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2014 WA Social Worker of the Year Finalists Announced

Community, In the Media / Off / May 30, 2014

The 2014 WA Social Worker of the Year Awards Committee has announced the finalists who will be honoured at this year’s ceremony to be held on Monday 9 June at Curtin University.

Held annually since 2009, the Awards recognise the achievements of dedicated social work practitioners and celebrate an industry that continues to make a real difference in the lives of Western Australians.

Chairperson of the Awards Committee, Dr. Katrina Stratton, 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.

Patron of the Awards and former social worker, 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 are a wonderful way of acknowledging the extraordinary achievements of social workers in so many facets of our community. This year, once again, the stories of the work of our finalists are inspirational and I look forward to an evening in which we will honour the people who have dedicated their careers to improving the lives of others in the community,” said Jan.

A record number of nominations were presented for the 2014 awards, with peers, colleagues, consumers and industry representatives across the state taking the opportunity to recognise a social worker, including one posthumous nomination for a well-regarded social worker who passed away in 2013.


Three finalists from each of the five categories will be acknowledged at the Awards Ceremony, recognising distinction in direct service to clients, in the workplace and in the wider community with one winner in each category receiving an award and $1,500.  The overall winner will be awarded the prestigious title of 2014 WA Social Worker of the Year and receive an additional $3,000 in prize money.

Sponsored by industry bodies and partners Curtin University, University of Western Australia and Australian Association of Social Workers, the Awards will be hosted by ABC Radio’s James Lush who says 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.

Amanda Perlinski, winner of the 2013 KPMG ‘Agent of Change’ Award, says winning her award was one of the highlights of her long career in social work.

“As a winner of one of last year’s awards I can tell you that I felt extremely proud to be nominated and selected for an award by my professional peers,” Amanda said.  “The awards shine a light on the individuals nominated, showcasing the variety of work that we as social workers do.”

Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Monday 9 June at Curtin University.  Limited tickets are available for $45 until 2 June 2014 and can be purchased online at www.wasocialworkeroftheyearawards.com.au.

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