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Tasmanian BMC


Jacqui Russell  

My name is Jacqueline Russell (better known as Jacqui!). I live in the Hobart area and have been employed at Child Safety Service since 2015. It's a very tough role, but I continue to be passionate around children's safety and wellbeing.

I became a student member in 2013 because I wanted to be part of my professional community. In 2014, I graduated and continued on with the Tasmanian Branch and in 2019 I became the Tasmanian Branch President. I strongly believe that the AASW is important and relevant to every Social Worker across Australia. I hope to continue spreading the word and helping Social Workers to connect in. It has been a big time of change for the Tasmania Branch in recent years and with this has been challenges. However, we are still here and eager to connect with you. I encourage you to come along to local networking opportunities and have a chat.

Vice President

Russell McCashney

I graduated in Social Work in WA in 1986 and relocated to Tasmania in 1995.  Much of my social work has been providing and managing services to the veteran and ex-service community. 

Since 2014 I have been self employed as an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker.  My practice includes services to clients referred under Medicare provisions; contract counselling to Open Arms (Veterans and Families Counselling); relationship counselling: supervision, mentoring and leadership to social workers and other allied health professions as well as consulting to organisations on various aspects of management and service delivery.   My special interest areas include post-traumatic stress in veteran, military and emergency services populations; working with men; organisational dynamics; supervision and leadership.

I am on several local and national committees on allied health services, mental health and service delivery.

I am currently Branch Vice-President of the Tasmanian BMC and I was previously Branch President.


Claire Williams 

I have worked in the sector for over 20 years.  I am originally from the UK, but totally consider myself a Tasmanian.  I am a very passionate Social Worker that people always assume is new to the field, as I still have all my enthusiasm for the work and love finding new challenges to grow from.  I appreciate the need to be actively networking all the time, not only for my clients, but to nurture what I have grown within myself and going forward. 

I enjoy supporting students form all years and inviting them to the peer support and networking events we put on in the North West.  Being in the field and working across a number of areas over the past 20 years has enabled me to be quite visible to alot of Social Workers in the region, and they know they are going to receive respect and practiced support if they make contact or come to an event.

I am currently working in the aged care sector as a Social Worker.  This is a very challenging and rewarding space to work in, and I don’t mind saying that I work for the best Company, in my extensive experience.  This is an area that I would love to stay in for some time due to the ever changing nature of the work, it’s very fluid and people’s support/advocacy needs are what they are, in the time and space of what is happening for them and I love it.  I will continue to support Social Workers and students in my region and meet any challenges as they come my way.

Rachel Theile 

My name is Rachel, and I am a Social Worker in the Launceston area. I specialise in sexual assault counselling and provide outreach to areas around northern Tasmania. I work with children, men, and women who have experienced a recent or historical sexual assault. I am particularly interested in supporting children who have experienced abuse and/or neglect and are navigating the family court or child protection system.


Kelly Philp

My name is Kelly Philp and I live in Launceston. I graduated with a bachelor of Social Work in 2017. I completed my studies while working for Centrelink, doing various roles from 2001 until I left to work at Relationships Australia in 2018.

I loved doing community work within the Community Engagement Officer role at Centrelink and thought that would be the work I would continue to do as a social worker.
Through my work at RA I was introduced to counselling and the trauma informed world and  was surprised to learn how much I enjoy this work. At this time I am a trauma counsellor and am honoured and privileged to work with these brave people and to witness their stories.
My preferred work is in the mental health space, working with people with complex trauma histories, particularly  those trapped in the justice and medical model systems, and/or people diagnosed with personality disorder type behaviours.

I joined the AASW when I was a student and have been networking at Branch events ever since. I believe networking is a very important part of who I am as a social worker. I joined the branch committee about 2 years ago and have really enjoyed the opportunity to work with students and experienced social workers alike to increase their networking opportunities and experiences.

Melissa Carter 

Chris Hannan  

Emma Swanson 

Bernadette Zeeman

The Branch Management Committee meets once a month by teleconference.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers