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North Queensland Branch Management Committee

Branch President

Helen Sheeran

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

Sandra Croaker

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.


Committee Members

Andrea Boyd

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.

Amanda Kruger

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.

Mengting Lin

Student Representatives

Larni Gryphon

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 Vacancy

Casual vacancies have arisen on the NQLD Branch Management Committee. If you are a member and interested in nominating for this office, please contact the branch at aasw.nqld@aasw.asn.au and arrange to complete a nomination form.

AASW QLD Social Policy Subcommittee – Call for members

The AASW QLD Social Policy Subcommittee is seeking social workers from north Queensland and far north Queensland to join our committee.

The Queensland Social Policy Subcommittee is committed to engaging with critical policy, advocacy and social justice issues that impact Queensland and North Queensland member social workers and their clients.

We are seeking representative members from north and far north Queensland to join our committee to add a voice from the north on crucial campaigns.

The Committee contributes to the development of policy submissions, media releases and responses to state government campaigns. Meetings occur on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 6-8pm.

The group is a vibrant mix of enthusiastic and motivated social workers from across the state who care deeply about social justice issues. The committee is supported by the AASW’s national social policy team. Key areas of social policy action include:

  • Social Work Registration
  • Mental Health
  • Domestic and Family Violence (DFV)
  • Child Protection
  • Homelessness
  • Reconciliation
  • Aged Care
  • Refugee & People Seeking Asylum
  • Sustainability & Climate Change

If you are working in any of these areas and / or have a keen interest in social policy, please contact the North Queensland Branch President, Helen Sheeran, for more information at nqld.branchpresident@aasw.asn.au

Financial and life members of the Association interested in roles on the Branch Management Committee and Branch Sub-Committees should contact aasw.nqld@aasw.asn.au to arrange completing a nomination form.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers