Aspect August 2016

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Anglicare Australia Celebrating 20 Years

5438778-1x1-700x700As I write Anglicare Australia is days away from its 20th Annual General Meeting. In the light of the longevity of many of our members this is not long; however it is a land mark, marking 20 years of sibling organisations wanting to work closely together to alleviate poverty and disadvantage in Australian society.

We often characterise the benefit of coming together as Anglicare Australia as producing a network that is bigger than the sum of its parts. In coming together the members become more, and give life to better outcomes than would forty disparate organisations.

Just as our network is bigger than the sum of its parts so too are the people we serve.  Clearly a person is more than the sum total of the chemicals that go to make up the human body, we can go further and assert they are also much more than a set of needs and wants, skills and strengths.

In this our twentieth year as Anglicare Australia we are working with the changes to services to move towards consumer directed care especially in aged care and disability services.  There are many good things in this notion.  Anglicare Australia itself advocated for it and celebrated when the NDIS gained bipartisan support and has supported many of the aged care reforms and changes.  That individuals get some control and say about the services that enable their lives is paramount.

But these are complex policy changes and will require tolerance as some things need tweaking or even changing.  Bipartisan support may need to last beyond the passage of the bills; it needs to be open dialogue and a commitment to a solid outcome.  As we all know good outcomes often incur some mistakes (and acknowledgement of those mistakes) along the way.

We have some reservations about consumer directed care too though. 

Of course there are the issues of restructuring of processes and ways of working that our members have to undertake to respond in this environment, and these changes cost both in money and human terms.  They are difficult and time consuming, but if the outcomes are better services and therefore better lives for people then this disruption worth having. Nor is it only our sector having trouble.  The difficulties that government is experiencing with its processes and the gateway resulting in providers not being paid are evidence that big organisations find change no easier– they just have more money to do it!

The true reservations are deeper. Anglicare takes issue that a person can be reduced to a customer in every situation. There needs to be a far more sophisticated discourse about when it is empowering to be viewed and treated as a customer and when this flips over and actually disempowers, reducing that person to nothing more than a set of needs and wants that can be met with products and service offers. In effect removing the recognition of that person themselves, their very “personage”.

True human life occurs in relation with others, with our environment and with larger spiritual and intellectual ideas. If this were not the case we could simply source each newborn with a package and a case manager to see that they get the best value from services that feed, bathe, and amuse them.  To reduce childhood to this is ludicrous and extreme; it renders life pointless - we are more than the sum of our wants and needs.

The government has accepted the Harper Review of Competition Policy’s report.  That report cautiously recommended “patch testing” the introduction of competition into human services.  We should remember that this is as far as the Harper Review panel went (as our submission to the subsequent and current Productivity Commission inquiry pointed out).  Anglicare Australia was part of a small group feeding into the Harper Review and the panel accepted our concerns about opening services which are in their very nature relational to the lowest price bidder. 

There are places where competition may help the efficiency and variety of a service, but there are also places where the need is more than one that can be adequately met by a marketised, transactional service. Unless the true meaning of life is the consumption of products and services – a notion that not only breaks our planet but also our spirit neither environmentally nor mentally sustainable – then we need to give this deeper and more sophisticated thought. We need to accept that the government cannot fix everything in one short policy announcement and that there is complexity in human life.

The reduction of citizens to mere consumers takes us very quickly to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s famous assertion that there is no society, only a collection of individuals.  If that is the case then there is very little role for those who cannot afford to consume or who do not wish to consume. Our government’s job becomes simply about ensuring there are goods and services to be bought. And, saddest of all, any leadership about what a society aspires to, what makes Australia different to any large corporation, why we would form a country in the first place, is redundant.

Just as Anglicare Australia has a bigger impact that the sum of its parts; Australian society is much more than the sum of its composite individuals. We need to take a careful guardian role to ensure we fight against policies that reduce citizens to consumers indiscriminately.

 

National Office News

Garma Festival – Anglicare Australia’s corporate package

Garma Festival Yothu Yindi Foundation Anglicare Australia drew together 11 staff, from CEOs to program directors, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to take a “corporate package” and attend the 2016 Garma Festival at Gulkula in East Arnhem Land, run by the Yothu Yindi Foundation.

It was an extraordinarily enriching experience, in different ways, for all who attended. Everyone shared a profound appreciation of the vibrant Yolngu culture and the privilege we had to share in it. In addition, there was a high level of political debate, music, dance and art. The opportunity for people across the Anglicare network to come together in this way, and to share time together with culture, community and heritage in our minds, was an important step towards building a stronger more competent network Australia wide.

The lucky campers who went to Garma have been in touch with each other since then, and everyone has spoken of the sense of opportunity and privilege that they shared, its importance, and  the value to them or to others to do it again next year. 

Market economics not the solution for human services.

http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=49733#.V8S9ovl96UkDeputy Director of Anglicare Australia Roland Manderson was published in the public affairs and policy online journal Eureka Street with a piece on market economics and human services. The piece was developed from a submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into increasing competition, contestability and informed user choice in human services.

Roland argued in his article and in his letter to the Productivity Commission that using a contestable market to make the delivery of human services more effective and responsive is simply misdirected.

He argues that the complexity and interconnectedness of human services — for individuals, community, and our whole society — is too challenging for market economics to properly address.

To read the article, click here

Unfinished business in National Homelessness Week

HomelessnessAnglicare Australia reiterated its call during National Homelessness Week for federal and state governments to work together to halve homelessness by 2025. In  a Media Release on 4 August, Acting Executive Director of Anglicare Australia Roland Manderson described the lack of a target on combatting homelessness as unfinished business.

During the election campaign, Anglicare Australia joined with a number of homelessness service providers to campaign for homelessness to be high on the agenda of a new government. While both the ALP and the Greens responded positively to this call, Australians are still waiting on such a commitment from the Turnbull Government.

To read the media release, click here

Anglicare Network News

Free from Hepatitis C

Hep%20C%20image%20lightened_1Anglicare Tasmania has had some success with its Hepatitis Prevention Program. According to an article on their website, for the first time in 25 years Liam* is clear of hepatitis C.

“When my blood tests showed I was cured of Hep C I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I was wearing a huge beaming smile. It was like I was floating on air and had to duck under doorways, I felt so free,” said Liam.

Liam was referred by the Royal Hobart Hospital to Anglicare’s Hepatitis Prevention Program, which is for people living with hepatitis or at risk of getting it.

Read more

Benetas St Paul’s Terrace official opening

cce9900d0cb2161fe8fbc08af06b1950_1631167bb3f5392c22df7417b6e8df880044086efe29bbda489a65aa45f7a721Benetas opened the doors to St Paul’s Terrace on 16 August, a new development on the Mornington Peninsula to celebrate a fresh approach to aged care.

The work that began at the Benetas Corowa Court Aged Care Apartments is based on person-centered and relationship-focused care in a homelike environment.

The St Paul’s Terrace development is based on these same principles of enjoying the comforts of home, while fostering enriching relationships and enhancing emotional bonds between carers and residents. 

Read more

Raising foster care age would save money and vulnerable from streets: Anglicare

1471659947044Anglicare Victoria's work was featured in the Age Newspaper ahead of the launch of the Home Stretch Campaign. The OpEd talks about the importance of raising the age of children leaving foster care for better outcomes. 

New research commissioned by Anglicare Victoria argues that there is clear evidence that young people who have been in foster or residential care are more likely to get caught in a cycle of disadvantage, which can span generations.

To read the article in the Age, click here

What the public thinks: Report from Valuing Children Initiative

logo-final-CMYK_1Anglicare member agency Parkerville is partnering with Centacare on the ambitious project ‘The Valuing Children Initiative’.

In a report launched on 10 August called the Valuing Children Initiative Benchmark Survey 2016 (the survey), it was revealed that Australians ranked looking after children only 9th out of a possible 10 options, in order of importance.

The Valuing Children Initiative aims to inspire Australians to value all children, understand that a child’s wellbeing is the shared responsibility of the entire community and ensure children are at the forefront of our considerations.

Serious allegations of abuse on Nauru, disturbing images of the treatment of children in the Don Dale Juvenile Justice Centre, and the ongoing revelations of institutional child sexual abuse reveal a darker side to life in Australia.

At the recent launch of the Valuing Children Initiative Professor Fiona Stanley AC said these are anguishing issues which should not be occurring in Australia today.

‘We need to change the culture in terms of how we value children.’ she said.

Read more

 

Binocular Boy hanging at Trinity Hill, Anglicare Tasmania

Binocular%20Boy%20300pxHanging in the Trinity Hill residents meeting room is an eye-catching painting of a young lad peering through binoculars.

“Binocular Boy is looking forward into a bright and colourful future, full of rich and vibrant opportunity. The colours reflected in the binoculars are also captured in the décor of this room, it is a bright and happy space,” says Raf Patterson, Senior Worker at Trinity Hill.

The unofficial motto of Trinity Hill is ‘clean and quiet’, and Binocular Boy is a picture of hope that is the essence of Trinity Hill.

At Trinity Hill there are 46 self-contained bedsit units for young men and women aged 16 to 25 who are on a low income and at risk of homelessness. Sixteen of these units are for young people on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Read more

New Financial Counselling Network will help Western Australians with $500M in Debt

calculator-385506_960_720The WA financial counselling Network was established following the reinstatement of funding for metropolitan financial counselling in 2015 and was launched on 28 July.

It is made up of nine community organisations, led by Anglicare WA and UnitingCare West, and will operate across 14 locations in the Perth-Metropolitan region.

Based on preliminary reports, the Network is expected to support everyday Western Australians to deal with $500M in debt over its first year.

“People usually contact us after a significant life changing experience, a major illness, a loss of job or a breakdown of a relationship. We know that most people are only a couple of pay cheques away from financial crisis and these circumstances can often lead to significant personal and family stress. As our economy tightens, we are seeing the need for Financial Counselling growing. This Network is here for them,” said Ian Carter AM, CEO Anglicare WA. 

Read more

How I Survived Homelessness

GrahamGraham is one of a number of people who has experienced homelessness who has told his story to the ABC at the following link. He paid tribute to Anglicare for their assistance in getting his life back on track.

“Some people brought me to Townsville from Bundaberg and abandoned me. That's how I ended up living on the streets. It was scary because I was drinking and I'd just go to sleep anywhere. I used to sleep in bushes on the Strand.”

“Anglicare brought me to the Townsville Aboriginal Islanders Health Service centre. At first I found it hard to trust people who wanted to help me. Now I realise I can trust them. It's good at the centre. You get good meals, your own soft bed, showers, toilets ... I want to stay here. I feel safe here.”

Read more

Selwyn's community housing partnership with Auckland Council gets the go-ahead

sf_logoThe Selwyn Foundation will partner with the Auckland Council to provide residential housing redevelopment for their aged care facilities.

Many of the 1452* rental units across 63 villages are rundown and poorly located for amenities such as public transport.

The city’s urban development agency Panuku Development Auckland will ensure the new homes address the needs of older people both in location and quality. 

Read more

St. Bart’s Day Service and Celebration

SAM_5232small-300x238 (1)St Bartholomew’s house has celebrated Saint Bartholomew’s day in style at their Lime Street Building on 24 August.

An informal mini-service was conducted jointly by acting-chaplain Alan Forsyth and former Board member Wendy Gilbert. Archdeacon Braden Short (administrator of the Anglican Diocese of Perth) was guest speaker.

St. Bartholomew is patron saint of a many occupations, including butchers and cheese merchants. Therefore, the lunch included stew (which was made from beef supplied by butchers) and cheese.

Read more

Lock Up & Sleep In for Samaritans

lock-up-670x300Samaritans Foundation has issued a challenge to people in the area to spend a night in jail as a fundraiser for their work.

The Lock Up & Sleep In event will be held on 14 October 2016 at Maitland Gaol.  The aim is to raise funds for Samaritans post-release services, some of which do not receive Government funding and rely on donations to continue operating. 

 Friendship House, Recovery Point and Home for Good are programs to assist people who are leaving prison to re-engage with the community or for those on Community Service Orders to gain access to services and programs.

Read more

EPIC Assist delivers mental health services in Tasmania

EPIC-w-Pos-300x208EPIC Assist has moved into the mental health space in Tasmania over the last weeks, delivering specialist mental health services across Launceston and Hobart, as part of the Disability Employment Service (DES) funded by the Department of Social Services.

EPIC Assist is now delivering DES DMS and DES Employment Support Service (ESS) in Tasmania, further broadening the organisation’s footprint and impact on the lives of people with disability.

EPIC Assist’s General Manager of Australasian Services Dean Graham is delighted with the new development, saying it will help EPIC continue doing what they do best.

“This is an exciting development on the back of what has been an exciting year for EPIC Assist in terms of growth, as we increase the number of states that we operate in, the number of DES contracts we deliver and the ongoing delivery of NDIS in Tasmania and Victoria,” said Dean.

Buckle up for a virtual driving experience in Emerald

simulatorAnglicare has partnered with the local Emerald PCYC in providing a new initiative to help young people learning to drive.

A new Driver Simulator has been designed to get young people behind the wheel in the safe environment before hitting the road for real. 

This driver simulator is located at the Anglicare office in Emerald, Central Queensland.

Read more

Outstanding Achievers at National Charity Awards

share-the-joyAnglicare has been recognised at the Australian Charity Awards for its commitment to addressing social exclusion and poverty. Anglicare Sydney’s Toys ‘n’ Tucker program was given the Award for Outstanding Achievement for its service that provides toys and food hampers to families struggling to make ends meet.  These toys and food hampers are delivered during the Christmas period.

More than 9,000 people turn to Anglicare Sydney for emergency assistance every year and Toys ‘n’ Tucker is one way to bring the community together to support those who are going through difficult times.

Through Toys ‘n’ Tucker, Anglicare hopes clients will be encouraged by the generosity and good will of others.

www.toysntucker.org.au 

To read the citation, click here

Unlikely recording artists launch CD

MusiciansAnglicareSA is celebrating a group of people in one of its residential care facilitates who have recorded a CD of their music this week. The performers, none of whom are musically trained, live at Ian George Court in Brompton, AnglicareSA’s exceptional needs residential aged care facility. They have all taken part in a music therapy program since September 2015, and the CD which was launched just last week is now available for sale.

The participants have suffered through homelessness, drug abuse and mental illness. 

Shirley Ann Essex, Acting Site Manager at Ian George Court, said the group, known as Gabi’s Angels and the Wise Men, performed for the first time at the facility’s 2015 Christmas party.

“After receiving feedback from our residents, Ian George Court staff created a tailored music program to provide an opportunity for expression, connection and purpose,” Ms Essex said. 

To read the story, click here.

Anglicare Victoria launches Home Stretch campaign

home-stretchAnglicare Victoria launched a Raising our children: Guiding young Victorians in care into adulthood, a socioeconomic cost benefit analysis commissioned from Deloitte Access Economics on 22 August, 2016.

Part of what has been titled the Home Stretch Campaign, it provides the evidence of the wide economic and social benefit of extending support to young people in state care from 18 to 21 years.  
The support young people get from their families as they transition into adulthood is incalculable.   On the other hand, many young people in state care lose all support at 18.   It’s not fair and it doesn’t make sense. Young people in state care should have a place they call home and support until the age of 21.

Read more

National Awards Profile

HIGHLY COMMENDED - PARTNERSHIP - Collaboration creates success

Partnership_Samaritans_Wyee-Riverview Transition projectWelcome to the next in our series of profiles on the winners and highly commended of the Anglicare Australia 2015 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence. These profiles are also featured in the 2016 Anglicare Australia Review.

Samaritans Foundation - Collaboration Creates Success

Samaritans Foundation was notified just three weeks before the Riverview Boarding House was to be closed. It then had only four days to open its own alternative accommodation.

With this in mind, the organisation knew it had to assemble partnerships in record time to properly look after the 64 affected residents.

This became the Wyee/Riverview Transition Project crisis and transition response, with government and non-government organisations working together on multifaceted strategies to assist residents requiring short-term crisis accommodation, until their housing situation was resolved.

Samaritans’ role in the project was pivotal in supporting 38 of the 64 affected residents into permanent, supported accommodation.

In employing three former Riverview Boarding House staff, Samaritans ensured some consistency and familiarity for the residents, and vital information and history about each resident’s individual needs were taken into account.

Samaritans gave residents control over the decisions that affected them, ranging from eating when they wanted instead of set meal times, to choosing where they would prefer to be housed when moving into permanent accommodation.

Weekly partnership meetings provided a valuable and unique opportunity for the organisations involved to unite as collaborators, rather than competitors. The multiple organisations worked together seamlessly, with possible duplication of services totally avoided.

The partnerships provided opportunities to create real improvements in the lives of the people with mental illness, their families and communities. They have built the capacity and opportunity of a vulnerable group of people, addressing their fundamental human rights and social justice issues.

Award judges found the outcomes of this project extensive and were particularly impressed with how they were delivered to a group of people that can often get forgotten.

Research and Resources

Australian Digital Inclusion Index ​

ADII_headerAnglicare Australia has also long been a party to the Telstra Bill Assistance Program through with members across Australia, and a member of the Low Income Measure Assessment Committee (LIMAC) which helps Telstra understand the impact its decisions might have on households living on low incomes.

Anglicare Australia and member organisations are active in digital inclusion, and deputy director Roland Manderson was invited onto the reference group for a Telstra and Swinburne University research project that developed the Australian Digital Inclusion Index, which was launched in Melbourne this month. It looks at access, affordability and the ability of different population groups across the country to be a part of the digital society. You can find out more about it at www.digitalinclusionindex.org.au

Child welfare comes first in new professional education framework

Interdisciplinary-education-for-the-early-years-banner-mainA new framework has been developed that will provide a consistent education to professionals across various sectors and disciplines who work with children in the early years.

The National Interdisciplinary Educational Framework lays down shared outcomes and standards of practice for professionals working with children in the health, education and welfare sector.

The Framework, which prioritises a child-centred approach to care, has been developed through extensive consultation with industry, professionals and the community. It aims to help build a sustainable and capable interdisciplinary early childhood workforce, foster collaboration and be a foundation for effective, high quality care.

Developed through an Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching grant and led by researchers at Flinders University, the framework is comprised of an evidence-informed statement of
Shared Outcomes for Children, an Interdisciplinary Map and a set of Universal Essential Elements for working with young children. Its official launch will be in Adelaide on 29 September.

For full details go: http://www.flinders.edu.au/mnhs/early-years/  

Supporting recovery in families affected by parental mental illness

bench-chair-1617335_960_720The Australian Institute of Family Studies has published a practice paper on parental mental illness for people who work with children and families. The paper suggests ways in which practitioners can work with parents and families to support the healing and recovery of all family members, with a focus on supporting the parent-child relationships.

It is based on the ‘recovery’ approach to mental health, which moves away from an emphasis on clinical recovery and instead focuses on personal recovery – supporting people to live a “satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life, even when there are ongoing limitations caused by mental health problems”.

The paper explores the social dimensions to recovery, promoting an understanding of the family context in which recovery occurs.
https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/supporting-recovery-families-affected-parental-mental-illness

New approach to suicide prevention implemented in NSW

girl-1149933_960_720A new approach to suicide prevention, developed by researchers at Black Dog Institute and the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention, is being rolled out in four locations across NSW.

The program will involve the simultaneous implementation of nine different interventions at both the individual and community level, within a localised region. This design reflects the understanding that multiple strategies implemented at the same time are likely to generate bigger effects than just the sum of its parts. It involves collaboration between local healthcare, community services, and those with lived experience and encourages local capacity building and ownership of activities.  

While the initial stages of the roll out are limited to NSW due to funding constraints, the model has been adopted by the Commonwealth Department of Health for use by Primary Health Networks and recently received funding from the Victorian Government to be rolled out across that state. It is expected to be able to reduce suicide deaths by 20 per cent and suicide attempts by 30 per cent.

http://www.lifespan.org.au/the_response/

If you or someone you know need help, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au

Older Australians going online

downloadNew research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority shows that older Australians are increasingly engaging with digital life, with nearly four in five people aged
over 65 online.

The research snapshot, Digital Lives of Older Australians, highlights the upward trend in digital engagement in this demographic; in 2012, only 65 per cent of older Australians were online.

It also found that nearly all older internet users access the web from their home on a desktop computer, but there is a growing percentage using tablets or mobile devices. 

2016 Census Dictionary released

Census form - Charie Brewer - FlickrThe Australian Bureau of Statistics has published the 2016 Census Dictionary which defines and classifies the data collected in the 2016 Census.

The dictionary is designed to help researchers and users of the data to determine and specify their data requirements, and understand the concepts underlying the data. 

The dictionary includes a list of changes to classifications and questions since 2011; new variables for 2016; classifications by topic groups to help users find variables of interest; a description of how the main sources of error in the Census are managed and instructions on how to find more information about data quality.

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/2901.0

Regional Aged Care Profiles Tool

RMVqzmJPThe Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has launched an online interactive tool that presents graphical information on recipients of aged care services for selected aged care planning regions. The Regional Aged Care Profiles tool draws data from the AIHW National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse. Users can find information for a particular aged care planning region on the number of places and recipients by year, provider type, program type, age, sex, Indigenous status and country of birth.

The tool can be viewed here: http://www.aihw.gov.au/national-aged-care-data-clearinghouse/racp/

Launch of Disability Knowledge Clearing House

CFADR_POS_RGB_Initiative1The Centre for Applied Disability Research has launched a new online resource hub for those seeking to learn, collaborate and better connect research evidence to policy, practice and life experiences.

The Disability Knowledge Clearing House is designed to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for disability knowledge; where researchers, service providers,  people with disabilities and their carers can go to inform their understanding of ‘what works, for whom, under what circumstances and at what cost’. 

The resources hub provides links to a wide range of disability research and evaluation resources which can be found by topic, key word, or through an advanced search. The Centre for Applied Disability Research is constantly adding new material to this site with the aim of building the most comprehensive Australian collection of disability research and resources.

http://www.cadr.org.au/clearing-house

Mental Health Respite CarersFinancial hardship isn’t the only thing contributing to the increased risk of mental illness in people who are unemployed. A new study from the Australian National University has found that the lack of social support and low sense of control over life contributes just as much as financial stress to an increased risk of mental illness in the unemployed.

People who are unemployed are twice as likely to experience depression compared to people who are employed. The report found that social factors contributed as well as financial factors to this link between unemployment and depression. Reflecting on the findings, the report’s author, Dr Laura Crowe, said:

“We tend to make the unemployment experience as unpleasant as possible so that people try to find work. But if we make it harder in terms of access to financial and social resources, then people might end up with poorer mental health which is another obstacle in trying to find work. It’s counterproductive.”

Report highlights importance of housing in improving health outcomes

shutters-669296__180A new report from AHURI has found that providing public housing for people who are homeless or at risk of homeless could save nearly $5,000 per person per year in health costs alone.

The study is the second in a series that reviews the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) programs that assist homeless people or people at risk of homelessness to access or maintain a social housing tenancy.

This study examined outcomes of the NPAH supported tenancy programs in Western Australia for people at risk of homelessness. It found that the overall decrease in the frequency and duration of health service use resulted in a combined potential health system cost saving in Western Australia of $16.4 million per year or $4,846 per person per year.

The report highlights the importance of housing in supporting, and being a foundation for, improved health outcomes, especially for those suffering mental illness. It also demonstrates the value in continuing NPAH programs that focus on providing housing and support.

Read more

Education and training bursaries available for young carers

downloadApplications are now open for Carers Australia’s Young Carer Bursary Program. The Young Carer Bursary Program provides young carers aged between 12-25 with the opportunity to apply for financial support to help them remain in, or return to, education or training while maintaining their role as a carer.

This year, more than 300 bursaries of $3000 each will be awarded to successful applicants. There are more than 300,000 young carers in Australia who care for someone with a disability, mental health issue, illness, alcohol or other drug program, or who are frail aged. Applications are open for young carers who are looking to continue their studies at high school, TAFE, university or in apprenticeships until 14 September.

More information and the online application form are available fro 
http://bursaries.youngcarers.net.au

Cutting clean energy supplement will leave welfare recipients at 32 per cent below poverty line

Australia Institute graph for research and resources articleThe Australia Institute has published new research showing that removing the clean energy supplement will leave Newstart recipients living at 32 per cent below the poverty line. The removal of the clean energy supplement for all new welfare recipients is slated to be one of the first acts of the new parliament. The report, Inequality & poverty in Australia: The case against the removal of the clean energy supplement, also highlights Australia’s state of economic inequality; with the 10 richest Australian families having the same wealth as the poorest 3.9 million Australians combined. The Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said removing the clean energy supplement would bring the incomes of people that rely on government payments to historic lows:

“At the time of the Sydney Olympics, a couple on unemployment benefits had enough income to put them on the poverty line. They are now 30 per cent below it.”

The cuts would affect pensioners, students, the unemployed, people with disabilities and their carers. The table on the left (click on image to expand) shows the fortnightly impact of the proposed cuts for people on welfare payments.

Telstra 2G Network Closure

1457991453280The Telstra 2G mobile network is closing on 1 December 2016. This means that customers who are connected to 2G will no longer be able to make or receive phone calls on their mobile phone.

Customers will know if they’re currently using the 2G network as they will have a 2G icon at the top of their phone screen. It’s important that 2G customers understand what they need to do to switch to 3G or 4G services before 1 December 2016.

Making the switch is easy and service providers are here to help. If a customer is connected to 2G we encourage them to visit a Telstra store or contact their service provider as soon as possible to avoid any disruption to their service. For more information please visit  this link. 

Failure to end 'culture of silencing' would further betray survivors: Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin WelbySource: TMA

Abuse survivors have been kept away from the love of Christ by the Church, says Archbishop Justin Welby

Justin Welby says embedding a proper culture of safeguarding in every part of the Church still had a very long way to go when he became Archbishop in 2013.

The Archbishop of Canterbury says failure by the Church to address its “culture of silencing” of abuse survivors would amount to a form of abuse for a second time, “as bad if not worse than the first betrayal”.

Archbishop Justin Welby, in a foreword to a special issue of the UK's Crucible journal of Christian ethics dedicated to safeguarding, wrote that an article by Josephine Stein, “Surviving the Crucible of Ecclesiastical Abuse”, made it “apparent that the culture around how survivors of abuse are heard has in effect been to tell them to be quiet, and to keep them away from the love of Christ”.

Read more

Child Abuse Royal Commission publishes Audio Stories

A5-Brochure-Sharing-Your-Story-Private-SessionsOn Wednesday 24 August, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse published nine audio stories of the experiences of survivors. 

The stories have already been published in text form. 

The stories are voiced by actors, and aim to create awareness of the incidence of abuse. 

While identifying characteristics have been removed from the stories to protect identities, they are designed to help and assist others in coping with the trauma of abuse.

The stories can be listened to at the following link: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/share-your-story/your-stories

Government Policy and Information

NDIS grants program open to community based organisations

download (2)The Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice, has invited community organisations to partner with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to help deliver the NDIS across the country as part of a new grant program. From August, organisations can apply for funding under the Agency’s Partners in the Community program, to support local areas transitioning to the NDIS in 2017. These areas include the ACT, as well as areas of Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.

More information is available from www.ndis.gov.au

45th Parliament sits for the first time this week

Parliament HouseFederal Parliament will sit for the first time since the July 2 double dissolution on Tuesday 30 August. The Governor-General will address a joint-sitting of both chambers at 3pm, outlining the government’s agenda for the 45th parliament, before formal business gets under way at 5pm.

Following the double dissolution election, in which all seats in the House of Representatives and Senate were up for election, the Turnbull Coalition has been returned to government with a one-seat majority.  The Turnbull Government now has a total of 76 seats in the House of Representatives, down from 90 in the previous parliament, after a 3.13 per cent national swing against it. 

The ALP has increased its number of seats in the House of Representatives from 55 to 69. Additionally, two Independents (Cathy McGowan and Andrew Wilkie), one Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) member (Bob Katter), and one Australian Greens member (Adam Bandt) have been re-elected; and are joined by a new minor party MP, Rebekha Sharkie, from the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT).

The election has also seen significant change in the make-up of the Senate. Coalition parties lost three Senators, bringing their representation down to 30 Senators, and ALP gained one to bring them up to 26.

 

The Senate crossbench now contains 20 Senators: nine Australian Greens (down from 10) and 11 minor party Senators (up from eight). This is the largest Senate crossbench since the expansion of the Senate in 1950.

 

Both Houses will sit from 30 August to 1 September, then from 12-15 September.

See here for the sitting dates for the rest of the year:  

http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Sitting_Calendar/2016_Sitting_Calendar

Anglicare Events

Sector Events

Sector Events, March, 2017

7th International Carers Conference
Dates: 4-6 October at the Adelaide Convention Centre

FCA Conference (Financial Counsellors Australia)
Dates: 14-17 May, 2017
Full program and registration information coming soon

HESTA awards
Nominations for the 2017 HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards are now open - the annual Awards recognise graduates, individuals and teams for their professionalism, innovation and care, across a range of health settings. 

GARMA festival
Regustrations open. Run by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, the Garma festival will take place from the 4th to the 7th of August.

18th International Mental Health Conference
Abstract submissions are now being accepted for the 18th International Mental Health Conference, being held on the Gold Coast, QLD on 21 – 23 August 2017. More information is available on the website where you can submit your abstracts and register.

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