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Rural Remote Social Work Action Practice Group


Linda Grellman 0423 082 640

RSWAPG Committee Members

Metaxia Tsoukatos 0429 427 251
Martin Butler 0418 572 967
Peter Quin 0400 778 797
Jozette Dellemain

Purpose and Main Activities

Established in 1990 the RSWPG's has:

  • Organised four rural conferences and will continue to do so biennially
  • Actively involved in continuing professional education through planning and promoting opportunities for rural social work practitioners
  • Provided input into social work and welfare courses
  • Facilitates network across the State
  • Has established links with social work groups in the Grampians, Echuca, Murray/ Goulburn Region, Gippsland and Mildura
  • Established positive relationships with other special interest groups which increase the network and enables other areas of expertise and practice to be drawn upon
  • Regularly has representatives on the AASW Victorian Branch Management Committee
  • Called upon regularly by the AASW to respond to rural issues
  • Promotes better awareness of rural practices through conferences and teleconference networks
  • Is an informal employment brokerage service


The aims of the RSWPG are to:

  • Increase the knowledge of rural practice social work issues
  • Raise the consciousness of rurality as an issue in social work and service delivery to communities
  • Undertake rural social work research to enable the group to effectively manage social, economic and political matters
  • Have input, where feasible, into the teaching of rural social work issues in schools of social work and welfare study
  • Enable Social Workers in the field to have access to the AASW (VIC) Branch Management Committee
  • Raise and meet a range of matters which would require an AASW response
  • Encourage professional development in rural areas by promoting further training for Social Workers and other human service workers that is accessible and relevant to their needs
  • Share information about rural issues, training, relevant projects, and provide support to practitioners in rural settings


Membership is open to social workers, welfare workers and professionals in the human services area employed on a full-time, part-time or sessional basis in a rural setting or based organisation. Social workers employed in other areas with an interest in rural issues are also welcome to apply for membership. Social work students are also eligible to apply for membership. Become a member today! 

Download the RSWAPG Membership Brochure & Form.

Rural Social Work Scholarship Opportunity

The Rural Social Work Action Practice Group (RSWAPG) supports the development of high quality social work services in rural Australia. A scholarship of $2000 will be conferred to a student studying in a Victorian based University, in the fieldwork phase of an accredited social work course who can demonstrate high-level attainment, leadership and innovative commitment to rural social care. Applications are now closed. View Rural Scholarship Application and Guidelines. To be notified of future opportunities look out for this information on this web page or in the Vic Branch monthly e-News.


Meetings are held by teleconference between 7:00 - 8:30pm. Teleconference details will be provided to you by email after you register at Victorian Branch web page.

Rural Social Work Gathering 2023

Rural Social Workers Action Practice Group (RSWAPG) -  Making A Difference: Connections & Partnerships

Victorian Branch – AASW Ltd  ABN 93 008 576 010

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS for the 15th Biennial National Rural Remote Social Work Gathering

Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th August 2023 | Albury Entertainment Centre

Have you ever sat in with a group of rural social workers and commenced a discussion and particular themes begin to emerge?  The shared theoretical knowledge at that first gathering forming a framework - then the application of shared wisdom, intelligence that helps to move it beyond just a concept to actually making a difference possible in practice? We want to capture this at our rural social work conference in 2023.  So stop, breathe and take the time to reflect on your work practices which have had significant and widespread positive influences within our rural and remote communities. There will be many that have occurred since our last gathering in Horsham. 

This place of meeting will provide many opportunities to unwrap, celebrate and share our stories of making a difference.  Indeed, this conference is about the importance of local knowledge and relationships, appreciating the foot print we leave within communities and understanding that connections and partnerships are vital to our ability to make a difference.  


An invitation is extended for submission of abstracts or posters.  Please consider submissions in the light of the following question: What skills/knowledge will participants gain as a result of this presentation or poster?  How does your presentation demonstrate / relate to the theme of making a difference; connections and partnerships.

Presentations will be for 40 minutes (inclusive of question time).

Important Dates:

Final Submission Date: Friday  31st March 2023.  You will be notified of the outcome of your application after the April 7th 2023.

Abstract Submission Process:

The abstract must be submitted as a word document via email to: Metaxia Tsoukatos ([email protected]).

The abstract title should be in Title Case, Arial, bold 14 pt size and centred.  The abstract should contain:

  • Paper’s Title
  • Full author list, department and organisation, presenting author/s underlined,
  • Primary person’s contact details
  • Text – 200 words outlining the proposed presentation
  • Abstract titles should be followed by author’s first initial and last name
  • Abstract text must be in Arial font 12 pt size
  • The covering email must specify if the abstract is to be considered for an oral presentation and/or a poster.

Selection Process:

Abstracts will be rated anonymously using the following criteria:

  • Submissions should be relevant to the theme and objectives of the conference
  • Clarity of presentation
  • Contribution of new knowledge or practice models to the field

Submission of Full Presentation:

If successful in submitting a presentation a full copy of the presentation must be received a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the conference – 20th July 2023.  This will enable time for the conference materials to be compiled.   Presentation to be forwarded to Metaxia Tsoukatos ([email protected] – 0429 427 251) and Martin P Butler ([email protected] – 0418 572 967)


Presenters are required to officially register for either the day of their presentation or for the whole conference.

If you require further information please contact Metaxia Tsoukatos or Martin P Butler.


2019 Gathering (pre-covid)

Horsham Church of Christ , 91 River Road Horsham

Responding to Challenges, Community Engagement and Innovative Practice

Pictured right: view towards the Grampians from Wal Wal Road and Fishers Road near Taylors Lake, Horsham (photo credit: Travel Victoria).

Contact the Victorian Branch

Victorian Branch Services Coordinator
(Monday to Friday)

Ph: 03 9320 1000 or 1800 630 124 (toll free alternative)
E: [email protected]

Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne

PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville Vic 3050

Connect with us on:

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers