Nominate a social worker for the 2016 Awards
Do you know a dedicated social worker who deserves recognition? The WA Social Worker of the Year Awards want YOU to nominate them for an Award!Nominations for the 2016 WA Social Worker of the Year Awards have officially opened, calling on the communities, family, friends and peers of dedicated social workers across WA to honour these inspirational individuals with a nomination. To celebrate the opening of the 2016 Awards year, a networking launch event was attended by 80 people at the Old Laundry in North Perth featuring speeches from sponsor Mark Glasson of Anglicare WA and 2015 WA Social Worker of the Year Fran McGrath. Fran McGrath addressed the crowd discussing her passion for social work, the resilience of her clients, the privilege of sharing in their journeys and the diversity of the roles taken on by social workers across a range of industries.
Fran said she felt humbled and honoured to be recognised by her peer group with a nomination in the ‘Head, Heart and Hands’ Award recognising her lifetime achievements in the social work profession, winning both this Award and the overall WA Social Worker of the Year Award at the 2015 Awards held in June.
“I am still learning new things with each client I come across, even after 40 years in the health industry,” says Fran. “The work I do is really about connecting with people, so for me accepting this Award is recognition of the connections I have made with my clients, honouring the roles they have played in my own life, as I in theirs.”
For over 23 years, Ms. McGrath has worked as a Senior Social Worker at the Neurosciences Unit in the Health Department of WA, with strong expertise working with patients with Huntington’s Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Started in 2009 by founding partners the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), the University of Western Australia and Curtin University the Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge dedicated social workers across the state. Chairperson of the Awards Committee Donna Chung says, “These awards give social workers a reason to be inspired by the diversity of our profession, and the positive impact we have with individuals, families and communities.” “The profession of social work can be emotionally challenging, but also very rewarding. It’s important for us to recognise the hard work, passion and dedication that social workers give to the community every day,” she added. There are five award categories each offering a prize of $1,500, an Award trophy and two tickets to the Award ceremony. The overall winner will be named as the 2015 WA Social Worker of the Year and receive an additional $3,000 in prize money. Nominations can be completed online now and will remain open until March 8th with winners announced at the Award Ceremony in May. Those who successfully nominate a social worker will also receive tickets to the Awards Ceremony to join in a night of celebration with peers, family, friends, social work professionals and industry and government representatives.
“I feel very lucky to have worked in a field that marries my three passions; social justice and the economic social and political that contribute to that, psychology which is peoples stories, and spirituality in a broader sense, looking at what gives meaning and how we can create a sense of meaning, hope and connectedness for our clients,” said Fran.“A lot of us social workers, we don’t work to get honours like this but it is such lovely thing for the profession and individuals to be honoured, and to hear about the breadth and the depth of the social work profession on such occasion as the Awards night.”