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NSW Branch

Branch Overview

The New South Wales Branch, with over 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 at

New South Wales Branch


Branch Spotlight

Celebrating World Social Work Day 2021

AASW Northern Rivers Practice Group

Community resilience during COVID19

16th March 2021

Call for expressions of interest.

The global pandemic, like any crisis, has thrown us into unchartered waters, inviting innovation. On World Social Work Day 2021, we want to set aside time to examine what we have discovered about how social work contributed and to collectively reflect on what we would like to take with us as we move forward. 

As you know, the AASW Northern Rivers practice group is planning to hold a World Social Work Day event on Tuesday 16th March, 9.00 am to 12.00 noon.  We are writing to ask you to let us know about practices or projects in which social workers were involved, yourself and/ or others, that emerged because of the pandemic.

Could you please send us an email with a brief outline by Monday 8th February 2021. We will refer to these ideas to bring together an agenda for the day.

Maybe the global theme will inspire some ideas?  No idea is too small!! The global theme this year is:

Ubuntu: I am Because We are – Strengthening Social Solidarity and Global Connectedness.

´Ubuntu´ originates from the indigenous peoples of South Africa and was popularized across the world by Nelson Mandela. Ubuntu: ‘I am because we are’ is a word, concept and philosophy that resonates with the social work perspective of the interconnectedness of all peoples and their environments. It speaks to the need for global solidarity and also highlights indigenous knowledge and wisdom.

Silvana Martinez, IFSW President commented:

The theme comes from extensive consultation within IFSW and beyond. At a time when global politics has retreated into nationalism, Ubuntu is a powerful message on the need for solidarity at all levels: within communities, societies and globally. It is a message that all people are interconnected and that our future is dependent on recognizing all peoples involvement in co-building a sustainable, fair and socially just future. IFSW invites all social workers, partner organizations and people who care about the future to co-brand the poster. Together we can change world for this and future generations.

Please email us at We look forward to hearing from you.


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.


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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