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Health Social Work Director's Group

Contact Convenor

Olga Gountras
National Manager - Social Work, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Image: Health Social Work Directors' Group Members, 2016


The Health Social Work Director’s Group (HSWDG) is a Practice Group of the Victorian Branch of the AASW which comprises health social work managers from across Victoria. We meet bi-monthly to provide a supportive forum in order to discuss common issues, share quality improvement projects and to network.


To promote educative input and professional collaboration on topics relevant to the management of social work services in health, such as:

  • staff supervision and staff development
  • quality assurance, evaluation of services and accreditation
  • finance and budgeting
  • industrial system and personnel practices
  • management knowledge and skills

To promote the exchange of information on topics of relevance to the management of social work services to health, such as:

  • government plans/policies regarding health / welfare services
  • finance / budget developments
  • major service developments
  • educative courses / resources
  • industrial developments
  • to liaise with other relevant groups to formulate and promote social policy and plan action strategies as relevant to specific topics.

The HSWDG has been functioning since the early 1970’s, and have been at the forefront of promoting and encouraging professional standards of SW practice in the health field, leadership, student education and supervision and providing a voice with regards to issues requiring social action. Recent examples include: Reaching for the Stars Project (focus on surveying and developing leadership skills); and involvement in the VPTAS Alliance (promoting a better financial transportation deal for rural patients accessing health services).

Since 2009, the HSWDG have organised and promoted an annual Research Symposium to provide an opportunity for health social workers to meet together and showcase the research which is being undertaken across health networks which add to the evidence-base for our practice.


Membership includes social workers who are eligible for membership of the AASW and are employed in a position involving primary management responsibility for social work service delivery in Victorian health services.

Upcoming Meetings

HSWDG Meetings
HSWDG has six meetings per year between 9:00am - 11:30am but the final meeting is a Christmas breakfast.

Meetings to be held at the AASW office located in on Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne which is close to Flemington Road and near the Royal Women's and Royal Melbourne Hospitals. We recommend travelling via public transport if possible. Our office is close to the CBD and a short walk from the Haymarket Walk/Elizabeth Street tram stop (trams 19 & 59) and the Grattan Street tram stop (trams 55 & 59). Parking in the area is generally on-street, metered parking and is limited. There are limited 2 hour free street parking spaces near-by in Courtney Street or metered 4 hour parking in Blackwood Street, Howard Street and surrounds. There is also a parking facility at the VCCC building that offers safe car parking every day of the week from 6:00am to 9:00pm. Cost is $14 for 1-2 hours or $20. Read more here. There are facilities available outside the building to lock bikes.

Meeting schedule:

Dates for upcoming meetings are under review and to be confirmed.

Past Symposiums

HSWDG Symposium 2018 - Showcasing Social Work Practice through Research and Quality Improvement
View here for more information

HSWDG Symposium 2017 - Research Informing Practice in Health Social Work: From Ideas to Innovations
View here for more information

HSWDG Symposium 2016 - Innovation in Paediatric Social Work – Knowledge generation and knowledge translation
View here for information

Contact the Victorian Branch

Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne

PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville Vic 3050

T: 03 9320 1000

Connect with us on:

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers