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Keeping Cool: Responding to Climate Change in Regional Australia

Event Details
Date: Friday 6 August 2021
Time: 12pm-3pm
Venue: Online
State: Victoria
CPD hrs: 3


Organiser: AASW VIC
Further information


or for more info contact these members of the Practice Group below

Peter Quinn: 0400778797

Martin Butler: 0418572967

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The Victorian Branch Rural and Remote Social Work Action Group invites you to a digital forum with Professor Margaret Alston, Dr Heather Downey and Dr Charlie Massy on the impact of climate change on Social Work Practice in a Rural and Remote setting.

For more information, see the Event Flyer here.

Key Note Speakers

Professor Margaret Alston AM OAM

Margaret Alston is Professor of Social Work at Newcastle University and Emeritus Professor at Monash University. She has established the Gender, Leadership and Social Sustainability research unit (GLASS), facilitating gender research and PhD study for numerous students. In 2010 she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her services to social work and to rural women and in 2021. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to social work and to women. She has undertaken a number of research projects across the Asia-Pacific region and within Australia on gender, climate change, and the impacts of environmental disasters on people and communities. She has published widely on gender equality issues, rural social issues, social work and
environmental disasters including several books.

Dr Heather Downey

Dr Heather Downey is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at La Trobe University – Albury Wodonga campus. Her social work practice experience includes a number of years with the Australian Government, Centrelink, working with drought affected farmers and communities in the Murray Darling Basin, before testing Australian Government Drought Reform Pilot measures in Western Australia. Heather’s PhD research explored ageing Australian farming couple’s retirement decision making in the contemporary context. The rapidly changing climate is resulting in more frequent and prolonged extreme heat events, periods of drought, bushfire events, and rainfall variability. As a result, water has become increasingly an area of focus for Australian policy, with increased attention on the myriad ways people engage with water. Heather’s research concerns social and environmental justice in the rural context, particularly the economic, social, cultural, recreational and environmental meaning of water for all rural community residents.

Dr Charlie Massy

Dr Charlie Massy (BSc PhD OAM), has a BSc in Zoology and PhD in Human Ecology. While managing the family farm in NSW he also teaches at universities and consults in the fields of Merino breeding and landscape design. He has engaged in freelance journalism since 1977, and has published books on Merino sheep and wool history. His recent best-selling book, Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture – A New Earth, concerns the emergence of a regenerative agriculture in Australia and cause for hope.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers