Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Student Awards in Social Justice

A dedication to Ms Lila Kirilik

Lila KirilicThe Lila Kirilik Memorial Social Justice Awards were established in 2004 to commemorate Ms Lila Kirilik, Senior Lecturer in Social Welfare at Charles Sturt University, whose untimely death in 2002 represented a significant loss to students and members of the academic and social service community. The high regard with which she was held lay in her focus on social justice in education for social service practice.

Lila Kirilik Social Action Prize

This is an annual student prize of $500.00, plus a $500.00 charitable donation.

Each year the Social Work and Human Services Discipline awards the Lila Kirilik Social Action Prize (the Prize) to a graduating student who has completed a practicum subject (HCS303 Professional Field Education 1 or HCS402 Professional Field Education 2) in the undergraduate Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) or Bachelor of Social Work. The Prize rewards the student's application of the principles of social justice, equity, empowerment and self determination in their practice, and provides them the opportunity to donate matched funding to an appropriately auspiced social justice project of their choice.

Selection criteria and application

The Prize is awarded to a student on the basis of demonstrated merit in a professional field education subject and in particular, achieving a social action outcome of benefit to a disadvantaged individual, group or community.

Students prepare their application in consultation with their University Liaison Academic, Agency Supervisor and Subject Co-ordinator. The application should demonstrate:

  • merit in the application of academic learning to practice 
  • social action and social justice outcomes
  • benefit to a disadvantaged individual, group or community 
  • application of the principles of social justice, equity, empowerment and self-determination.

The application will comprise the student's documentation of their practice achievements and supporting evidence of their method and its outcomes, such as:

  • references from their CSU Academic Liaison person and/or Agency Supervisor commenting on the student's professional orientation, client group advocacy and application of academic learning to practice
  • evidence of outputs from diverse media such as written project documentation, photographs, video, audio, media coverage, records of agendas or programs or training
  • other evidence of outcomes can include additional referee reports, testimonials and before and after materials.

Students must also nominate the social justice project to which they would like to donate $500.00 and the details of the auspicing body to which their donation can be made.

2015 recipient of the Lila Kirilik Social Action Prize

Nicholas SteepeNicholas Steepe, Bachelor of Social Work Graduate

Nic's award recognises the outstanding work he completed as part of his Social Work placement at headspace Dubbo, a youth mental health service for 12 – 25 years of age, which is part of Marathon Health. During his placement Nic successfully lobbied for better awareness and support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning, and Asexual (LGBTIQA) young people in Dubbo and surrounding areas. Some of the activities Nic was involved in include:

  • Establishing support groups for LGBTIQA+ adolescents and young adults at headspace.
  • Lobbying for a LGBTIQA representative on the local council's community services committee, with a focus on social planning and community development initiatives  which he was successful in obtaining in addition to his role at headspace Dubbo.
  • Raising awareness about human rights issues concerning LGBTIQA community in Dubbo.
  • Organising the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) Prom, several mental health month activities held throughout October, most notably the Pride March, celebrating the diversity within the community which is a first for Dubbo and region. 

Nic's achievements during his placement have been recognized by the community. In addition to the Lila Kirilik Memorial Social Justice graduation prize from CSU, he was awarded the La Trobe University Local Legend Award presented by the Foundation of Young Australians, and was a finalist for ACON's LGBTI Honour Awards in the category of Young Achiever.

"To be nominated and placed amongst such other well-deserving and outstanding students is overwhelming. To have been successful is incredible. I could not have done it without the amazing team at headspace Dubbo, Team Leader Rach, my onsite supervisor Ann-Maree Hartley, Paul, Jess, Melanie and Operations Manager Peter Rohr, and of course without the support of Raphael Chapman and Wendy Bowles. The last four years have been an incredible journey, and this is an amazing way to finish it off. A big thank you to my friends, family and peers for their support throughout my course.  Thanks to having secured a paid position with headspace Dubbo as a result of the high standard of his work and the many achievements during his placement, Nic will be able to continue the work he started as a student. Well done Nic!

Past recipients of the Lila Kirilik Social Action Prize

2011 - Mr Ty Green, Bachelor of Social Work
2010 - Mrs Michelle Knight, Bachelor of Social Work
2009 - Ms Lee-Anne Drewery, Bachelor of Social Work.
2008 - Ms Simran Rajkumar, Bachelor of Social Work & Mr David Post, Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Social Work
2007 - Michelle Smith, Bachelor of Social Work
2006 - Allison White, Bachelor of Social Work
2005 - Clare Sillence, Bachelor of Social Work
2004 - Louise Gestier, BSocSci(SocWel), University Medallist

Social Justice Fund

This award consists of individual project grants up to $1,500.00 and group international or national study initiatives up to $1,500.00.

Social Justice Fund Grants aim to encourage social justice and social action initiatives. Two grants may be awarded per year.

Individual Project Grants

Who may apply?

Applicants will be students, staff or recent graduates, normally within one year of course completion involved in CSU Social Work and Human Services courses who have undertaken or are planning a social justice initiative and will carry it out and report on the outcomes.


Examples of possible social justice activities include - Conference attendance and conference paper presentation by students, community awareness campaigns, international initiatives, material aid projects, and the like. (See detailed examples below).

Selection criteria and exclusions

A grant application must:

  1. Clearly identify the nature of the proposed project - e.g. aims, objectives, methods, resources available and resources needed, expected outcomes, evaluation strategies and timeframes
  2. Demonstrate how the project is likely to advance the wellbeing of people from vulnerable social groups including but not limited to rural locations.
Limitations on conference funding:

This is limited to the following:

  • The applicant will contribute to the conference proceedings though a paper, workshop or poster, and provide a copy as an outcome of the grant.
Exclusions from funding:

An initiative will not be funded where:

  • the applicant is eligible for funding from another source and has not applied 
  • full funding has been provided by another source
  • partial funding has been provided by more than one other source 
  • the initiative could be regarded as a pre-existing function or activity funded within a University School, Research Centre, Faculty or Division or social service providing agency.
Application process

Applications are accepted until 1 July and 1 December in any year

Applications, must include the following information (4 pages maximum, 12 point font, 1.5 spacing):

  • Applicant details - name, student or staff, and number. 
  • Details of the proposed social justice initiative - e,g. aims, objectives, methods, resources already available/ resources needed, expected outcomes, evaluation strategies and time frames Commencement and completion dates 
  • Disclosure of other funding sources, if any
  • Detailed and fully costed budget (fee for service, conference registration, travel, accommodation, teaching release, printing), including funds from all other sources. 
  • Identification of ethical issues relevant to the project. Evidence of Ethics Approval (low/high risk, if needed) 
  • Student applicants need to obtain a statement of support from a current CSU Social Work and Human Services Academic staff member (maximum 200 words)

Applicants will be notified of the decision one month after receipt of the application.

Approving body:

Approval will be granted by the Social Justice Awards Committee, comprising a Convenor and other members of the academic staff of the Social Work and Human Services. Committee members are excluded from considering their own applications.

Reporting the outcomes:

Applicants must comply with all aspects of their proposal and report the outcomes within three months of the event for which funding was granted. The report will include a 150 word abstract of the project and any photographic material appropriate for website publication. Expenditures should be accounted for by receipt.

Group international or national study initiatives

Up to two annually for study initiatives for human service and social work students to engage in group programmes aimed at education and action for social justice and human rights.

The grant aims to reduce the cost to students of study programmes for the whole group in order to increase accessibility of International study opportunities.

(The grant does not subsidise staff costs).

Eligible programs
  • international or national group programme for social work/human services students 
  • Any programme that aims - to increase awareness, knowledge and experiential learning opportunities for students in relation to human rights, social justice, social action, community development and grassroots work.
Application procedure
  • Application to Social Justice Committee outlining nature of program, staff responsible, target student group, location of program, aims, draft itinerary, indicative budget, overall project plan.

Past recipients of the Social Justice Fund Grants

  • 2010 Title: Challenges Faced By Single Parents of An African Background in Wagga WaggaAuthor:Yangi MoiHonours Supervisor: Ndungi Mungai
  • 2007 Title: Plan-it Youth - The Riverina Way Applicants: Authors David Post & Simran Rajkumar, BSW students
  • Title: Sukhothai Thamathirat Open University, Thailand Ms Boonserm Hutapaet - PhD candidate in child protection studies Ms Rutchankeekorn Chatchaisathit - PhD candidate in domestic violence
  • Applicant: Dr Lynelle Osburn
  • 2006 Title: Learning Circles conducted at The Voices 3-4 JuneInaugural Conference of the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Workers Association (ATSISWA) Applicants: Christine King and Mirella Fejo, ATSISWA
  • Title: Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs, Tamil Nadu, IndiaProfessional Field Education Practicum, IndiaApplicants: Kirsty Wilson, Undergraduate student (see separate report on practicum)2005Title: Linking CSU with the FAST project. IFSW and Sri Lankan Social Work Association's tsunami disaster responseApplicants: Jeannette Conway, IFSWTitle: 6th National Men's Health Conference, Melbourne. Applicants: Dilip Balu, Undergraduate student
  • 2004 Title: WEL418 Case Management - Promoting Indigenous Access & Relevance
  • Applicant: Maree Moore, Lecturer in Human Services
  • Title: Donation - Global Social Work 2004 - Solidarity Fund
  • Applicant: Elizabeth Moore, Lecturer in Human Services
  • Title: Student poster presentation to Global Social Work 2004 2-5 October. Reflective Learning and Teaching in Field Education in International Contexts
  • Applicants: Camille Jolley and Denise Taylor, Undergraduate students
  • Title: Global Social Work 2004Promoting International Exchange in Social Work Education
  • Applicant: Nicole Tough, Undergraduate student provided research assistance.

Anglicare Regional Alliance Prize

Eligibility

Successful completion of any of the undergraduate or post-graduate Social Work professional qualifying Course offerings of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Student must be enrolled in Course(s): BSW; BA/BSW; or MSW(pq)

Criteria

The prize is awarded to a student on the basis of demonstrated merit and commitment to selflessness and altruism in the Social Work course that has particular benefit to a disadvantaged individual, group or community. Students may prepare their application in consultation with their University Liaison Academic, Agency Supervisor and/or Subject Co-ordinator. The application should demonstrate merit in and commitment to the application of academic learning to practice that is:

  • of benefit to a disadvantaged individual, group or community
  • shows sustained application of the principles of social work including social justice, equity, empowerment and self-determination

The application will comprise the student's documentation of their achievements and supporting evidence of their method and its outcomes, such as references from their CSU Academic Liaison person and/or Agency Supervisor commenting on the student's sustained professional orientation, client group advocacy and application of academic learning to practice;

  • evidence of outputs from diverse sources such as individual testimonies, written project documentation, photographs, video, audio, media coverage, records of agendas or programs or training
  • other evidence of outcomes can include additional referee reports, testimonials and before and after materials.

Students must also nominate the project within the Anglicare Regional Alliance network to which they would like to donate $400.00.

Value

The Prize will be a cheque to the value of $400 (plus $400.00 to be donated to a programme of the student's choice) and an inscribed certificate issued by the University.

Selection Procedures

Prizes Committee of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences consisting of an Anglicare Regional Alliance Representative, The CEO of Anglicare Regional Alliance and the Course Director of Social Work Programs from CSU.

2015 recipient of the Anglicare Regional Alliance Prize

Jody DennyJody Denny, Bachelor of Social Work Graduate

Jody's award recognizes her outstanding work while on placement with the Mid North Coast Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services.

A key element of Jody's role involved securing funding, organizing and staging a breakfast function designed to raise awareness among local businesses about the impact of Domestic Violence on their staff and workplaces.

Several months of hard work came to fruition in September this year, when Jody hosted the Wear White to Work Business Breakfast, with the support of White Ribbon Australia.

Dozens of local business owners and their staff gathered at the breakfast to hear from keynote speakers including local police, lawyers, business owners and the Mayor, Peter Besseling – himself a White Ribbon Ambassador.

The event proved a highly effective, targeted intervention for business owners around supportive practices and policies for addressing domestic violence in the workplace. This was evidenced by the evaluation responses, which revealed that many of the participants were intending to move towards making changes in their own workplaces following the breakfast.

Following the success of the event, Jody was invited to undertake some research on the inaugural 'White Ribbon Round' project in Port Macquarie, and was welcomed onto the working group for the White Ribbon Coastal Walk.

Through all of these roles, Jody has made a significant difference in her local community by raising awareness and challenging community attitudes around domestic violence.

Past recipients of the Anglicare Regional Alliance Prize

2011 Kylie Clark, Bachelor of Social Work 
Kylie mounted a successful campaign based upon raising consciousness on the value of non-clinical mental health, social connectedness, cohesion and respite. Additionally, she has worked tirelessly with children who have a parent with a mental illness (COPMI) who can often be an invisible and voiceless group. Taking a narrative approach, children were gently encouraged to select pictures or symbols which would be sewn onto their own individual blanket - 'Angel Blankets' tell the story of a child's strength, determination and courage and the process of working with each child to develop resilience. Noting the high number of retired people in her area and in consultation with one of the more disadvantaged schools, Kylie established a 'Community Readers' program. This program witnessed the bridging across generations and provided positive strong role models for the children and a valuable sense of social meaning for retired community members. The volunteers felt connected to their wider community and it provided younger children with an appreciation for the lived experiences of their elders. Her role was brokering the project between the school and providing education, transport and support to the community readers. Kylie has worked with community festivals, family fun days and school holiday programs. These opportunities enable the communities to come together and to be strengthened through diverse partnerships including Local Council, Rotary, National Parks and other government and non-government agencies. From these big events smaller needs are identified and from one of these events, a community exchange program was established. A local website was established whereby individuals could list their skills, trades and abilities. Kylie has also been involved in establishing a program for women in domestic violence relationships who also identify as having a mental health disorder. In 2010 Kylie participated in an international Volunteer Social Work study tour (India). Determined that her volunteer experience would continue, she and her ten year old daughter developed a proposal for action to raise money for the SAMPARC orphanage in India and the school made a commitment to sponsor five children from the orphanage. Over six hundred cupcakes were baked and sold in support of the children in the orphanage. An on-going programme has developed including a focus on child labour in India.

Western District, Family and Community Services (FACS) and Charles Sturt University (CSU) Social Work Prize

Eligibility

The prize recipient will have best demonstrated the integration of theory and regional practice, creating local solutions tailored to meet local needs especially in relation to care and protection issues with particular focus on breaking rather then managing disadvantage. The prize winning student must have demonstrated self insight and have been able to reflect on their practices in such a way that allowed them to move towards best practice in their interactions with children and families.

Criteria

1. Final year Social Work , BSW or MSW (pq) Student graduating. 2. Successfully completed 2nd prac in a regional/remote location in NSW with FACS or with a funded community partner in the non-government sector working with children, adults, families and communities.

Value

$1,000

2015 recipient of the Western District, Family and Community Services (FACS) and Charles Sturt University (CSU) Social Work Prize

Fiona FentonFiona Fenton, Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) Graduate

Fiona's award acknowledges her outstanding work performance at FaCS, where she demonstrated exceptional skills, knowledge and professionalism throughout her placement.

The nature of direct practice with vulnerable families is acknowledged to be both personally and professionally challenging.  Throughout her placement, Fiona's supervisors were continually impressed by her maturity and initiative toward developing the practice skills and self-care strategies that enable ongoing learning and wellbeing within this complex work environment.    

Fiona's interpersonal skills enabled her to quickly become a valued member of the child protection team, where she treated other team members with respect, courtesy and integrity.  Her openness to learning enabled her to participate in a range of professional development and group activities, in addition to direct practice with families and children across several of the child protection teams.  Fiona's strengths oriented practice skills enabled her to work respectfully and positively with clients of FaCS. 

Fiona demonstrated high level skills in understanding the complex legal and organisational requirements of practice within this context.  She progressed successfully through the FaCS assessment centre, resulting in her being offered an ongoing position within the department at the completion of her studies.  This reflects the confidence in her professional abilities and commitment to working with vulnerable families in this community.