of manuscripts is 30 July 2020.

Read more about what we are looking for in Australian Social Work.


Participate in research


We have research participation opportunities available:

Participating in research counts towards CPD.


Australian students report strong satisfaction with university experience


Students graduating

According to the 2019 Student Experience Survey (SES) Report, there were 9,185 undergraduate students and 6,837 postgraduate students enrolled in social work courses.

Positive ratings for social work undergraduates have seen minor increases in the Skills Development and Student Support focus areas, 2019 vs 2018. Learner Engagement is now 56%, up from 53% - but social work continues to be one of the lowest scoring for this focus area, along with psychology (50%), and humanities, culture and social sciences (56%). The national total percentage for Learner Engagement was 60% in both 2018 and 2019 – so social work is slightly underperforming in this area against the national average.

Read more about student experiences


National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse – National Online Survey


The consultation period for stakeholders to contribute to the online survey to inform the National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse (National Centre) has been extended until 11:59pm on Sunday, 12 April 2020.

Thank you to all those who have completed and shared the survey so far. We would be grateful if you could please inform relevant stakeholders of the extended timeframe.

If you have any enquires please contact our team via NationalCentre@dss.gov.au


Resources to help with Coronavirus lockdown


Below is a video and other resources on mental wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing

Below are a number of resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and remote communities.

Keep our mob safe, wash your hands


Client violence towards workers in the child, family and community welfare sector


This paper explores the prevalence and presentation of client violence towards workers, considering any violent or aggressive behaviour from clients, direct associates of clients, and friends or family members of clients. It compares current research on client violence towards workers to official data reports, and considers why there might be a discrepancy between the two sets of data. It details the effects that client violence has on workers personally and the implications for their practice. Finally, it outlines strategies for improving responses to client violence towards workers, including practical responses that can be implemented at an organisational, educational and policy level.

Access the full paper via the CFCA Website


AASW CPD events


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

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Branch April Private Practice Group Meeting
Wednesday, 8 April

ACT Branch June Private Practice Group Meeting
Tuesday, 16 June

North Queensland

Mackay Social Workers Networking Event
Monday, 6 April


Webinar - Legal Ed Seminar - Slater+Gordon - The Chronic Psycho-social Impact of Traumatic Injury in the Compensation Context

Three online training modules:

Or you can register for all three training modules at a discounted cost.

South Australia

Low Intensity CBT Interventions
Tuesday, 21 April


Social Interventions Using Brain Science with Dr Geraldene Mackay
Tuesday, 12 May

Skilful Use of Mindfulness in Therapeutic Work with Clients and Individual Practice
Tuesday, 9 June


Free Phoenix Australia COVID-19 resources


Phoenix Australia has set up COVID-19 web page, with resources and training which is being updated. 

They have developed a range of information and resources, including a series of targeted videos and tip sheets for practitioners and for the community.




Prolonged Exposure Therapy Training Program and Workshop with Dr Darryl Wade

Do You Treat Clients with PTSD and Related Conditions? Be part of an experiential program that will equip you with effective therapy skills that you can immediately put into practice.

LIVE web-based training now available in 2020!

Also Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Perth


Presented by Darryl Wade, internationally recognised expert in posttraumatic mental health and Australia’s only accredited PE therapy trainer.

More information: www.darrylwade.com.au/training/


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


So you want to become and accredited mediator? Download the Nationally Accredited Mediator Training Handbook

Study Postgraduate Online in July - Domestic and Family Violence


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