IAHA Member Tina Brodie on 2023 World Social Work Day – Respecting diversity through joint social action.

My name is Tina (She/Her) and I am an Aboriginal woman living on Kaurna Country with my family. I’m excited to share a little yarn about World Social Work Day. Social workers are so crucial to our communities because our experiences of ongoing colonial violence and racism mean we have higher unmet social needs, are more likely to encounter ‘justice’ and ‘child protection’ systems and unequally experience mental illness. Social work that is culturally responsive is critical in addressing these challenges both for individuals and at systems levels to promote wellbeing for our communities.  

Social workers work across health and social systems in so many different roles like service delivery, project, policy, research and leadership. I have noticed that mob are often drawn to professions that work with community, like social work. For mob already working as social workers, never forget the extreme value and worth you have to our communities, take care of yourself, and make time for your own healing journey. If you are thinking about a career in social work there are so many career options available and training in social work will give you more tools, skills, and resources to add to your own knowledge and wisdom to support your family and community.

My own experience has included almost all there is to offer – I have been working in social work roles for over 15 years (clinical, project, teaching and leadership) and in the last 5 years this has been predominantly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research with a focus on social and emotional wellbeing and the social determinants of health. I am always a social worker, and my training and experiences directly influence my work, especially to challenge western biomedical approaches to health care. In my research directly I am drawing on social work approaches and my own clinical experience constantly. I work closely with the community and health services to generate practice-based evidence for models of care which are more responsive to social and cultural needs.

The theme this year is Respecting diversity through joint social action. To me it is beyond respect, and more about recognising the intersections of who we are within our community, LGBTQIA+, disabled, neurodivergent, and more. We make space for our diversity as mob and all that we do is not just for or by our majority because we are stronger as a community when we are all included and connected. 

You can read about some of my work here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8278791/ 

Or listen to a recent podcast here: https://youtu.be/k7XXnhi_FmY 

My favourite must read social work resource is the ‘Our Voices: Aboriginal Social Work” book by Bindi Bennett and Sue Green. 

Happy World Social Work Day to all you deadly Social Workers!

March 21, 2023


Posted by: Renae Kilmister