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NSW Branch

Branch Overview

The New South Wales Branch, with approximately 3,000 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.

New South Wales Branch


Branch Spotlight

Social workers welcome extension of telehealth

The AASW has welcomed the announcement by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt of a six month extension to the temporary COVID-19 Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) telehealth items.

AASW National President Christine Craik said the telehealth scheme has been a lifeline for people needing to continue seeing their mental health social worker, while impacted by restrictions or needing to self-isolate.

“As the pandemic continues, it is encouraging that the Federal Government has granted an extension to the subsidised telehealth sessions for an extra six months.”

“The telehealth measures have been instrumental in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting vulnerable people, as they continue to access support in a safe and timely manner.”

“While we understand that the sudden move to telehealth has been difficult for both practitioners and clients, its uptake has proven how beneficial continued mental health support has been during these challenging times. Social workers are particularly adept at adjusting to change and the AASW has been proud to see how quickly and well the profession has adapted to this new way of working.”

Ms Craik said the AASW has been continuously advocating for numerous changes to the MBS, including increased recognition for Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSW), increases to the number of sessions available under mental health care plans, and general expansion of telehealth.

“The Federal government has been sitting on the MBS Review report and recommendations for some time now and we call on them to release these as a matter of urgency. Post bushfires and the pandemic, an increase to mental health supports will be more vital than ever in the coming months.”

“Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSW) do a great job with the resources they have, but now is the time to increase these resources to help Australians recover mentally from the hardships they have faced this year.”

“This is a good start and the AASW looks forward to continuing to work with the government to ensure these measures continue post-COVID-19 as another option for receiving mental health support. People should have options in how they access support and for those who have thrived using telehealth we will continue to advocate that this is available for them,” Ms Craik said.

Social Work Seminar: Responding to chronic child sexual abuse related shame

AASW and UNSW invites you to this free online seminar designed for practising social workers or those with an interest in the field.

Date: Wednesday 9 September 2020
Time: 6.00pm-7.00pm
Online event

Register at:

About this Event

‘One's knowledge of shame is often limited to the trace it leaves’ (Michael Lewis 2003:1187).

Shame is an intensely painful relational experience involving a negative judgement of the self as fundamentally flawed. Originating in a relational or social interaction that is internalised, shame is influential in shaping how we behave, connect and disconnect in our relationships with ourselves, with others, and with broader societal and cultural groups.

Survivors of chronic child sexual abuse (CSA) often report experiencing shame, during the abuse and afterward, which can persist across the life course. Shame is both an effect of CSA as well as compounding other effects or risk factors. Emerging evidence identifies shame, for many survivors, is a major gatekeeper that recurrently blocks the relational path to recovery. Yet there is little evidence of effective approaches to responding to CSA-related shame.

Effectively responding to chronic CSA-related shame is a central concern. Social work’s orientation to the contextual, relational and psychological understanding of child sexual abuse and emotions, provides the ideal foundations for effective social work and counselling responses to people experiencing chronic CSA related shame.

This seminar:

• Provides a synthesis of the current research evidence relating to CSA related shame

• Discusses the relevance of findings to therapeutic work with adult survivors of CSA

• Identifies trauma-informed and trauma-focused therapeutic responses to CSA survivors experiencing shame

About the Presenter

Maureen MacGinley is a lecturer in social work and a doctoral student at the UNSW Sydney. Her doctoral project centres survivor knowledge and how this knowledge can further our understanding of the lived experiences of shame for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Maureen has worked therapeutically alongside survivors of interpersonal violence and child abuse for over 25 years. She also has extensive experience in therapy with people experiencing a broad range of adversity and psychosocial developmental challenges.

She is interested in the therapeutic relationship, relational therapy, Dignity-driven practice, resilience, systemic and psychoanalytic ideas.

This event is presented by UNSW School of Social Sciences and the Australian Association of Social Workers as part of Social Sciences Week @ UNSW.

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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