A whole is greater than the sum of its parts
16 Apr 2019
Community of Practice | Churchill Fellows in Social Work
From left to right: Kat Short (2008), Margy Green (2016), Jacqui Russell (AASW), Georgina Hardy (UK 2018), Marie-Claire Cheron-Sauer (2012), Joy Cocker (2014), Debra Swann (2018), Margaret Bennett (1994), Jo Cavanagh (1990), Kanthi Perera (2005) **Fellows who attended via video conference (not pictured) include Claire Seppings (2015), Jessica Cocks (2016) and Petra Playfair (1986)**
A group of Churchill Fellows who are actively involved in the field of social work recently established the Churchill Fellows in Social Work community of practice. Understanding the power of combining expertise and experience, the group have come together with the aim to link and build on their ideas to contribute to and improve the practice of social work in Australia, as well as mentoring current and future Churchill Fellows as leaders in their field.
Being led by 2012 Churchill Fellow Marie-Claire Cheron-Sauer, there are approximately 25 Churchill Fellows in the group with an expectation that this number will continue to grow. On 5 April 2019, in conjunction with the 2019 Convention of Churchill Fellows being held in Hobart, the group had the opportunity to meet face to face in a workshop designed to discuss the group’s purpose and decide on initiatives the group would like to pursue.
This workshop offered a unique opportunity to hear the diverse perspectives of the 13 Churchill Fellows (4 via video conference) who participated in the session. The group also welcomed special guest Jacqui Russell, Tasmanian Branch President of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), who joined the session and contributed some valuable insights.
With the aim to elevate the knowledge and research generated from social workers and to demonstrate the profession’s important role in the service ecosystem, the group have decided to pursue three main activities over the next twelve months which include;
- Developing content for online (social media and web) and print (brochures and booklets) that will showcase and promote the important work of Churchill Fellows in social work.
- Work with the Churchill Trust to develop and expand the group’s profile to the wider sector.
- Work with AASW to see how they can use the capacity of the group to promote and benefit the profession, in particular by featuring Fellows in their quarterly newsletter and by having a presence at the AASW conference in November 2019.
The group came away with a united understanding of the challenges facing social work and some new initiatives to drive social change in their field.
If you are a Churchill Fellow who is a social worker and wish to be involved in this group’s activity or to find out how we are able to connect you with other Fellows to support you in establishing a community of practice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.