Annual General Meeting and Annual Report
The 24th Annual General meeting of Anglicare Australia has been held via Zoom, passing a new constitution that will see the organisation become a company limited by guarantee. An election was also held for vacancies on the Anglicare Australia Board.
Congratulations to Karen Crouch, who has been elected for another three-year term on Anglicare Australia’s Board, and to Bishop Chris Jones, who has been re-elected as Chair. Congratulations also to Sandra Hills, Stephanie Buckland and Shane Maddocks who were appointed as directors.
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, it is balanced to ensure diversity in gender, geographic location, service type, and organisational size.
Anglicare Australia’s Annual Report 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, Rental Affordability Snapshot, Our Better Selves project, and other research work that 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.
Anglicare Australia’s Annual Report is available here. More information about the Anglicare Australia Council is available here.
Time to get serious about social housing
Anglicare Australia has joined more than 300 organisations in an open letter calling for a social housing construction boom, similar to that of the post-war era.
As a partner in the Everybody’s Home campaign, Anglicare Australia is pushing for 30,000 new homes to be built in the next four years. This will deliver much needed housing – and create some 18,000 jobs.
The broad coalition of signatories also includes ACOSS, the Community Housing Industry Association, the ACTU, Mission Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society, the Salvation Army, National Shelter, Homelessness Australia, and several Anglicare Australia member agencies. Several city councils from across the country have also signed on, including Lismore City Council, City of Greater Dandenong, Cardinia Shire Council and Strathfield Council.
The open letter calls on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to commit new investment in social housing. The story has been covered by ABC News, Radio National, Channel 10’s The Project, The Canberra Times, Seven News, and many other outlets.
The open letter is available online.
Report shows that JobSeeker increase is urgent
In the wake of the Inequality in Australia report, Anglicare Australia has said that cutting JobSeeker would worsen inequality. Anglicare Australia was a partner in the report.
“This report should shock all Australians. We are a rich country, yet the wealth gap is getting bigger and bigger,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“Worse still, people on the lowest incomes have almost no savings or assets to weather a crisis. With no savings to draw on, and with JobSeeker set to be cut in September, they are now facing that crisis.
“A permanent increase to JobSeeker is the best way to help them bounce back.”
Anglicare Australia’s comments on the report were featured in ABC Radio National’s Life Matters program, The Canberra Times, The New Daily, Seven News, and Pro Bono News. Kasy Chambers was also featured on ABC Radio National’s AM program, discussing the impact of the JobSeeker cut on charities.
The Inequality in Australia report is available online.
Anglicare Australia says Robodebt failures must never be repeated
Anglicare Australia has made a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry on Centrelink's compliance program, also known as Robodebt.
The inquiry is a critical opportunity to reflect on how the government was able to levy debts while knowing that many were inflated or entirely false; and then persist with the practice knowing it to be illegal. Anglicare Australia’s submission focuses on the lessons this experience offers for the future, including:
- The importance of human oversight in raising debts;
- Issues in how Centrelink pursues debts, including its use of debt collection agencies; and
- Accountability to Centrelink’s mission and the government’s model litigant policy.
The submission also featured case studies from clients and staff across the Anglicare Australia Network.
Anglicare Australia has called for the Robodebt scheme be replaced with a compliance regime that has been assessed for errors, tested, and includes human oversight.
The full submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee is available online.
Rental Affordability Snapshot shows crisis for older renters
Anglicare Australia has said the rental market is failing people on the age and disability support pensions. This follows the release of our special mid-year Rental Affordability Update.
The Update surveyed 77,000 listings and found that:
- Just 0.8% of rentals are affordable for a single person on the Age Pension. This is down from 1.1% in March.
- A couple on the Age Pension can afford 1.7% of listings. This is down from 3.2% in March.
- Disability Support Pensioners are at the bottom of the market, with just 0.3% of rentals affordable. This is down from 0.5% in March.
- Affordability all households on the disability and age pensions is down since March, and has been trending down for years.
Anglicare Australia called for more social housing to protect older people and people with disability from rental stress. “We know why this is happening, and we know how to fix it,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“In the past thirty years, Australia’s social housing shortfall has gotten worse and worse. We now have a shortfall of over 400,000 social homes. Over the same period, affordability for people on government payments has plummeted.
“The Federal Government must step in and fund more social housing for people who need it the most. It must also include older people and people with disability in any of its support packages in the next budget. Without action, people on these pensions will simply be left to the mercy of the market.”
The story was covered by specialist journalists and outlets, including The Canberra Times, Talking Aged Care, Seven News, and Starts at 60. This came alongside the extensive coverage of the full report, released in August and featured in the previous edition of Aspect.
To find out more about the results, visit www.anglicare-ras.asn.au. Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release.