WA Social Worker of the Year Awards


The seventh annual WA Social Worker of the Year Awards held in May celebrated the social work profession and the individuals who make it unique.

As a sponsor, the AASW is proud to announce all the winners, including Social Worker of the Year, Stephan Lund (pictured centre with Jan Stewart, Awards Patron, and the Hon. Andrea Mitchell MLA, Minister for Mental Health and Child Protection).

Stephan, Executive Manager of foster care organisation, Wanslea Family Services, is an innovative social worker and manager who thinks creatively about solutions to problems and new ways of working. He was one of 15 finalists in five award categories and was named the winner for his enthusiasm and passion for social work and underlying commitment to further the profession through education.

Award recipients

Leading the Way Award
Stephan Lund, Wanslea

Agent of Change Award
Emma Weaver, Department of Child Protection and Family Support

Head, Heart and Hands Award
Sue Galbraith, Department of Child Protection and Family Support

Rising Star Award
Julie Verley, Angelhands

Rural and Remote Practitioner Award
Marina Andrade, Kalgoorlie Hospital

Meet the winners and view the photo gallery




Research can benefit your CPD

Taking part in research can be recorded as CPD hours for category 3 – Professional Identity. There are currently six AASW-approved research projects in which members can participate. They include:


These online surveys are still seeking participants until 30 June 2016:

  • Clinical Utility of a Diagnosis of Demoralisation
  • Experiences and Expectations of Early Career Australian Social Workers

Professional identities within Queensland health settings

Social workers of varying levels of experience who are employed in a health setting in Queensland are invited to participate in a study into how social workers construct their professional identities in these settings. The study will involve a private 60-90 minute multimedia (phone, skype etc) interview in which you will share your experience of constructing your professional identity within your particular health setting.

Working for the Welfare: Exploring the experiences of Indigenous child protection workers

James Cook University is currently seeking workers who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and currently or have previously worked in the child protection field to take part in a semi-structured in-depth interview about your experiences. It is hoped that the findings will add to the evidence base in this field and be adopted by government departments and other agencies to improve workforce conditions and support for Aboriginal and Torres Islander employees.

Find out more about these research participation opportunities on the AASW website.

Promote your research

If you are recruiting participants for research that is relevant to social workers and social work practice, find out more about the AASW's approval process and the documentation we require that will enable you to promote your research to members


Wanted: Social work stories


Social workers with low literacy experience

Elizabeth Beattie, a Melbourne based journalist and Masters student at Massey University in New Zealand, is preparing a thesis and investigative piece of journalism on the challenges faced by young people who have low literacy. She is looking at exploring the human struggle and hardships beyond the statistics and economic cost, and would like to hear from social workers who have experience working with young people with low literacy and can provide some insight into the challenges they face. If you’re interested, of have any questions or feedback, email Elizabeth Beattie or phone her on 0448 332 843. 

My social care story

The Guardian's social care network's newest series shares firsthand accounts of what it's really like to work in the sector. They would like to hear from social workers and other professionals in any role at any level about their career defining experiences - whether joyous, life-changing, difficult or toe-curlingly embarrassing. Was there a particular person who encouraged your in your career, or a client who changed your outlook? Find out more about how to take part in the 'My social care story' series












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