[Posted: 8 Nov 2011]
Associate Professor Dawn Bessarab from the Aboriginal Health and Education Unit, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, has won a 2011 Social Worker of the Year Award.
Associate Professor Bessarab clinched the Aboriginal and Torres Straits Island category in recognition of her extraordinary determination and passion to help Aboriginal and Torres Straits Island individuals, families and communities.
Her extensive experience in the sector has ensured she is at the forefront of working and engaging with Indigenous people, especially those experiencing alcohol issues and domestic violence.
The former Curtin University graduate’s unique approach ensures she connects with Indigenous people and gets results at an individual level.
Graduates of Curtin’s Bachelor of Social Work degree were also big winners this year.
Natalie Hall, who graduated in 1986, and works for Parkerville Children and Youth Care, won the Agent of Change Award. Ida Curtois, who graduated in 1990, and is semi-retired, won the Rural and Remote Practitioner Award.
A further two social work graduates from Curtin University were finalists for 2011. Daniel Ventris, who graduated in 2008, was nominated in the Rising Star category and Sharron Ryan, who graduated in 1983, was selected for the Agent of Change category.
Julie Dickinson, who recently retired from Curtin after many years of lecturing both undergraduate social work and postgraduate counselling students, won the Head, Heart and Hands Award.
The award winners were announced at a distinguished evening awards ceremony held at the University Club, University of Western Australia on Monday 7 November 2011.
Curtin University is one of the major award partners of the esteemed annual event.