Courage in Kindness: Anglicare Australia National Conference 2018
Anglicare Australia’s National Conference was held at the Stamford Grand in Glenelg from 16-19 September 2018, bringing together more than 250 people from across Anglicare Agencies. Our theme, Courage in Kindness: Driving Change in Work and Community, allowed us to explore our work and our mission. As Anglicare Australia Network members, we work in hundreds of communities across Australia responding to the needs of people in need of care.
The event began with the Anglicare Australia Annual General Meeting and a CEO Forum, which was addressed by The Hon Dr Gary Johns, Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. His address provided our CEOs with an important opportunity to discuss the direction of the ACNC and the future of the charity sector with Dr Johns. This was followed by a an opening service and welcome reception at St Peter's Anglican Church in Glenelg, which featured a digeridoo performance and an address by Father Andrew Mintern.
Delegates began Monday morning with a Greeting Ceremony conducted by Karl Winda Telfer, a Senior Kaurna Custodian. It featured a Yellaka dance and cultural sharing group, held on the lawn area on the beachside of the hotel. Many delegates participated by bringing a leaf or a small stick to place on the spirit fire of peace.
The conference formally began with a keynote address by Dr Rebecca Huntley. At a time when politics seems increasingly negative and our society increasingly divided, Dr Huntley’s address reminded us that we are more fortunate than we think, and have more in common than we know. Delegates were also treated to a complementary copy of her book Still Lucky, and Dr Huntley was kind enough to sign copies for delegates. Her address helped set the scene for the conference theme of Courage in Kindness.
Other keynote speakers included Kate Hillman, Professor John Pollaers, Associate Professor Lorna Hallahan, David Pearson, Associate Professor Alwin Chong, and Debra Saffrey-Collins who delivered the John Roffey Lecture. Many touched on the same themes of courage, kindness, and how we work together to advance our mission.
More than 40 workshops were offered over the three day period, and evaluations noted that some of these were so well-prepared and thorough that they could have been standalone keynote addresses in themselves. The workshops explored how Anglicare Australia Network members work towards our shared goals, how we collaborate to improve our work, and how we support each other as we advance our mission.
The conference was closed with a dance performance by the Dusty Feet Mob. The Dusty Feet Mob are an Aboriginal dance group from Port Augusta, South Australia aged between six and thirty-one years. Their performance was deeply moving, and many delegates told us that they found themselves in tears.
We thank all of our delegates and speakers for helping make the conference a success. As Father Stuart Soley said in his final blessing, “consider how you will hold fast to what is good. Take home thoughts and wisdom shared and use them to work with courage and kindness.”
More information on our keynote speakers is available in the Anglicare Australia Conference Program. Workshop presentations are available to download here, along with the keynote presentations.
Anglicare Australia National Awards for Innovation and Excellence
The Anglicare Australia National Awards for Innovation and Excellence, sponsored by Telstra, recognise outstanding services, projects and programs provided by the organisations of the Anglicare Australia network, as well as individual volunteers who have made a significant contribution.
The reception and ceremony for this year’s awards were held on Monday 17 September 2018 at the National Wine Centre. The awards were compered by Anglicare Australia Chairperson Bishop Chris Jones and presented by Robert Morsillo of Telstra.
We had an extraordinary breadth of contribution across our four categories of Innovation, Excellence, Partnership and Volunteer Achievement. The 2018 winners were:
- Highly Commended in the Excellence Category: Anglicare North Coast’s 3Es to Freedom Program
- Highly Commended in the Excellence Category: AnglicareSA Housing
- Winner in the Excellence Category: Anglicare NT’s headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program
- Highly Commended in the Innovation Category: Anglicare WA’s Human Centred Design Program
- Winner in the Innovation category: Amana Living Arts Festival
- Joint Winner in the Partnership Category: The Samaritans Foundation’s Kempsey Women’s Refuge
- Joint Winner in the Partnership category: Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT’s Ashmont Community Resource Centre
- Joint winners in the Volunteer Achievement category: Jan Stevens of AnglicareSA and Doug Philpot of Anglicare Sydney.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Telstra, and our 2018 judges:
- Mr Robert Morsillo, Senior Adviser for Digital Inclusion at Telstra
- Ms Claerwen Little, National Director of UnitingCare Australia
- Mr Brian Babington, CEO of Families Australia
We will run a series of profiles on the winners and highly commended entries in the Anglicare Australia Review and forthcoming issues of Aspect.
Information on all of the nominees is available in the Anglicare Australia Awards Booklet.
Ian Carter AM recognised with the Inaugural Burgmann Award by Anglicare Australia
In addition to the Anglicare Australia National Awards for Innovation and Excellence, a new award was created to recognise outstanding contributions to our network. The Inaugural Burgmann Award for significant contribution to the Anglicare Australia Network was awarded to Ian Carter AM, who has served as CEO of Anglicare WA for 24 years.
Ian was involved in founding Anglicare Australia, and serves on the Anglicare Australia Council.
In addition to his service to Anglicare Australia, Ian has led the Anglicare WA over a remarkable era as it evolved to a leading community service provider for WA’s most vulnerable people.
More information about Ian Carter, who will step down from his role at Anglicare WA in 2019, is available in the August edition of Aspect.
Stronger Together: Annual General Meeting and Annual Report
The 22nd Annual General meeting of Anglicare Australia was held at the conference. Congratulations to Jeremy Halcrow who was elected as a council member for another three year term. Congratulations also to Sandra Hills, Stephanie Buckland and Suzi Christensen who were co-opted to the council.
The council is the governance body of Anglicare Australia and made up of senior leaders from around the membership. In addition to skills and attributes that are sought in council members, t is balanced to ensure diversity in gender, geographic location, service type, and organisational size.
Anglicare Australia’s Annual Report, Stronger Together, is also available online after being accepted at the Annual General Meeting. The Annual Report provides an overview of our priorities and how they have informed some of our flagship projects, including our Jobs Availability Snapshot, our State of the Family Report, our Rental Affordability Snapshot, and other research projects Anglicare Australia has undertaken in the last year.
It also showcases the work of the Network, our impact in media debates, and our role in influencing social and economic policy.
Our Annual Report is available here. More information about the Anglicare Australia Council is available here.
Chairs Network launched at Anglicare Australia National Conference
A new network for the Chairs of Anglicare Australia members held its inaugural meeting at the Adelaide conference. Bruce Linn, chair of Anglicare SA convened the meeting and it was attended by about ten member organisations.
The group will meet throughout the year by teleconference and again face-to -face at the 2019 conference in Perth.
Their agenda will cover items of specific and unique interest to Anglicare Australia above and beyond the normal governance activities and duties of boards. This includes issues such as governing for vulnerable people, the reputation of members as a shared resource, and governing church related bodies.
Given the subject matter the network is for Chairs only at this stage. If your Chair hasn’t yet signed up, please send their contact details to [email protected]. We will ensure that they get invitations, minutes and the terms of reference for this group.
With the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse identifying governance as a vital part of how vulnerable people are supported in organizations, this group will help Anglicare Australia members further their conversations and development in leadership and governance.
Anglicare Australia responds to news of a Royal Commission into aged care
Anglicare Australia has provided input into the Terms of Reference for the proposed Royal Commission into aged care. Our submission calls for a close examination of the needs and expectations of older Australians, their families and the community with regards to aged care. We also called for an exploration of ways to improve quality, staffing, and wellbeing across the sector.
This feedback echoes comments made by Executive Director Kasy Chambers on the day of the announcement of the Royal Commission. Speaking to The Australian, said the Commission should look at “promoting wellbeing, instead of just preventing mistreatment”.
“That means confronting a major challenge: funding the system so that everyone has access to the care they need, without compromising quality,” Ms Chambers said.
Anglicare Australia’s submission is available here. Our comments in The Australian are available here.
Changing the conversation on intergenerational poverty
Anglicare Australia has made a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Intergenerational Welfare.
Our feedback was that the inquiry incorrectly frames a symptom as a cause, and is therefore an unhelpful beginning. Anglicare Australia recommended that the topic be recast as “The persistence and impact of intergenerational poverty and trauma” - this echoes our media advocacy on these issues.
We also called on the committee to consider the recommendations from our previous research, including our research papers on living on low incomes, Going without, and the inequitable rise in the cost of living under current government policy, Living Standard Trends in Australia.
Anglicare Australia’s submission is available here.