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Meet the council

Meet the council

Professor. Honourable Jill Hennessy

Chair

Professor. the Honourable Jill Hennessy is the former Attorney-General of Victoria. Jill also served as the Minister for Health, Ambulance Services and Workplace Safety. She retired from politics in 2022.

Jill forged a reputation for ground-breaking legislative and policy reforms, and the delivery of infrastructure, transforming workforce capability, service delivery and system redesign. Her signature reforms include many nation-leading and Victorian firsts and focused on improving opportunity and reducing inequality as well as putting in place the tools for better services and workforce support and development.

Jill is currently a Non-Executive Director of boards in the private sector and works as a strategic advisor to various Boards and organisations. She is also a Non-Executive Director of ‘for purpose’ organisations including the Hudson Institute for Medical Research, Scope Australia, the Western Bulldogs and is an Ambassador for the McKinnon Prize for Political Leadership.  Jill is the author of “Respect” (Monash University Publishing) and is the Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow at Monash University.

Dr Carmela Bastian

Carmela graduated as a social worker in 1995. Her practice experience has focused on social work with children and families in government and non-government contexts in the Northern Territory and South Australia. Carmela’s range of experience has predominantly been in statutory child protection through varying positions, which drives her work as an educator, researcher, and practitioner. Carmela has recently been appointed the presiding member for the Board of South Australia’s Worker’s Registration Scheme. Since 2016 Carmela has been employed at Flinders University and taught both the Bachelor and Master of Social Work predominantly teaching social work with children and families.

Carmela has been an active member of the AASW Accreditation Assessment Panels and is a member of the Social Work Innovation Living Space (SWIRLS), a social work research centre at Flinders University that is informed by practice research and co-design methodology, working closely with practitioners and service users to inform transformative agendas in the community services sector. Carmela is committed towards achieving excellence in social work and ensuring that the higher education sector provides education so that social workers achieve expected professional standards and have the ethical qualities necessary in their chosen field of practice.

Dr Tina Brodie

Tina is an Aboriginal woman with connections to Yawarrawarrka / Yandruwandha. Tina has recently been appointed as the Dean of Aboriginal Research Education and Engagement for University of South Australia. Tina was a Senior Research Fellow in Wardliparingga Aboriginal Health Equity at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), University of Adelaide. Tina has over 15 years of experience in Aboriginal health and wellbeing in research, teaching, clinical, project and leadership roles.

Tina was selected as the Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) representative for the ASWEAS Review Roundtable in 2016. Additionally, she participated on a South Australia working group bringing together Universities in SA to discuss Social Work cultural responsiveness in curriculum. Tina has expertise in Indigenous methodologies and her research explores Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health and the Social Determinants of Health.

Dr Joseph Fleming

Joseph is a social work in private practice and a qualified registered mental health social worker, counsellor/therapist and experienced group facilitator with over 25 years’ experience in both government and non-government organisations.  Joseph is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW) and enjoys helping clients of all ages (including families) in dealing with complex trauma, mental health issues and relationship problems.

Joseph has a particular interest in men’s health and promoting the social work profession. Through his work with people across the lifespan, from children through to adults and older persons, Joseph is proficient in providing a unique contribution to the mental health space via a holistic approach.

Ms Jade McKenna

Jade is a Family Violence Support Worker at a women’s refuge and will complete her Master of Social Work at RMIT University in 2024, having completed her first placement at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. She has a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the Australian National University and worked extensively in access and equity programs at universities in Canberra and Melbourne before beginning her social work career.

She is passionate about advocacy and community building, having previously worked as the Queer Officer for the ANU Students’ Association, and volunteered at Lifeline, Eating Disorders Victoria, and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

Dr Jenny Martin

Jenny is a longstanding member of the AASW with lengthy experience as a social work practitioner, educator, and researcher nationally and internationally.  She has a strong understanding of the current context and challenges of the social work sector and has developed innovative social work courses that are reflective of the needs of the Australian community in metropolitan, regional and remote areas. Jenny’s education and experience as a mediator and arbitrator, and as a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, provides enhanced skills and ethics of practice.

As a past elected Board member for the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate Community Visitors program, Jenny has prepared evidence-based annual reports for the Victorian Parliament. As Panel Chair of AASW accreditation panels for over 15-years, and accreditor and reviewer for TEQSA, Jenny demonstrates expertise in understanding and conveying of the strategy of the AASW and the federal government.

Dr Peter Munn (OAM)

Peter has been a social worker for over 45 years having worked predominantly in rural communities. In this time, Peter is one of the leading researchers, educators, and administrators regarding social work in rural and remote locations. Peter was fortunate to be involved in a diverse range of work involving practice amongst a wide range of people from different cultures, an educator at the University of South Australia and in his last full-time position at CQUniversity, as the Professor of Social Work. Peter held the role as General Manager and then CEO Centacare Catholic Family Services Country SA with responsibility for a region greater than half of South Australia. This agency grew substantially and worked extensively in communities regarded as disadvantaged by government departments.

Peter has long been involved with the AASW, through positions on the SA Branch of AASW, Board member and Chair of a significant number AASW Accreditation Assessment Panels. Peter was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great by the Catholic Church in 2016 for service to the Catholic Church and community and was awarded an Order of Australia (OAM) medal in 2018 for service to education and community.

Ms Sarah Parry

Sarah is a highly experienced Social Worker who has worked for 35 years in many public sector and non-government contexts in Western Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria, at casework, middle management, clinical practitioner, policy, and executive management levels. Sarah has worked on the frontline in child protection matters, and her role as Director for Child Protection Investigations, NSW Department of Education, saw her lead and oversee complex investigations and ensure the implementation of effective strategies for children, the community, and staff.

Currently Sarah is General Manager with the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, which ensures ongoing involvement with education throughout Victoria.  Sarah has extensive expertise and experience across various domains of governance, offering invaluable insights and support to educational leaders, including school Principals and network Directors, aimed at fostering consistent, strategic practices and systems within the realm of social work education. Sarah is the current AASW Ethics Council Chair and has been previously a Tribunal member since 2020.