Background and Experience
I have 40 years of experience in the health sector, and in private practice, counselling individuals and families. I am currently a social work leader in NSW Health, with management, teaching, training and research responsibilities. I have had Board experience on a Local Health District Board, as Chair of a private school Board and on the AASW National Board.
I have had a blog for several years on social work and social policy. I also use my website as a platform for my social work and social policy podcast- Just Another Do Gooder.
My Vision for Social Work and the AASW
Inequality is getting worse. Our communities locally and globally are increasingly divided. Add to this: climate change denial, epidemics of loneliness and depression, a consumerist culture, record levels of debt, and a rising tide of workplace bullying.
It is crucial in this environment that social workers stand together and support each other, bound by our ethical commitments to our profession and our communities. We must speak truth to power. We must continue to build our knowledge and skills in the service of our communities.
The Power of the AASW is in the Relationships between Members
- We must reach potential members early in their professional lives. This should include a mentoring scheme for students and new graduates. We have a richly experienced membership that would be delighted to contribute to building the next generation of social workers.
- Only a small minority of our students are members. We need a student club on every campus to help build social work ways of thinking, doing and being.
- We need an AASW members ‘app’ that will allow any member to communicate with all other participating members.
Education and Professional Development need to be Integrated at all Levels
- We should commission an independent review of all aspects of CPD, in order to build a comprehensive long term plan for less expensive and better integrated professional development.
- We need to build the capacity of our own members to be CPD providers.
- I believe that there may be a looming crisis in field education. We urgently need a national summit to find sustainable solutions. This must be evidence based, and include students, academics, employers and the AASW. It must help our capacity to supply quality placements, as well as constructing a shared vision of a signature social work pedagogy.
AASW Members can use our Collective Strength to Support Each Other
- We need to consult with the relevant trade unions to build a joint strategy to combat short term contracts and the toxic effects of precarious employment. We must ensure that social workers always have access to good quality supervision and subsidised CPD.
- We must commission and independent, transparent review of the needs and the challenges faced by our private practitioners.
We Must Continue to Stand for Social Justice in our Communities
- We should continue to promote an ecologically mindful and sustainable approach to social work.
- We should listen to the voices of the people of our first sovereign Nations and support the Uluru statement.
- We must continue to advocate for the poor and the vulnerable, to reverse the rising tides of inequality and misery. This should include advocating for a universal basic income and cracking down on unfettered gambling and pay day lending.
Let’s put #Membersfirst
Please feel free to contact me on the AASW provided platform or my website or Facebook Page.