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WA CHILD PROTECTION DELEGATE OF THE YEAR

AARON GIBSON has won the WA Child Protection Delegate of the Year Award for 2018.

Mr Gibson was nominated by his colleagues at the Department of Communities, saying he was a very well-respected member of the Cannington Child Protection District.

“Aaron has worked in the field for over 10 years, and has been an active Union member for some time. He is constantly trying to change things for child protection workers in terms of caseloads, workloads and compliance.  Aaron is an excellent child protection worker, who goes above and beyond for the children and families he works with,” one of his nominators said.

The award was presented to Mr Gibson by the Minister of Child Protection, Simone McGurk MLA, as part of National Child Protection Week.

“It’s nice to be recognised for advocating for child protection staff, most of my delegate work has been in working groups and working with the Union executive to highlight some of the workload issues in a positive and constructive manner.

“To be recognised for that work is great,” Mr Gibson said.

Gibson graduated from Curtin university as a Social Worker in 2005, joining the Cannington office a year later. He and his wife were also foster carers for a number of years, allowing him to gain insight into the challenges of a being carer. This helped in his case-worker role, managing children in care, building positive relationships with carers and supporting them with managing day to day issues.

“It’s challenging work that not a lot of people want to do. I just do the best I can to create the best outcomes for kids,” he said.

Importantly for his work colleagues, Mr Gibson believes Delegates are critical in a workplace like Child Protection.

“We do important work and we need to get the most support we can from our employer.

“At times it’s extremely stressful and extremely crisis driven, and if we haven’t go that back-up to help support you, then how can we do our job properly?”

His advice to his colleagues and other Delegates?

“Don’t give up, keep doing the best you can!

“The work we do here is so important. It’s life changing. But, look after yourself in the process and try not to take things to heart.

“In this line of work, anything can happen. If you’re in the Union, you know there is that support and back-up from an external body to the Department that can help you through some challenging times.”

Mr Gibson is now up for the National Delegate Child Protection Award 2018, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

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