National Foster Care Conference

In 2009 it was WA's turn to host the National Foster Care Conference and Stara was contracted to provide event management and secretariat services. As usual, I worked with Cindy Gorton on such projects and we put together a creative and exciting event attended by 300 delegates representing all States and Territories.  Foster Carers are a great bunch of people and it was important that the Conference was both a time for learning and also a chance to enjoy the company of others - and get a little respite from the children! The 'Dare to Be Different' sessions gave delegates the chance to try something new and the separate Child and Young People's programme made sure no-one was left out. We were contracted to run the State Conference in 2011 and have just begun some preliminary work on the 2013 event.


Aged Care and Mental Health Day of Learning

Over recent years a great deal of emphasis has been placed on dementia, so Aged Care Services for WA Country regions decided to invest in a day of learning focusing on other mental health aspects for older people. This was a great success and brought together health professionals from all over the State. As well as keynote speakers, the day included case-study problem solving and workshops on a number of mental heath issues. Cindy Gorton and I managed all aspects of this conference and ran a successful event within budget. We made use of some very skilled experts as well as supplying a small team of social work students as volunteers to help manage the day. That's me on the registration desk checking the lists before people arrived at the Trade Winds Hotel.

WA Social Worker of the Year

Affectionately called SWOTY by all who are involved in it, this event rapidly became a premium fixture on the social work calendar. The first year built a really strong foundation and Cindy Gorton and I then took it on. I like to think we have helped it grow and that our efforts are going to result in sustainability. As an event it somehow seems more 'important' than a conference, in that it showcases the profession to itself and reminds us all about the great things social worker can and do achieve. As a social worker myself, it was one of the highlights of my working year and I was very proud to be associated with it.