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Mary Moylan NT Social Worker of the Year award 2016

Published: 17 November 2016

A social worker with over 20 years’ experience across remote, rural and urban communities has been named the Mary Moylan Northern Territory Social Worker of the Year by the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Suhaila Rizqallah received the award which is named after dedicated NT social worker, Mary Moylan, who passed away in 1996. The award seeks to commemorate and celebrate her life and work by recognising the dedication and achievement of other Northern Territory social workers.

Born in Palestine, this year’s recipient, Suhaila, came to the Territory with her family when she was just three years old to escape war, and spent her formative years in communities such as Ngukurr before studying at Northern Territory University and James Cook University.

She says the Territory has a wide range of communities that often need help to strengthen their social fabric. “Substance abuse, gambling and the tyranny of distance are regular themes that disrupt community cohesion in the Territory,” said Suhaila. “I’d like to think I’ve worked hard to achieve positive outcomes for many families directly and indirectly as a social worker over the years.”

Suhaila has worked in child protection, hospital social services, remote service delivery and disaster recovery around the Top End. In July, she presented a joint paper on teaching social work in the Territory at an international social work conference held in Seoul, South Korea.

The award was presented to Suhaila at a special function at Parliament House in Darwin earlier this month by AASW acting Chief Executive Officer, Cindy Smith, who said competition for the award was strong and social work standards and skills in the Territory are held in high regard nationally. Runners up for the award were Denise Grieshaber and Susan Grant.

To learn more out more about social work in the Northern Territory, register for the Dust, Diversity and Dedication conference which will be held in Alice Springs in March 2017.

For more information about the Mary Moylan Social Worker of the Year award, please contact Emma Pegrum, Media and Marketing Manager, on 0408 200 191.

Pictured: AASW Acting CEO, Cindy Smith, with this year’s recipient of the Mary Moylan Northern Territory Social Worker of the Year award, Suhaila Rizqallah.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers