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 Coordinator. 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.

2017 Recipient of the Lila Kirilik Social Action Prize

Karise McNamee, Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) Graduate

Karise’s Yaward recognises her outstanding work throughout the completion of her Bachelor of Social Work (Honours). While Karise’s honours research focus was on the online vulnerabilities of young people in Australian residential care, Karise is proud to donate the charity component of her Lila Kirilik Social Action Prize to The Exodus Foundation https://www.exodusfoundation.org.au/about-exodus/our-mission/.

Karise and her husband experienced a number of unfortunate events in 2012 and 2013 that heavily impacted their ability to enjoy Christmas for a number of years. In 2015, they decided that they wanted to spend this time focusing on others in greater need, and so looked into volunteering for the homeless on Christmas Day. During their first induction night, they were so touched by how genuine, humble and welcoming everyone in the organisation was and how grateful they were towards the volunteers.  Exodus provides meals, primary health care and crisis support to Sydney’s homeless and marginalised, and focuses on delivering those services to the highest possible standard. Including offering a restaurant for the homeless to eat, shower, and socialise with others on a daily basis.

Karise explains “I didn’t know Lila but I know a number of people that did, and they speak so highly of her and all that she represented. I feel so truly honoured to have received this award and wanted to honour Lila’s memory by selecting a truly worthy charity to receive this donation. I feel that the values that Rev Bill Crews and the staff at the Exodus Foundation represent, and the genuine support and care that they provide to our most vulnerable of people, would be something Lila would be truly proud of. This award has touched me very deeply on a profound level and I believe that it will drive me to consistently reflect on my practice to ensure that I demonstrate the same values and qualities that it advocates for. I am just so honoured and so very proud to have received this award and I know that it will help to shape who I become as a professional”.

Congratulations Karise!

Past Recipients of the Lila Kirilik Social Action Prize

2016 - Anna Wilson, Bachelor of Social Work / Danae Weaver, Bachelor of Social Work
2015 - Nicholas Steepe, Bachelor of Social Work
2014 - Amelia Matthews, Bachelor of Social Work
2013 - Nicola Williams, Bachelor of Social Work
2012 - Sherree Tester, Bachelor of Social Work
2011 - Ty Green, Bachelor of Social Work
2010 - Michelle Knight, Bachelor of Social Work
2009 - Lee-Anne Drewery, Bachelor of Social Work.
2008 - Simran Rajkumar, Bachelor of Social Work / 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

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 time frames.
  2. Demonstrate how the project is likely to advance the well being 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 Wagga Author: Yangi Moi Honours 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 June Inaugural 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, India Professional Field Education Practicum, India Applicants: Kirsty Wilson, Undergraduate student (see separate report on practicum) 2005 Title: Linking CSU with the FAST project. IFSW and Sri Lankan Social Work Association's tsunami disaster response Applicants: Jeannette Conway, IFSW Title: 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 2004 Promoting 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.