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Finalists announced for WA Social Worker awards

Posted: 25 May 2015

The 2015 WA Social Worker of the Year Awards Committee has announced the finalists to be honoured at this year’s ceremony on Monday June 8th at the University of Western Australia.

Held annually since 2009 the Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge dedicated social workers that have made a significant impact to the everyday lives of West Australians.

The Awards demonstrate to the wider community how the profession of social work makes such a positive contribution to our society and will this year showcase a celebration of 50 years of social work in WA since the introduction of the Masters of Social Work to UWA in 1965.

Chairperson of the Awards Committee, Donna Chung, says, “As a diversified and impactful profession, these awards give all social workers a reason to celebrate and be inspired by their own and others work that delivers a positive effect on West Australian individuals, families and communities.”

“Although demanding, the profession is also highly rewarding. It’s necessary to remember and recognise the passion, dedication and hard work all social workers give to their community each and every day,” she added.

In the lead up to the Awards, the committee once again received a large number of nominations from all over Western Australia as industry leaders, colleagues, and consumers took part in the opportunity to recognise the selflessness of social workers in their community.

Patron of the Awards, qualified social worker and former Lotterywest CEO Jan Stewart says she is grateful to be a part of the event that celebrates the tireless efforts of Western Australians in the social work profession.

“The Awards give me a huge sense of pride in our profession,’ said Jan. “This event values the depth and breadth of the contributions social workers make not only in direct service to their clients but also in the workplace and in the community.”

Three finalists from each of the five categories will be acknowledged for their distinction in the direct service to clients, in the workplace and in the wider community, with the winner from each category and an overall WA Social Worker of the Year announced on the night.

Founding Award Partners Curtin University, University of Western Australia and Australian Association of Social Workers will host the event with James Lush as Master of Ceremonies. Lush agrees that of all the events he is involved with, he has ‘come to enjoy the ones that have the really personal stories the most’.

“In this sector in particular there are some incredible examples of individuals doing wonderful work – blowing their own trumpet isn’t what comes naturally, so to be able to in some part assist that process can be extremely satisfying” says Lush.

Pippa Blackburn, recipient of the 2014 WA Social Worker of the Year and ECU Rural and Remote Practitioner Award spoke recently of how her awards were representative of a supportive and caring community.

“The WA Social Worker of the Year and Rural and Remote Practitioner Awards were as much an honour for me as it is to honour those who have influenced and inspired me”

When describing the Awards Pippa said, “These Social Work Awards are not just about celebrating and promoting the good work that social workers do. The Awards highlight (and are a record of) the depth and breadth of the social work profession across the state.”

“The Awards tell our social work stories and create a rich tapestry of the amazing contribution of the social work profession to WA – how inspiring for us and social workers in the future!”

Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Monday June 8th at the University of Western Australia.  Limited tickets are available for $45 until June 2nd or sold out. They can be purchased online here.