Aspect May 2016

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

In this election, some are more equal than others

kasy-chambers-ed4Last time I wrote an editorial I commented, tongue in cheek, that there was an election in the air.  It was budget night and the budget, with a little bit of something for most people and groups and a $1.6 billion war chest hidden away in the "items funded not yet announced" line, was setting the scene for the worst kept secret; the 2016 federal election was called a week later.

Anglicare Australia has been very clear that our priorities for this election are affordable housing, adequate income, secure work, and tax reform to enable these. Anglicare Australia has a mission of enabling and building communities of hope and justice. For these and human life in general to flourish we need housing, income and participation for people. Affordable housing, secure and meaningful participation, and adequate income. 

We have developed position statements which summarise the raft of previous work on these issues. We hope that these statements will be of use to members of staff, volunteers and parishes as people talk to their local members during the campaign and even as they vote on 2 July.  Anglicare Australia is completely non-partisan and has held these positions for months and even years.

These issues remain our priority issues. However there is also a theme that runs through an election for us, that of hearing the voices of those who we serve; of those that use our services being visible in democracy.  It seems to us that many of these people are invisible in any part of our democracy and especially so in the rarefied, concentrated atmosphere of an election.

In a previous federal election we conducted a postcard campaign, distributing postcards through Anglicare member services asking clients to answer questions about their priorities for government. The idea was to create a space for these voices. I found the results of this to be humbling. People with little to no material wealth prioritised not their own well being, but nation building projects and issues, housing, education, community cohesion. It was a refreshing change in an election that was characterized by personal tax cuts, interest rates, personalities and tough-on-crime popularism.

We saw a new low in excluding people from the democratic process recently.  A citizen, Duncan Storrar, asked a question about the budget's tax cuts being aimed at the rich, pointing out that people on low incomes like him would benefit more.  The trickle down nature of the budget was highlighted in the answer from Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer. Ms O’Dwyer gave the example of a business owner spending some of her or his tax cut on an industrial toaster for their cafe. This would allow those on lower incomes to catch the toast crumbs as they fell from the table of the rich goes the theory.

While that sets the scene it was hard to imagine some of the media over the next week or two. In "investigating" the background of the man asking the question they sought to discredit the question by playing the man and not the issue.  Why the public interest would be served by investigating the man, and not by pursuing and explaining the answer to the question is not clear to me.

The question was a sensible one, articulated clearly and objectively and as such deserved a serious and considered answer. It did not deserve to cause such distress to its owner. As Mr Storrar has since pointed out, the media attention has now all but out paid to his chances of employment in a job poor Geelong.

So why am I continuing the attention on this rather than starving it of oxygen.  It seems to us at Anglicare that this was a low point in Australian civil discourse. It seems that this treatment of the individual will not encourage the participation of people. More likely it would encourage a "don't stick your head above the parapet" type view. Leave politics to the politicians and mandarins and just get on with your life. 

In encouraging active citizenry much like encouraging reconciliation there is a place, even an obligation for those of us with power to take up the flag and stand with those who fight.  It is too exhausting to always have to be Indigenous person who alone reminds a workplace if the importance of including the world’s oldest culture. Too tiring to be the lesbian woman who always has to hold the importance of a diverse Church. Too much to ask the survivors of child sexual abuse to campaign alone for redress.  Too risky to stand alone to ask such a question as Mr Storrar’s now we know the outcome.

These are powerful voices and their stories must educate policy and service response. However those of us not so personally and intimately involved must take responsibility to provide the forum and the space for these issues. This is how we learn, how we build a better place for us all.

When we side line the voices of any section of our society the democratic whole is severely diminished.  We all lose and we end up with a Facebook style election where policies and parties seek the most "likes" from the most people; an election based on vested interest and a poorer country for all.

How different if it was based on which policies would best achieve a society where all human life can flourish. Now that would be leadership.

National Office News

2016-17 Federal Budget

Everyone buckled in for Budget this year, as it signified just the beginning of a much larger national debate on the direction and approach of government that will be decided with the federal election in July. The Treasurer highlighted this in his speech on the night, saying it “wasn’t just another Budget” but an “economic plan”.  

Given the broader scope of this budget, the national office team were involved in many meetings and events before and after the Budget. We were also kept busy on Budget night with our usual work of putting together the Budget Fast Facts publication for Anglicare member organisations as well as a statement for the media

Anglicare Australia Executive Director, Kasy Chambers and Policy and Research Director, Sarah Jewell attended the Budget lock-up at Treasury while Deputy Director Roland Manderson attended the Department of Health briefing. Prior to the lock-up, Kasy attended a meeting of a coalition of civil society groups at Parliament House to call for an approach to building a strong economy and nation which does not abandon the poor or disadvantaged. 

Kasy Budget

Roland emphasised this message the next day when he joined  a number of representatives of Australia’s leading charities and community sector organisations at an ACOSS press conference at Parliament House.  

Roland also met with several ministers and members of the shadow cabinet before they left Canberra to hit the campaign trail, including the Minister for Health Sussan Ley, Shadow Minister for Families, Payments and Disability Reform Jenny Macklin, Shadow Minister for Climate Change Mark Butler and the Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness Katy Gallagher. 

Federal Election 2016: Leave no one behind

Leave no one behind

On May 8, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed that Australians will go to the polls on Saturday July 2 for a double dissolution election.  

A double dissolution election can be called when the government cannot get its legislation through the Senate. It means that all 76 senators must seek re-election. In a usual election, only half of the 72 state senators face re-election because state senators are elected for six, not three, year terms. Territory senators have three year terms and contest every election. 

Informed by our network’s service provision and advocacy agenda, Anglicare Australia’s priorities for the 2016 federal election are:

  • affordable and secure housing,
  • secure work,
  • adequate income, and 
  • tax reform as an enabler for housing, employment, and increased living standards.
We are also interested in creating opportunities for the voices of the people that use our network's services to be heard during the election campaign, and increasing the visibility of people living on the margins.

Sector Campaigns

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

Vote Home: let's end the housing crisis by 2025
In the lead-up to the federal election, a national alliance of housing, homelessness and welfare peak bodies has formed to ensure housing affordability and homelessness are tier one election issues. The alliance asks all Australians to stand up for change by signing the Vote Home petition calling for a national strategy to end the housing crisis by 2025. 

Halve homelessness by 2025
The largest providers of homelessness services across Australia have joined forces to call on all political parties to make reducing homelessness a national priority. The organisations have launched a petition to generate public support for the campaign and are planning a media event for mid-June. This campaign also forms part of the Vote Home campaign.

We encourage members to join the campaign and sign the petition

vote home - homelessness 1

Age Well
This week the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) relaunched its Australians Deserve to Age Well Campaign which focusses in essence on ending the rationing of aged care. It was launched with a media release headed Older Australians demand better aged care this election.  Anglicare Australia is a long standing contributing member of NACA. 

The campaign site includes a link to the petition calling for an end to rationing and downloadable materials including email footers and website buttons.   If you would like to support this campaign, please share on social media (use hashtag #agewell) and encourage others to sign up to the campaign petition. 

You can follow the campaign at:
https://twitter.com/agewellcampaign
https://www.facebook.com/agewellcampaign/ 

 

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

Age well image


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 aims to eliminate the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care within a generation.

http://www.familymatters.org.au/ 

National Office out and about

The chaplaincy, parish partnerships and pastoral care network met in Ballina, NSW in May. The now traditional May meeting began on Wednesday evening with a shared meal followed by evening prayers at the beautiful Church of St Mary's. 26 participants came from across Australia and across the ditch from New Zealand. Kasy represented the national office.

The question for the gathering was how to live out the values of Christ in our work and our organisations. Rev Jan Crombie led the gathering through a series of discussions in Open Space Technology, and Bishop Sarah McNeil led us through two retreat sessions including one on the beautiful Church on the Yamba, a converted house boat now a beautiful Church.

Network Convener Peter Burke coordinated a wonderful gathering and the strong support that each member gains from the network was evident in this time together.

Chaplaincy Meeting 
Jan Crombie, Bishop Sarah Macneil, Kasy Chambers, Peter Burke and Estelle Graham

This month Kasy also met with the Samaritans in Newcastle. With a third of the Samaritans work being in disability services, they have been focused on understanding the operation and impact of the NDIS. With the help of Baker Worthington consultants the organisation is forming a "Current State Analysis" on their interactions with the NDIS. Kasy attended a full day strategic planning session on the issue and staff from the Samaritans and the consultants will jointly present a workshop at the conference on their findings.

Roland is in Melbourne this week for a meeting of the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA). NACA will discuss their agenda with Health Minister Sussan Ley, the Shadow Minister for Ageing Shayne Neumann and the Greens spokesperson for Ageing Rachel Siewert. 

While in Melbourne, Roland will also attend a joint ACOSS and Brotherhood of St Laurence forum on ‘Transitioning to a zero carbon economy: Implications for low income and disadvantaged households’. The forum will explore the impacts of deep decarbonisation on low-income Australian households, and the role that the community sector should play in helping disadvantaged households and communities adapt to climate change and the transition to deep decarbonisation.  

ROLAND MELBOURNE

Anglicare Australia expresses concern about treatment of Mr Duncan Storrar

Kasy Chambers joined a diverse group of community leaders, commentators and thinkers in civil society and civic participation to express concern about the media treatment of Mr Duncan Storrar and what this says about the current state of Australian democracy. The Civil Society statement of concern said Storrar’s question to the ABC’s Q&A panel about tax-free thresholds had been “appropriate and civil”, but had opened him up to an “onslaught of personal investigations, attacks, intrusion into his privacy [and] family, and ridicule”.  The statement, which was sent to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the incoming Human Rights Commissioner, the Press Council and the Australian Communications and Media Authority, called for political leaders to protect public participation by voters, particularly those on low incomes, who have a mental illness or a disability, or are vulnerable or marginalised.

Reflections from Roland Manderson: Ageing around the world

Roland - travel

I presented a paper on meaning in life for people living with dementia at "Valuing People Living Well", the New Zealand Council for Christian Social Service Conference, in Auckland this month. One of the conference highlights was a report on a research project conducted by Brent Neilson for with ANZCCSS into the substantial social value, and capital, create by faith based, aged care organisations – Valuing Lives, Living Well.  It’s a nice counterpoint to the simplistic benefit cost analysis too often used to assess the value of community services. We will include a brief summary and link to the report when it is published. 

One of the sponsors of the conference was Anglicare Australia's associate member The Selwyn Foundation. Garry Smith Selwyn CEO reported on a partnership looking at the benefits new technology is offering the aged care sector, from health monitoring to physical assistance, to real support for meaningful human contact.

Other speakers threw some light on both the extent of the ageing "Tsunami" facing NZ, both opportunities as well as challenge, including the shocking associated statistic that more than 60% of people caring for someone with Alzheimer's dies before the person they are caring for does: emphasising the importance perhaps of this social capital and connectedness highlighted in the  research. 
 
The was a stirring speech by Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, New Zealand’s Chief Science Advisor, about the value and availability of real evidence and from Lin Hatfield Dodds, the outgoing executive director of Uniting Care Australia, about how faith based services can put their evidence and  values together to drive change in public policy. 

One strong theme at the conference of real interest to me was the emerging shape of workforce training in NZ. They have made a name for the whole area of community care and social service work - from personal care workers, to cleaners, to drug and alcohol support workers - and started to develop a whole lot of core competencies for people who work in this broad sector. The term is Kaiawhina. And in listening to various discussions about wages, training, and common understanding; about recognising prior experience; about expectations and giving value to that work, this approach highlights social contribution Kaiawhina make through their work. It's an affirming way to conceptualise our future ambitions for the communities we are building, and our role as helpers and supporters.

There was also a great session on aged care and architectural design, in which the point was made that somehow the quality of facility design is so much better in countries such as Denmark. Architect Euan MacKellor from Jasmax suggested that high taxes give citizens a real interest in the effective use of public funds, and so they want their publicly funded buildings to be very well designed! Another benefit of adequate revenue raising.

I also enjoyed some time at Selwyn's headquarters and at Selwyn village, their first and largest aged care facility. It  was inspiring to see how Selwyn is taking on the significant task of providing of social housing  - on the one hand - and setting up an institute for spirituality and ageing (on the other) to investigate how best, and most meaningfully, to support people in the final years of their life.

While we are on the subject of aged care around the world, you may know I recently had a holiday in Japan. I took advantage of the trip (to the oldest, I mean most elderly, society in the world) to make contact with a couple of the Japanese contingent I met at a dementia conference last year, and I got see a few very interesting projects. One I was particularly excited by was "Share Kanazawa" - a housing and community development which included the aged, disability group homes, university students, and a number of shops and community services. It was co-located with an elementary school and designed so that people saw each other regularly, contributed to some extent to the general wellbeing, and used the same spaces.  

I could also write a lot about how good the public transport is, and especially how good the toilets are in Japan, and how that is probably very very age friendly, but this might not be the place to do that. 

Ageing and aged care are clearly two of the big challenges of our immediate future. The message I keep getting, in looking around Australia and beyond, is that is our physical and social connectedness that offer the most positive path to addressing them.

 
I presented a paper on meaning in life for people living with dementia at "Valuing People Living Well", the New Zealand Council for Christian Social Service Conference, in Auckland this month. One of the conference highlights was a report on a research project conducted by Brent Neilson for with ANZCCSS into the substantial social value, and capital, create by faith based, aged care organisations – Valuing Lives, Living Well.  It’s a nice counterpoint to the simplistic benefit cost analysis too often used to assess the value of community services. We will include a brief summary and link to the report when it is published. 

One of the sponsors of the conference was Anglicare Australia's associate member The Selwyn Foundation. Garry Smith Selwyn CEO reported on a partnership looking at the benefits new technology is offering the aged care sector, from health monitoring to physical assistance, to real support for meaningful human contact.

Other speakers threw some light on both the extent of the ageing "Tsunami" facing NZ, both opportunities as well as challenge, including the shocking associated statistic that more than 60% of people caring for someone with Alzheimer's dies before the person they are caring for does: emphasising the importance perhaps of this social capital and connectedness highlighted in the  research. 
 
The was a stirring speech by Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, New Zealand’s Chief Science Advisor, about the value and availability of real evidence and from Lin Hatfield Dodds, the outgoing executive director of Uniting Care Australia, about how faith based services can put their evidence and  values together to drive change in public policy. 

One strong theme at the conference of real interest to me was the emerging shape of workforce training in NZ. They have made a name for the whole area of community care and social service work - from personal care workers, to cleaners, to drug and alcohol support workers - and started to develop a whole lot of core competencies for people who work in this broad sector. The term is Kaiawhina. And in listening to various discussions about wages, training, and common understanding; about recognising prior experience; about expectations and giving value to that work, this approach highlights social contribution Kaiawhina make through their work. It's an affirming way to conceptualise our future ambitions for the communities we are building, and our role as helpers and supporters.

There was also a great session on aged care and architectural design, in which the point was made that somehow the quality of facility design is so much better in countries such as Denmark. Architect Euan MacKellor from Jasmax suggested that high taxes give citizens a real interest in the effective use of public funds, and so they want their publicly funded buildings to be very well designed! Another benefit of adequate revenue raising.

I also enjoyed some time at Selwyn's headquarters and at Selwyn village, their first and largest aged care facility. It  was inspiring to see how Selwyn is taking on the significant task of providing of social housing  - on the one hand - and setting up an institute for spirituality and ageing (on the other) to investigate how best, and most meaningfully, to support people in the final years of their life.

While we are on the subject of aged care around the world, you may know I recently had a holiday in Japan. I took advantage of the trip (to the oldest, I mean most elderly, society in the world) to make contact with a couple of the Japanese contingent I met at a dementia conference last year, and I got see a few very interesting projects. One I was particularly excited by was "Share Kanazawa" - a housing and community development which included the aged, disability group homes, university students, and a number of shops and community services. It was co-located with an elementary school and designed so that people saw each other regularly, contributed to some extent to the general wellbeing, and used the same spaces.  

I could also write a lot about how good the public transport is, and especially how good the toilets are in Japan, and how that is probably very very age friendly, but this might not be the place to do that. 

Ageing and aged care are clearly two of the big challenges of our immediate future. The message I keep getting, in looking around Australia and beyond, is that is our physical and social connectedness that offer the most positive path to addressing them.

Roland with Lin and Paul
Roland with Lin Hatfield Dodds and Paul Barber at “Valuing People, Living Well” in Auckland

Anglicare Network News

Official opening & blessing of AnglicareCQ’s new Rockhampton office

Anglicare Central Queensland’s new office in Musgrave St will be officially opened and blessed by Anglican Bishop of Rockhampton David Robinson on 29 May.

The striking new building at 160 Musgrave St has been custom built by the Anglican Church Central Queensland to deliver much-needed community services including mental health, counselling and family support, and services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  It also houses AnglicareCQ’s management, administration and finance teams.  

This new building is the latest venture in AnglicareCQ's partnership with the Anglican Church which stretches back to the agency's inception as CareForce in 1983, and before that through the Diocese's history of social welfare dating back to the early 1900s.

 
Anglicare CQ new building 1
Anglicare CQ new building 2

Long service of volunteers recognised

During National Volunteers Week [9-15 May], AnglicareSA celebrated the service of two volunteers who have been volunteering with the organisation for 45 years.  

ANGLICARE SA VOLUNTEERSPat Duncan and Margaret Chittleborough are volunteers at the Cathedral Fashions op shop in North Adelaide, where they started in 1971. 

Ms Duncan, who has served thousands of customers over multiple generations, said she has come to consider AnglicareSA as her family. 
 

Resources for National Reconciliation Week

The Anglican Board of Mission have released resources and prayers for National Reconciliation Week (May 27 – June 3) written by Rev’d Glenn Loughrey, a Wiradjuri man, artist and priest-in-charge of St Oswald’s Anglican Church in Melbourne. Glen has produced a powerful series of paintings and studies titled ‘Exploring Exile’ that are suitable for individual or group reflection. 

He has also produced a liturgy for Sunday 29th May which the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council has asked to be marked as NATSIAC Sunday. 

NRW_black_poster

Happy Birthday Anglicare Sydney!

This month Anglicare Sydney celebrated 160 years of service. Congratulations!

Happy Birthday Anglicare Sydney

EPIC Assist and Ability Tasmania Group announce merger

Ability Tasmania Group (Ability) and EPIC Assist (EPIC) have announced a merger of their organisations, effective from May 2, 2016.  Ability and EPIC share joint histories of assisting people and communities to overcome disadvantage and achieve success. Both organisations have a particular focus on assisting people with disability achieve sustainable employment and careers. 

Their merger will result in an organisation of almost 400 employees and 50 offices, operating down the east coast of Australia. The head office will be in Brisbane. 

The combined entity - to be called EPIC Assist - will continue to deliver the innovative and quality services currently being provided by Ability for people with disability in Tasmania and Victoria. This will incorporate assisting new participants under the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Tasmania and Melbourne from July 2016.

EPIC ASSIST merger
Ability Group staff members are officially welcomed to the EPIC Assist team 

Music from Moscow: Doctors Orchestra Supports Local Charity

The Australian Doctors Orchestra (ADO) will perform Music from Moscow on the 19th of June 2016 at the Darwin Convention Centre. Over 80 medical professionals from around Australia will share two days of final rehearsals in Darwin, culminating in the Sunday afternoon performance. 
Australian Doctors OrchestraADO medical professionals, who are also classically trained musicians, play a concert each year in a different city and use each occasion to raise funds for charity.  The ADO has chosen Anglicare NT’s Pandanus Childbirth Education and Perinatal Support Program to be the recipient of funds from their inaugural Darwin concert. 


Music from Moscow tickets are on sale at www.ticketebo.com.au/ado-darwin

Goulburn Early Childhood Centre opens at Illawarra TAFE

Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT’s Goulburn Early Learning Centre officially opened this month at Illawarra TAFE. Children from the centre led the event with dancing and presentations of their original artwork. 

Goulburn Early Learning Centre opening 1 - children
Special guests at the event included the Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT CEO, Jeremy Halcrow; the State Member for Goulburn, Prue Goward; TAFE Manager, David Guthrie;  Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT Executive Director, Simon Bennett; and Mayor of Goulburn, Geoff Kettle.
Goulburn Early Learning Centre opening 2 - officials

Learning and Organisational Development meeting

Learning and Organisational Development experts from AnglicareSA, Anglicare Vic, AnglicareSQ, Anglicare NSW South/West and ACT, Anglicare Sydney and Benetas will meet in Adelaide at the end of June to exchange ideas and practices that work well in their respective organisations. If you would like to be involved in this meeting, you can get in touch with Valda Parks from AnglicareSA. 

Bridging generations through storytelling at Benetas St Paul’s Court

Two Anglicare network members have collaborated on a mutually beneficial project which aims to promote intergenerational relationships between students and older members of the community.

Students from The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program documented the lives of residents at Benetas St Paul’s Court aged care home, which is located right next door in Frankston. Students interviewed residents about their lives and collated material in a commemorative presentation and booklet for the residents to keep.

One of the students, Tahlia Bienke, 16, said she had enjoyed connecting with resident Margaret Cleary, 74, and hearing stories about her time as a teenage model.

Brotherhood of St Laurence Youth Community Leadership Coordinator, Jayne Valle said the project helped students improve their communication skills and bridge the generation gap. 

“A lot of young people don’t live close to their grandparents. It’s a wonderful to see those barriers broken down,” she said.

St Paul’s Court Community Coordinator, Pam Ross said residents were very pleased to see such interest in their lives and said they looked forward to their return visits.

 
Brotherhood of St Laurence - Tahlia and Margaret

Toll NQX to support Cairns food store

Toll NQX has pledged to deliver dry food goods for AnglicareNQ’s new Helping Hand Community Food Store in Cairns.  Toll NQX says it will help transport a tonne of dry food each week by road and rail from Foodbank Brisbane to Anglicare’s Community Food Store, which includes tinned fruit, vegetables, pasta and cereals. 

The store is expected to help 200 people a day who are in need, making sure they get access to basic food essentials. Initial transportation of food started in late March in preparation for the opening and the assistance will continue on an ongoing basis.

“We are really pleased to help support people in our community in this way, transporting food is one of our strengths so we knew we could provide valuable support to this project,” said Ross Longmire, Toll NQX Acting General Manager.

A dream come true for Lyn

In May, Benetas Eaglehawk resident Lyn had her lifelong wish to meet Elvis Presley granted thanks to the Benetas One Wish program. The program seeks to fulfil the dreams and desires of Benetas clients and residents, funding them as one-off wishes.

Lyn, an avid Elvis fan since the age of 14 was brought to tears when she realised that she would finally see Elvis perform in the ‘If I can dream’ production at the Capital Theatre in Bendigo. 

Not only did Lyn see Elvis, she was also fortunate enough to go backstage before the show and meet ‘Elvis’ aka Mark Anthony. 

One Wish Program - Lyn and Elvis

Benetas Pastoral Care Practitioner, Andrea Jeffery who made the nomination for this wish commented that Lyn had the time of her life.

“Lyn was completely in her element!” she exclaimed.

“Elvis dedicated a song to her and the crowd cheered, it was just magical.” 

The Benetas One Wish program is open to all Benetas clients and residents. Benetas acknowledges the generosity of its donors, without whom this initiative would not be possible.

Cultural Story Time

Anglicare NT in Katherine, together with Mimi Aboriginal Arts and Crafts, have begun weekly Cultural Story Time for parents and their preschool children. 
Anglicare NT Cultural Story Time

Cultural Story Time will provide families with a creative space to interact with local artists. Local artists will present their artworks and the cultural stories that the artwork depicts.

Art activities and a free morning tea will be available as part of each session.

The sessions started on Tuesday 24th of May and will run every Tuesday from 10.30am-12.30pm during school terms. 

Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT launch May appeals

Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT launched their pantry appeal on 11 May at the Googong Early Learning Centre. The public response so far has been overwhelmingly generous, with many thousands of items donated. 

As always, the work of volunteers has been vital to the success of this appeal. 

 
Anglicare Pantry Appeal volunteers

Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT CEO Jeremy Halcrow was interviewed about the Pantry Appeal on WIN news

Pantry Appeal Jeremy interviewed by WIN
 
This month Anglicare NSW South, West and ACT are also launching their Winter Appeal, focused on domestic violence and poverty. 

Grant for Refugee Child Outreach program

The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Refugee Child Outreach program was recently recognised through a $20,000 CSL Behring Australia community grant. 

The program aims to help meet the health, development and settlement needs of newly arrived children by working with their families and linking them with appropriate services, including assistance in enrolling in kindergarten or school, facilitating play sessions and accessing activities in the local community.  

CSL Behring Australia senior vice president and general manager Martin Schaeren said the grant scheme was a great way for their business to be socially responsible while raising awareness of the important community projects happening in the Hume area.

ABC’s Compass program on prison chaplaincy programs

ABC’s Compass program has aired a two-part series that examines the work of dedicated Prison Chaplains who provide much needed pastoral and spiritual care to more than 30,000 men and women locked up in Australian prisons. 

Part One focuses on the work of Anglican chaplains Di Langham and Wally Pospelyj. The chaplains run services for prisoners as well as working to connect with them on a personal level; offering inmates “unconditional spiritual and emotional support”. 

Anglicare Sydney’s David Pettett, a prison chaplain, is also involved in this important work. 

Parts one and two of the program aired on 15 and 22 May and are available online. 

Angels for AnglicareCQ Fun Run

On the Saturday 21 May Rockhampton's runners, joggers and walkers put their best foot forward to support kids in care, with the Angels for AnglicareCQ Fun Run.  

Organised by a volunteer team of CQUniversity students, the event saw runners from primary school children to retirees take on 2km and 5km runs around the CQU campus.   
As well as a great morning of fun and a few personal bests, the event raised $676 for our child protection services.

Telstra Imaginarium Innovation Bootcamp

Anglicare Victoria was one of 120 non-profit applicants chosen to participate in Telstra’s Imaginarium innovation boot-camp. The program includes mentoring by digital industry and social innovation experts and helps non-profit organisations explore how technology can transform the design of products, services and programs. 

SBS World News online has featured a story written by Philip Ly on Anglicare Sydney’s mobile pantry program. 

Run from the back of a van, the Mobile Community Pantry provides low cost food to people in need. For a contribution of ten dollars, people with Pension, Health Care or Immigration cards can take up to two bags of groceries from the community pantry. 

The mobile pantry is currently visiting seven different locations in Sydney.  

Education, Employment and Empowerment – A Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy

Anglicare North Coast has launched an innovative action research pilot program for Coffs Harbour.  Funded as part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children Three E’s to Freedom aims to identify and resolve barriers to independent living for women from a refugee background settling in Coffs Harbour (regional NSW).   

Over 52 weeks, participants will receive support with developing their English language skills, accessing vocational education, attaining a driver’s licence, as well as help with work fitness, IT and financial literacy skills. A group of industry mentors will support each participant to develop workplace confidence and competence. The Three E’s to Freedom will have an action research component that will inform the delivery of  future programs focussing on other vulnerable cohorts such as Indigenous women and women with a disability.

For more information visit:  www.anglicarenorthcoast.org.au 
Three Es for Freedom

Brotherhood of St Laurence Budget response

The Brotherhood of St Laurence highlighted the complexity of joblessness in their response to the 2016-17 Budget. They argued that the government must recognise that Australia’s most disadvantaged people, including the long-term unemployed, need assistance to fully access the country’s economic opportunities. 

The Brotherhood said that building the skills of all people so they can take part in economic and social life should be a key priority for government. 

National Awards Profile

Highly Commended – INNOVATION – Samaritans Foundation

Welcome to the next in our series of profiles on the winners and highly commended of the Anglicare Australia 2014 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence. These profiles are also featured in the 2016 Anglicare Australia Review.

Regulating restrictive practices

The impact of trauma, disability, mental illness and socio-economic disadvantage can result in the development of a range of serious and intractable ‘challenging behaviours’.

Challenging behaviours are those that can place the affected individual at risk – for example, aggression, self-harm or property destruction – and limit their capacity to participate in community life.

Within services and organisations, such behaviours are often met with situational management strategies that are often restrictive and have limited effect in supporting the person to achieve sustainable behaviour change.

Such ‘restrictive practices’, despite both legislative and practice requirements, often remain unauthorised and unregulated, and potentially impinge on a person’s basic human rights.

These practices might include isolating an individual to a certain environment to reduce risk to others, restricting their participation in particular activities or medicating that individual to contain challenging behaviours.

The National Disability Insurance Agency, through its Quality and Safeguards directorate, has signalled the need to develop processes to ensure people’s rights are respected and systems are in place to ensure organisations can effectively and efficiently regulate, and limit, the use of restrictive practices.

In this context, the Samaritans Foundation developed a Web Based Restricted Practice Portal System to manage and regulate restrictive practices. The portal system is used to record, monitor and regulate the use of restrictive practices in the context of behaviour support. It also allows the user to access fact sheets and other resource materials to help them understand their obligations around using restricted practices.

This has allowed the organisation to fulfil its philosophical, legal and ethical obligations as well as build the capacity of its workforce to support people with challenging behaviours.

It permits a stronger focus on behaviour support and the need for services to effectively help the person manage their environment, build skills and access relevant mainstream service supports.

Alternative practices might include helping an individual to develop the skills to cope and self-regulate their behaviours, refining their physical and interpersonal environments and properly addressing medical concerns.

The Restricted Practice Portal System aids effective monitoring and regulation of the use of restrictive practices, and improves staff safety through better understanding challenging behaviours.

The national award judges thought the program highlighted an important issue in the mental health space that we do not talk about enough. They said it was pleasing to see human rights put at the front of service design.

Samaritans Restricted Practice Portal

Research and Resources

Willing to Work: New report released

The Australian Human Rights Commission has released a new report into employment discrimination against older Australians and Australians with disability.
Willing to Work 2016 Cover
The report found discrimination against older Australians and Australians with disability was systemic and a significant barrier to workforce participation.

International comparisons with the OECD show that Australia lags behind similar countries in terms of employment of older people and people with disability. 

 

Appointments to the Australian Human Rights Commission

The Australian Human Rights Commission has three new Commissioners. This month the Attorney-General announced that Dr Kay Patterson has been appointed Age Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Alastair McEwin the Disability Discrimination Commissioner and Mr Edward Santow the Human Rights Commissioner. Dr Kay Patterson is currently the Commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission, and is a former cabinet minister, senator and academic. Mr McEwin has been a longstanding advocate for the rights of people with disability; he is a former Chief Executive Officer of People with Disability Australia and a former manager of the Australian Centre for Disability Law.  Mr Santow is the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a Director of the Australian Pro Bono Centre and Director of the University of Sydney Law School Foundation. 

Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week grant round opens

The Minister for Social Services Christian Porter has announced the opening of the grant round for the second Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week, to be held from 5-11 December 2016. This year the theme is: ‘The power of partnerships’. Community organisations can apply for a share of $160,000 in grants to support activities that showcase their philanthropic partnerships, such as community expos and book and film launches.  

Applications for the Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week grants close on 6 June. 

CPP Week Logo

New resource to help people with dementia remain socially connected

A new, free resource is now available to help people with dementia, their families and their carers remain socially connected. The Community Café Toolkit, designed by Alzheimer’s Australia, has been designed to help community groups, organisations or individuals set up and run a local café social group for people living with dementia. Community Cafes provide an informal and social environment for people with dementia and their partners to make new friends while also learning about support services in their area.  

Australia fails to hold poverty line

The Australia Institute has released analysis showing that many people dependent on government assistance are dropping further below the poverty line.

The Australia Institute periodically graphs the difference between the Henderson poverty line and the amount of government benefits received by an unemployed family of four – two adults and two children.  The graph shows there is an unprecedented gap between the poverty line and the government support that the family receives
Henderson Poverty Line

(Source: The Australia Institute calculations based on data from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (various years) Poverty Lines: Australia, June Quarters) 

Help for the nation's charities

Justice Connect's Not-for-profit Law Information Hub is now available to charities and not-for-profits across Australia. The Not-for-profit Law Information Hub already provides free legal information to over 200,000 charities and community groups in Victoria and NSW. In March, thanks to a grant from Perpetual, this service is being expanded nationwide. The information hub provides up-to-date, plain English, tailored legal resources and has been updated to assist users to find the resources that will help them. 

ACWA 2016 Conference: Pathways to Protection and Permanency

The Association of Children's Welfare Agencies (ACWA) 2016 Conference will be held on 15 – 17 August 2016 at the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Darling Harbour, Australia. The Conference offers a high standard program for all professionals dedicated to protecting childhood and creating lasting change in children’s and families’ lives. The 2016 theme is Pathways to Protection and Permanency: Getting it Right for Children, Young People and Families and will have strong sub-themes around Child protection; Children’s best interests, needs, and rights; out-of-home care (kinship, foster and residential care); Open adoption; Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities; Organisations, management, change; Research, policy and practice.

ACWA Conference 2016

National Disability Awards nominations now open

In conjunction with the United Nations’ International Day of People with Disability, nominations are now open for the 2016 National Disability Awards. These awards recognise the achievements of people and organisations who are improving the lives of people with disability. In announcing the opening of nominations, Assistant Minister for Disability Services, the Hon Jane Prentice MP encouraged individuals, service providers and businesses of all sizes to submit nominations for the Awards before the 30 June closing date. 

The International Day of People with Disability is celebrated each year on 3 December.

Celebrate life; talk about death this National Palliative Care Week

Palliative Care Australia has launched a new website and resource collection that supports people to discuss their end-of-life care wishes. The ‘Dying to Talk’ website and discussion starter pack was launched during National Palliative Care Week (22-28 May) and is designed to help people to talk to their loved ones and health professionals about their end-of-life care wishes. 

 
Dying to Talk

Investigating how rural families cope with cancer

A University of Adelaide study is investigating how rural families cope in the wake of a cancer diagnosis, particularly how they manage the various financial, social, practical and emotional issues that arise.  The researchers are hoping to hear from rural South Australian families who have had a family member diagnosed with cancer in the past three years. They specifically want to hear from family units where the diagnosed parent has dependant children under 18.  The study will be carried out by Psychology Honours student Eleanor Garrard, under the supervision of Professor Carlene Wilson and Dr Kate Fennell. Eleanor grew up in the country town of Loxton, and hopes that this research will enable her to ‘give back’ to rural communities throughout the state.

More information is available from the University of Adelaide

New research examines quality in family day care

Family Day Care Australia have launched a report into the nature of quality in the family day care setting. The research, conducted by the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre, is the first of its kind to focus specifically on family day care. It examines the factors which influence the quality of the service and explores what attributes high quality services have in common. While operating within the same policy and regulatory framework as other Early Childhood Education Centre models, family day care offers a different type of service in which educators work in their own homes to provide care and education for up to four children, including their own. 

Mental Health and Experiences of Homelessness

An Australian Bureau of Statistics publication on the relationship between mental health and homelessness has found that people who reported having a mental health condition were more than twice as likely to have experienced homelessness in their lifetime, compared with people who did not. New analysis drawn from the 2014 General Social Survey showed that in 2014, one in three people (34%) aged 25-34 years who reported having a mental health condition had experienced homelessness in their lifetime, compared with one in eight people (13%) of the same age who did not have a mental health condition. Similarly, people aged 35-44 years and 45-54 years who reported having a mental health condition had relatively high rates of experiencing homelessness (32% and 31% respectively). 

Mental health training for care workers

Beyondblue has launched a free online course for aged care staff and community workers to help them recognise and respond to depression and anxiety in their clients. The program also supports the workers to have good mental health themselves, recognising that good mental health is important to performance. Topics the program covers includes understanding depression and anxiety, identifying and responding to suicide in aged care settings, and looking after a person’s mental health at work.

‘A husband is not a retirement plan’: New report on women’s retirement incomes

A new report on women’s retirement incomes, ‘A husband is not a retirement plan': Achieving economic security for women in retirement, has been released by the Senate Economics References Committee. The report recognises that women face challenges throughout their lives that not only contribute to, but compound, issues of economic security and quality of life later in life. Its recommendations reflect this big picture, calling for reform in the legal system to address employment discrimination, reform in the superannuation and tax systems to better target concessions for low income earners, and reform of the welfare system - not only to support age pensioners but to better support mothers and carers. It also calls for better support of health and education and for action on affordable housing.  The report drew on Anglicare Australia’s submissions and testimony on the inadequacy of the Age Pension, the dangers of forcing older women onto Newstart, and the need for policy action on affordable housing. 

Anglicare Australia notes that while there were a few positive measures in the federal Budget to address inequalities in the retirement income system, it didn’t do enough to follow through on the Committee’s recommendations. 

AHURI research: Affordable housing for low income households

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) is investigating how governments can develop policy to build capacity in the affordable housing industry so as to substantially improve housing outcomes for low income households. The inquiry is based on evidence of a “structural problem in the supply of housing for low income households”, reflected in a growing shortfall of affordable rental properties over the last twenty years. Between 1996 and 2011 the shortfall of affordable housing for low income households grew from 150,000 homes to 271,000 homes. Over the same period, the number of low income households renting in the private market grew by 57 per cent. The long-term supply failure can also be seen in the demand for public housing, with only 20,611 out of 154,566 households receiving assistance in 2013-14. 

Government Policy and Information

Government enters caretaker period

With the parliament having been dissolved, caretaker conventions now apply until the election result is clear and the next government is appointed. 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. 

Discover your electorate: Commonwealth Electoral Division Profiles

The Commonwealth Electoral Division Profiles, produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, provide a statistical overview of the new 2016 Commonwealth Electoral boundaries issued by the Australian Electoral Commission. They include information on demographics, employment and home ownership for each Commonwealth electorate. Profiles are listed by state. 

More funding to help people get NDIS ready in NSW

Recognising that people with disabilities and their families will need to adjust to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) "market", NSW has announced an additional $3 million to help people get ready for the NDIS.  The NSW Consumer Development Fund, My Choice Matters, was created in 2012 and is administered by the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability. It helps people with disability and their families prepare for and participate in the NDIS through workshops, resources and e-learning tools, like My Learning Matters. 

Anglicare Events

Anglicare Events

Brotherhood of St Laurence Research & Policy Centre Lunchtime Seminar
Date: Thursday 5 May from 12.00 noon to 1.00pm
Venue: Brotherhood, 67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy in Father Tucker's Room
RSVP: For seating purposes, [email protected]

Perils of place: Identifying hotspots of health inequalities.
Dr Stephen Duckett is Director of the Health Program at the Melbourne-based think tank, Grattan Institute. He has held top operational and policy leadership positions in health care in Australia and Canada including as Secretary of what is now the Commonwealth Department of Health. He has a reputation for creativity, evidence-based innovation and reform in areas ranging from the introduction of activity-based funding for hospitals, to new systems of accountability for the safety of hospital care. An economist, he is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Associate Kate Griffiths is a scientist and analyst, with experience in strategy consulting and public policy development. Prior to joining Grattan, Kate worked for The Boston Consulting Group with clients in the health and energy sectors, and in science and research policy for the Australian Government (Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research & Tertiary Education).  Kate holds a Masters in Science from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Science with Honours from the Australian National University.


Chaplaincy, Pastoral Care and Parish Partnerships Network Forum

Date: 18-20 May 2016
Venue: Ballina, NSW
Contact: [email protected]


Anglicare Australia National Conference
Date: 4-7 September 2016
Venue: Darwin Convention Centre, Northern Territory


Sector Events

Sector Events

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

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

Active Ageing Conference
Date: 4 August 2016
Venue: Swissôtel, Sydney

Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) 2016 Conference
Date: 15-17 August 2016
Venue: Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Anglicare Australia National Conference
Date: 4-7 September 2016
Venue: Darwin Convention Centre, Northern Territory

Possums Education National Tour 2016 
Date: 7th September – 22nd October 2016
National

RUOK Day
Date: 8 September 2016
National

2016 Global Indigenous Women’s Conference
Date: 12-14 September 2016
Venue: Stamford Grand Adelaide Hotel, Glenelg

2016 Global Indigenous Men’s Conference
Date: 12-14 September 2016
Venue: Stamford Grand Adelaide Hotel, Glenelg

LASA National Congress
Date: 9-12 October 2016
Venue: Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre

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

Inaugural National Multicultural Women’s Conference 2016
Date: 3-4 November 2016
Venue: Parkroyal Parramatta, Sydney

ACOSS National Conference 2016
Date: 18-19 November 2016
Venue: Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh (Sydney)

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