North Queensland Branch Management Committee
Helen is an accredited mental health social worker and psychotherapist in private practice based in Townsville. She graduated as a social worker in 1993 from the University of NSW and completed a Masters Degree in International Social Development in 2002. Helen has worked in a diverse range of areas both in Australia and overseas including child protection, maternal child health, sexual assault, refugee mental health, tertiary education and training.
Helen is passionate about social justice, human rights and eco sustainable living. She is a strong advocate for the profession of social work. Helen gained accreditation as a mental health social worker in 2011 and has been the convenor of the NQAASW Mental Health Practice group for the past 2 years as well as a member of the NQBMC since 2017.
As President of the NQLD Branch of the AASW, Helen is seeking to increase membership engagement of all social workers in the region through branch networking activities, practice groups and sub committees. Helen will be working with the BMC and stakeholders in striving to influence policy and practice issues affecting the profession of social work particularly in North Queensland.
Branch Vice President
Megan is a Social Work supervisor, emotional intelligence coach, social researcher, craftivist and a trainer. She is a keynote speaker, recycled crafter and writes because she loves to use words to solve problems.
Feminist and eco oriented, Megan achieves social action through craftivism and the written word, Megan travels from one end of Australia to another dividing herself between: Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane, Babinda, and an Aboriginal community on Cape York.
Andrea graduated from James Cook University in 2009 with her Bachelor of Social Work degree and became an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker in 2018.
Andrea works with children and adolescents in the not for profit and private practice settings and is passionate about helping people though a fun, non-judgemental and collaborative approach.
Andrea joined the BMC to assist in building a stronger voice for social workers in the North Queensland region and is the convenor of the Mental Health Practice Group.
Sandra currently works as an Associate Lecturer in Social Work Field Education located at the Townsville JCU campus, where she is involved in working closely with students in preparation and planning for placement, bridging the space between academic education and practice learning. She also works with social services agencies in the Townsville region to continuously explore and grow new placement learning opportunities for students.
Sandra joined the AASW as a way of staying involved with professional training opportunities and having access to current, social work specific research publications, and recognising the AASW as an important and strong voice for social workers to address social policy issues and matters of social justice and human rights. Feeling passionate about these matters made joining the AASW look like a sensible move.
Karen has been a proud social worker for over thirty years. She has held senior positions in government and not-for-profit organisations across several human service fields including the multicultural, aged care, primary health care and the Indigenous sectors.
For all her career, Karen has remained committed, in her professional values and practice, to social, natural and cultural justice. Her current work interests are in the Indigenous primary health care sector and her professional focus is on remote community social work practice and management.
Courtney Frerichs is a Mental Health Social Worker whose passion for the wellbeing of children, young people and their families lead to the establishment of Playful Possibilities Mackay in 2019. Playful Possibilities has quickly become a dynamic multidisciplinary team delivering creative and expressive therapy options for individual and family counselling, as well as providing community education through speaking opportunities, Facebook lives and group programs.
Driven by the belief that the potential for positive change always exists, and equipped with knowledge of neuroscience and the power of human connection you can find Courtney with paint on her hands, building in sand, laughing and playing while working alongside families to achieve their own lasting sense of wellbeing.
Amanda has completed Bachelor of Social Work; Post Graduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology; Masters of Narrative Therapy & Community Work. Amanda is a past President of the Australian Association of Social Workers - North Queensland Branch and current BMC member.
Amanda runs her own private practice Achieving Change Counselling in Townsville and services regional communities of Ingham and Charters Towers. She is a Mental Health Accredited Social Worker with extensive experience in the community, public and private sectors, passionate in the areas of mental health across the age spectrum and an advocate for social justice and respect for persons.
Amanda does work casually at James Cook University where she tutors Social Work students. She has previously worked for a not-for-profit mental health community organisation and Queensland Health mental health services.
Lynette lives and works in North West Queensland, based in Mount Isa. Lynette has a particular passion for continuous improvement in the organisations and systems that deliver services to people in our community. With professional experience in family health & mental health, as well as senior positions in both non-government and government workplaces, the importance of a strong social work professional identity and skills has informed the importance of membership of the AASW. Aiming to contribute to the BMC through building a shared understanding of the unique needs, concerns and skills of Social Workers in our region and that of the people that we support.
English by birth, Mellanie had experience in Health Care before immigrating to Australia. In Australia she continued in that sector and developed international experience before enrolling in Social Work. A mature aged student, Mellanie is passionate about graduating workers with strong values, ethics and practice models. She advocates for rights to sample all modalities before deciding on speciality. Mellanie has a passion for therapy, governance around trauma informed care and kindness.
Larni’s experience and passions are around community projects and networking to create healthier self-sustaining communities. She is an ecofeminist whose intrinsic values are based upon the need for social, cultural and natural justice. Larni is currently employed as a reintegration case manager working with ex-offenders as an on-call sexual assault support worker. Larni has an interest in psychedelic assisted therapy and their potential therapeutic benefits.
NQLD Branch Management Committee Vacancies
Branch Committee Member (Casual position)
Financial and life members of the Association interested in roles on the Branch Management Committee should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange completing a nomination form.
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