Aspect February 2018

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: A matter of trust

Roland Manderson

You might have seen that the Annual Edelman Trust Barometer was released earlier this month – and most of the results are unsurprising. More and more, we live in a world and a country rife with distrust.

Trust in major institutions is wearing away, and the trend is very pronounced here in Australia. Trust in business, media, and especially in government have crashed to such low levels that Australia is now sitting just four percentage points above the world’s least trusting country, Russia.

The decline of trust in government, business and media has been slow but steady. It is a process that has been decades in the making as communities reel from the impact of service cuts, huge increases to the cost of living, and worsening inequality.

But this year’s barometer highlights another change, and one that has happened much more quickly. Australian NGOs, which used to enjoy very high levels of trust, have taken a huge hit.

In just two years, Australian NGOs have gone from being among the most trusted in their country to among the least trusted. In 2018 the barometer showed that trust for community organisations dropped to just 48%.

Could this be an accident? It seems more likely that the recent attacks on our credibility starting to take a toll.

In recent years, and especially since the 2016 federal election, politicians have regularly criticised community organisations for deigning to participate in public debate and elections. They argue that community groups have a lesser “right” to engage in important debates than political parties and candidates.

We have seen this culminate in the targeting of environment groups, the recent appointment of charities critic Gary Johns to head up the charity regulator, and the Government’s latest proposal to classify most major community organisations as ‘political campaigners’.

These latest proposals could result in a set of requirements so complicated that some groups will be forced to hire new staff just to manage their compliance. Others might stop speaking out altogether, deterred by the new requirements and huge penalties for getting it wrong – miscalculating the date that you become a ‘political campaigner’ could cost up to $50,000 per day in fines.

This has huge implications not just for charities, but for all community groups. It would allow the Government to audit our advocacy work and our sources of income. And it sends a message to the public our motives are somehow impure.

Much of the debate around these changes has focused on charities. But it’s important that we look beyond our sector and see the bigger picture. All community groups, not just charities, would be affected by these changes. Land councils, community legal centres, community-run campaigns, and other non-charities who speak out could be overrun with so much red tape that it is tantamount to a gag order.

At the same time the big influencers in Australian politics – big business, their lobby groups, and other vested interests – can afford to spend millions on lobbyists to help them secure important meetings, on advertising before elections, and on airspace to set the political agenda. Just weeks ago, the Minerals Council admitted that its donations are designed to buy access to decision-makers.

And we have all seen how these sectional interests can abuse statistics and economic modelling to get what they want. ‘Post-truth’ might be a new phrase, but the concept is familiar. As time goes on, our hollowed-out media has less time, inclination, or expertise to scrutinise the claims presented to it.

The public cottoned on to all of this long ago. That’s why trust in Australian businesses and the media has been declining steadily for years.

So why, when there are so many corrupting influences on our public debate, is civil society being targeted so relentlessly?

We think the answer goes back to trust. As trust in political parties, governments, and government institutions crashes to woeful new lows, it makes sense to attack the one sector that has enjoyed strong and steady credibility with the public – NGOs and community organisations.

It should be no surprise that business has been eager to join this attack. Think, for example, of how the mining industry has worked with government to undermine environment groups in Queensland and NSW. With both the industry and the Government short on trust and unable to persuade the public to their cause, they are doing the next best thing by attacking the credibility of those who challenge them.

Of course many critical organisations – including Anglicare Australia – have had strong and productive relationships with government. But we have never shied away from speaking up for the people who we work with. That is how we have earned our trust.

As we respond to these attacks, it’s important not to retreat into our silos. We should not simply focus on our own status as a charity, or as a religious organisation. We can’t protect trust in civil society unless we defend the right of all community organisations to advocate for their causes.

The good news for Australian civil society is that it has enjoyed high levels of trust over many decades. So I think we can see off these attacks and strengthen our relationships with the public.  It seems to me it is the Government that has a much harder road ahead of it.

Roland Manderson
Anglicare Australia Deputy Director

National Office News

National Office News: The Review, community advocacy, redress scheme and Everybody's Home campaign

Web Tile 1Anglicare Australia releases 2018 edition of The Review
Anglicare Australia has released the 2018 edition of our annual publication, The Anglicare Australia Review.

The Review
 showcases our achievements as a network over the past year, highlighting our national award winners and honourable mentions, conferences and events, and our key advocacy achievements.

Conveying our story through the eyes and voices of Anglicare clients, staff, communities and volunteers, The Review so capably illustrates how effective, tailored, caring and compassionate responses to people and communities should look.

We hope you will enjoy reading The Review as much as we have enjoyed writing and producing it.

Click here to download your copy, or browse previous editions of The Review.

Community advocacy under threat
Anglicare Australia has continued to oppose amendments to the Electoral Act that would regulate or cut back on the advocacy work of civil society.

Our submission argues that the Bill would not address the influence of foreign interests in electoral politics in any meaningful way, nor would it shine any light on any untoward influence on elections or political decision making. The Bill would also discourage community organisations from using their knowledge and work to inform and influence public policy, and limit their participation in public debate. Our recommendation is that the Bill is withdrawn.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers and Deputy Director Roland Manderson have also represented Anglicare Australia at a roundtable on the Bill hosted by Andrew Leigh MP in February.

Click here to download our submission.

Redress scheme must include all survivors
Anglicare Australia has called for a Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse that includes all survivors.

In a submission to a Senate Inquiry, Anglicare Australia has rejected a proposal from the Government that those convicted of child sex offences or more for serious crimes would be excluded from the Commonwealth Redress Scheme. Singling out offenders would be a retrograde step at a time when institutions should be making amends all child victims of sexual abuse in their services.

Anglicare Australia is also concerned that its successful operation could be undermined without engagement from state governments, who must be encouraged to opt-in.

Click here to download our submission.

Everybody's Home launchEverybody’s Home campaign to launch in March
Anglicare Australia is preparing for the launch of the Everybody’s Home campaign, to be held at the National Press Club on Tuesday 20 March. The launch will include an address from Professor Julian Disney.

Anglicare Australia is a partner in the campaign will focus on ending homelessness, improving rental security, funding new affordable rental houses and changing the tax settings to increase investment in affordable rentals and home ownership for new home owners.

The Everybody’s Home campaign will be an umbrella campaign to unite the sector and support our existing campaign activities. It will be tailored for both the Federal and upcoming State elections.

Click here to register for the launch.

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Heni-810x634Anglicare PNG CEO Heni Meke featured in 'Aid Profiles'
Heni Meke, CEO of Anglicare PNG, has been profiled by Stephen Howes as part of a series showcasing international development contributions.

The profile traces Heni's background as a nurse and her former career in the PNG army, where she first encountered HIV/AIDS. After gaining an MBA and working for five years at the national government health department, Heni encountered Anglicare PNG, which runs one of Port Moresby’s largest HIV clinics. In 2011, she was approached to head the organisation.

Anglicare PNG was founded in 2000 in Port Moresby. It was established by two expatriate women as an outreach and volunteer counselling program for people diagnosed with HIV. The Anglican Church provided the new organisation with the land on which it now sits.

Click here to read the full profile of Heni Meke at Aid Profiles.

Anglicare Tasmania seeking examples of integrated service delivery
Anglicare Tasmania is involved in a Departmental working group looking at an integrated model of a child safety Stateside Advice and Referral Service. The model would see NGO staff work alongside departmental staff.

To inform this work, Anglicare Tasmania is seeking examples of projects where organisations and government have been involved in integrated service delivery. These should be examples where government employees have worked side by side with non-government employees in both a physical location and in their day-to-day tasks.

These examples will be used to gain clarity on workplace management and IR practices that are relevant to such an arrangement. Of particular interest are the structures for staff management, who was involved in the recruitment of staff, the terms of their employment, who was involved in performance management, and other related issues.

If you have an example you would like to share, please contact Daryl Lamb on [email protected].

Anglicare Victoria forms Australia’s Largest Social Impact Bond
Anglicare Victoria has joined with VincentCare and the Victorian government to launch the Compass Social Impact Bond, which will deliver a new model of support for 200 care leavers aged between 16 and 18.

Paul_McDonald-290The $14.2 million program, which is now seeking investor support, is based on a preventative model of support and provides young people in Melbourne’s west, inner north and Bendigo.

Anglicare Victoria CEO Paul McDonald said Compass was an exciting opportunity for investors to make a real difference to the lives of young people and the Victorian community.

“This is a great opportunity for the investment community to set young people up for success as they leave care and tackle the tough social issue of youth homelessness,’’ he said.

Click here to find out more about Anglicare Victoria and the Compass Social Impact Bond.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast: Clinical Care Governance Network forum
Anglicare Australia's Clinical Care Governance Network is hosting a dinner forum on Wednesday 18 April, followed by a network meeting on Thursday 19 April in Melbourne.

The dinner event will feature guest speaker Simon Corcoran of the Change Management Institute, who will explore organisational culture and culture change projects. The network meeting will include a discussion on culture change within our organisations, and a range of other topics.

Anglicare Australia’s Clinical Care Governance Network was formed from the desire to establish a dialogue across Anglicare Australia network how we manage risk and assure people we deliver high quality care and services. The network has a diverse membership mostly made up of general managers, CEOs and senior managers in development, risk, quality assurance and compliance.

For more information on the network of the forum, please contact [email protected].

National Awards Profile

Awards profile: Rhythm of Life, Anglicare Sydney

Welcome to our series of profiles on the winners and highly commended of the Anglicare Australia 2017 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence. These profiles are featured in the 2018 Anglicare Australia Review.

ARTICLE 02 - Excellence Award WinnersThe Rhythm of Life Project has delivered the implementation, adoption and embedding of a person-centred care model within residential care at Anglicare Sydney. It encompasses excellence in the areas of resident and client services, research, governance and continuous improvement.

It has involved an organisation-wide implementation and change management strategy, resulting in measured and ongoing improvement in outcomes for residents, families and staff. The program has been designed using evidence-based practice by translating current literature into contemporary practice, underpinned by consumer directed approaches to care.

It is a truly holistic model and philosophy of care which is underpinned by Anglicare Sydney’s values. As an organisation Anglicare Sydney values every person as they are made in the image of God. Rhythm of Life encapsulates the Christian intent more than other care models.

Rhythm of Life was the winner in the Excellence category. The judges noted that Rhythm of Life has brought national and international recognition and has clearly given Anglicare a point of difference in the aged care industry.  The judges were clear and unanimous in their choice of winner, showing the strength of the nomination.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: John Curtin Research Centre, AHURI, Mission Australia and more

John Curtin CentreSuper Ideas: Securing Australia's retirement income system
John Curtin Research Centre
This report calls for renewed efforts to increase the Super Guarantee (SG) rate to where it should be, from 9.5 to 12 per cent. The report also proposes a way forward that abolishes an arbitrary SG threshold designed for the early 1990s. The final report is available here.

Parliamentary LibraryDisability Support Pension – Historical and projected trends
Parliamentary Budget Office
This report examines the factors underlying the recent decline in DSP expenditure, highlighting the impacts of changes in government policy. It uses analysis of historical trends to update projections of DSP expenditure over the next decade. The report is available here.

AHURIUnderstanding opportunities for social impact investment in the development of affordable housing
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute
This report explores social impact investment (SII) in social and affordable housing in Australia. It finds that the funding gap in Australia between tenants’ capacity to pay and the cost of providing housing is the most significant barrier to SII. The report is available here.

Youth ActionVocational Education and Training in NSW: Report into access and outcomes for young people experiencing disadvantage
Youth Action, Uniting and Mission Australia
This report identifies significant barriers young people, especially those experiencing disadvantage, are facing to achieve a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in NSW. The report surveyed 50 individuals from organisations that work with young people experiencing disadvantage. The report is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

New consultations and grants

Investigation into misconduct in rental affordability scheme
The Federal Government has launched an independent inquiry into complaints against housing providers in the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). It will investigate new and existing complaints from NRAS investors and stakeholders. It will also investigate applications made by NRAS investors seeking to transfer the allocation attached to their approved rental dwelling.

Submissions have not yet opened. More information is available here.

Review of Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission legislation
The Government is required to undertake a review of the Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission Act 2012 and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Act 2012 after their first five years of operation. A report on the review’s findings and recommendations is required to be made to the Government by 31 May 2018.

Submissions are due by 28 February 2018. More information is available here. To provide input to Anglicare Australia’s submission, email [email protected].

Closing the Gap Refresh
In December 2007, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) pledged to close key gaps in outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Specific targets were developed to reduce inequalities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy, mortality, education and employment. A seventh target to close the gap in school attendance was added in 2014. Only one of the seven national targets is on track and four will expire in 2018. This consultation will explore ways to 'refresh' the ‘refresh’ the Closing the Gap agenda.

Submissions are due by 31 March 2018. More information is available here. To provide input to Anglicare Australia’s submission, email [email protected].

Sector Events

Sector Events, February, 2018

Upcoming Anglicare Australia network meetings

The following Anglicare networks have upcoming meetings:

  • The Research Network will meet on Wednesday February 28 and Thursday March 1 in Melbourne
  • The Media and Communications Network will meet on Wednesday February 28 and Thursday March 1 in Melbourne
  • The CFOs will meet on Friday 9 March 2018 in Adelaide.
  • The Chaplaincy Network will meet from Wednesday March 14 to Friday 16 in Hobart.
  • The HR Network will meet from Wednesday March 14 to Friday 16 in Perth.
  • The Clinical Care Governance Network will meet Wednesday 18 April (dinner forum) and Thursday 19 April (network meeting) in Melbourne.
  • The Aged and Community Care Network will meet in Brisbane in late May, with a key focus on the end of life.

Email [email protected] for more information.

National Families Week
Registration is now open for National Families Week 2018. The Week will be held from 15 May, the United Nations International Day of Families, to 21 May 2018. Organisations, businesses and individuals are encouraged to celebrate National Families Week by planning and holding a National Families Week event. More information is available here.

GARMA Festival
Registrations have opened for the Garma festival. Run by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, the Garma festival will take place from Friday 3 August to the Monday 6 August 2018. Anglicare representatives will again participate in the festival, with assistance of Anglicare NT. To express interest in participating, or for more information, email [email protected].

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