Aspect December 2015

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Trust and shared values

Kasy Chambers ED4This week saw the publication of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, affectionately referred to as MYEFO. While the media and the markets worried about the size of the deficit, the date of the return to surplus and those to blame, we were also interested in the tone that surrounded the announcement and its handling as an indication of the thinking of the Turnbull government.

The language may be a little more circumspect than previously, but the savings are still to be gained from the usual suspects – welfare benefits and aged care. The government is talking less about individuals – there is no echo of the leaners and lifters rhetoric – and more about systems. But there is little doubt the money is to be gained from the ‘lower end of town’. It was interesting to see the release of data about the top 1,500 companies and their payment (or not) of taxes in the same week.

It is hard to see that there is still such a level of ‘alignment’, debt recovery and general housekeeping yet to be done. With Newstart at the pitiful level of $26.70 per day, it would take a lot of chipping in by everyone on low incomes to get to $1.5 billion in savings.

It does focus us for the big debate of 2016, which will be that of tax reform. While the language of tax and reform seems tedious and trivial, it does actually answer the big questions around how we want to live together. Taxation is the means. We should actually be elevating our conversations first to the ends – what kind of a society we want to be, then the discussion about how much government revenue and how to collect it will fall into place.

In addition to tax reform, 2015 has been the year in which the elephant that has inhabited our collective room for so long – competition in human services – properly reared its head (or should that be trunk) through the Competition Policy Review. Anglicare Australia has had input and commentary to this review and debate. We have talked about a typology that identifies some transactional human services which may benefit from efficiency and its (hopefully) attendant savings, and others that are more complex, that operate upon the relationship between people.

Many of the services operated by the Anglicare Australia network are complicated; they work in the very arena of what it means to be human. This cannot easily be distilled. A race to the lowest price point is unlikely to affect lasting change, which ironically means the cheapest service does not save money.

This is true for individuals, for our clients and for the network.

We have long argued (in many State of the Family reports for example) that change and growth occurs for humans in relationships; that humans flourish in relationship and that true transformative changes occur in people’s lives through the work they are supported to do in relationships. A journey from using drugs to not, from homelessness to housing, from child protection to citizen, are not simple one-way transactions. These are the hardest journeys people could undertake and whenever we are able to ask anyone what made the difference to them, it always comes down to a human relationship.

Just like humans, most organisations do their best work in relationship and it’s been an exciting year in the Anglicare Australia network as we leverage off the capability of the network and our capacity to work together in large and small groups.

The establishment of Anglicare College, the creation of legal document templates for collaboration, the Out of Home Care Forum and subsequent Anglicare Australia secondment in OOHC are all examples of the growing repertoire of our joint work. Additional to our advocacy and research work, they are enabled by the trust and shared values of the network.

Next year will kick off with a rash of Anglicare special interest networks driving our work in research and advocacy, in business processes for the NDIS and individualised services, and in joint and national fundraising. Of course these networks also provide a wonderful collaborative place for professional development and sharing.

However, as we head into 2016, there is still a lot unknown about areas of great importance to our clients. NDIS, mental health, child care to name but a few against a backdrop of a government trying to balance the books, facing a Budget with measures from the last two still not passed.

I will be away next year over January and Roland Manderson will be taking up the reins.

There is no doubt that 2016 will be a big year with many challenges so I hope everyone gets to enjoy some of what is left of 2015 and that everyone gets to take some break, however small, over the Christmas period.

National Office News

Anglicare Australia Submissions

Low expectations - submission to Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for the Inquiry into Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015.

The biggest concern Anglicare Australia has with the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015 is that it appears to be based on an assumption that young people will not seek work, nor hold work, unless their access to inadequate income support is further limited and delayed.

Evidence from our network is that it is the individual circumstances of young people, their history and their capacities that are the key to their connection with and participation in the wider society. Essentially, and not surprisingly, young people respond better to opportunities and encouragement than they do to a regime of punishment and compliance.

 

Submission to Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Issues Paper 10: Advocacy and Support and Therapeutic Services

Anglicare Australia will publish this submission as soon as it appears on the Royal Commission’s website.

National Aged Care Alliance meeting

Representing Anglicare Australia at the National Aged Care Alliance meeting in Adelaide recently were Deputy Director, Roland Manderson and Benetas CEO and Anglicare Australia Council member, Sandra Hills.

In June NACA published Stage 2 of its Blueprint for Aged Care Reform series. Enhancing the quality of life of older people through better support and care is a next steps document that takes into account the changes in aged care delivery already underway, and identifies our priorities for further action. It includes 14 proposed areas for implementation.

During the meeting, participants looked at the 14 areas and agreed on the best way to progress them: through NACA public action; supporting action and leadership by expert member organisations (Alzheimer’s, Carers Australia, etc); working through the set of government advisory groups already in place; and as an element in general election lobbying, etc.

There is an overarching statement in the Blueprint that there are population groups of people who are disadvantaged – or who face barriers – in accessing care, and in achieving equitable outcomes. Without being exhaustive, those groups include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, members of CALD communities, people living with disability, those on low incomes, members of GLBTI communities, and so on.

The point was made that none of the proposed strategies regarding the 14 areas for action took account of the overarching goals of fair access to care and services, and good outcomes for these people. So a small working group was formed to look at sewing these goals into our 2016 action plan, and Roland has put his hand up on Anglicare Australia’s behalf to contribute to that work.

Also, in a welcome break from incessant work regarding Aged Care Reform, Sandra presented on the International Longevity Centre Australia.

Visit to Wagga Wagga office

What do you do when the CEO of Anglicare Australia turns up to a carers’ Christmas party as a special guest?

Kasy in the kitchen - Wagga visit

Put her to work in the kitchen of course!

Kasy Chambers (left) and Colina prepare food for the Carer and Children's Christmas Party in Wagga Wagga.

The Wagga office of Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT held its annual Carers' and Children’s Christmas Party in the office grounds.

Anglicare staff and volunteers made an amazing array of salads, BBQ sausages, desserts and hot food - crocodile Thai green curry and 'skippy' bolognese, which all went down a treat.

It was wonderful to see the relationship Anglicare’s support staff have with the foster parents, the commitment of the foster parents, and most especially the enjoyment on the children’s faces. It was a poignant reminder of the incredible role that foster carers provide to children across Australia.

Wagga visit - welcome to country

Welcome to Country at the Carers' and Children's Christmas Party in Wagga Wagga.

Digital Inclusion Index Advisory Group

Telstra invited Anglicare Australia, through Roland Manderson, to be a member of The Digital Inclusion Index Advisory Group, which had its first meeting in November.

The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) is a major three-year research and development partnership between Telstra’s Chief Sustainability Office (CSO), the Swinburne Institute for Social Research (SISR) and the Centre for Social Impact (CSI).

The project aims to build on Telstra’s longstanding commitment to inclusion and to encourage multi-sector engagement in overcoming the digital divide in Australia. The ADII initiative will:

• research and develop a new measurement tool that will baseline the extent of digital inclusion in Australia in 2015-16 and the following two years

• facilitate a national dialogue concerning digital inclusion in Australia, in order to

o facilitate better policies and programs.

A discussion paper reflecting the focus of the project to date at is available on the Digital Inclusion Index website.

The website also includes a useful related material, such as an item on the National Disability Insurance Agency’s involvement in a research institute exploring new models of public service delivery, and recent work from London which includes a ‘heatmap’ of the likelihood of digital exclusion across the UK.

Telstra orange

Mental Health Reform Webinar

We know that lots of people around the network are unsure about what the federal government’s mental health reforms will mean for their programs and local communities.

The National Rural Health Alliance recently hosted a webinar about the reforms and what it will mean for mental health services and their clients in rural and remote areas. The speakers were Ian Hickie from the Mental Health Commission, Frank Quinlan from Mental Health Australia, and Russel Roberts who is a rural/remote mental health service consultant.

The key take away for Anglicare Australia’s National Policy & Research Director, Sarah Jewell, was that services shouldn’t wait for an invitation and a clear road map from the federal government.

Pick up the phone and form relationships with the Primary Health Network in your area, ask how your service can be involved in the local implementation and governance, and be creative.

The webinar and slides will be available soon, so keep your eye on the National Rural Health Alliance website for further information.

Anglicare Australia will share more information about the implementation of the reforms as it comes to light.

If you would like to join the Anglicare Australia mental health conversation, you can contact Sarah via email or phone 02 6230 1775.

MyPost Concession accounts

Australia Post has been consulting with major community organisations around Australia, including Anglicare Australia, on the new pricing regime.

Anglicare Australia has forwarded this information and information on Australia Post’s MyPost Concession account, which gives people on the lowest incomes access to concessional post services, to its Telstra Bill Assistance Program partners.

These concessions will help the people we support to maintain their connection with others.

POSTAGE CHANGES

Change to the basic postage rate to $1

Australia Post’s basic postage rate for small letters will increase to $1. It is expected this increase will take effect from 4 January 2016. From this date, there will also be price changes for large letters and other business letters services.

Changes to delivery speeds

From 4 January 2016, there will be three speeds for sending letters within Australia – Express Post, and the new Priority and Regular services.

Priority: Priority letters will be delivered in 1-4 business days depending on destination. To send a letter (small or large up to 500g) at the Priority speed you will need to add a single Priority label next to your postage stamp/s. The proposed price for Priority labels is $0.50 and these will be available for purchase from any Post Office or at auspost.com.au/shop, for use from 4 January 2016 onwards. Priority letters can be posted in red street posting boxes or over the counter at your local Post Office.

Regular: Letters sent with a postage stamp will be sent at the Regular speed. They will be delivered up to 2 business days longer than Priority speed. Regular letters can be posted in red street posting boxes or over the counter at your local Post Office.

Continuing to deliver five days a week

These changes are critical to the sustainability of Australia Post and will allow it to keep its network of more than 4000 post offices. Importantly, posties will continue to deliver letters five days a week, including in rural and regional areas.

Season Greeting stamps will remain frozen at $0.65.

Tony Reidy new ACOSS President

Tony Reidy - ACOSS PresidentFormer Chief Executive the Tasmanian Council of Social Service, Tony Reidy has been voted in as new President of ACOSS, and Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT CEO, Jeremy Halcrow is Treasurer.

The ACOSS Board is comprised of representatives of its National Member Organisations and State Councils of Social Service. Board elections are held every two years. Anglicare Australia is a member of ACOSS.

The new Board will take office on 1 January 2016:

President: Tony Reidy
Treasurer: Jeremy Halcrow (CEO, Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT)

National Member Organisation Representatives:
John Falzon (St Vincent de Paul Society National council of Australia CEO)
Peter McNamara (Good Shepard Microfinance)
Lynn Morgain (Cohealth)
Elenie Poulos (UnitingJustice Australia)
Tracey Stephens
Hang Vo (Australian Red Cross)

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Tasmania launches new brand

Anglicare Lifestyle is the new name for Anglicare Tasmania’s ‘retail’ services.

Lifestyle was chosen to promote how helping people in need is more than just assisting them with the essentials of life, but also about giving them the tools and opportunities to live life well.

Manager of Marketing, Brett Galbraith is looking forward to seeing how the community warms to the new name and campaign.

“We did quite a bit of customer and staff testing as we developed the look and feel, and got great feedback,” Brett said. “But there is nothing like seeing how the broader community respond to our approach.

“We are the only ones that I am aware of who are using illustrations, and our TV advertisements will show them animated. One of our clients in the testing phase spoke about how warm the characters were and that it made them feel good about the communication rather than focussing on their disability.”

Anglicare AT HOME officially became Anglicare Lifestyle on 17 December 2015

Anglicare Tasmania Lifestyle service


Supporting students with family mental illness

Schools have embraced Anglicare Tasmania’s Taz Kids program, saying it delivers excellent support to students who have a family member with a mental illness.

Anglicare offers the eight-week club program to schools state-wide, and also runs camps during school holidays. In the past year, 12 Taz Kids clubs have been held in 12 primary schools and five high schools.

“There was growth in all regions this year, with schools asking for repeat clubs and others phoning to ask to be put on the waiting list,” said Cassandra Ogden, state coordinator of Taz Kids.

“Schools are seeing the benefits for their students, and the word is spreading. Schools tell us that there have been positive changes in the children’s attitudes at school and in their ability to cope with what’s happening at home”.

 

Building Bridges to help refugees and migrants settle

Anglicare Tasmania plays a practical role in helping refugees and migrants to settle in Tasmania.

Each month, counsellor Mara Lovrin chairs the Bridges meeting, which gives members of the multicultural community an opportunity to raise issues and exchange information with local service providers.

The size of the Bridges meeting can vary from 20 to 80 people. Participating communities include Bhutanese, Nepalese, Karen, Hazara, Persian, Sudanese, Congolese and Ethiopian settlers. The state is also preparing for the arrival of up to 500 Syrian refugees next year.

The Bridges meetings have been running for 10 years and are very successful. There is usually a guest speaker from a service who talks on a topic that the participants are eager to learn about, such as housing, parenting and employment matters.

Specific issues or concerns can be addressed at the meeting, or shortly thereafter, quickly and thoughtfully. The meetings help break down barriers and foster good relationships between communities and local services.

New CEO appointed to Samaritans

Peter Gardiner- Samaritans CEOFollowing the upcoming retirement of long-term Samaritans Foundation CEO, Cec Shevels,the President of the Samaritans Foundation, Bishop Greg Thompson, has announced the appointment of Peter Gardiner (left) as the new Chief Executive Officer. He will take up this role on 1 February 2016.

“The Board led an extensive recruitment process attracting high calibre applicants from Australia and New Zealand,” Bishop Thompson said.

“Peter was chosen because of his extensive experience in the human services across government and non-government sectors. He is an active member of Darling Street Anglican Church in Balmain and brings to the role incredible passion for social justice issues and supporting people to have fulfilling lives within communities of their choosing.”

Peter has worked in human services for over 35 years, beginning his professional career as a social worker within the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Area Health Service. He worked extensively in therapeutic roles with children and families before moving into more senior administrative positions, culminating in the role of Director, Community Health Services.

Moving across to the non-government sector, Peter worked as the Director Welfare Services and then Chief Operating Officer for Anglicare Sydney for six years, during which time he completed a Master of Business Administration at Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

Peter then moved back to NSW Government Disability Services in Executive Director, Regional Director and Acting Deputy Director General roles before recently returning to the NGO sector to assist CatholicCare Sydney prepare for the introduction of the NDIS.

Peter has three adult children and enjoys bushwalking and camping.

South Australian bail accommodation partnership

AnglicareSA and the South Australian government have signed a contract for the delivery of the 30 bed Bail Accommodation Support Program (BASP), which will be located in AnglicareSA’s Dale Street, Port Adelaide premises.

The BASP will provide accommodation as an alternative to custody, for alleged offenders granted bail and who lack a suitable place to stay.

During their stay, tenants will be supported by AnglicareSA's broad network of social and health services. One of the key objectives of these services will be to provide the necessary skills to help make more positive life decisions.

The building will be staffed 24/7 and tenants will be expected to meet their court-imposed bail conditions and follow strict house rules. The facility will open in 2017.

BSL photo exhibition celebrates women's achievements

A photo exhibition celebrating the contribution women have made to the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s work for an Australia free of poverty was unveiled at the organisation’s recent Annual General Meeting in Melbourne.

Thousands of women in our community have contributed to this important work, in both paid and volunteer roles, since the organisation began in the 1930s.

The selected images were a glimpse into a record of female achievement at the organisation. The collection of 64 photos spanning 70 years of history was a 'painstaking detective job' said co-curator Michele O'Brien, and one that took five months to put together.

“The Brotherhood Library staff and volunteers have spent the last few years digitising many of our photos and archival material, which made the task possible. But it also involved matching faces to names from old newsletters and magazines that went back 60 years,” said Michele.

Current and former staff also contributed, suggesting women for inclusion, helping to identify people and adding anecdotes and details where there was little information to add.

Brotherhood of St Laurence founder, Father Gerard Tucker wrote some 60 years ago that he wanted “to pay my tribute to the very valuable service womenfolk are rendering to the community in general and to the Brotherhood in particular”.

Notable women such as Connie Benn, Jess Millott, Jessie Sumner, Thelma Tuxen, Jan Carter, Alison McClelland, Jenny Trethewey, Cath Scarth, Sarina Greco and Prue Myer helped shape the Brotherhood's programs and research, and brought a new flavour to leadership.

Female volunteers have also been the backbone of the community stores, and continue to volunteer in varied roles, from mentoring refugee women to working with young people and seniors.

BSL_Donated-goods-division  BSL_Social service social worker
[Left] Donated Good Division, Westgarth Street, Fitzroy - circa 1960s. [Right] Social Services Bureau worker talking to a mother as a child looks on - from BSL Annual Report 1960-61.

BSL_Jess Millott  BSL-Connie Benn
Notable women such as Jess Millott (left) and Connie Benn helped shape the Brotherhood's programs and research, and brought a new flavour to the leadership.

Communities for Children

The Communities for Children (CFC) program has been running in one form or another since 2004. Each CFC service is managed by a facilitating partner (such as AnglicareSA at Playford and Onkaparinga, and ac.care in the Murraylands), which then deliver services and activities in partnership with other community (and often local) partner organisations.

A significant shift now is the requirement that an increasing number of the programs CFCs deliver need to be evidence based. The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has compiled a list of programs in this field they verify as evidence based, and there is a process in place now that allows CFC services to have their own programs evaluated, so they can qualify as evidence based and then be added to this list.

The biennial National Good Practice forum was held in Adelaide in December, with a lot of the coordination by South Australia’s Anglicare CFC teams. The issues around this process of moving to a more rigorous evidence based approach to program delivery, and how that might draw on the strengths and experience of the sector, was one of the central topics.

Of course questions of evaluation and evidence aren’t limited to programs for children, families and communities. The useful thing here is that AIFS have created a fairly open process for evaluating and establishing an evidence base for social programs that we could all pick up on and share. Elly Robinson from AIFS has written an article that explains how the process is working.

Exhibition celebrates art and disability

EPIC Assist recently held an exhibition celebrating the creative talents and artistic abilities of people with disability, as part of International Day of People with Disability.

Inclusion Matters: EPIC Art Exhibition featured the art of three EPIC participants: Peter Shaw, Steff Jones and Barbara Frost, alongside award winning emerging Brisbane artist Levi Diball.

EPIC Assist Event Coordinator, Erickson Illustre said the exhibition was a chance to acknowledge artistic talent and share stories.

Two of the artists, Peter Shaw and Levi Diball, were on hand to chat to guests about their art and the inspiration behind their work.

EPIC artwork exhibit 1  EPIC artwork exhibit 2
EPIC Art Exhibition : Inclusion Matters

EPIC Celebrates First Graduation

EPIC Education Assist held its first graduation ceremony as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in December.

The graduation celebrated the achievements of 16 students who had completed a Certificate II in Retail Services, where they learnt the basic skills required to work in specialty stores, supermarkets, department stores and retail outlets.

Education Assist contextualised course content to suit student’s needs and learning styles, which resulted in the students working hard and as a result were very proud to receive their certificates.

Graduates may pursue roles or further training in a variety of retail services such as Sales Assistant, Customer Service Representative, Crew Member, Checkout Operator, Nursery Worker or Service Station Attendant.

EPIC graduates 1  EPIC graduates 2
Graduates at EPIC's first graduation ceremony.

Parkerville's Ride Ahead program

Parkerville - Ride Ahead projectParkerville’s Ride Ahead project, a partnership with Curtin University, has grown from strength to strength during 2015.

Another not for profit organisation, Dismantle, initially trained Parkerville staff in bike mechanics and now, one morning a week, Education, Employment and Training (EET) students work on a 10-week bike project.

The students work in pairs for the first five weeks to make a bike for charity. These bikes are sold at Parkerville’s annual picnic and funds raised go back into the project to help it continue. In the second five weeks the students can design and make a bike for themselves.

Each week, Health and Social Work student volunteers from Curtin University engage with the young people to help them in this project. In addition to the bike mechanics, the Curtin University students provide EET students with workshops on sustainability, looking after the environment and looking after themselves. Staff from Water Corporation and TransPerth have also spoken to the students on sustainability and bikes on trains.

Another element of the Ride Ahead project is the Experience Curtin Day. EET students visit Curtin University and experience a range of activities, including a campus quest tour, murder mystery investigation, Curtin student interviews, meeting with engineering departments, visit to mechanics workshop and a DVD of the pedal pre games.

The aim of the day is to open the idea of further education to the young people. A range of students who have come from alternative pathways or failed school explain how they have gained entry to education and studied something that has interested them. The day has proved a big success in helping change attitudes towards future learning.

The Curtin Ahead team also provides the students with careers advice during their time at Parkerville. They speak to the students about TAFE courses, traineeships and apprenticeships.

This story is featured in Parkerville’s Annual Report 2015.

Research and Resources

Housing journeys of refugees in Australia

AHURI (Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute) has recently released Final Report No. 256, The housing and homelessness journeys of refugees in Australia.

The hardships and trauma many refugees endure prior to resettlement, coupled with their lack of financial resources upon entry into Australia, means they are often vulnerable to housing stress, housing insecurity and homelessness.

Despite these adversities, however, the AHURI study finds that refugees experience, in the main, positive housing journeys following resettlement in Australia.

By the third and final year of the study's Refugees, Housing and Social Inclusion Survey, 81% of the refugees surveyed were located in private rental accommodation, while 13% were in their own homes and paying off mortgages. However, 6% of the respondents reported insecure housing circumstances including ‘couch surfing’. The Refugees, Housing and Social Inclusion Survey focused on the position of Refugee and Special Humanitarian Program visa entrants.

ACNC Annual Charities Report released

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has released its Annual Charities Report.

This report contains new information about the characteristics, activities and purpose of Australia’s charities in 2014. It provides a resource to help charities, donors, governments, researchers and the community better understand Australia’s charities, and their financial status and sustainability.

Around two thirds of Australia’s charities are small, having annual income of less than $250,000 (64.1%). Around 1 in 5 charities (19.2%) were large, having annual income of $1 million or more and 16.6% were medium sized, having income between $250,000 and $1 million.

Charities perform a diverse range of activities across different sectors. Nearly one third (30.0%) of reporting charities listed their main activity as religious. Most of these charities were small (79.7%). A large number of charities also listed their main activity in the education and research sector (18.4%).

Almost half of charities have both paid employees and volunteers. 47.7% of charities reported that they had at least one paid employee and one volunteer in 2014.

ABS: Employee earnings and jobs

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released new experimental information on employee earnings and jobs, including data on multiple job holders.

This is the first time that the ABS has integrated the Australian Taxation Office's Personal Income Tax data and the ABS' Expanded Analytical Business Longitudinal Database to produce linked employer-employee data. This, in turn, is an important first step towards a future ABS Linked Employer-Employee Database (LEED) which will contain data linked across multiple years.

The ultimate long-term goal is to enhance analysis on productivity, changes in employment by industry, the ability for people displaced from work to regain employment and other important Australian labour market issues, although this will take time and further investment.

Aged care workforce inquiry

The aged care workforce will be the subject of a federal parliamentary review with Greens Senator Rachel Siewert securing support for a Senate inquiry into the future of the sector’s workforce.

The inquiry, to be conducted by the Community Affairs References Committee, will examine the current composition of the aged care workforce, future workforce requirements, the interaction of aged care workforce needs with the disability sector, and challenges in attracting and retaining aged care staff.

Anglicare Australia will be submitting to the inquiry with input from the Aged & Community Care and HR networks.

Free QLD NDIS-Aged Care information sessions

In 2016, COTA Queensland will be providing FREE information sessions throughout Queensland on the NDIS and the interface with aged care.

Sessions will be delivered to community groups, service providers and consumers.

To register your interest, contact Angela Jarrett, Program Coordinator, NDIS and Seniors on [email protected] or phone 07 3316 2999.

NDS State of the Disability Sector report

National Disability Services (NDS) has released its State of the Disability Sector Report 2015, which includes the release of data from 20,000 employees, to provide a snapshot of the disability workforce.

The report also includes a business confidence survey that shows most disability service providers are cautiously optimistic and plan to grow in the next six months, but a high proportion think government agencies are not working closely enough with the sector to implement the NDIS successfully.

A key finding from Australia’s largest analysis of the disability workforce shows 38% of all disability workers are casuals, a relatively high rate which is likely to increase under the NDIS.

The report highlights the need to improve employment opportunities for people with disability and provides an analysis of the hot issues facing policy makers.

It concludes with 20 things NDS would like to see accomplished in 2016 to ensure the successful implementation of the NDIS and more opportunities for people with disability to work, be educated and engage in community life.

Mission Australia's Youth Survey 2015

Mission Australia’s Youth Survey 2015 has found more than half of young people believe there are barriers that will prevent them reaching their goals after school, while young people have become increasingly concerned about alcohol/drugs and equity/discrimination.

Youth Survey 2015 is the largest of its kind and includes responses from nearly 19,000 young Australians aged 15-19 years old. This year includes a special focus on what barriers young people felt prevented them from reaching their work and study goals.

Of the respondents, 52% felt there would be barriers to the achievement of their study/work goals, with a greater proportion of females (55.5%) than males (47.5%) reporting the presence of these barriers.

The top three barriers young people saw impacting the achievement of their study/work goals after school were academic ability, financial difficulty and lack of jobs (18.2%, 16.9% and 12.2% respectively). Just over one in 10 respondents indicated they saw family responsibilities and physical or mental health as barriers to the achievement of their study/work goals after school.

Youth detention has fallen

The number of young people in youth detention has fallen, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Youth detention population in Australia 2015, shows that fewer than 900 young people were in detention on an average night during the June quarter 2015. Most young people in detention were aged 10–17 (81%), with the remainder aged 18 or older. Just over half (54%) of young people in detention were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Over the 4-year period, the level of over-representation of Indigenous young people aged 10–17 in detention increased from 19 to 26 times the rate of non-Indigenous young people. This was primarily due to a decrease in the rate of non-Indigenous young people aged 10–17 in detention, while the Indigenous rate showed no clear trend.

The report also shows different patterns among the states and territories. Over the 4-year period, detention rates increased in Queensland and the Northern Territory, showed no clear trend in Victoria, and decreased in the remaining states and territories.

Sexting among young people: Perceptions and practices

The Australian Institute of Criminology has released a report, Sexting among young people: Perceptions and practices, almost half of the respondents reported having sent a sexual picture or video of themselves to another party, while two-thirds had received a sexual image.

The rapid development and adoption of online digital technologies has had a profound effect on the way young people conduct their social relationships. The emergence of sexting, or the distribution of sexually explicit photos and videos, has gained widespread attention and raised moral concerns. However, there remains little policy-relevant research on the prevalence of sexting and its impact on young people.

This study provides a valuable contribution to the evidence base. In a survey of over 2,000 respondents, sexting was prevalent among all age groups, with 13 to 15 year olds particularly likely to receive sexual images. Sexting was prominent among homosexual and bisexual respondents. Most sexting occurred between partners in committed relationships.

The study found very little evidence of peer pressure or coercion to engage in sexting. Rather, young people reported engaging in the practice as a consensual and enjoyable part of their intimate relationships. The paper considers the implications of this for legal and policy responses to sexting.

Housing Decisions of Older Australians

The Productivity Commission Research Paper, Housing Decisions of Older Australians, was released in December.

The Commission’s flagship research paper, An Ageing Australia: Preparing for the Future, identified that many older Australians are asset rich but income poor, and flagged challenges for government budgets stemming from the ageing of Australia’s population.

In its second flagship research paper, Housing Assistance and Employment in Australia, the Commission investigated the link between housing decisions and government assistance.

This, the third flagship research paper, continues the investigation of issues relating to the ageing of Australia’s population, this time focusing on the housing choices made by older Australians. It considers the financial and accommodation aspects of housing decisions and draws out some of the policy issues affecting the wellbeing of older Australians and the broader community.

Agreement to address Aboriginal health issues

Australia’s biggest Aboriginal health and public healthcare and hospitals bodies have signed a national agreement to work together on closing the gap in Aboriginal health.

Under the agreement, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) will work together on policies, research, and public health campaigns to address health issues in Aboriginal communities.

NACCHO represents more than 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations. The AHHA is Australia’s national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, community and primary healthcare services, and advocates for universal, high quality and affordable healthcare to benefit the whole community.

Video on Aboriginal health

Aboriginal health video buttonThe Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the federal Department of Health have launched a video containing key health information from the 2012-13 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey.

The use of multimedia allows the ABS to communicate health information in a more accessible way. It is hoped the video will broaden the reach of the message and support Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in maintaining healthy lifestyles.

The video will be disseminated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services and mainstream health clinics as a health promotion tool.

Impact of domestic violence on families

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a report on the disruption that domestic and family violence has on Australians, titled Domestic & family violence & homelessness 2011-12 to 2013-14.

Domestic and family violence causes considerable disruption to the lives of Australian families, with many affected seeking alternative accommodation and falling into homelessness. Between 2011–12 and 2013–14, the AIHW identified 520,000 Australians who accessed specialist homelessness services. Of these, over one-third were adults and children seeking assistance for reasons of domestic and family violence.

• Nine in 10 adult clients (aged 18 and over) seeking assistance for domestic and family violence were female.
• Over one quarter of all clients were children under the age of 15.
• For adult clients, over three in 10 were also experiencing a personal mental health issue, and over one in 10 indicated they had problematic drug or alcohol use.

Mental health and domestic violence key to homelessness

The AIHW report, Specialist homelessness services 2014–15, shows the proportion of Specialist Homelessness Services clients who had a current mental health issue rose to one in four in 2014–15, while domestic and family violence continues to be the most common reason for seeking homelessness support.

Overall, an estimated 256,000 people were assisted by specialist homelessness agencies across Australia in 2014–15, receiving nearly 20 million days of support and about 6.6 million nights of accommodation.

The report shows that clients with a current mental health issue are the fastest growing client group, growing at an average rate of 12% each year since 2011–12.

If you are experiencing family or domestic violence or sexual assault, or know someone who is, call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit the 1800RESPECT website.

Justice McClennan keynote address

The keynote address by the Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM, Chair, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, recently gave a keynote address to the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, titled Broken Structures, Broken Selves: Complex Trauma in the 21st Century.

Regional wellbeing survey

Australian farmers experience unique challenges to their wellbeing, related to where they live and what they do for a living.

The Regional Wellbeing Survey examines the wellbeing of Australian farmers, focusing on their quality of life, how they feel about their communities, and what is happening on their farms.

It draws on data from 3,710 Australian farmers who took part in the 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey, a large omnibus survey of people living in rural and regional Australia.

Government Policy and Information

Referendum Council on Constitutional Recognition

The establishment of the Referendum Council on constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was announced in December. The council will advise on progress and next steps towards a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.

Co-chairs of the Referendum Council are Professor Patrick Dodson and Mark Leibler AC who were co-chairs the former Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.

The other members are Pat Anderson AO, Professor Megan Davis, Andrew Demetriou, Murray Gleeson AC QC, Mick Gooda, Tanya Hosch, Professor Kristina Keneally, Jane McAloon, Michael Rose, Natasha Stott Despoja AM, Noel Pearson, Amanda Vanstone, Dalassa Yorkston and Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM.

The Referendum Council will guide an important national discussion about recognition, which will employ digital and traditional means so that all Australians can have their say on recognition.

Funding for specialist disability housing

The government has announced a grants round is now open for community organisations to apply to complete housing projects outside NDIS trial sites.

Applicants should be incorporated, not-for-profit organisations that are supported by their local community. Where appropriate these organisations are encouraged to partner with for-profits, such as banks or builders, to ensure delivery of the projects.

Accommodation will need to cater for people who are expected to be eligible for the NDIS into the future. Projects should have a particular focus on people currently housed in inappropriate accommodation and those with ageing carers who need a long-term, sustainable arrangement.

All projects should be completed within two years to help address short-term community need while the NDIS transition gets under way. Applications must be received by 11 February 2016 and successful projects will be announced in the first half of 2016.

Special Interest Networks

Anglicare network meetings in early 2016

In preparation for a significant and busy 2016, a number of Anglicare special interest networks have planned face-to-face meetings in February and March next year.

South Australian Anglicare member organisations will hold a planning meeting on 22-23 February, in Adelaide.

The Research Network meeting and the Media & Communications Network meeting will be hosted by Anglicare Tasmania on 24-25 February. Segments of the meeting will comprise both networks as these groups work closely on significant national projects.

The Clinical and Care Governance Network will meet at the offices of Anglicare Sydney in Parramatta on 29 February.

Anglicare Victoria will host the Marketing and Fundraising Network on 1 March next year, and the CFO Network meeting on 2-3 March (tbc).

And Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT will host the Human Resources Network meeting on 8-9 March 2016.

The Aged & Community Care Network will meet in Canberra on 9 March.

If you have not received notice or an invitation to these meetings and would like to attend, contacts for each Network meeting can be found under Anglicare events at the end of this newsletter.

Proposed March meeting for CFOs and CIOs

A recent report from National Disability Services’t State of the Disability Sector Report 2015 identified the readiness of NFP providers in different aspects of business with regard to the implementation of the NDIS.

Interestingly the organisations surveyed echoed the conversations Anglicare Australia Executive Director, Kasy Chambers’ has had with organisations in the Anglicare network.

In areas that could be categorised as mission, client engagement and governance readiness seems strong. The areas where Kasy currently hears the most concern, backed up by this report, could be characterised as business processes – business planning processes, financial software, financial processes and controls, date reporting and use and with the lowest readiness in the survey costing and pricing.

With this in mind and responding to calls from IT people for their own special interest network, we have decided to dedicate a lot of time to this at our next Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Network meeting in Melbourne in early March 2016.

The question we will start with will be “what can I, in my CFO or Chief Information Officer role, add to the strategic development of my organisation?”

In addition to people in the CFO role, we would like to invite those people with the strategic overview of IT in their organisation to attend.

Contact Kasy Chambers before Christmas or Deputy Director, Roland Manderson during January if you would like to attend the meeting.

Anglicare Events

Anglicare events [12.15]

Ash Wednesday Climate Justice Forum
Date: 10 February 2016 || 9am-4.30pm
Venue: Old Warden’s Lodge, Trinity College, Royal Parade, Parkville, Melbourne

SA Anglicare member organisations planning meeting
Date: 22-23 February 2016
Adelaide
Contact: Kasy Chambers

Media & Communications Network meeting
Date: 24-25 February 2016
Venue: Anglicare Tasmania
Contact: Skye Owen or Bronwen Hayes

Research Network meeting
Date: 24-25 February 2016
Venue: Anglicare Tasmania
Contact: Sarah Jewell

Clinical & Care Governance Network meeting
Date: 29 February 2016
Venue: Anglicare Sydney
Contact: Roland Manderson

Marketing & Fundraising Network meeting
Date: 1 March 2016
Venue: Anglicare Victoria
Contact: Kasy Chambers

CFO Network meeting
Date: 2-3 March 2016 (tbc)
Venue: Anglicare Victoria
Contact: Chris Baring-Gould

HR Network meeting
Date: 8-9 March 2016
Venue: Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT
Contact: Kasy Chambers

Aged & Community Care Network meeting
Date: 9 March 2016
Canberra
Contact: Roland Manderson

Support Homeless People luncheon (ac.care)
Date: 8 April 2016
Venue: Barn Palais, Nelson Road, Mt Gambier, SA

Sector Events

Sector Events [12.15]

The National Foyer Conference
Date: 15 February 2016
Venue: Sydney

Developing a Consumer Driven Aged Care Workforce
Date: 17-18 February 2016
Venue: Sydney Boulevard Hotel

Inaugural National Research Conference on Violence against Women and their Children
Date: 23-25 February 2016
Venue: Grant Hyatt Melbourne, VIC

Think Outcomes: delivering, measuring & communicating social change
Date: 12-13 April 2016
Venue: RACV City Club, Melbourne

Collaboration for Impact Conference
Date: 4-5 May 2016
Venue: Rydges Hotel, Melbourne

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services - Services for Older People Conference
Date: 12-13 May 2016
Venue: Rendezvous Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand

Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference
Date: 18-20 May 2016
Venue: Mantra on View Hotel, Gold Coast, QLD

Child Aware Approaches Conference
Date: 23-24 May 2016
Venue: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Communities in Control Conference
Date: 30-31 May 2016
Venue: Moonee Ponds, Melbourne

International Dementia Conference
Date: 16-17 June 2016
Venue: Hilton Sydney

International Federation on Ageing 13th Global Conference
Date: 21-23 June 2016
Venue: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Active Ageing Conference
Date: 30 June 2016
Venue: Swissôtel, Sydney

AIFS 2016 Conference
Date: 6-8 July 2016
Venue: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Anti-Poverty Week
Date: 16-22 October 2016
National

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