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Social workers in Shepparton to quiz candidates ahead of Victorian state election

Published: 7 November 2018

The Goulburn Murray Social Workers Group, with the support of the AASW Victorian Branch, is hosting a “Meet the Candidates” forum of the Shepparton District tomorrow, Thursday in the lead up to Victoria’s state election, Saturday, 24 November 2018.

Representatives who will be there include:

  • Suzanna Sheed - Independent (current MP)
  • Bill Heath - Labor
  • Peter Schwarz - Nationals
  • Nickee Freeman - Greens

Liberal candidate Cheryl Hammer will be an apology.

Goulburn Murray Social Workers spokesperson David Tennant and CEO of Family Care said: “The purpose of the forum is to ask local candidates how they plan to address the issues that are affecting marginalised sections of our community. We want to see these issues brought to the fore at this election. These include homelessness, child protection, family violence, rural and regional development, treaty and reconciliation and climate change.

“This is an area of Victoria that politicians must watch. The 2014 state election saw a large shift in this district’s voting patterns and we want to make sure that prospective representatives are listening to our needs.

“Social workers are busy every day in Shepparton working with individuals and rural communities to find solutions to the barriers they face; people that rarely get a say in political debates. Everyone deserves to have their voices heard.”

AASW Victorian Branch President Alex Bhathal said, “This is an important opportunity for candidates in the state seat of Shepparton to present their perspectives on concerns that matter to a key professional grouping. Social workers are often the first health and community sector professionals to observe trends in social needs. Social workers also see the impacts of politicians’ decisions on people and communities. The AASW Victorian Branch welcomes this initiative by the Goulburn Murray Social Workers Group."

A number of local organisations have contributed to making the discussion possible, including St. Vincent de Paul, The Lighthouse Project, Goulburn Valley Primary Care Partnership, and La Trobe University.

The forum is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, 8 November, 7.00pm – 8.30pm at La Trobe University, Cnr Fryers and North Sts Shepparton. Light refreshments will be provided afterwards. Register your interest on Eventbrite by going to: http://bit.ly/GMSWG18. You can also call Lachlan on 0403 170 711 with any queries.

ENDS

About the Goulburn Murray Social Workers Group

The Goulburn Murray Social Workers Group has a rich 20-year history, working to improve the wellbeing of some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in Shepparton and the Goulburn Murray region. It is affiliated with the AASW Victorian Branch and will soon submit an application to the Branch to become an official practice group.

Media contact
Angela Yin
Communications Lead
P 03 9320 1005 M 0413 532 954

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers