Category Archives: Uncategorized

AASW election 2017: reflections on our voting system and the challenges ahead

Another AASW election has come and gone. Most of the membership barely noticed. 8,917 members were eligible to vote, but only 1,608 did so; a bare 18%, and only a small improvement on last year. Of the remaining 7,309 members, … Continue reading

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A personal reflection on the 2017 election and beyond

I am exhausted, and glad the election is just about over. All that is left is to ask people to take the time to go to the post office. As is my habit of past years, I have taken down … Continue reading

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Why aren’t more social work students joining the AASW?

 This year there are approximately 14,500 students enrolled in social work across Australia; a staggering number! (the entire membership of the AASW is only 10,000). In 2017 we can expect around 1,200 graduates from qualifying masters programs, and 1,700 from … Continue reading

Posted in AASW Election 2017, AASW Policy and Strategy, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Waiting for a paradigm shift: How the AASW and universities could do more for social work students

As a major employer of social workers, I have spoken to countless new graduates and  students on placement. Sadly, I have heard too many stories of placements gone wrong. Even worse, some students have told me that they set aside … Continue reading

Posted in AASW Policy and Strategy, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Five reasons why workplace bullies survive and thrive: And what we can do about it

In 2015, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons went through a serious soul searching exercise following some alarming reports of bullying in the profession. The College commissioned an independent report that contained shocking findings. These included, 49% of Fellows, trainees … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Social Policy, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Seven reasons to abstain from approving amendments to the AASW Constitution

At the AASW 2015 AGM a number of constitutional amendments are being proposed. These proposals were the subject of a discussion paper in March this year and comments were invited. One could reasonably have expected, at the very least, that … Continue reading

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Living in dystopia: ten tips for reconnecting the personal and the political

Heading into town, by the fire sign, up ahead one mile Mum and naked child by the highway Flash four-wheel drive, I only want a ride to the other side. Don’t try and hide behind your window I bet your weekly wage … Continue reading

Posted in Social Policy, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

The death of Chloe Valentine: the future of professional social work in child protection

In January 2012, four year old Chloe Valentine died in appalling circumstances at the hands of her mother and her mother’s partner. Both were found guilty of manslaughter and jailed. During her short life Chloe was the subject of many … Continue reading

Posted in Social Policy, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

AASW Constitutional changes: Planning for the past and stripping the rights of student members

Very few members of the AASW will have so far engaged with the proposed changes to the Constitution of the AASW. Reading a lengthy document or attending a meeting is something most of us will avoid. Consequently it is disappointing … Continue reading

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Beyond Charlie Hebdo: The miracle question – free speech, church, state and civil society

In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre news coverage was dominated by the vision of politicians linking arms at a unity march in Paris. These politicians could be neatly divided into two groups: those who actually suppress free speech … Continue reading

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