Aspect August 2019

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: Taking the Golden Rule to heart

Kasy ED 4_pref

I was lucky enough to spend a few days with five Australian leaders from the Anglicare Australia as we visited the leaders of our New Zealand members and their organisations last month.

There is more about the who, the what, the where and the when later in this edition of Aspect but there was something about the whole experience that I believe we Australians all felt.

It began and ended with the genuine, warm, authentic hospitality and leadership we saw in our colleagues there.  Whole leadership teams that aside a full day to genuinely be with us, to show us around their services and discuss their challenges and successes. 

As the week passed I became aware that this graciousness was echoed across the public conversations that were going on in the country.  On the face of it many of the issues were very familiar – a housing crisis affecting those on government benefits and low incomes, a rapidly changing demography and multifaceted disruption, a scarcity that led to below decent levels of welfare payments, and sadly large differences in social, economic and health outcomes for Maori communities compared with other groups.

What was different however was the tone of the conversations that were being held about these issues.  There was an absence of blame to the individual about their situation. In its place was a sense of it being a shared national problem with shared national solutions.

There was a kinder tone, a kinder feeling. 

Kindness seems to get a bit of a bad run. On one hand it seems to get trivialised as it enters pop psychology urges people to practice random acts. On the other it gets overlooked in this time of exaggerations – it seems too mild or mediocre a virtue.

However as a backdrop to difficult social issues it would start us from somewhere so different. The Golden Rule of “do unto others” speaks of kindness, respect, and fairness. This, of course, is known as The Golden Rule because it can be seen in every religion and ethical code. And yet we seem in Australia to be not only ignoring it but positively flouting it. 

Kindness as a starting place enables leadership to address the problem itself, be it low incomes, expensive housing, or unequal experiences, rather than spending time and energy concocting a narrative about who is to blame.  It allows for leaders who lead for all, instead of chasing the whims of perceived public opinion. And of course this produces leaders who leave the world better off.

We met with Professor Cindy Kiro Chair of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group, a group set up by the New Zealand parliament to consider the issues of welfare. They have explored how to better support people, how to help people move off welfare, and how to support people at vulnerable times of their lives. The Group’s purpose began with the words “Taking a no blame approach.” Having put the issue of blame aside, the Group was able to investigate the actual issues. Imagine starting conversations about Robodebt or drug testing of people on benefits with these five words.

It should be said that the problems haven’t miraculously solved themselves thanks to kindness. But the default settings are different, the debates are different, and that feels very different to our approach in Australia of blaming individuals for their own circumstances in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

Of course, I am aware of the dangers of comparing a culture you visit briefly with one you live and work in full time. Even so, just imagine the conversations we could be having if we sought first to apply The Golden Rule and find within ourselves a little kindness.

National Office News

National Office News: New staff, New Zealand study tour, Anglicare Australia National Conference and more

Kayleigh Meumann joins Anglicare Australia
KayleighAnglicare Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of Kayleigh Meumann to the position of Policy and Research Officer.

Working closely with Director of Policy and Research Imogen Ebsworth, and fellow Policy and Research Officer Ellen Bugge, Kayleigh's role will include Anglicare Australia’s research and resource collection, policy and research development support and Special Interest Network support.

Kayleigh has strong research skills, familiarity with the political and policy processes of the federal parliament, and a commitment to support social justice. She has previously worked as a policy advisor in federal parliament, and in community sector organisations in drug and alcohol policy as well as in the care and resettlement of offenders.

Kayleigh holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia and a Master of Social Policy from the University of Melbourne.

Anglicare Australia Network members embark on New Zealand study tour
A delegation of CEOs from across the Anglicare Australia Network embarked on a study tour in August to visit our Associate members in New Zealand and share their expertise and knowledge. The tour was held on 12-15 August 2019 and included Conny Lenneberg of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Karen Crouch of Anglicare Southern Queensland, Mark Glasson of Anglicare WA, Shane Maddocks of ac.care, Suzie Christensen of Anglicare Central Queensland, and Kasy Chambers of Anglicare Australia.

The tour began with a visit to the Anglican Trust for Women and Children, one of Auckland's oldest charities assisting mothers, children and families. The second day focused on ageing, aged care, and spirituality with a visit to the Selwyn Foundation. The Selwyn Foundation is a charitable trust providing retirement village living, affordable housing, community services and support for older people. On the final day, CEOs visited Auckland City Mission. The Mission provides advocacy and social and medical services to marginalised people in Auckland.

In addition to meeting with staff and clients of these services, the delegation met with Professor Cindy Kiro, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori) at the University of Auckland, and Trevor McGlinchey, CEO of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services.

Throughout the tour, all of our New Zealand colleagues shared their ideas, services and relationships with Australian CEOs. They also heard about our services and the challenges facing our Network in Australia. The tour helped to develop deep discussions as well as strong relationships across the Tasman.

For more information about the tour and the key lessons, contact [email protected].

Kasy Chambers delivers Gerard Tucker Oration
Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers delivered the Annual Gerard Tucker Oration in Melbourne on 18 August. The Brotherhood of St Laurence holds the Oration each year in Melbourne at the Christ Church South Yarra, the birthplace of its founder Father Gerard Tucker.

The oration was titled Beyond Tucker: Poverty and hope in modern Australia. It explored poverty and inequality, and what it means to truly be a democratic society:

“The yearning to belong is something truly human and yet so many people in this precarious society we have created experience real poverty in belonging…

The criminalistion of welfare, the assumption that those in poverty are different to us makes it very easy for us to start to treat them differently. To make them into “the other.” Once we do this we can blame them for their plight. We can see poverty as a symptom of a moral failing of that person.

So, may be there isn’t too much difference between Tucker’s Melbourne and ours and as we meet here tonight in Gerard Tucker’s own church I have to ask myself “Is this the society God wanted for his people?”

Click here to read the full oration.

Anglicare Australia Network members continue to meet with key ministers
Anglicare Australia has been meeting with new Ministers and a small group of relevant CEOs, which are being hosted by Anglicare Australia Network members in the Ministers’ electorates. These meetings cover key issues of interest to Network members.

Over the last month, meetings have been held with Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Stuart Robert; Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters Zed Seselja; and Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services Luke Howarth. The meetings have covered issues surrounding foster and young people in care, the Home Stretch campaign, housing, homelessness, and the expiry of funding for the Equal Remuneration Order for the sector.

As part of these meetings, Anglicare Australia has also been preparing briefs for Ministers on key issues facing our Network. We have been liaising with members about these briefings and their content.

For more information about the ministerial meetings and briefings, contact [email protected].

Registrations still open for Anglicare Australia’s 2019 Conference
Registrations are still open for the 2019 Anglicare Australia National Conference, to be held at the Pan Pacific in Perth from 8–11 September 2019. Registrations can be arranged 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:

  • The Hon Kim Beazley, Governor of Western Australia and former Opposition Leader
  • Jane Caro, commentator and author
  • Adjunct Professor Tracy Westerman, West Australian of the Year
  • Katie Stubley, of the Centre of Social Impact and Director of the Social Impact Festival
  • Janet Anderson, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner
  • Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy will preach at the conference’s opening service
  • An expert 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. The conference itself with a welcome from the traditional owners.

And hurry - the conference is just days away! Click here to register for the Anglicare Australia National Conference now.

Tours of Anglicare WA services available for Anglicare Australia conference delegates
Anglicare WA is offering Anglicare Australia conference delegates the opportunity to tour Foyer Oxford. Foyer Oxford is a cutting edge youth housing service located on Oxford Street in Leederville. Part of the international Foyer movement, the multimillion dollar project is founded on the idea that ending youth homelessness can be achieved through education, training and sustainable employment. This program has the capacity to house and support 98 young people, including 24 young parents and their children. It is the largest single site homelessness service for young people in Australia. You are invited to tour this program and see how the facility runs on Wednesday 11 September. The tour will leave the conference venue at 2.30pm.

Delegates are also invited to meet with Anglicare WA’s Rainbow Committee. Anglicare WA prides itself on being fiercely inclusive and we have a vibrant Rainbow Committee that have led the agency through many terrific initiatives. If you would like to meet our Committee or learn more about the Rainbow program, representatives will be available at the Pan Pacific in Perth (the conference venue) on Wednesday 11 September at 1pm.

To express interest in participating in the tour, contact [email protected].

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Winners announced for inaugural Benetas Aged Care Employee Awards Day
Leading Victorian aged care provider Benetas, has today recognised three outstanding employees through the organisation’s inaugural Benetas Aged Care Employee Day Awards.

The winners were Catherine Ticker, Enrolled nurse and Quality and Education Officer at Broughton Hall, Lisa Newman, Lifestyle Enhancement Program Worker at Gisborne Oaks and Elena Webster, Communications Officer at Benetas’ Support Office.

Employees were nominated by their colleagues for the accolade and significantly, over 40 nominations were received across the business. All nominations were put before an Executive panel who made the final tough decision.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills said that it showed a real spirit of recognition and valuing of employees across the business.

“We were delighted to receive so many nominations, especially seeing it is only our first year of having the awards. It says a lot about the employees at Benetas, and their generosity and support of their colleagues.

“I would like to sincerely congratulate the winners for truly going above and beyond in their work and demonstrating the Benetas values and our genuine commitment to exceptional customer experience outcomes.”

Click here for more information about the awards and winners.

Anglicare Victoria invites applications to new Research Ethics Committee
The Anglicare Victoria Research Ethics Committee is a formally constituted human research ethics committee, operating in accordance with National Health and Medical Research Council requirements and guidelines.

The Committee meets every two months to consider applications for ethics approval for research involving human participants (including analysis of participants’ personal, sensitive and health information). It will generally only accept applications regarding areas of research in relation to which committee members have some degree of expertise and familiarity. These include:

  • Evaluations of social services and therapeutic programs
  • Client satisfaction and other consumer feedback research related to social services programs and organisations
  • Basic research initiatives conducted for advocacy or sector learning purposes

Anglicare Victoria invites Anglicare Australia Network members to submit applications for ethics approval to the Committee.

To discuss the application process, please contact the Secretariat David Giles at [email protected].

WA Home Stretch trial to begin in September
WA's Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk has announced that the state's Home Stretch trial, led by Anglicare WA, will start on the week of 9 September. It will support fifteen care leavers in the Fremantle area.

Anglicare WA chief executive Mark Glasson said the current system was not setting up young people to successfully leave the care system.

“For many of them, their accommodation options are homelessness services, their health options are the emergency departments,” Mr Glasson said.

“The WA Home Stretch trial will provide an opportunity to create those foundations by offering guarantees around housing, health and ongoing support that every young person needs to transition into independence.”

The trial and other developments in the campaign have been discussed at the Home Stretch Symposium, held in Sydney on 27-28 August. It brought together policy developers, stakeholders and implementers to explore and discuss the challenges and complexities associated with introducing the policy of extending care to 21 years.

Click here to find out more about the upcoming Home Stretch trial in WA.

You Be You – Anglicare Southern Queensland revamps foster care recruitment
Anglicare Southern Queensland has launched a new look standalone foster care recruitment brand You Be You, Helping Them Be Them.

With new inclusive and vibrant creative, the brand is a departure from the Anglicare parent brand look and feel, a move specifically made to elevate foster care recruitment for the organisation synonymous with aged care.

“We’ve been recruiting foster carers for more than 25 years and we recognise that Anglicare is not top of mind when it comes to fostering. A new dedicated campaign and sub brand will help us connect to more potential foster carers who may not have engaged with us as Anglicare,” said Amy Lee-Hopkins of Anglicare Southern Queensland.

The new brand aims to remove the perceived barriers and difficulty around foster care and resonate with more people who have never considered foster care before.

“The brand focus is on you just need to be you and have a passion to make a difference in a child’s life. By being yourself, it encourages the child to be themselves and thrive in a safe and stable home. There is no one size fits all for foster carers or children in care and we really wanted to make it clear that just showing up and committing to helping a child is all you need to start your foster care journey.

“Unfortunately demand for carers is constantly rising, which means more children need help and we need to reach new people to consider foster care and remind them that fostering is not about changing or transforming, it’s about helping kids be safe to be who they are,” Ms Lee-Hopkins said.

Click here to see Anglicare Southern Queensland’s new foster care recruitment brand.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: AHURI, Grattan Institute, Workplace Gender Equality Agency and more

Mortgage stress and precarious home ownershipMortgage stress and precarious home ownership: implications for older Australians
Australian Housing and Urban Research
This research investigated the growing numbers of middle aged and older Australians who are carrying mortgage debt into retirement and paying off higher levels of debt relative to house values and income. Between 1987 and 2015, mortgage debt among older mortgagors increased by 600 per cent. These trends have significant consequences for older Australians’ wellbeing, retirement wealth management and government incomes policy and housing assistance programs.

The report is available here.

Australia's welfareAustralia’s Welfare
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Australia’s Welfare is the 13th biennial welfare report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The report is underpinned by the notion that a person’s wellbeing results from the interplay of many individual, societal and environmental factors that extend beyond the provision of welfare services. It provides an authoritative overview of the wellbeing of Australians, examining a wide range of relevant topics.

The paper is available here.

The wealth of generationsThe wealth of generations
Grattan Institute
This report finds that older Australians are capturing a growing share of Australia’s wealth, while the wealth of younger Australians has stagnated. The report proposes tighter targeting of the Age Pension, reducing superannuation tax concessions and a shift to increase taxes on assets in order to redress the balance. These reforms would fall most on those who have benefited most from windfalls and government largesse, and have paid lower taxes while deficits accumulated.

The report is available here.

She's pricedlessShe's Price(d)less: The economics of the gender pay gap
Diversity Council of Australia and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency
The importance of reducing the gender pay gap transcends productivity gains and economic prosperity. Reducing the gap will improve equality in the workplace. Yet this report finds that despite advances in lifting women’s participation in the labour force and women’s pay across industries, and an increased recognition of the value of diversity in the workplace, the gender pay gap continues to persist.

The report is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

Policy, consultations and grants

Inquiry on the adequacy of Newstart and related payments and alternative mechanisms to determine the level of income support payments in Australia
The Senate Community Affairs References Committee is conducting an inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart and related payments and alternative mechanisms to determine the level of income support payments in Australia. The inquiry will be considering what constitutes an acceptable standard of living in Australia, including the cost of safe and secure housing.

Submissions close on Friday 13 September 2019. More information is available here. To provide input into Anglicare Australia’s submission, email [email protected].

Inquiry into Centrelink's compliance program
The Senate Community Affairs References Committee is conducting an inquiry into Centrelink's compliance program, with a particular focus on the automated debt collection system (also known as Robodebt).

Submissions close on Friday 20 September 2019. More information is available here. To provide input into Anglicare Australia’s submission, email [email protected]

Ansvar Community Education Program
Ansvar’s Community Education Program provides a range of grants to organisations supporting Australian youth through programs that fall under the categories of Empowerment and Education, or Outreach and Support. Grants up to $50,000 are available for programs supporting Australian youth.

Grant applications close on Monday 14 October 2019. More information is available here.

Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is now accepting submissions. Submissions can be made using an online form. An Easy Read version of the form is also available.

The Australian Government is also funding a legal advisory service and advocacy support for people who want assistance to make a submission. To access this support, subscribe to the Commission's mailing list.

Submissions are open, and no closing date has been nominated. 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, August 2019

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.

Anti-Poverty Week
Anti-Poverty Week has a new look and approach. Its key message is Poverty exists. Poverty hurts us all. We can all do something about it. It is one of hope, not despair. See the Anti-Poverty Week website with its refreshed logo and materials for 13-19 October and link to APW eNews. This year Anti-Poverty Week has invited the Raise the Rate campaign to hold a Day of Action on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October within Anti-Poverty Week. Anglicare Australia is a long-term sponsor and supporter of Anti-Poverty Week and our CEO Kasy Chambers is a member of the National Facilitating Group. More information is available here.

Family Relationship Services Australia Conference
The FRSA National Conference is one of the largest annual gatherings of practitioners, academics and policy makers working to support children, families and communities. This ‘not to be missed’ event will feature a number of highly acclaimed keynote presenters, as well as Federal Ministers and sector leaders with a focus on delivering the most effective services to children, families and young people. This year’s Conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, 19-22 November and the theme is New Horizons: Building the future, Paving the way. Information on how to register is available here.

Australian Council of Social Service National Conference
The 2019 ACOSS National Conference will be held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra on 26-27 November 2019. It will provide a deep dive into the latest research and developments in economic and public policy, with a focus on poverty and inequality in Australia through a series of interactive plenary sessions. The conference offers attendees the opportunity to participate in key learning and development opportunities, to be a part of an important knowledge exchange as well as the opportunity to network with representatives from the sector, government and business with shared interests. ACOSS members can register here.

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