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Branch News 2021

17 May 2021

National Volunteer Week 2021

This week is National Volunteer Week and we express our thanks and appreciation to the more than fifty Victorian social workers who so generously dedicate their time, energy and wisdom to support the work of the Victorian Branch.

We absolutely could not do it without you and the Victorian social work community is richer and more connected because of your efforts.

Thank you! #NVW2021

17 May 2021

Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)!

We're celebrating LGBTQIA+ people and raising our voice to combat discrimination.


14 May 2021

Victorian Branch Pre-Budget Submission 2021-22

Next Thursday, 20 May, the Victorian State Budget 2021-22 will be released.

The Victorian Branch made a submission to the Victorian government based on input from members around the key recommendations and concerns from a social work perspective.

View or download the AASW VIctorian Branch Pre-Budget Submission 2021-22 here.

26 April 2021

Candlelight Vigil - Remembering Those Lost To Family Violence - Wednesday 5 May 2021

Victorian members and social workers are invited to part of this online candlelight vigil remembering those lost to family violence.The vigil is designed to an opportunity to come together in reflection and remembrance. It will be presented by Jess Hill (the award-winning author of See What You Made Me Do) and will include speakers, music and a one-minute silence.

During the evening people are encouraged to share messages of reflection and remembrance on social media using the hashtag #LightACandle2021 which is being used across Australia. People wanting to be a part of the vigil can register at

In addition to this key landmarks in Melbourne will be lit in purple on the night including Flinders Street Station, the Melbourne Town Hall, Bolte Bridge, the Sound Tunnel and the Melbourne Star. Federation Square will also be supporting the event, showing messages that have been sent in by people participating.

20 April 2021

New Community Legal Centre Social Work and Social Support Network
Our friends at the Federation of Community Legal Centres have just announced the development of a National CLC Social Work and Social Support Network. If you work or volunteer in the community legal sector as a social worker or social support worker and are interested in joining a newly forming national network, please fill in this form to register your interest, keep updated about the first meeting in May and access the consultation draft of the terms of reference.

Please contact Helen Wallace for any questions in the lead-up to the meeting.

6 April 2021

What you need to know about Victoria's new rental rules

More than 130 changes to Victoria’s renting rules come into effect today.

The good folk at VCOSS have summarised the 10 key changes that those working in our community need to know plus they've got a great recording of their recent Renters Rights Rundown outlining these changes.

Take a look here

29 March 2021

Volunteer Opportunities for Social Workers

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is seeking qualified social workers, caseworkers and psychologists to volunteer in our General Access and Client Services programs.

Volunteers are responsible for intake assessments, providing information, referrals, casework andother support to people seeking asylum. This includes people who are experiencing mental health issues, housing challenges, family violence and involuntary repatriation.

A challenging and rewarding role that will provide you with unique work experience, the role is based in our Footscray centre.

A full position description and online application form are available here, applications close midnight 7th April.

17 March 2021

Celebrating World Social Work Day 2021

Happy World Social Work Day to all Victorian social workers!

Thank you for everything you do to support vulnerable Victorians and to advocate for a more just and equal society.

Today we celebrate your efforts and achievements, we acknowledge your struggles and challenges, and we thank you for being an invaluable member of the social work community.

Thanks to all of the wonderful social workers who joined us for our annual World Social Work Day event. This year we celebrated together online with a webinar featuring a panel of Victorian social workers from different fields of practice reflecting on the theme of Ubuntu and the impacts of COVID-19 on their work. Moderated by Professor Margarita Frederico AM, our panel featured Kate Incerti, Vivian Tong, Jacinta Re, Dr William Abur and Abbey Newman. The recording of the session is available to view here:

Victorian Branch World Social Work Day Breakfast Webinar 2021 Recording

5 March 2021

Welcoming two new Victorian Social Work Practice Groups

The Victorian Branch is delighted to welcome to new Practice Groups to the fold:

Geelong Social Work Student Practice Group

Mental Health Social Work Leaders Group

We know that these two groups will bring a wealth of knowledge and opportunity to our Victorian social work community and we look forward to working with the convenors of these newly formed groups into the future.

These groups will shortly have a page on our website and we encourage you to follow or get involved in their work.

For more information about our current Practice Groups, or about starting a Practice Group, take a look at the Practice Group area of our website, or contact Anneka at the Victorian Branch via email or phone (03) 9320 1000.

4 March 2021

2021 Leadership Intensive - Applications Close Tomorrow - Future Social Services Institute

The wonderful people at the Future Social Services Institute are hosting their annual Leadership Intensives once again. Develop the advanced leadership skills you need in the evolving fields of family violence prevention and response. The Leadership Intensives are designed to support leaders working in the family violence sector to develop practical leadership and change management skills.

More information and applications here.

4 March 2021

Announcing Panellists for our World Social Work Day Breakfast Webinar 2021

The Victorian Branch is delighted to announce our wonderful panellists for the upcoming World Social Work Day Breakfast Webinar 2021 on Tuesday 16 March from 8:00am to 9:15am. We are delighted to announce our panellists for the event:

Jacinta Re
Head of Social Work
Monash Health

Kate Incerti
Team Leader Housing and Homelessness Services
City of Port Phillip

Abbey Newman
Specialist Family Violence Advisor
Forensicare Victoria

Dr William Abur
Lecturer in Social Work
Deakin University

Vivian Tong
Social Worker and Wellbeing Officer
Afri-Aus Care

If you are yet to register for this free event, we warmly welcome you to do so today. We welcome members and the broader social work community to join us for this annual celebration of the invaluable contribution that soclal workers make to our community.

More information and registrations here.

4 March 2021

Centre for Mental Health Learning - World Social Work Day Reflective Session

To mark World Social Work Day on Tuesday 16 March, our friends at the Centre for Mental Health Learning are hosting a free reflective session for social workers working in the public clinical mental health workforce in Victoria, (staff employed at Area Mental Health Services, Forensicare or mental health staff from RCH).

Join them for a facilitated panel discussion regarding Social & Emotional Wellbeing practice approaches and values and how they relate to the social work code of ethics and values.

More information and registration here.

23 February 2021

Changes to WorkCover Legislation re: Psychological Injuries

Thanks to our social work colleagues at Slater and Gordon, we are pleased to share an update on legislative changes that were passed on Monday this week in the Victorian Parliament that will have future positive consequences for many of the patients and clients that our members currently work with who have work-related psychological injuries.

View or Download Document Here:
Changes to the WorkCover Legislation re: Psychological Treatment for Injured Workers

9 February 2021

Meet A Committee Member

Introducing another of the wonderful members of our Victorian Branch Management Committee This week we get to know Rachel Westgamble, one of our newest Committee Members and our Student Representative. Read Rachel's biography here and below we've captured some less formal insights!

Before social work...
I completed a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology.

I am currently completing my social work degree at...
The University of Melbourne and am due to finish in 2022.

I’ve been on the Victorian BMC since...
Late 2020 and am enjoying getting to know other BMC members and the great services AASW has to offer.

A social worker who really inspires me is...
Professor Cathy Humphreys (also an AASW member) - I would love to have Cathy's knowledge and experience, particularly in the field of family violence.

In 2021, I’m really looking forward to...
Completing my first-year placement and gaining a more thorough understanding of AASW.

27 January 2021

Australia Day Honours - Professor Margarita Frederico AM

On behalf of the Victorian Branch we would like to acknowledge our member and life member, Professor Margarita Frederico who was awarded an AM in the Australia Day Honours 2021 for significant service to tertiary education, to social work, and to the not-for-profit sector.

Professor Frederico has been a tireless contributor to the work of the Victorian Branch and we congratulate and thank her for her unstinting commitment to developing the social work profession.

View a summary of Professor Frederico's career and contributions here:

27 January 2021

Meet A Committee Member

We're delighted to introduce you to the wonderful members of our Victorian Branch Management Committee over the coming weeks. This week we get to know Chris Barca, a long-term AASW member with a diversity of experience in the profession. Read Chris's biography here and below we've captured some less formal insights!

Before social work...
I loved working in bars, restaurants, retail, event planning and customer service. I especially loved catering, event design and facilitating social connections.

I completed my social work degree at...
Phillip Institute (now RMIT) Bachelor in (1984) and Masters in Social Work at Monash.

I’ve been on the Victorian BMC since...
The first time was 1996 – 1998 and I most recently joined the BMC again in 2015. What I enjoy about being on the BMC is working on a wide range of projects with other professionals from a range of fields who have a complimentary value system.

In 2021, I’m really hoping to...
Write and develop a program model for Accrediting Work Place Culture. (i.e. encouraging healthy verses toxic work environments)

11 January 2021

Happy New Year to our wonderful members!

The Victorian Branch is open once again after a restorative break over the festive season.

I was fortunate to venture into Far East Gippsland for a camping trip to Croajingalong National Park which was devastated by the Black Summer bushfires a year ago. Whilst the landscape has been indescribably altered, the vivid green of new plant life, the joyful bird song, and the unexpected sightings of wildlife all speak of a remarkable resilience.

We know that 2020 was a difficult year for our members and our community. We hope that you too have managed to take some time-out over the festive season, or perhaps have your own plans for a summer break in the weeks ahead.

We look forward to connecting with and supporting you in 2021.

Contact the Victorian Branch

Victorian Branch Services Coordinator
(Monday to Friday)

Ph: 03 9320 1000 or 1800 630 124 (toll free alternative)

Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne

PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville Vic 3050

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