FRSA Conference a big hit!

Learning, laughter and Andrew O’Keefe, this year’s Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) Conference had it all! Held annually in a different city around the country, the FRSA Conference brings together a range of professionals who support families to discuss and plan the future of service delivery in the human services field…

This year the conference was held in Adelaide and hundreds of professionals from across the country flocked to the Adelaide Convention Centre to take part in the three day event. The conference boasted 5 Keynote presentations, 5 facilitated panel discussions, 4 pre-conference workshops and 65 concurrent sessions, offering attendees plenty of opportunities to explore a broad range of topics and issues impacting on the community services sector today.

Institute Director, Claire Ralfs, held a pre-conference workshop on implementing the Family Law DOORS risk screening tool, which was well-received by attendees.

The Australian Institute of Social Relations also hosted a booth at the conference, offering delegates more information about our training and services and encouraging them to test their cultural fitness knowledge with an interactive competition.

The competition saw punters participate in a combined quiz and game of quoits for the opportunity to win a $5,000 cultural fitness training package.

“Cultural fitness is a topic very close to our hearts here at the Institute. Our cultural fitness program is for organisations seeking to establish a sound base on which to build and maintain effective working relationships with Aboriginal and Islander clients, families, communities and staff,” said Institute Manager, Iain Henderson.

“We wanted to engage people in the topic in a fun way, while also educating them along the way.”

Sharon Lawrence, Educator at the Institute was also lucky enough to snap a picture with White Ribbon Ambassador and FRSA Conference Speaker, Andrew O’Keefe, who is also the host of Australian game show, Deal or No Deal.

“Andrew is a lovely guy and brought a lot of fun and laughter to the conference,” Sharon said. “It was absolutely fantastic being able to meet him.”

Principal Researcher at Relationships Australia (SA), Jamie Lee, was also impressed by Andrew’s insights, commenting, “a dinner presentation by ‘much loved Channel 7 game show host Andrew O’Keefe’ was not my idea of a good night out, but by the end of it, I was first in line to shake his hand and speak to him.”

“In his presentation he challenged the audience to ‘listen to the words you use when you’re next talking to a woman. Ask yourself: is that where your role in gender inequality begins, or is that where you take responsibility to make it end?

“That was a simple but really profound challenge for me – just listen to the words you use. And that’s why Andrew O’Keefe is now much loved by me.”

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