Aspect June 2016

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Campaign doesn’t catch the waves of change

Kasy ChambersYou would have had to have been under a rock for the last seven weeks not to know that we are nearing the end of this year’s federal election campaign. But it is a little surprising for those of us who have been buried in day to today Australian policy and politics to suddenly have a worldwide view.

The vote in the UK to leave Europe has reminded me of the big divides are in so many of our societies: the vote in Britain was polarised on the lines of wealth, geography and age.  And many people since the vote (on both sides of the Brexit debate) have used the result as an opportunity to emphasize their own narrow views and interests.   That’s perhaps the nature of division. 

There are great divides of course in the US, in Europe, in the Middle East, and many other parts of the word, that seem to be growing sharper or more difficult. The political climate is changing. 

And that’s true about the literal climate too, of course. Over the past month – along with our election- there’s been a lot of news about the rapid deterioration of the Great Barrier Reef. The loss of the reef promises to be devastating in the short term and simultaneously evidence of unimaginable challenges for us all on the planet.   But the crippling impact of global warming will be on those with the least resources and support behind them. And no-one is yet arguing the nations and economies of the world are doing too much address the causes, to rein it in. Back to domestic politics then.  

Anglicare Australia for years has been exploring the growing gap in Australia between those who are most left behind – or excluded – through poverty, culture, health, schooling and circumstance – and those who are living well.  And much of what we do in our election campaigns seems to be about pushing – uphill – for a debate about coming to grips with these divides. But while we know, more or less, what actions a party might take, it seems very hard to get them to address the cause. Much like the  social and economic divides around the world, and the global warming disrupting the whole web of life on our planet, holding each other to account for what we do about these challenges  seems to be the hardest thing.

Anglicare Australia set our priorities for the 2016 Federal Election Campaign at the start.  They are the ones that most clearly affect the one in 26 Australians that use our services - secure work, adequate income, affordable housing. You will have seen what we’ve been up to over the past few weeks.

Perhaps the trickiest aspect of these issues is how they fit together.  It’s nigh on impossible to have a secure job without housing; it’s difficult to have affordable housing without an adequate income; it’s hard to have an adequate income without a secure job.  It’s like a circular real life version of the rock, scissor, paper game. 

So the people we elect need to take these challenges on. To look at the causes (and there are many) of unaffordable housing in a society that seems to revolve on the wealth of home.  To invest in real work opportunities for people trapped on the edges, opportunities which into the future move away from environment destroying industries. To make sure at the very least people, families, children, have enough to live on. 

 There is a sense – when we look at the wider world – that people are aiming to look after themselves and the ones they love. But if we are to create a healthier society, the same as we would for a healthier planet, we have to adopt a wider view to look not only after our own but to extend that to our metaphorical neighbour too.

National Office News

Federal Election 2016: Leave no one behind

Last week of the election campaign 
Anglicare Australia has been engaged in advocacy, informed by our network’s service provision and agendas, throughout the 2016 federal election campaign. Accordingly, the priorities we have focused on are:  

  • affordable and secure housing,
  • secure work, 
  • adequate income,
  • and tax reform as an enabler for housing, employment, and increased living standards.

Our office released position papers on affordable housing, secure work and adequate income as the campaign progressed.  

The affordable housing position statement reflected the work of many of the Anglicare agencies across Australia that have identified affordable housing as a necessary step to overcome the level of disadvantage experienced by their service users. The position statement also reflects our understanding of how affordable housing provides the foundation for individuals to participate meaningfully in education, employment and the life of their community. The issues of housing and housing affordability have been prominent in the election campaign, and it is clear that they will require serious attention by whichever party takes office after July 2. 

The position statement on secure work argues that when it comes to thinking about the future of work in Australia, we need to think about the future we want, not simply respond to the market forces of the day. Secure work reflects the quality, strength and sustainability of our society. The issue of insecure work requires us to invest in the skills and jobs that a healthy society and planet need. 

Our third position statement was on adequate income, an issue that we have given consistent attention to over a long period of time. In the position statement, like in past submissions and statements, we have argued that our society has a civic and moral responsibility to ensure all people have access to an adequate income. We expressed frustration that appreciation of this responsibility has largely been missing during the election campaign. 

Election events

Campaigning on homelessness 
As part of our joint campaign with other major homelessness agencies (Anglicare Australia, Mission Australia, UnitingCare Australia, The Salvation Army, the St Vincent de Paul Society and Wesley Mission), the Anglicare network participated in a series of election advocacy events. 

Kasy Chambers represented the Anglicare network at the campaign’s event with Katy Gallagher (ALP) in Sydney on 14 June. Anglicare Australia vice Chair and Anglicare WA CEO Ian Carter hosted events on 15 and 16 June in Perth, attended by Christian Porter (Liberal Party) and Rachel Siewert (Greens).   Each of the party spokespeople were asked to commit to halving homelessness by 2025

Workers and service users from local Anglicare homelessness services participated in these discussions. Each of the parties’ representatives commented on the value of having clients, workers and CEOs in the room. 

The events received significant media coverage, including in the Sydney Morning Herald, Channel 9, ABC Radio National and Channel 10. 

Sydney-interview
(Anglicare Sydney client interviewed by Channel 10) 

See media coverage of the event: 
Sydney Morning Herald
Channel 9 News
ABC Radio National 

Encouragingly, the ALP announced their housing and homelessness policy on 16 June, and it reflects our call to halve homelessness by 2025. 

We have publicly welcomed the measures that the ALP and the Greens have announced, and will continue to call on the Coalition parties and the Xenophon team to put full plans to address housing affordability and homelessness on the table.

See our media releases on the homelessness target here and here

National Press Club Community Sector debate
On Tuesday 14 June Deputy Director Roland Manderson and Policy and Research Officer Zoe Coombe attended the Election 2016 Not for Profit Sector debate at the National Press Club in Canberra.  The Community Council of Australia chair and World Vision chief advocate Tim Costello hosted the debate between Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh, Greens Senator Rachel Siewert and Liberal Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja. The debate was about the future of the sector, its importance to the economic and social fabric of our communities and what the major parties intend to do to address the sector’s concerns. All three speakers discussed the need to develop better ways of working with the sector, emphasising the need for a more respectful relationship. They also emphasised the need to work with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) to reduce duplication and compliance costs and increase efficiency. 
NPC debate

Sector campaigns

Anglicare Australia has also committed to a number of sector campaigns: 

Vote Home: let's end the housing crisis by 2025
The Vote Home campaign has gained significant support and momentum throughout the election campaign.  The campaign, organised by a national alliance of housing, homelessness and welfare peak bodies, calls for all parties to commit to a national strategy to end the housing crisis by 2025. 

Throughout the election campaign, Vote Home has been launching online petitions on matters relating to the housing crisis. There are now petitions on: addressing homelessness, the need for safe, affordable housing options for women escaping violence, reforming negative gearing and capital gains tax, improving rental affordability, increasing the supply of affordable housing and ending youth homelessness. 

The Vote Home movement has already got over 30,000 supporters. Sign here, if you haven’t already, to show your support. 

Australians Deserve to Age Well
Older Australians have sent messages to their local candidates asking how they plan to ensure older people get the aged care they need, when they need it. Supporters of the Age Well campaign have called on the major parties to commit to timetables for giving people the right to choose where their residential care funding will be allocated and uncapping supply and ending the arbitrary and unfair aged care ratios. 

Age well image

National Council of the Ageing has also released a position statement for the 2016 Federal Election, Enhancing the quality of life of older people through better support and care

Family Matters
Family Matters - kids safe in culture, not in care is Australia's national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture. Family Matters is seeking a commitment from all major parties and independents, in the lead up to this year’s federal election, to: 

  • Reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care
  • Develop and resource, in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, a comprehensive strategy to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • Develop and implement new targets at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) level, to refocus all governments’ efforts to redress the shocking over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out of home care.

This month, the Family Matters Alliance joined with a number of national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership organisations to launch a statement to demand social justice for Australia’s First Peoples. The Redfern Statement calls on all political parties to commit to tackling the persistent inequality and disadvantage facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as an election priority. The statement calls on the next Federal Government to: 

  • Restore the $534m cut from the Indigenous Affairs Portfolio by the 2014 Budget
    Commit to better and ongoing engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through their representative national peaks
  • Recommit to Closing the Gap by setting targets to reduce rates of family violence, incarceration and out-of-home care and increase access to disability support services;
  • and secure national funding agreements to drive the implementation of national strategies
  • Commit to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to establish a Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs in the future
  • Commit to address the unfinished business of reconciliation

This is the first time national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership organisations have put this kind of united call to an incoming government, demonstrating how important it is that the messages are heard. The representative bodies involved in developing the statement include: National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN), National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS), National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (NACCHO), National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLS), Secretariat for National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), The Healing Foundation, and The National Health Leadership Forum (NHLF).  

Youth on the Agenda 
The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition has been running a campaign to put youth affairs on the election agenda. Young people arguably are facing the worst impacts of issues such as insecure work, housing unaffordability and growing inequality. Economists warn that young people today are the first generation in modern history who are likely to have lower living standards than their parents. Yet so far there has been a concerning lack of focus on these issues in the election campaign. The Youth on the Agenda campaign is calling for the next government of Australia to commit to: 

  • appointing a Minister for Youth to engage with young people through a national youth strategy
  • supporting a national voice for young people, like the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition 
  • guaranteeing ongoing funding for National Youth Week funding to celebrate all young people’s contributions to our country.

This week the campaign launched a statement from a broad group of civil society leaders and thinkers that calls on all parties to commit to supporting a national youth peak body. A peak body is necessary to represent young Australians to government, provide youth informed policy advice, and support policy makers to consult and engage with young people. 

Sector analysis

ACOSS election summary of social policy positions
The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) has published a useful resource to help voters evaluate each party’s social policy position. ACOSS asked the ALP, the Coalition and the Australian Greens about what they will do to reduce inequality and poverty in Australia while growing jobs and the economy. The questions posed to the parties included:  

  • how they planned to reduce poverty and share economic growth fairly; 
  • whether they would make a commitment that low income households won’t be disproportionately affected by measures to restore the Budget to surplus; 
  • what they will do to improve  the integrity and equity of the tax system; 
  • their commitment to a fair and sustainable retirement incomes system; 
  • how they will approach the issue of unemployment; 
  • their commitment to improving the adequacy of income support payments; 
    what they will do to support equal access to basic services; 
  • what they will do to address the housing crisis; 
  • whether they will respect the role of peak representative bodies representing marginalised groups;
  • and their policies to address climate change and its impact on people on low incomes

ACOSS has summarised and evaluated the responses of the parties to these questions and argues that policies to stem the growth in inequality must move from the periphery to the centre of public policy focus during the remainder of the election campaign. 

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said that a “narrow focus on lifting GDP risks losing sight of its purpose: a decent life for everyone, with the priority being to lift the standards of people being left behind.

“Good social policy is not in competition with good economic policy. They are mutually reinforcing."

http://www.acoss.org.au/responses-to-acoss-2016-election-questions/ 

2016 pre-election poverty audit 
The Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) Oceania Poverty Audit 2016 explores the implications for poverty of the three major Australian political parties’ policies in key areas. The audit is composed of snapshots of different policy areas written by leading academics. These areas include: superannuation; policies on temporary immigrants; critical policies for women; asylum seeker and refugee policy; foreign aid; Indigenous policy; housing affordability; international investment and trade, and welfare. 

National Foundation for Women election analysis 
The National Foundation for Women has also published analysis of the major parties’ policies and their impact on women. In this analysis, they have paid particular attention to issues affecting young women. The topics cover revenue and fiscal outlook; young women; education; health; social services; violence against women; workforce participation; housing; legal aid; discrimination and instruments to support gender equality. 

The foundation notes that women, in particular, tend to be dependent on the quality of our national social infrastructure – the age pension, access to health care, measures to promote pay equity, affordable quality child care, education and training all matter. Their analysis, therefore, is also applicable to other groups in our society that depend on the quality of social infrastructure. 

See: http://www.nfaw.org/what-are-they-saying-to-women-election-2016/ 

Election - General Information

Information on voting for people with a disability
Each polling place has an accessibility rating to help people with a disability or mobility restrictions. The ratings are: wheelchair accessible, assisted wheelchair access or not wheelchair accessible. You can find the rating of your local polling place on the AEC website. 

There are also special arrangements at polling places for people who cannot get out of their car. If a polling official is satisfied that you cannot enter the polling place they can arrange for someone can bring the ballot papers to you. 

If you need assistance completing the ballot paper, you can ask someone to help you vote. Polling assistants are trained to help, but you can also ask a friend, relative or party worker. The assistant can read you the ballot paper and complete it according to your preferences. 

Voters who are blind or have low vision will be able to cast a vote in secret by telephone from any location, including their own homes, by calling 1800 913 993. Registration for telephone voting opened on Monday 13 June and closes at 12pm on election day, Saturday 2 July. You must register before you can cast your vote by phone. 

Changes to voting 
Voting rules for the Senate have changed. Under the changes, voters will have more control over their preferences.  This year, you will need to either: 

  • number at least six boxes above the line for the parties or groups of your choice, or 
  • number at least 12 boxes below the line for individual candidates of your choice.

National Office out and about

Goodbye to Pam Rowley
Our Office Manager Pam Rowley finished up with us this month, moving onto a new position in the Department of Agriculture. Pam started working with us from July last year, taking up from Erin while she was on parental leave. Despite it not being a permanent role, we all felt that Pam was a true member of the team. She arrived amidst the chaos of office renovations and stayed until order was restored. Like Mary Poppins with a wry sense of humour, Pam’s short stay brought us all a healthy mix of discipline and joy. Her commitment and stability, her thoroughness and attention to detail has been of great value to the office; keeping the front desk in a very safe pair of hands.

We wish her all the best. 

Benetas Strategic vision workshop
Roland Manderson joined key Benetas staff in a day long workshop to develop a strategic vision for research and Advocacy.  The workshop was informed by a report Benetas commissioned from KPMG, and centred on  identifying key – separate - advocacy focus areas and research priorities.  

We Care Campaign

New Idea and Anglicare have joined forces to give care packs filled with everyday essential toiletries and phone cards to women escaping domestic violence. The We Care packs provide women escaping domestic violence with essential items for self-care and, importantly, are a way of showing them that there are people out there thinking of them; they are not alone.  

The campaign has a number of high profile supporters, including Channel 7’s Sunrise presenters Natalie Barr and Andrew O’Keefe.  Domestic violence survivors Kim Gentle and Kay Schubach shared their personal experiences with Natalie and Andrew in an interview on Sunrise

We Care 1
The campaign aims to reach thousands of women and is calling for donations to help can help deliver a We Care pack to more women around the country. 

WE CARE PHOTO 2

For more information on the We Care campaign, please visit www.newidea.com.au/we-care/ 

Anglicare Network News

New leadership for Anglicare Northern Inland

Veronica Rodenburg has been appointed as the incoming CEO for Anglicare Northern Inland as of June 1 2016.  Veronica has extensive experience as a CEO in Western Australia and Victoria, and has held senior positions in the Melbourne Anglican Foundation and Anglicare Victoria.

Veronica will take over from Larry Apthorpe, who is retiring at the beginning of July. 
Larry has been CEO of Anglicare Northern Inland since 2007. During this time he oversaw positive change as the organisation developed a broader community profile, changing its name from Anglican Counselling Service to Anglicare Northern Inland. Larry joined Anglican Counselling Service as a volunteer counsellor when it was founded in 1986. He says his 30 year association with Anglicare has been a pleasure, a blessing and a challenge. 

Larry has had a very close and positive relationship with Anglicare Australia, and is sad that due to the election campaign and subsequent cancelling of the June CEO Forum he didn’t get the chance to say goodbye in person to those he has worked with in the Anglicare Australia network. 

Change and Challenge: Halting Decline in Disadvantaged Suburbs

The Anglican Primate of Australia and Archbishop of Melbourne Philip Freier has released the first of three videos discussing the problems and priorities that political parties must address in the lead up to the July 2 Federal election. The video deals with the increasing disadvantage experienced by residents in the Geelong suburb of Corio, one of the poorest areas in Victoria.
change and challenge in corio
The Anglican Church is making a significant contribution in Corio,  providing food and material relief and community support, but Freier argues that residents need government policies, both short and long-term, to relieve ongoing pressures and to make human flourishing as a top priority. 

Anglicare Victoria puts youth issues on the federal election agenda

Anglicare Victoria has distributed a last-minute questionnaire to all Victorian candidates standing for the House of Representatives and the Senate in the forthcoming Federal Election.  The survey on a range of youth issues was conducted in partnership with the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Youth Substance Abuse Service, CREATE Foundation and Koori Youth Council.  Anglicare Victoria CEO, Paul McDonald, said the results proved convincingly that candidates across the political divide believe that more needs to be done to support children and young adults if we want them to play a meaningful role in society. He said Anglicare Victoria were particularly heartened by the positive responses to increase the Youth Allowance by $50 per week to bring it closer to the Australian Poverty Line, to address the appalling 1 in 2 incarceration rates of young Indigenous people, and to create a national youth strategy. 

New SA community alliance to advocate for funding for state schools

Anglicare SA has joined with an alliance of South Australian community groups, school principals and education unions to campaign for adequate funding for state schools. The Learn to Grow campaign - which also has the support of the South Australian Secondary Principals’ Association – will initially focus on the education platforms of major parties during the election. Anglicare SA chief executive Peter Sandeman said the election is an opportunity for the community to call on all political parties to support education. 

A Vision Realised: Anglicare WA Turns 40

Anglicare WA has this month celebrated their 40th birthday. Anglicare WA’s journey began with a vision of “health and wholeness, yours and mine”, expressed by Geoffrey Sambell, the fifth Archbishop of Perth – and the founder of Anglicare WA – as he contemplated how best to utilise his ministries for the betterment of the community.

Anglicare WA CEO Ian Carter said as the organisation has grown, so has the realisation of Archbishop Sambell’s vision. Today, Anglicare WA provides services across 69 locations around the State.   Their services have developed into a network of almost 70 different programs, including accommodation for homeless people, caring for victims of domestic violence, and parenting education programs.  
Anglicare WA birthday
To commemorate the milestone, the West Australian Newspaper published a 12 page supplement. 

One million tuna containers donated to Anglicare Victoria

TUNASirena Tuna have donated more than one million products to Anglicare Victoria, valued at almost $3 million.  

Anglicare Victoria chief executive Paul McDonald said winter is a crucial time for donations to help the organisation support struggling families and individuals through the harshest months. Sirena Tuna general manager Jeff Sloan said Anglicare Victoria was chosen as the main charity for the company to support as it works to both protect and empower disadvantaged Victorian children, young people and families. 

Jennifer Hannan awarded with an Order of Australia

Former Anglicare WA Executive General Manager of Services and FRSA Board Chair, Jennifer Hannan, has been awarded a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) during the Queen’s Birthday celebrations this month. The Award recognises her significant service to youth through the development of child protection and family relationships support initiatives, and her service to the community. For many years, Jenny Hannan worked with Anglicare family relationship services in a number of states and also won an Anglicare national award for her work. 

Anglicare NSW South, West and ACT mark National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT marked National Sorry Day and celebrated National Reconciliation Week, with staff attending a morning tea with members of Reconciliation Australia and the National Museum of Australia.

National Reconciliation Week - morning tea

Parkerville Children and Youth Care receive generous donation

Parkerville Children and Youth Care have received a donation of more than $230,000 at their annual Ladies’ Lunch fundraiser. The property company Pindan donated the money to Parkerville with proceeds from the sale of a charity home in Guildford. Following the donation, Parkerville Children and Youth Care chief executive Basil Hanna said a room in the organisation’s new Child Advocacy Centre would be named after Pindan.
Parkerville CYC

Parkerville CYC launches the Valuing Children Initiative

Parkerville Children and Youth Care and Centrecare have established an ambitious project that aims to promote a positive focus on children and ensure that children are at the forefront of our considerations. The Valuing Children Initiative (VCI) has been developed to inspire Australians to value all children, to understand that a child’s wellbeing is the shared responsibility of the entire community and to ensure children are at the forefront of our considerations. The initiative reflects growing concern that despite the compelling evidence about what a child needs to flourish, this has not always successfully translated into action, resources and better outcomes for children. The CEO of Parkerville Children and Youth Care - Mr Basil Hanna, said the desired outcome of the VCI, is a greater societal awareness of children and their needs, as well as the importance of ensuring that all children are loved, safe and able to maximise on their potential and wellbeing. 

Business lunch raises $100,000 for homelessness programs

A bi-annual business charity lunch in Mt Gambier has raised $100,000 for ac.care’s homelessness programs. ac.care chief executive, Rob Foggo, described the donation as “amazing”, and said that the organisation would begin a review to determine how the unexpected funding could be used to provide the best outcomes for individuals and families. He said that ac.care has already had 300 people access its services this year. The event was organised by the business community. 

Community Night Patrol to start in Cairns

The diversionary service run by Anglicare North Queensland has received a boost in funding to allow it to run a day time service as well as a night time one.  The service aims to divert people from the justice system and into a safe place.  Often police attendance and an arrest for “minor misdemeanours” like public drunkenness can lead people to a more intensive interaction with the courts and justice system if they become aggressive or react badly to police custody.  The Diversionary approach treats public drunkenness as more of a social and health issue recognising the complex lives of people who may be homeless or away from their community.   

Australian Doctors Orchestra supports Anglicare NT

Over 600 people turned out to witness the largest orchestra ever to play in Darwin. The Australian Doctors Orchestra (ADO), made up of over 100 musicians,  performed Music from Moscow at the Darwin Convention Centre on the 19th of June. The concert raised funds for Anglicare NT’s Pandanus Childbirth Education and Perinatal Support Program.  The Pandanus Childbirth Education and Perinatal Support Program offers free child birth education classes to young pregnant women, post natal education and support for new mums under 25 years old.

The audience were treated to an amazing performance by the orchestra who performed under the baton of maestro Matthew Wood.  Matthew is one of Australia’s most versatile and successful conductors and works regularly with some of the worlds leading orchestras, companies and ensembles. The concert featured a world premiere of a piece composed especially for the concert by local GP and chief concert organiser Dr Cathy Applegate titled Dysdiadochokinesis. ADO 1

Dysdiadochokinesis takes its name and inspiration from a medical term that refers to difficulty performing rapidly alternating movements. The short ten minute piece seemed to use every member of the orchestral family, from tuba and contra bassoon to piccolo, and harp and brought members of the audience to tears.  There was a standing ovation for solo violinist Veronique Serret performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Veronique was described by members of the audiences as “incredible, amazing, energetic and truly inspiring”.  Shostakovich’s Symphony in D minor was also performed  - a composition of extraordinary intensity reflecting the composer’s life under the conservative regime of Stalin.

Anglicare NT are sincerely grateful to all members of the ADO, the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, our sponsors and volunteers who all made the event possible.
ADO 2- David Pugh

(Anglicare NT CEO David Pugh with the Australian Doctors Orchestra) 

National Awards Profile

Highly Commended - INNOVATION - Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT

Welcome 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.

Supporting young people transition from care

The arbitrary nature of the care system cuts support to young people in Out of Home Care (OOHC) services when they turn 18, with little regard to their specific and individual development needs.
St Saviour’s provides a range of OOHC services over 12 sites in western and south western Sydney, and the NSW Southern Highlands, which includes general and intensive foster care services and residential care. It has a sound reputation for managing highly complex young people, as well as ensuring the stability of their care placements.

Many young people in care at St Saviour’s have experienced profound trauma within their family of origin. These experiences have often been compounded by significant instability when placed in statutory care, usually in a range of foster care placements and placements with kin, none of which have endured.

Their placement in care with St Saviour’s often provides young people with their first long-term experience of safety, stability and connection.

Young people at St Saviour’s start their engagement in the pilot Transition to Leaving Care (TLC) program at age 17. Here they practice living skills in a small unit set up as a short-term rental and live independently for one or two days at a time while still attending school or work.

When they turn 18 – a challenging period for any young person – they are supported to relocate to a range of accommodation options, via partnerships with housing providers and the private rental market. They are supported by TLC staff in how to maintain tenancy, access other support services and remain connected to St Saviour’s and their peers, ensuring a tailored response and support package that acknowledges individual needs.

Since the program began in October 2014, the most important outcome has been that no TLC participants have experienced homelessness, which is a huge achievement. It is estimated that between one half and one third of young people who leave OOHC at 18 experience homelessness within their first two years of independence.
Transition to leaving care_Anglicare NSWACT
Of the current 12 young people aged 18 to 20 in the program, nine are engaged in training or work or a combination of both, including one who has received a scholarship to attend Sydney University.

Anglicare Australia National Award judges said St Saviour’s was making a real difference and achieving great outcomes.

Research and Resources

Australia failing international obligations on children’s rights

The Australian Child Rights Progress Report has shown that governments at both state and federal level have consistently breached their international obligations to protect the rights of children. The report is written by the Child Rights Taskforce, a peak child’s rights body formed to hold the Government to account on its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
UNHCR
The health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, the mandatory offshore detention of children seeking asylum, and the increasing number of children who are experiencing poverty or homeless were highlighted as key points of concern. Currently, one in six children are living below the poverty line and more than 70,000 children have received assistance from homelessness services. The report also outlines detailed recommendations in the areas of out of home care; care of children with a disability; adoption; early childhood education and care; inclusive education; connection to culture; child neglect and abuse; access to justice; and access to health services. 

Adjusting to Consumer Directed Care: The Experience of Brotherhood of St Laurence Community Aged Care Service Users

The Brotherhood of St Laurence has released a new study into people’s experiences of using consumer directed aged care services. The study provides insight into the opportunities and challenges of introducing the new model of community aged care, in which clients have individual choice and control over their government-subsidised Home Care Packages. The report finds that while the Consumer Directed Care aged care service model yielded benefits for capable people with the means to exercise meaningful control and choice, that those with less capability will need further support to experience these benefits.

200,000 on the waiting list for social housing

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Housing Assistance in Australia 2016 report shows that almost 200,000 households were on social housing waiting lists in 2015. 

This is only a small decrease from the year before, when 206,000 households were on the waiting list. In 2015, 817,000 Australians lived in social housing and 62 per cent of social housing tenants were women. The report also shows that there were only 200 more social houses than the year before, an increase of less than 1 per cent. 
AIHW Housing Assistance

Nominations now open for 2016 HESTA Community Sector Awards

HESTA AWARDSRecognise those making exceptional contributions to social justice in Australia by nominating them for the 2016 HESTA Community Sector Awards. The Awards are presented by HESTA, in partnership with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), as part of its commitment to build a sustainable community sector and to support those affected by disadvantage and inequality. Anyone can nominate an individual or organisation working in the community sector, with nominations closing on 19 August 2016. Long-standing Awards supporter, ME — the bank for you —provides a prize pool of $30,000, shared among the winners across three award categories: Unsung Hero, Outstanding Organisation and Social Impact.  The 2016 finalists will be announced on 18 October 2016, with the winners announced at the HESTA Community Sector Awards dinner on 17 November 2016. To make a nomination or to learn more about the Awards visit hestaawards.com.au 

Breaking the silence on death and dying

Palliative Care researchers from Flinders University have developed Australia’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about death and dying, called Dying2Learn. The aim of the Dying2Learn MOOC is to build community awareness and foster social discussion about death and dying in Australia. The course includes topics on the language we use when we talk about dying; information on how and what people currently die from; how art, music and media have shaped ideas about death, and what death means in the digital era. Enrolments in the course are currently open, and participation is free of charge. 

Rental Affordability Index shows Australians falling into poverty

Low-income households are paying up to 85 per cent of their income on rent, and the issue of rental unaffordability is starting to hit professional and middle-income households, according to the latest Rental Affordability Index (RAI) report. The report, a quarterly collaboration between National Shelter, Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics and Planning, shows that under current market conditions, low-income households typically need to pay 50 to 85 per cent of their income on rent.  Increasingly, middle income households are also experiencing rental stress, as their incomes aren’t keeping pace with rising rent and housing costs. The findings reinforce the urgent need for a national housing affordability strategy. 

Households in the dark - Study on households most at risk of electricity disconnections

A first time study on the households that are at the most risk of electricity disconnections has been published by the St Vincent de Paul Society. The Households in the Dark report analysed electricity disconnections across South Australia, Victoria, NSW and South East Queensland over a three year period, and found that households in regional and metropolitan Victoria were most likely to have been cut off multiple times. In the western Melbourne suburb of Werribee, it is estimated that that 570 households were disconnected on multiple occasions.  In Victoria, the introduction of smart meters that enable houses to be disconnected remotely has led to an increase in disconnection rates. The report argues that households that are cut off multiple times are more likely to be facing a situation of entrenched poverty or ongoing financial hardship and recommends better protections for disadvantaged communities, including increased social security payments. 

New toolkit to help community organisations become more disaster resilient

The Australian Council of Social Services has launched a toolkit to support community organisations to assess their disaster preparedness and build resilience to disasters and emergencies. The Resilient Community Organisations toolkit has been developed by and for the community sector to help organisations measure and improve their resilience to disasters and emergencies. It includes a benchmarking system that helps organisations assess their current level of preparedness and identify areas for improvement, and an information pack to guide organisations on how to improve their overall resilience. The toolkit was developed after a 2013 survey by ACOSS that highlighted the community sector's vulnerability and resilience to extreme weather events. The report found that one week after a disaster, 50 per cent of community organisations would not be able to operate and another 25 per cent would shut down permanently if their buildings and critical infrastructure were damaged.  

http://resilience.acoss.org.au/ 

Dogs helping people living with dementia

A trial program that places trained assistance dogs with people living with dementia is having significant benefits for both the person living with dementia and their at-home carers, according to an interim report presented at an international dementia conference this month. The program is exploring whether trained assistance dogs can promote greater independence and confidence in people with dementia and help them to remain living at home for longer. The early results from the trial have shown that overall physical and emotional wellbeing of both the person living with dementia and their carer have improved since the first dogs were placed in October last year.  

dogs4dementia
The main findings show that the placement of the dogs has led  to increased activity levels, increased levels of socialisation both in and outside the home, improved feelings of safety and security, and increased levels of emotional well-being. The Dogs4Dementia project is being run by HammondCare in partnership with Assistance Dogs Australia.
 

People from CALD backgrounds less likely to use mental health services: ABS

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are less likely to use mental health services. The analysis, based on data from the 2011 Census, showed that 6 per cent of 15-54 year old people born overseas who spoke a language other than English at home used at least one MBS subsidised mental health-related service. This compared with 10.9 per cent of people born in Australia who spoke English at home, 9.4 per cent of people born in Australia who spoke a language other than English at home, and 9.3 per cent of people born overseas who spoke English at home.

AIHW: Community support and employment services most used disability services

Community support and employment services are the most highly used disability support services, according to a new AIHW report on the services provided under the National Disability Agreement. Around 333,800 people used disability support services in 2014–15—a 6% increase since 2010–11 and a 4% increase since 2013–14. The report finds that 45% of service users, almost one in two, used community support services and 44% used employment services. It also found that 44% of service users had an intellectual or learning disability, 41% had a physical or diverse disability, 29% had a psychiatric disability and 18% had a sensory or speech disability. 

Google’s Not for Profit Impact Grants supporting technology and innovation in sector

July 13 is the deadline for non-profit organisations to apply for Google Australia’s 2016 Not for Profit Impact Challenge grants. The Non for Profit Impact Challenge grants have been created to provide funding and support to charitable programs applying technology and innovation for social good. Charities applying for the grants could receive up to $750,000 by sharing their vision for how they will use technology to make an impact.  The total prize pool is $4.5 million, split between 10 Australian finalists. The projects will be judged on four criteria -impact, technology and innovation, scalability and feasibility. 
Royal Botanical Gardens Kew
(2014 winner: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew - Crowdsourcing data to help prevent mosquito-borne diseases)

 

1 in 200 Australians seek treatment for alcohol and other drugs

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has found that 1 in 200 Australians sought treatment for alcohol and other drug use in 2014-15. The publication, Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2014-15, reported that while alcohol (38%) continued to be the main drug clients sought treatment for, amphetamine treatment has more than doubled from 9%-20% between 2010-11 and 2014-15. 54% of clients seeking treatment reported more than one drug of concern. 

Submissions sought for Elder Abuse Issues Paper

The Australian Law Reform Commission has released an issues paper on elder abuse and are seeking submissions from people who are living with dementia, those who work with and care for them or others who may have experienced or witnessed elder abuse. The Issues Paper was launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15 June) and followed the announcement of a national inquiry into elder abuse by the Attorney-General in February this year. Submissions close on 18 August 2015. 

Development of a benchmarking function for NDIS service delivery

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is commencing design of a provider benchmarking function to support the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) service delivery. This function will initially aim to produce benchmarks of service delivery for the most common disability supports: personal care, community access and supported independent living. The key objective of introducing a benchmarking function is to support effective and sustainable service delivery. The NDIA has engaged the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to assist the NDIA and providers in the design of the benchmarking function. As the benchmarking function becomes more developed, the NDIA will consult as necessary with participants and their representatives on the implications of the introduction of a benchmarking function for the services that they receive. The NDIA has invited providers to register their interest in the consultation by emailing [email protected] with their details.  

New educational standards to unite early childhood services

A new framework has been developed to establish uniform national standards and curriculum guidelines for all professions involved in early childhood services. The Interdisciplinary Education for Early Years framework includes resources which can be used across the many disciplines involved in early childhood services, from child-care workers and teachers through to medical and social services. These resources have been developed with the hope that it will lead to the establishment of uniform educational standards across the multiple professions. The project, led by Flinders University, has been developed over the last 18 months with input from all professions involved, as well as from workers and families.  

The frameworEarly Childhood Educationk has been developed to address a widening gap between Australia’s highest and lowest performing students; a gap wider than in many other wealthy OECD countries. Research has indicated that a highly educated, multidisciplinary workforce is essential to improve health, education and welfare outcomes for all children. 

The effect of trauma on the brain development of children: Evidence-based principles for supporting the recovery of children in care

Exposure to trauma is common in children who have been placed in care, and there is increasing interest in the unique needs of these children. The Australian Institute of Family Studies has published a practice paper that provides an overview of what is known about cognitive development in children who have experienced trauma, and provides principles to support effective practice responses to those children's trauma. It finds that practice and policy documents focus on trauma-informed interventions to improve cognitive functioning; however there has been very little critical research that links trauma and cognitive development, or the interventions that are effective in helping affected children. The paper has recommended a set of principles to guide support for children who may have been traumatised, including: providing safe environments, supporting children and caregivers to understand links between traumatic experiences and cognitive difficulties; developing and supporting positive relationships in children's lives; offering all children in care targeted trauma-specific interventions; maintain these interventions throughout childhood and adolescence; and ensuring separate cognitive difficulties are addressed directly.

Submissions open for Productivity Commission’s inquiry into introducing competition and informed user choice into human services

The Productivity Commission is inviting submissions on the first stage of its inquiry into introducing competition and informed user choice into human services, following the release of an issues paper earlier this month. The objective of the inquiry is to develop policy options to improve human services provision, with a particular emphasis on using competition, contestability and user choice.  The focus is on “innovative ways to improve outcomes through introducing the principles of competition and informed user choice whilst maintaining or improving quality of service”. The inquiry will be undertaken in two stages: a study report to identify where in the human services sector greater contestability and user choice can be introduced, and how; and an inquiry report that outlines a path and process to ensure sustainable, effective and efficient reform.  Anglicare Australia intends on participating in this inquiry through submissions as well as an initial letter outlining our broader vision in the human services sector. Contact Roland Manderson if you would like to discuss Anglicare Australia’s submission. 

Greens survey on rental health

The Australian Greens have undertaken a survey of renters and found many of the same issues our Rental Affordability Snapshot uncovers each year.  In addition to the sheer unaffordability of private rents for those on low incomes and government benefits, the survey found an increase in the length of time people rent for; a lack of national standards of tenancy agreement  driving a lack of security of tenure for people; tenants afraid of asking for improvements on their rented property for fear of increase of rent or being asked to leave; and more expensive day to day costs due to a lack of “green” items like insulation and renewable energy sources.  

http://greens.org.au/rental-health

Government Policy and Information

NSW Budget: Reform for kids needing care

The NSW Government has announced major reforms of the child protection and Out Of Home Care (OOHC) systems to improve outcomes for children in care. The Minister for Family and Community Services Brad Hazzard announced new funding of $190 over four years to reform the system and a further $370 million over the same period to meet increased demand for OOHC. The Minister said the Government had adopted the findings of an interim review by retired senior public servant David Tune that the current OOHC system required immediate change and was financially unsustainable. 

Chief Executive Officer of Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT Jeremy Halcrow said that this is a very important and positive strategy. 

“There is also potentially an opportunity for agencies like mine to balance our heavy engagement in out of home care with prevention and stabilisation programs.  

“Ultimately a robust investment for highly vulnerable children to prevent their entry into the statutory system is vital for them individually, as well as for their families and ultimately our community. 

“However it is important that funded programs are well-evidenced in an Australian context. We will also want to see continued financial commitment to support the families of vulnerable children as they grow -particularly at each new developmental transition- to ensure their continued wellbeing until adulthood.

“Poverty, hardship and experiences of social marginalisation such as housing insecurity, relationship distress, poor educational engagement and  poor health and wellbeing, are difficult to overcome and will not be resolved for the long term with short term interventions which are subject to the vagaries of three year funding.” 

Caretaker period still in effect

Caretaker conventions remain in effect until a new federal government is appointed after the July 2 election. Caretaker conventions prohibit the incumbent government from making major policy decisions that will commit an incoming government, making significant appointments or committing to any major contracts. 

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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