Social policy and advocacy


AASW congratulates 'inspirational' Rosie Batty

The AASW warmly congratulates Rosie Batty on being named the 2015 Australian of the Year. “Ms Batty’s determination to publicly recognise family violence and her tireless advocacy for achieving practical change is nothing short of inspirational,” says AASW National President Karen Healy. “Her selection means that domestic and family violence will now be central to our nation's agenda, and gives courage to women and children living in fear. The challenge now is for governments to put in place the practical changes needed to achieve safety and well-being for families affected by violence." View our media release on Ms Batty's selection here. 

Research is vital for advocacy

The AASW voice on issues of social policy and justice is made so much more powerful if it is backed up by research.  Do you know social workers doing research in areas that can be related to issues of social justice?  If you do, the AASW would like to know about their work as the Social Policy Team are keen to promote advocacy using research findings.  If you are a researcher, you would probably like your work to be effective in promoting real change. The AASW can be fearless in its advocacy as we are not dependent on government funds. You, our members fund all our work. Email us at

Social Workers in Disability – Research

The AASW is representing the profession in advocacy for social work in the disability sector, specifically the NDIS. Importantly this is about best outcomes for consumers and their families. The new service delivery environment is strongly driven by evidence and we are seeking any information about research that may is being undertaken which will help highlight the role of social work in producing best outcomes for consumers. Please email

Children in immigration detention

The AASW continues to be concerned about the high numbers of children in immigration detention. Figures released by the government reveal that as of 31 December, there were still 555 children in immigration detention, including 135 children on Nauru. Do not hesitate to tell your Local Member of Parliament that you are concerned using the AASW resources on our website here

Public consultation: redress and civil litigation

The Royal Commission is launching a public consultation paper on redress and civil litigation at a public hearing in Sydney on 30 January 2015 at 9.30am. At the public hearing, the Chair of the Royal Commission Justice Peter McClellan will outline key issues for consideration in the provision of redress and civil litigation for survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions. Members of the public and the media are invited to attend the hearing in person: Level 17 Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place Sydney or watch live via the Royal Commission’s website here.


AASW in the media


Taking domestic violence out of the shadows

A letter by National President Karen Healy was published in the 'Australian' newspaper congratulating Rosie Batty on being named the 2015 Australian of the Year. "In this award we have acknowledged a woman who has risen above personal tragedy to build a legacy of social change," Professor Healy writes. Read the letter here

Continuing debate over baby hatches 

National President Karen Healy featured in an article on baby hatches in the 25 January edition of the Herald Sun. The article explores whether hatches are a safe answer for abandoned newborns, with Professor Healy of the view that 'the claim the hatches save lives has not been demonstrated in most research studies'. View the article here

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Research participation opportunities


New opportunities for research participation

New opportunities for participation in research are continually being added to our research participation web page, including a project looking at experiences of early careers social workers working in the health sector; and a project looking at supporting social workers in the disability sector. Click here for the latest opportunities and get involved in social work research! 


Get involved


Second Annual Refugee Conference: call for presenter expressions of interest 

The second annual refugee conference, Refugee and Asylum Seekers: Challenges and Best Practice, is being held in Brisbane on Wednesday 3 June during Refugee week. The conference committee is currently calling for expressions of interest from those interested in presenting at this conference. The conference will be centred around three themes of Human rights, conflict and displacement; Refugee policy in Australia; and Settlement identity and culture. The closing date for abstract submissions is Friday 13 February, 2015.  For more information please click here or email

Brandeis University Scholarships 

Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 academic year, with new full scholarships, including the Public Policy and Coexistence Scholarship and the Sidney Topol Fellowship in Non Violence. For more information click here

Mental Health Australia (MHA)

Keeping up to date with national news about specific practice or topic areas of interest is not always easy. You may wish to subscribe to the CEO Update from MHA. Click here to subscribe. 





Horizon Career Centre


Horizon Career Centre is an initiative of the AASW to provide a forum for employment solutions and career resources. NSW – Professional Officer, AASW (NSW Branch), Sydney;  Disability Allied Health Professional, Family Planning NSW, Hunter;  Child and Family Practitioner, The Benevolent Society, Sydney; Child and Family Practitioner (Group Work), The Benevolent Society, Sydney;  VIC – Executive Officer (Office of the CEO), AASW, Melbourne;  Young Adults Case Manager – Hume Moreland Services Connect, VincentCare Victoria, Melbourne;  Social Worker – Grade Two, Bairnsdale Regional Health Service, Bairnsdale; Coordinator – Counselling & Family Violence Team, Inner South Community Health, Melbourne;  Social Work Team Leader, Bairnsdale Regional Health Service, Bairnsdale;  QLD – Social Worker/Professional Supervisor – Family Health Support Workers, BUSHkids, Brisbane;  NT – Social Work Manager, Department of Health (NT), Darwin;  SA – Family Consultant, Federal Court & Federal Circuit Court, Adelaide. Click here to view the Horizon Website for more. 


IFSW news


Click here to see the latest newsletter of the Australian Federation of Social Workers. 

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