See More

> Events > All Events > Trends that transformed Social Work practice

Trends that transformed Social Work practice

Event Details
Date: Saturday, 20 November 2021
Time: 5PM
Venue: Online

Members: Free

Non-members: $20

Organiser: AASW VIC Branch

For any enquiries please contact Ravi at

  • Event date has passed
  • Registrations are closed

Come along to celebrate the 75years of AASW with the Victorian Branch!

Along with a panel discussion about the trends that transformed social work practice featuring our life members, we have some exciting games and performances to keep you engaged and entertained!

Panel Discussion:

Please join some of our distinguished life members - Christine Bigby, Colin Benjamin, Jane Miller, Jim Poulter, Margarita Frederico and Virginia Mansel Lees in the discussion of trends that transformed social work practice.

The panellists will be talking about what influenced them to become a social worker, what motivated them throughout their career and what professional and/or personal barriers they have experienced over the years.They'd also be shedding some light on how social work practice has evolved from when they started in the industry to today, and what their thoughts are on how social work practice will look in the future; will there be new industries for social workers to work in or are there some current industries that social workers should already be working in but are not considered?

You can learn more about their work here.

Poetry Recital

Tune into poetry recital from Kellie Stastny, Chair of Intervoice.

Kellie views the Hearing Voices Movement and Intervoice as her TRIBE, her chosen family and has been immensely blessed to have grown and developed within this network since 2009. She loves being a part of a movement where the individual experience is valued, that lived experience is an expertise and one that removes barriers between people. She has been a part of the Board of Intervoice since 2012 and became the Chair this year. For the last 4 years She has been pursuing a double degree Bachelor of Human Services and Master of Social Work a La Trobe University Wodonga. She aspires to pursue an academic career now, to teach up and coming mental health professionals about this approach and to pursue research to propel and support the Hearing Voices Movement.

Meet the panellists:

Christine Bigby:

Professor Christine Bigby is Director of the Living with Disability Research Centre at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. She has a long track record of working in partnership with disability support organisations investigating the effectiveness of practice, social programs and policies that aim to support the social inclusion of adults and older people with intellectual disabilities. Since 2009 has led a longitudinal study investigating the organisation of staff support, and quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities living in group homes and leads a major program of research on the practice of supported decision making. Bigby is a member of the College of Experts of the Australian Research Council and has published 8 books, 42 book chapters, 166 journal articles and numerous research reports.

Colin Benjamin

Colin pursued a social work career with an emphasis on strategic and social change based on fundamental social work ideals. As a social worker with Sunbury Mental Hospital, he worked towards the de-institutionalisation of its 1,300 patients. In 1974, he became the Director of Research and Policy for the Social Welfare Department of Victoria where he was involved in both writing the White Paper on social welfare policy, and then in the design of the family and community services program. Later, he was appointed Disaster Welfare Coordinator for victims of Cyclone Tracy before working with Minister Brian Dixon to establish a Victoria Ministry of Employment and Training. In 1982, Colin worked on establishing an Equal Opportunity Unit, designed to increase the number of women in the upper levels of the public service. In his later career, he has held strategic leadership positions where he worked on strategising large scale multinational corporations.

Jane Miller

Jane Miller AM BA Dip Soc Studs, MSW, PhD is a graduate of the University of Melbourne. During her career as a social worker she has worked in family agencies, hospitals, and the Victorian Public Service. Her roles have included policy, management and program development. She retired from the position of Chief Social Worker at the Royal Children’s Hospital in 2007. She has recently completed a book ‘A History of Social Work Education In Australia – Forebears and Founders, 1900-1960” which she anticipates will be published next year.

Jim Poulter

Jim Poulter entered the welfare field as an adult in 1964.Jim was inspired by the conceptualisation of Social Workers as ‘agents of change’ in society, and this became a vital part of his professional identity. In 1972, Jim gained federal funding to establish a range of innovative home support services which later became the blueprint for the national Home and Community Care (HACC) program. Working for the Social Security Department, Jim played a prominent role in Australia’ s first Aboriginal Liaison Service in 1978. In 1985 Jim was also loaned out to the Victorian Premier’ s Department to help establish its Office of Aboriginal Affairs. Jim also pioneered Case to Cause Advocacy, where individual client situations were used to initiate court cases, and thereby create legal precedents, resulting in the introduction of sole parent’s pensions, and income support payments. Jim's work at the Thomas Embling Hospital for the Criminally Insane led to a new case law developement for psychiatric rehabilitation. Jim retired in 2004 but continued to contribute to the AASW state branch and ethics committee for the next decade.

Margarita Frederico

Professor Margarita Frederico AM is a Life Member of the Australian Association of Social Work and Professor of Social Work at La Trobe University. She is an educator and researcher and has led collaborative research programs I child and family welfare which have contributed to knowledge impact shaping Australian and International policy and practice. She has established social work education programs in Australia and internationally. She was an invited speaker at the launch of the Indonesian Social Work Association.

Her community leadership contribution has included Director of AASW (national), President of AASW Vic Branch and Director of Not-for Profit non-government organisations. Her experience in social work practice has included national and international engagements.

Virginia Mansel Lees

Virginia is a lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Social Policy in the Rural Health School of Latrobe University based at the Albury/Wodonga Campus. Most of her professional working life has been in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia where social work practice operates across many diverse trajectories. Her research interests revolve around identity in its myriad of forms. She is particularly interested in how a professional identity is developed and maintained throughout each person’s working life.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers