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Bi-partisan support for Australia’s unsung heroes - community workers - on their 50th birthday

ACWA Inc - Tuesday, November 26, 2019


This week, Australian politicians at all levels will come out to support the tens of thousands of community worker professionals in their electorates, as part of the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) 50th birthday celebrations.

“These are some of Australia’s most dedicated quiet achievers,” said Mr Jesu Jacob, National Operations Manager of ACWA. “Many Australians would have met a community worker in the course of their lives but wouldn’t know that they’re part of a single, very dedicated and hard-working profession.”

Politicians across the country are asked to acknowledge the important work of community workers in supporting some of Australia’s most vulnerable people including: victims of family violence, families and children in crisis, at risk teens and young people, people overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, refugees, and those with food and home insecurity.

Ms Claudia Cunningham, ACWA President and community worker and trainer for over 40 years said:

“Professional community workers have been a united group for 50 years, since the formation of our first professional association in 1969. However, just like our members, we’ve kept a low profile and focused on improving accreditation, education and career pathways.”

“Now it’s time for us to look outward and let Australians know we are and that we are a unified profession. We need everyone to understand the critical role that community workers play in so many people’s lives.”

“We’re grateful for the bipartisan support of our politicians in sharing this message and acknowledging the work we do in every community – urban, rural and regional.”

The 50th birthday celebrations officially begin with Recognise a Community Worker Month, a national awareness campaign to run annually from 26 November every year.

ACWA have created a collection of multimedia resources to help the community, media, political leaders and careers teachers.

“Community workers will powerfully advocate for their clients, but rarely share their own stories. They are the most unpretentious of workers. But this year, we hope some of them understand that it’s time to proudly present the profession and their role within it,” Mr Jacob continued.

“Community work is a great career and rewarding job for both young people starting out and mature people who are looking for a new direction. It’s a profession that’s growing and the 50th birthday proves that for community workers there’s a bright future ahead.” Mr Jacob added.

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For interview or information please contact Irena Bee on 0412 424 523 or Irena@44playbook.com

For resources including stats, social media images and videos visit https://www.acwa.org.au/acwa50

Who are some community workers you know
  • Aged care worker
  • Child Protection Practitioner
  • Community Development Officer
  • Counsellor
  • Domestic and Family Violence Practitioner
  • Drug and Alcohol Worker
  • Housing Officer
  • Manager of a Community Centre
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Multicultural Support Worker
  • NDIS Support Coordinator
  • Neighbourhood House Coordinator
  • Youth Worker
What does a community work do?

Community work practitioners are diploma and degree qualified to provide services, support and information to those in need of assistance. Their day to day work can involve outreach; intake and assessment; crisis intervention, advocacy, referral, case work and management, and counselling.

They work across Australia’s community services sector, primarily in not-for-profit and government organisations. They work in and link people to:
  • Aged care services
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs support
  • Child protection services
  • Counselling
  • Disability services
  • Domestic and family violence support
  • Emergency relief
  • Employment services
  • Financial counselling
  • Housing and homelessness support

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