Experienced social worker and Central staff member Lara Sappal has received industry recognition for her dedication to organisational change, winning the KPMG Agent of Change Award at the 2014 WA Social Worker of the Year Awards.
Lara was honoured in front of distinguished guests, peers and colleagues at an award ceremony, held at Curtin University. As Central’s Industry Area Program Manager for the Education, Community & Childrens’ Services portfolio, Lara has worked tirelessly on restructuring qualifications to improve student retention and ensuring courses are industry relevant. She has made significant improvements in social work educational processes and programs.
Lara is also currently working with Curtin University School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work on an articulation process for students who have successfully completed the Diploma of Community Services Work at Central. It is hoped this will enable students who didn’t see university education as an opportunity directly from school, to take up the articulation pathway to gain a social work degree.
Lara was nominated by her mentor, Bill Childs, who said he was amazed at her enthusiasm when they first met in 1984.
“Lara has lived life as a social worker, making a positive difference through education, community development, case management and team management.” Bill wrote in his nomination. “She is enthusiastically committed to growth, learning and empowerment of individuals, groups and communities.”
In addition to her outstanding work at Central, Lara found time to help redevelop the Belmont Youth and Family Service, turning it into a relevant, vibrant and functioning service for the community.
“It is an honour to be acknowledged by my peers as previous finalists and winners are social workers I admire”, said Lara.