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NSW Branch

Branch Overview

The New South Wales Branch, with over 3,500 members, is managed by a voluntary Branch Management Committee elected by the Branch membership.

The Branch’s key role is to provide local support for AASW members through a range of activities that enable members to network, develop practice skills and organise around social justice issues. The Branch Management Committee provides the conduit for communications between members in NSW and the broader National Association.

The New South Wales Branch delivers value to members via several channels:

  • Advocating for social justice issues relevant to social workers and their service users
  • Collaborating with members to build a stronger voice for the profession in NSW
  • Focusing on issues and priorities identified by our members
  • Monitoring the news and potential impacts on the profession
  • Developing and promoting Continuing Professional Development opportunities
  • Supporting members to organise around common interests through Practice Groups.

The voluntary Branch Management Committee members have a wealth of knowledge and experience, working within varying sectors of the community, and offer support and representation for Social Worker members within the region.

Please contact the NSW Branch if you would like to get involved or bring any issues to the attention of the Branch Management Committee at

New South Wales Branch

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Branch Spotlight

Nominations for Board and Branch Management Committee positions now open

There are four Board Director vacancies open for election, including that of National Vice President and that of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Director. In addition, each state has a vacancy for the Branch Management Committee Vice President role, plus at least five positions on each Branch Management Committee.

Nominating for a position on your Board or local Branch Management Committee is an opportunity for you to contribute to the leadership and work of the Association, uphold professional social work standards and advocate for social justice and reconciliation. However, these roles demand time, commitment and governance skills.

To assist candidates to better understand their roles and responsibilities either as a Board Director or member of a Branch Management Committee, the Association has created three short videos. The videos provide an outline of the nature of the roles, the time commitment required by candidates to fulfill their obligations and an explanation of the election process. The videos are accessible through our Elections page. We urge you to view the videos before considering your nomination.

The voting process will once again be conducted via an independent online voting platform. Please ensure your e-mail address is up to date in our member database and that you monitor your spam e-mail throughout the election period.

When voting opens in September, a Voting Notification e-mail will be sent to your nominated email address. Members will not receive paper ballots in the mail. Further information will be issued at appropriate points during the election period.

The official AASW social media election platform will be used for candidates to share their experience and what they will bring to the AASW, enabling all candidates to have an equal voice through one channel.

We encourage you to consider nominating for the Board and Branch Management Committee vacancies, and most importantly, to remain engaged with your Association throughout the election process.


Vale Margaret Lennox Fuller OAM   24.9.1940-20.3.2021

Unlike most Arts students at Sydney University in the 1950s, Marg knew from early on what she wanted to do - to be a social worker.  She graduated in 1961 and started work at Sydney Hospital.  She then moved to England, where she worked in London at St Thomas Hospital and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and made many lifelong friends.

After her marriage to Jeff Fuller in 1969, she moved to Wollongong where she worked for the Smith Family as the first social worker in Wollongong. After working at the Marriage Guidance Council for some years, she joined the Anglican Counselling Centre where she became Program Manager for the Illawarra Region. She continued in this role until her supposed retirement in 2005, but Marg was unstoppable, unfailing in her commitment to the causes she deeply valued and kept working almost up to the end of her life.

She was also awarded an OAM in 2005 “for services to the community, particularly as a social worker and counsellor and through the provision of prison ministry programs.” She continued to work as a clinical supervisor, and as a support person for the Anglican Diocese Professional Standards Unit, which deals with complaints against clergy and church workers. She was also fully involved with the Kairos Prison Ministry, where for some time she was Director of Women’s Ministry, continuing these roles even after her diagnosis with lung cancer in 2018.

Anglicare’s current Operations Manager of community services in Wollongong, Michael Mittwollen, wrote: “It’s easy to forget now that at the time when Marg entered the profession of social work, the community sector was a new sector.  Social work was throwing off the shackles of charity, institutionalisation and medical approaches that “fixed” individuals.  Marg was part of a new generation of social workers.  A trail blazing professional woman for the times”. Marg was highly respected by her colleagues as an outstanding clinician and supervisor.

At her funeral, her daughter Kari described Marg as kind, caring, beautiful, adventurous, gracious, compassionate, empathic, playful, loving and religious (Marg was a strong Christian).  I would like to add very wise; even in our casework classes in 1960, her wisdom and insight into complex cases shone out.

Marg not only had a very happy marriage with two children and 6 grandchildren but a huge circle of friends and many clients who will all carry memories of her strength of character, her warmth, her extraordinary capacity for work and for love.

Petrina Slaytor (nee Neal)

I met Marg at Sydney University Musical Society in 1958 and, thanks to her, I also studied social work.  She was bridesmaid at my wedding, and godmother of my daughter.  In her last year we did weights together on Zoom - more chat than exercise!  She was a great friend and a wonderful social worker. 


The NSW Branch would like to congratulate our 2020 AASW Life Member recipients on their well-deserved achievements:

Diana Carmody

Diana has been providing psychosocial, emotional and practical support to families of patients with life-threatening condition for more than 34 years. While Diana is an incredibly skilled social worker, she is best known for the compassion she has for each of her families. No issue a family faces is too great or too small for her to tackle and she is constantly searching for ways to change the system, so no family is disadvantaged.

Diana’s contribution to the AASW was as one of the lecturers of the highly successful Return to Work program run by the NSW Branch. This program assisted social workers on a career break and those newly arrived in Australia to understand the current practice context and provided them with current practice experience and placements.

Diana has been a strong and vocal advocate to many issues including improving hospital accommodation for families, making changed to carer allowance to families, and organ donation just to name a few.

Diana’s contribution to the social work profession and her ability to hear and understand what is happening for families has seen her recognised as a life member of the AASW.

Jack Whitney, NSW Branch President, presenting Diana with her Life Membership certificate.

Pamela Cohen

Pamela has contributed to a substantial body of work teaching and writing in social work since graduating in 1966. She has volunteered significant time to the AASW, including being a NSW Branch Ethics Committee member from 1999-2005.  

Of note to the AASW, from 1997-2016 Pamela was the facilitator of the highly regarded Supervision of Staff for Social Workers Course, run by the NSW Branch of the AASW, where she has contributed to high supervisory standards across NSW.  This continues to be a very well recognised training course being sponsored by NSW Health.

Pamela has had a strong commitment to developing and supporting new social workers.  For many years she taught courses in group work in a variety of tertiary settings, including the University of NSW and all over Australia with the Australian Centre for Heart Health.

From 1995-2017, she was the co-founder of the Special Interest Group in Cardiac Services and Cardiac Rehabilitation. 

In the field of the psychosocial aspects of cardiac disease, including using group work as a method of helping patients with adjustment and lifestyle issues, Pamela has been recognised as a state-wide, national and international expert.  In 2004 she received the Distinguished Service Award for Cardiac Rehabilitation, including Life Membership, from the Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association, the only social worker to have done so in the history of the Association.





Contact us

NSW Branch

P: 03 9320 1000 or 1800 630 124 (toll free alternative)

For information or support please contact the NSW branch office on the above number or by email at


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AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers