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South Australian Social Worker of the Year Awards 2021

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AASW South Australian Social Worker of the Year Awards 2021

The South Australian Branch of the AASW has honoured the state’s social workers’ outstanding and positive contribution to individuals, families and communities, at the inspirational South Australian Social Worker of the Year Awards held in Glenelg.

SA President Patricia Muncey said she was delighted to once again see so much interest in the annual Awards from members, employers and the State Government.

“Our awards are a wonderful opportunity to bring everyone together to celebrate our profession and pay tribute to the tireless commitment that many qualified South Australian social workers provide in their often challenging and complex work.”

“For the past six years the prestigious state Awards have showcased the immense diversity, professionalism, commitment and capacity of social work practitioners, teams and organisations, and what they collectively achieve to strengthen the South Australian community.

“Looking at the list of this year’s winners I am very proud that we are able to come together to recognise social workers who are at different stages of their careers, from student to advanced practitioner and highlight the breadth and depth of social work practice across South Australia.”

“It has been a wonderful evening and I must thank everyone for their hard work and dedication to making it such an outstanding success. My heartfelt congratulations to all the winners, and the amazing category nominees, for their efforts and commitment to the values of social work,” she said. There were award winners in six categories:

Student of the year – Sher Luhar proudly sponsored by Centacare Catholic Country Sher is a final year student in the Master of Social Work from UniSA (current GPA 5.80) and is a lifelong learner with a passion for social work and human services. For the past 10 years, Sher has been directly working with asylum-seeking children, youth and Aboriginal communities experiencing homelessness and mental health issues in Adelaide through Baptist Care SA.

Rising Star – Tara Holland proudly sponsored by Flinders Uni Tara is a social worker of two years of experience in an Assessment and Support team at the Dept for Child Protection. Tara works tirelessly to enhance the individual and collective wellbeing of identified children and their families. Tara builds rapport with children and their families and develops and maintains constructive relationships with clients and stakeholders to achieve outcomes for children.

Supervision in the workplace – Darlene Wyatt proudly sponsored by Dr Mary Hood of ARC – Supervision Darlene’s Social Work career has spanned over 30 years of practice in the areas of Child Protection, Health, Education, University and currently in the NGO sector, mostly in rural and remote communities. During her career, Darlene has supervised approximately 60 students in most of the fields that she has worked.

Rural and remote impact – Arminda Graves proudly sponsored by Uniting Communities

Arminda has been proactive in seeking training and development relevant to the needs of the communities that she serves in the Far West Region of South Australia. Whilst based in the Ceduna office of Centacare Catholic Country SA Arminda has provided support to a range of individuals and families from the broader region, developing a knowledge of local networks that exist to support families and individuals as well as cultural competency and understanding of the range of issues impacting not only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but other cultural groups emerging in the area.

Head Heart and Hands – Stacey Gray proudly sponsored by Hesta Stacey as a professional Aboriginal woman has made over 20 years of contribution to individuals, community, and families in the social work / human service field. Having held a number of roles with the Department for Child Protection, where she worked for 15 years Stacey moved to Centacare Catholic Country SA in the Recruitment and Assessment Coordinator role for Alternative Care, and was in the role for approximately 3 years before being successful in her current role as a Senior Aboriginal Case Manager in the TALI program (Transition to Adult Living and Independence).

Agent of Change – Jessica Dobrovic proudly sponsored by Department for Child Protection.

Jessica’s primary interest has been in the advance of data informed practice and the use of evidence as a means of providing support for individuals with a high complexity of needs. In this regard her work has been an enabler in the decision making processes at both individual and program levels within Hutt St Centre and across the wider collaboration of services within the inner city of Adelaide. She has influenced, guided and supported the Adelaide Zero project data capacity through her knowledge and foresight and has leveraged her knowledge to be a key driver for advocacy in a range of community led groups and projects. Department for Child Protection (DCP) Chief Executive Cathy Taylor said the department was very proud to be a part of a special night that recognises the important contributions of social workers to the South Australian community.

“Social workers play a critical role in improving the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, particularly those who are vulnerable. We are pleased to join with the South Australian branch of the AASW to not only deliver these Awards, but highlight the positive impact social workers have across a diverse range of sectors through their commitment to human rights and social justice.” “I congratulate the winners and thank all South Australian social workers for the effort you put in every day to make a difference,” she said.

The AASW SA Branch represents more than 1600 social work professionals who are committed to empowering individuals, families, groups and communities.