Aspect May 2019

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: Our priorities for the next three years

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Before last weekend’s election, we heard a lot about the fair go. The Prime Minister told us that he believes in a fair go for those who have a go. The Opposition went as far as making the fair go its election slogan.

Now that the campaign is over, and the dust has settled on the result, we are reflecting on what this campaign told us about fairness – and contacting the new Cabinet about our priorities.

The Government, and the country, face major challenges. Hundreds of thousands of Australians are struggling to find an affordable home. Those who are out of work or underemployed are struggling to make ends meet. And many older Australians are retiring into poverty.

Yet these issues barely made a dent in the campaign – even though, in each of these cases, there is widespread agreement about the problems we face.

More must be done to create jobs and help people participate. All sides of politics have recognised that changes are needed to the Jobactive network. But that recognition did not translate into proposals on how to build a more person-centred system. And as we all know, even a better system will not change the fact that too many people are competing for too few jobs – something that we find year after year in our Jobs Availability Snapshot. It is past time for Government to invest in direct job creation programs.

But paid work is only part of the story. Over 800,000 people who rely on income support are struggling daily to afford basic essentials like a roof over their head and food on their table. That includes parents, carers, people with disabilities, students, and those who have been locked out of paid work. 

People cannot pursue a better life if they are forced to make tough choices between eating a meal and paying a bill, buying shoes for their children and filling prescription. And they cannot look for work if they are homeless and hungry.

Our safety net has become a poverty trap, with rates of Newstart frozen at dangerously low levels for 25 years. One-off payments and tax cuts will not lift people out of poverty – we know that raising the rates of these payments is the most powerful step that any government could take to reduce poverty in Australia. This election campaign has shown that there is unprecedented support to make that happen. Yet neither Government nor the Opposition took a clear position to the public. Now that we’ve put this issue on the agenda, we cannot allow it to fall from public view in the next three years.

Another key part of our safety net, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, is in need of serious attention. It is simply not working for many of the people who we serve. This has now been acknowledged by all sides of politics. Whether we see real action in the next three years remains to be seen.

And of course, we’ve seen a big contradiction in how political leaders are dealing with aged care. There were no concrete commitments on aged care from either the Government or Opposition during the campaign, even though they both supported calling the Royal Commission – itself an act of recognition of the issues facing the sector. Older people should not have to wait for a report to be handed down when we already know that there steps we could be taking now. We need to clear the home care waiting list, tackle workforce challenges, and build a sustainable funding model for aged care. It’s only a matter of time before these issues become too urgent to ignore.

Housing has been another frustrating aspect of public debate. Everyone agrees that a home is a basic human need, and nobody doubts that we’ve been in the midst of a crisis for years. Yet even those working full-time are struggling to put a roof over their heads. Somehow, despite a so-called market downturn, Australians are still spending record amounts on housing. Our Rental Affordability Snapshot, released early in the campaign, shows the depth of this crisis. We must stop Australia from becoming a country where only the very wealthy can avoid housing stress.

But one bright spot on that front has been the appointment of a Minister for Housing, and an Assistant Minister for Community Housing and Homelessness. It has been six years since we had federal ministers for housing and homelessness, and this is big opportunity for our sector. We will be making the case to both of them for action on the huge shortfall in social and affordable housing.

A home, a decent income, and dignity in old age are things that every Australian deserves. Each of these areas is critical to making life better for all Australians – and to delivering on the fair go that our leaders have been touting since the election was called. We have already made contact with the Government’s incoming Ministers and flagged these issues with them.

At this campaign, we managed to put these issues on the agenda. Our challenge over the next three years is make sure we get action.

National Office News

National Office News: Election wrap-up, new ministers, Anglicare Australia conference and more

Anglicare Australia welcomes second Morrison government
Anglicare Australia congratulated the Coalition and Prime Minister Morrison on regaining government.

Executive Director Kasy Chambers said that Anglicare Australia will continue to work with the Government for a fairer country.

“Three quarters of Australians polled before the election said they want action on wages, welfare, and climate change over tax cuts. We owe it to them to take action.

“Climate change will have the worst impact on the poorest in our community. But climate action also offers opportunities to create a fairer country. We will continue to call on the Government to develop a serious climate strategy.

“Newstart has been frozen at dangerously low levels for 25 years. This election campaign has shown that there is unprecedented support to raise the rate. We will continue to push to increase these payments – and reform them so that they keep pace with the cost of living.

“We need action on the huge shortfall in social and affordable housing. Our recent Rental Affordability Snapshot has shown the depth of this crisis. We must stop Australia from becoming a country where only the very wealthy can avoid housing stress.

“And it’s becoming more and more clear that we need action on aged care. We welcomed the Government’s decision to call a Royal Commission. Now we hope to work with them to clear the home care waiting list, tackle workforce challenges, and build a sustainable funding model for the sector.

“We know what we need to do to make Australia fairer – invest in affordable housing, raise Newstart, take action on climate change, and ensure a dignified life for older people.

“We look forward to working with Prime Minister Morrison and the Government on each of these fronts,” Ms Chambers said.

Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release.

Government announces new cabinet
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has launched his new cabinet, which has seen some new faces emerge in the key portfolios for the Anglicare Australia Network.

Senator Anne Ruston has been appointed Minister for Families and Social Services. She will oversee an expanded Department in a portfolio that merges families with social services. We will work with her on critical issues such as financial counselling, emergency services, the low rate of Newstart, and support for young people among others.

Stuart Robert has been appointed Minister for NDIS. This is a new dedicated portfolio focused on the NDIS, and we will be watching closely to ensure it reflects a focus on fixing early problems with the Scheme.

Michael Sukkar has been reappointed Assistant Treasurer, as well as becoming Minister for Housing. He will be assisted by Luke Howarth, Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services. This is the first time in six years that the Government has had a Minister for Housing and a Minister for Homelessness. We will be making the case to both of them for action on the huge shortfall in social and affordable housing.

Richard Colbeck has been appointed Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians and Minister for Youth and Sport. We will be working closely with him on issues facing the aged care sector, and on the implementation of the Royal Commission.

Ken Wyatt has been appointed Minister for Indigenous Australians, a landmark and historic appointment. Our Network is active in partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to deliver services and in the Family Matters campaign to reduce child removals. We will be working with Minister Wyatt on all of these issues.

Senator Michaelia Cash will become Minister for Employment, a portfolio she held earlier in the life of this Government. We are looking forward to working with Senator Cash again as the Government makes changes to the JobActive Network.

David Littleproud will become Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management. This will be a key relationship for our Network as we continue to help people rebuild their lives after extreme weather and natural disasters. We will also be engaging with the Minister on our work in helping rural and regional areas through financial counselling and emergency relief services.

There is also some continuity in the Ministry. Greg Hunt has been reappointed Minister for Health; Senator Zed Seselja has been reappointed as Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters; and Michelle Landry will continue to serve as Assistant Minister for Children and families.

Anglicare Australia has congratulated each of these Ministers, and sought to brief them on key issues facing our Network. We will be in touch with members about these briefings in the coming weeks and months.

Our usual CEO Forum was cancelled due to the timing of the election. However, we will be arranging meetings with the new Ministers and a small group of relevant CEOs, which will be hosted by Anglicare Australia Network members in the Ministers’ electorates. We will be in touch with CEOs as these arrangements are made.

Election wrap-up available for Anglicare Australia members
As part of its election wrap-up, Anglicare Australia pledged to continue working with the Government.

But with 151 new and returning members of parliament, we have also urged Anglicare Australia Network members get know their local MPs. Local MPs are the backbone of the major parties, and they are also the most sensitive to the issues that voters care about. We hope all of Network members will take the opportunity to meet with them about the issues that we took to the election campaign.

Anglicare Australia will continue to push our priorities nationally – these are the priorities we’ve emphasised in our open letters to the Government and Opposition, in our position statements, and in our media appearances. We will continue to work with the Government on each of these issues, and we will continue to support members to build relationships in Parliament.

The Anglicare Australia Election Tracker, which was updated throughout the campaign, remains available to help members get across the commitments made by the Government and Opposition during the campaign. Members of the new Senate crossbench have also released initiatives, and we have provided links to them in our wrap-up.

From all of us at Anglicare Australia, we thank you for your support of our election advocacy. We look forward to working with you all over the next term of Government.

Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s election wrap-up.

Anglicare Australia seeks commitments for quality, affordable aged care
Before the election was held, Anglicare Australia released open letters to the Federal Government and Opposition today seeking commitments for quality, affordable aged care.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said older Australians deserve to know what the next government proposes to do to improve aged care.

“The quality of the care we provide is a reflection of how we value older people. That’s why we sent these open letters to the Government and Opposition earlier in the campaign,” Ms Chambers said.

“We’re calling on the Federal Government and Opposition to commit to quality, affordable aged care for all older Australians,” Ms Chambers said.

The Opposition has issued a response to our open letter before election day, which we have published online.

Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release.

Opinion: What Australians think about poverty
The Australian National University’s Power to Persuade has published a two part piece from Anglicare Australia on the results of our most recent State of the Family report, The real story: What Australians think about poverty and how we shape the debate.

The report was a study of social attitudes that looked at how Australians see people experiencing poverty. It also reflects on what these attitudes mean for how we as advocates communicate and persuade. Our findings showed that attitudes are not fixed. They are shaped and reshaped through persuasion and debate. We also found that Australians are more sympathetic to those in poverty then even they realise.

The first piece explored two factors that shape the debate on poverty: our tightly targeted welfare system, and our perceptions of our fellow citizens.

The second piece looked at the role of language in shaping the consensus around poverty and welfare.

For more information about the 2018 State of the Family report, contact [email protected].

Register for Anglicare Australia’s 2019 Conference
It is with great pleasure that Anglicare Australia invites you to the 2019 Anglicare Australia National Conference, to be held at the Pan Pacific in Perth from 8–11 September 2019. Early bird registrations have now opened, and registrations are open online.

Our theme for 2019, Our Stories: The Power to Change, will capture our work and builds on our mission. As Anglicare Australia Network members, we work in hundreds of communities across Australia to build resilience, inclusion and justice. And as a Network, we are always sharing stories of change as we advance our mission.

Speakers will include:

  • Kim Beazley, Governor of Western Australia and former Opposition Leader
  • Jane Caro, commentator and author, who is set to appear in an IQ2 debate on ageism
  • Dr Tracey Westerman, West Australian of the Year, who recently launched the Dr Tracy Westerman Aboriginal Psychology Scholarship at Curtin University
  • Katie Stubley, Director of the Social Impact Festival and lecturer at the Centre of Social Impact
  • Janet Anderson, Aged Care Quality Commissioner
  • Archbishop Kay Goldworthy will preach at the conference’s opening service
  • A panel will explore issues in philanthropy and social ventures

Delegates will be treated to concurrent sessions from experts from across the Anglicare network; outstanding keynote addresses; and networking opportunities throughout the three days. And as always, we will kick off on Sunday evening with an opening service on Sunday night.

Click here to register for the Anglicare Australia National Conference.

Call for Papers open for Anglicare Australia National Conference

Applications are invited for papers for the Anglicare Australia National Conference at the Pan Pacific, Perth.

Workshops and presentations are an important part of the conference, giving participants an opportunity for members of the Anglicare network to exchange information, showcase successes, promote your organisation’s agenda and make useful connections.

With a focus on the theme Our Stories: The Power to Change we welcome workshops and presentations in all service types from member organisations in areas such as:

  • Cutting edge service design
  • Client experience and co-production
  • Communications strategies for advocacy and for service delivery
  • Faith-based engagement
  • Leadership, management and staff development
  • Marketing / fundraising
  • Organisational development
  • Research, evaluation and outcomes measurement

More information on submitting an abstract is available online: events.anglicare.asn.au.

Papers should be submitted by no later than Friday 14 June 2019. To find out more, email [email protected].

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Compliance or improvement – where’s the evidence?
Anglicare Australia's Clinical Care Governance Network is hosting a dinner forum on Tuesday 11 June, followed by a network meeting on Wednesday 12 June in Brisbane.

The dinner event will feature guest speaker Anthony Black, a Senior Risk Solutions Consultant and National Care Sector Lead at Ansvar insurance. Anthony will explore changing and rising expectations of governance, clinical governance frameworks should respond to changing care complexity, and the need to balance dignity of risk with duty of care.

The following day, the Network will explore quality standards and frameworks across the different services, client centred care, and compliance issues. The Network has a diverse membership mostly made up of general managers, CEOs and senior managers in development, risk, quality assurance and compliance.

To register your attendance at the dinner and the forum, email [email protected] and include any dietary preferences.

Anglicare North Coast celebrates twenty years of service
This month, Anglicare North Coast celebrated 20 years of service to people in need throughout the Anglican Diocese of Grafton. From humble beginnings in a small office in the Maclean parish, the organisation has grown in size and services offered over the past 20 years, helping countless people during that time.

CEO Estelle Graham said that “It’s unfortunate that organisations like Anglicare North Coast are needed, but from our humble beginnings 20 years ago it was recognised that there were many people across the region in need – this situation continues today and if anything, the needs seem to have increased in number and complexity.”

Several former and current staff and Board members attended a special birthday service at the Cathedral, where the inaugural Executive Officer, Fr George Markotsis preached. Fr George recalled the early days and how the organisation came into existence, rising to challenges such as how to respond to victims of natural disasters.

The team at Anglicare North Coast is looking forward to continuing to assist those in need and to rise to future challenges, whatever they might be.

Click here to watch Anglicare North Coast’s twentieth birthday video.

Anglicare Southern Queensland calls on Youth Justice Department to raise minimum age of criminal responsibility
Anglicare Southern Queensland has called on the new Youth Justice Department to prioritise removing children from adult watch houses and raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14.

Group Manager for Anglicare Southern Queensland’s Children & Families services, Tammy Lloyd, said international precedent and extensive evidence suggested the minimum age of criminal responsibility should be at least 14.

“Youth detention centres are an inappropriate response for minor offences and for young people on remand who have nowhere else to go,” Ms Lloyd said.

Ms Lloyd said recent media coverage of children being held in adult watch houses were disturbing, but just expanding the capacity of youth detention centres was not the answer.

“Expanding youth detention centres may help to get children out of adult prisons, but it will not support them to improve their lives. While we welcome the Queensland Government’s commitment to rehabilitation programs, we don’t believe 10-year-olds should be in youth detention at all.

“Without denying the importance of community safety, therapeutic and integrative trauma-informed approaches are more likely to reduce reoffending behaviour in this age group than prison-like environments.”

Click here to read Anglicare Southern Queensland’s full media release.

Anglicare Victoria CEO calls for urgent National Homelessness Summit in light of recent tragedy in Melbourne
Melbourne woman Courtney Herron was thought to be sleeping rough when she was killed in a park this week. On any given night, around 120,000 are without a home; 40 per cent are women and 60 per cent are below the age of 35.

Speaking to ABC News, Anglicare Victoria CEO Paul McDonald appealed to the nation to hold a National Homelessness Summit to address the crisis of housing and homelessness in this country.

“Aside from the violence in this tragic case concerning Courtney Herron, I think the thing that is shocking the public also is that people are sleeping in parks at such a young age; we’re past crisis point on homelessness in this country for access to social housing.

“That is why nothing short of a National Homelessness Summit, that brings all tiers of Government together, will be sufficient in solving this issue.

“In the affluent Australia we live in, we can’t let such horrific events unfold in our communities without asking whether we are failing our homeless young men and women. This tragedy is shocking, but our test is whether we are prepared to act and ensure it doesn’t happen again,” said Mr McDonald.

Click here to read Anglicare Victoria’s call for a national summit.

National Awards Profile

Awards profile: headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program, Anglicare NT

Welcome to our series of profiles on the winners and highly commended of the Anglicare Australia 2018 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence. These profiles are featured in the 2019 Anglicare Australia Review.

The headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program in Darwin supports over 90 young people and families touched by psychosis.

This innovative service has been tailored to suit the needs and requirements of the Darwin population. Young people and their families were heavily involved in the design and ongoing strategy of the program.

headspace Darwin works with young people who are at risk of developing psychotic symptoms, or are having their first episode of psychosis. The early intervention model works closely with family members and includes psychiatric and medical management, case management, community awareness, and education.

Treating mental health issues early, before they progress into psychiatric illnesses, makes treatment more successful. All teams work together to support young people and families, making sure they have everything they need.

The judges noted that there can be a lack of mental health services in the Northern Territory, especially for young people. They described headspace as a standout entry because it tackles a major area of need and fills an important service gap. The judges also commended Anglicare NT for family and client collaboration in the program's design.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: Salvation Army, Volunteering Australia, AHURI and more

One Step at a Time

One step at a time: Five year financial counselling analysis
Salvation Army
This research highlights the financial pressures and hardships that people have endured and reveal the personal circumstances and challenges households experienced due to financial stress and difficulties. Over the past five years, economically the situation for these people has not improved. For many it really is just one step at a time.

The report is available here.


Volunteering and Settlement in AustraliaVolunteering and Settlement in Australia: A snapshot
Volunteering Australia and Settlement Council of Australia
Volunteering Australia and the Settlement Council of Australia have conducted a national survey on volunteering and settlement. This snapshot aims to synthesise the survey’s findings into useful data, and identify possible themes for further research, policy development and advocacy.

The report is available here.


TrajectoriesTrajectories: the interplay between mental health and housing pathways
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute
This is a national study that aims to develop a clearer understanding of the housing and mental health pathways of people with lived experience of mental ill-health. It aims to identify failure points in the housing and mental health systems—failure points represent missed opportunities for early intervention and are potential key points for system improvement.

The report is available here.


Young Australians attitudes to violenceYoung Australians’ attitudes to violence against women and gender equality
Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety
This report presents key findings from the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey focusing on results for young Australians aged 16-24. It also presents the reflections of young people on the findings.

The report is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

Policy, consultations and grants

NDIS Thin Markets Project
The Department of Social Services and the National Disability Insurance Agency have commissioned the NDIS Thin Markets Project to develop strategies to address supply gaps in ‘thin markets’ in the NDIS. The project will examine options for different cases. Noting that there is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing thin markets and related challenges, the ultimate focus of the project is on making sure NDIS participants affected by ‘thin markets’ challenges have access to the supports they require.

Submissions close on Friday 31 May 2019. More information is available here.

Shaping the future of disability policy for 2020 and beyond
The Department of Social Services is consulting on the next National Disability Strategy. The current strategy will expire the end of 2020, and governments across Australia are working together to develop a new strategy for beyond 2020. The first stage of consultation takes place between April and July 2019, and a survey and online forums are now open.

Survey responses close on Monday 10 June 2019. Online forums will be held throughout June. More information is available here.

Better Connections: Your health, your say
The Australian Digital Health Agency is holding a consultation to develop a blueprint for a more digitally connected health system. The Interoperability Program seeks to connect patient information from multiple systems and sources to enhance clinical outcomes, improve healthcare delivery and improve patient experiences within the health system. Feedback is invited through a survey.

Survey responses close on Friday 14 June 2019. More information is available here.

Inquiry into general issues around the implementation and performance of the NDIS
The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme is conducting this inquiry, which aims to identify broad systemic issues relating to the implementation and operation of the Scheme. After 30 June each year, the committee reports to Parliament on recurrent issues that have arisen and offers recommendations intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Scheme.

Submissions are open, and no closing date has been nominated. More information is available here.

Priority Assist
Telstra’s Priority Assist program offers a higher level of service for customers, or someone living at their home, with a diagnosed life threatening medical condition. Eligible customers are entitled to faster connection and fault repair of their fixed-line telephone service. This may be of interest to many Anglicare clients or their carers.

Applications can be made at any time. More information is available here.

Sector Events

Sector Events, May 2019

Child Inclusive Practice
The 2019 Child Inclusive Practice Forum Rebuilding, Restoration and Renovation, acknowledges family breakdown is not a finite concept. Reflecting this our speakers will cover wide ranging topics to enrich the practice of Child and Family Therapists, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, Family Law and Childhood Specialists. The CIP Forum will be held 3-5 June 2019, at DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin, Northern Territory. Registration and other information is available here.

Compliance or improvement – where’s the evidence?
Anglicare Australia's Clinical Care Governance Network is hosting a dinner forum on Tuesday 11 June, followed by a network meeting on Wednesday 12 June in Brisbane. The dinner event will feature guest speaker Anthony Black of Ansvar insurance. The following day, the Network will explore quality standards and frameworks across the different services, client centred care, and compliance issues. To register your attendance at the dinner and the forum, email [email protected] and include any dietary preferences.

National Redress Scheme: Direct Personal Response Immersion Sessions
Registered are invited to attend an information session on direct personal response, one of the three elements of redress available under the National Redress Scheme for institutional child sexual abuse. The ‘immersion’ sessions will be delivered by the Department of Social Services, and will offer an introduction and overview of direct personal responses under the Scheme. Several session times are available up to June 2019, and the sessions are free. Participants can register here.

Anglicare Australia National Conference
Our Stories: The Power to Change is the theme for Anglicare Australia’s National Conference, to be held in Perth from 8–11 September 2019. This year's conference will capture our work and builds on our mission. As Anglicare Australia Network members, we work in hundreds of communities across Australia to build resilience, inclusion and justice. And as a Network, we are always sharing stories of change as we advance our mission. Delegates will be treated to concurrent sessions from experts from across the Anglicare network; outstanding keynote addresses; and networking opportunities throughout the three days. Delegates can register here.

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