Yasmin graduated from UQ with a Master of Social Work Studies (qualifying) in 2014 and is an Accredited Member of the AASW. Yasmin has practice experience in both non-government and government organisations, in the areas of homelessness, mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, youth justice, and domestic violence. Yasmin has been working as a social worker in the income support field for the past two years and is strongly interested in the areas of advocacy, financial inclusion, family and domestic violence, policy and research, governance, and the professional identity of social workers.
Ben is currently with the Homeless Health Outreach team of Gold Coast Health as his paid role. Ben is a co-convenor of the First Nations Vitality practice group, on the leadership committee of the Gold Coast Practice group and co-founded the online Australian Social Work Changemakers group.
Ben's cultural background is Anglo-Celtic and he grew up in Kallangur near the confluence of the Pine Rivers on Turrbal land. I’m discipline proud and understand the importance of communication with members in an inclusive branch. Please feel free to contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Caitlyn Waterton commenced an Indigenous cadetship in 2009 and through that gained experience at Child Safety, Adoptions Qld and NGO sectors. Caitlyn graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 2011 as a Social Worker and has been working as a caseworker at Caboolture Youth Justice since then. Caitlyn is a descendent of the Gubbi Gubbi people and is passionate about working with Indigenous young people who are highly over represented in her current employment Youth Justice. Caitlyn is currently working on ART (Aggression replacement training) within her office a project that targets young people’s anger.
Rebecca is a senior social worker for Queensland Health, currently working at the Queensland Eating Disorder Service (QuEDS) working with adolescents and adults. Prior to moving into community treatment Rebecca worked as a social worker on the inpatient mental health unit at The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) also working as a Discharge Facilitator supporting consumers after discharge. Rebecca is part of the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy group at RBWH and has completed her Intensive Training through the Seattle based Behavioural Tech. Rebecca has an interest in systemic family therapy, currently completing her Masters in Mental Health (Family Therapy) at The University of Queensland. Rebecca has experience working in community organisations, non-government organisations, child protection, emergency medicine and mental health. Rebecca has a passion for social justice and would like to contribute to the continued development of the social work profession with like-minded social workers in the AASW branch committee.
After many years practising as a counsellor, starting her studies in psychology, Siobhan eventually committed to finalising her degree in Social Work. Siobhan completed her bachelor’s in social work with James Cook university in 2014. Siobhan finally appreciated social work was and what she had been pursuing for many years and is passionate about the core principles of social work. She has worked in addictions for many years both in Ireland and Australia. Siobhan has worked in government and non-government services expanding her skills to cover community, youth, mental health, forensics, and veteran services. Siobhan is an accredited mental health social worker. She recently completed a masters’ in forensic mental health. Siobhan's aim is to support people to be the best that they want to be.
Yura! I am Karina, a proud Ngugi woman (Mulgumpin [Moreton Island]) from the Quandamooka nation and social worker graduating from UQ in 2007. During my time at UQ, I was the President of Goori Berrimpah the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students union collective as well as a research assistant (under my then married name of Hall) developing the resource Listening with Respect: Strengthening communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians which was funded by Child Safety. Once graduating I worked in the Qld Govt in areas including policy, programs and cabinet liaison work. Then addressing my yearn to work frontline, I worked in case management in variety of areas including intensive family support with First Nations families, crisis accommodation and community detention. My current fulltime role is in the area of mental health in a new free, independent and confidential service supporting Queenslanders with a psychological injury due to work, that as far as I know is the first and only of its kind in Australia. The Workers’ Psychological Support Service. In my “spare time” I also am heavily involved in the mandatory course for social work, nursing and midwifery students at UQ titled Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Deputy Chair on the Murri School Board, an Elder in Council for the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Coorporation (QYAC) and a member of the SACS Industry Division Committee for the Services Union. Outside of work stuff, I love trivia, playing board games, horror movies and superhero movies. I have my beautiful adult daughter and three feathered family members to spend time with. Yuway!
My name is Yaleela and I am a proud Gooreng Gooreng & Bundjalung woman. Currently I am living and working on my traditional country in Gladstone, Central Queensland and I am in the final stages of completing my Master of Social Work (Qual). As well as raising my 4 year old daughter Gnibi, I currently work as a Counsellor / Play Therapist in a Women's based Domestic Violence support centre. I am very excited to be part of this committee and hope to provide meaningful contribution to its work.
Deidre is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker who has worked within the health sector, both acute and community for over 20 years originally as a Registered Nurse and for the last 19 years as a Social Worker. Deidre completed a Master of Counselling in 2007 as well. Deidre currently works with Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service as Social Worker Advanced, Aged Response and Clinical Lead for the Placement Support Social Workers. Deidre has developed her practice in working directly with older persons and their families, particularly those with complex presentations and works more strategically now within Gold Coast Health to support staff and build capacity for responding to older people and their needs. Deidre is very passionate about working with older people particularly those experiencing elder abuse and raising awareness of this within the health and community sectors.
Steph Chen (BA, MSocWk, AASW) is the training and education project officer and a counsellor at Children by Choice; Australia’s only independent all options unplanned pregnancy counselling and community education statewide service. She joined the telehealth counselling team at 1800Respect in 2020.
Working across community and tertiary hospital settings, Steph started her social work practice at the Salvation Army St Kilda Crisis Services in 2000. She was privileged to support more than 200 patients in chronic health across the lifespan as the Cystic Fibrosis Social Work clinician at Monash Health. She advocates for sexual and reproductive health literacy, reproductive autonomy and justice – holding counselling roles at Pregnancy Advisory Service, The Royal Women’s Hospital in Victoria and at Children by Choice in Queensland during periods of significant legislative change in both states.
Hemal Senarath Rathnayake
Hemal studied Master of social work at QUT and graduated in 2018 and his undergraduate degree is in psychological science. He currently works at Open Doors youth service under the Jellybeans and the Reconnect programs. He has been part of AASW activities in various capacities in the last two years and now is happy to be part of the QLD Branch Management Committee.
Hemal is a proud member of the LGBTIQPA+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy community and has worked in both paid and volunteer capacity with this community for the last 8 years or so. He is originally from Sri Lanka and now enjoying his stay in sunny Brisbane. Hemal is passionate about critical social work practice and thinks social work is his calling. He looks forward to contributing to the management committee in a meaningful way.
Queensland Branch Sub Committees
The Queensland Branch sub committees provide a means to assist the Branch Management Committee (BMC) in the development and execution of key governance responsibilities. The sub-committees’ purpose and functions support and align with key AASW documents including National and Branch Strategic Plans, the Code of Ethics, Practice Standards, the Reconciliation Action Plan, The Constitution and the By-Laws. The sub-committees are supported by, and work with, the Branch Manager in meeting its purpose and functions.
The sub committees have specific areas of focus:
- Continuing Professional Development/Membership Engagement (ToR's to be revised)
- Social Policy
- Reconciliation Action Plan
- Practice and Special Interest Groups
The terms of references provide further detail on the key purpose and functions of each of the sub committees.
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