Aspect January 2018

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: The 'jobs boom' is leaving people behind

Kasy ED 4_pref

You might have noticed the recent spate of articles on the ‘boom’ in full-time jobs across Australia – this Government is being lauded as one of the biggest jobs creators in history, and everybody is rushing to take credit for a new era of full employment.

But there’s something missing from this story. Most employment statistics, like those released earlier this month, assume that each person can compete for every job.

We know this isn’t true. Anglicare Australia’s Jobs Availability Snapshot, released just months before the government figures, attempts to show us what the job market is really like for those jobseekers who don’t have qualifications or experience to draw on. Nationally, there are five such jobseekers for every entry-level position, and even these entry-level roles require a secondary education or a Certificate I.

Our research shows two clear trends. Firstly, entry-level jobs have been drying up over the last ten years. In 2006 nearly 22 percent of all vacancies were at the entry level, compared to 15 percent in 2017. Conversely, job vacancies are increasingly aimed people with more advanced skills. In May 2017, a staggering 37 percent of vacancies called for a degree or at least five years’ work experience.

Secondly, we can see that there were many more jobseekers than positions at the entry-level.  Our findings – that there are five jobseekers per entry-level vacancy – do not include all the other people with more skills and experience that may also be applying for these jobs.

For Anglicare Australia this is vital research because these jobseekers have been left out of the public debate about employment. We can see this in the recent spate of news and commentary telling us that job vacancies are at record levels, or that it’s raining job vacancies in Australia.

Skilled jobseekers clearly have more options. But for those without work experience, little education, or the long-term unemployed, the picture is stark. Glumly, those who do find a job can end up in roles that don’t meet their needs. We found that 1.12 million people were underemployed – almost one in ten people in the workforce.

But perhaps more than anything, the research shows that our seemingly endless succession of welfare crackdowns has failed. The expansion of mutual obligation over the last twenty years, the barriers to young people accessing Newstart, and the growth of the Work for the Dole program have done nothing to help entry-level jobseekers and the long-term unemployed.

If the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over expecting different results, then our preoccupation with welfare crackdowns has become pathological. Parliament is now debating measures that would create a demerit system for Centrelink recipients, penalise jobseekers who miss appointments, and force people to run down their savings before they can seek help.

These measures will trap people in poverty instead of helping them into work – but considering this week’s revelations that the Government considered cutting all benefits to everybody under the age of 30, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.

The answer is simple, but it’s hard for government to accept. We must move away from forcing people onto an endless hamster wheel of job searching and training unlinked to real job prospects, hoping the market will magically solve the vacancies deficit.

Instead we need to revisit the idea of job creation. These jobs should not be piecemeal and meaningless. They must offer a real line of sight to all the benefits that come with work.

And as the jobs grow more complex, we need to insulate people in entry-level jobs against the loss of that employment.  All training including school education, vocational courses and on-the-job-training should include some foundation into the types of skills required in more advanced roles.

We know this can be done, and we know it works. Our research goes beyond the gloomy statistics to show how the Anglicare Australia network itself has been helping to get people into work and to keeping them there. Agencies like Benetas, the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Anglicare Tasmania have created imaginative employment programs for disadvantaged and entry-level jobseekers in aged care and home support services. With the disability and aged care sectors set to grow exponentially across Australia, this is a model we can expand to provide stable work for those who need it.

This is the right kind of market intervention. The government is fond of saying that the best form of welfare is a job. If that’s true, then it behoves us to make sure the jobs are actually there.

If we persist with an approach that’s failing, we are not simply denying people jobs. We are denying them stability, activity, dignity, and a connection to society.

National Office News

National Office News: Royal Commission response, community advocacy under threat, Federal Budget

Job Vacancy: Policy and Research Officers
Anglicare Australia is looking to recruit two motivated and thoughtful people to join our team, with one position beginning immediately. Applications close on COB Monday 12 February 2018. Interviews will be held on Tuesday 20 February 2018, with applicants notified of a request for an interview the week prior.

Click here to view full position description and selection criteria. For more information, contact Imogen Ebsworth, Director of Policy and Research on 02 6230 1775.

National Office farewells Erin Clark and welcomes Penelope Tompsett
Anglicare Australia is delighted to introduce our new Office Manager, Penelope Tompsett.

Penelope will provide general administrative support to the national office team including reception duties. She will also provide secretariat support to the Anglicare Australia Council and other groups. Penelope brings a wealth of experience to the role, having worked with several membership and peak bodies including Diabetes Australia and Alzheimer's Australia.  She has also worked in the NSW Department of Health.

We are also farewelling our long-serving Office Manager Erin Clark, who first joined the Anglicare Australia team in 2011. Erin has been the hub of our busy and every-changing office and has provided critical support, management, and member communications to our network. We thank Erin and wish her the best of luck in her new career.

Anglicare Australia calls for action on declining living standards
ABC NewsAnglicare Australia has responded to reports that living standards are declining across Australia, with the cost of living rising in major cities.

“Things are getting worse for the people who are getting left behind,” Deputy Director of Anglicare Australia Roland Manderson told the ABC earlier this month.

“Costs are going up for things that are non-discretionary - things like rent, food items, power, all the things you need to be a part of our society.

“For people who have no room to move, it's going to hurt them the most,” Mr Manderson said.

Click here to watch Roland Manderson's interview with the ABC.

This must never happen again: Anglicare Australia responds to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its final report in December 2017, which contained 189 new recommendations to better prevent and respond to future instances of abuse.

Responding to the report, Anglicare Australia said:

Royal Commission"Anglicare Australia’s priority is, and will continue to be, ensuring the wellbeing of children and young people, and those who have experienced past abuse, is placed well ahead of the wellbeing of institutions.

"Anglicare Australia welcomed the announcement of the Royal Commission in 2012 and we have followed the proceedings closely to ensure we learn from its work. Our members operate professional services and incorporate the research, reports and findings from the Commission into their policies and procedures. We will carefully review the Commission’s final report and work to incorporate its findings across our services.

"Having fully supported the work of the Royal Commission, we hope to see an end to the denial and covering up of these inexcusable acts. Such systemic failure to protect the most vulnerable members of our community must never be allowed to happen again."

Click here to read the full media release, and click here for the Royal Commission’s Final Report. Anglicare Australia was featured in Pro Bono News’ coverage of this story.

Anglicare Australia speaks up for community advocacy
Anglicare Australia has opposed moves to regulate or cut back on the advocacy work of civil society in a submission on a proposed amendment to the Electoral Legislation.

“The amendment to the Electoral Act would force any group to register as a political campaigner if it has spent more than $100,000 on ‘political expenditure’ in a three-year period,” Executive Director of Anglicare Australia Kasy Chambers said.

“Every charity that employs someone to analyse issues like aged care, homelessness, disability, living costs and virtually any other issue is likely to end up classified as a political campaigner. That will lead to a set of requirements so complicated that some charities will be forced to hire staff simply to manage their compliance – or stop speaking out altogether.

“By attacking charities and their ability to advocate, we’re creating a society where only those with power and access to start with have the ability to influence policy.

“Community advocacy is one of the only ways we can balance the self-interested and privileged forces that drive decision making and policy in Australia. It is in everybody’s interests to protect it,” Ms Chambers said.

Click here to read Kasy Chambers’ opinion piece. Anglicare Australia was featured in Buzzfeed and Pro Bono News’ coverage of this story.

Anglicare Australia urges Government to rule out cuts
Budget SubAnglicare Australia has called on the Government to rule out any further cuts to income support in its submission to the 2018-19 Federal Budget.

The context for the next Federal Budget is an Australia facing growing inequality, and where the cost of living is rising faster than wages or income support. But instead of strengthening the safety net and improving support to those who need it the most, recent budgets have focused on measures that drive increasing inequality and disadvantage in Australia. We have called on the Government to reverse this trend.

Anglicare Australia also made recommendations in the following areas:

  • Strengthening the Safety Net
  • Supporting Aged Care Reform
  • Ensuring the NDIS Meets People’s Needs
  • Real action on Homelessness and Housing Affordability
  • Out-of-Home Care That Doesn’t Leave People Behind
  • Creating New Jobs in Disability and Human Services.

Click here to download our submission.

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Upcoming Anglicare Australia network meetings
This year is well underway with a number of Anglicare Australia's special interest networks settling on the time and place for their next network meetings and forums.

The Research Network and the Media and Communications Network will meet on Wednesday February 28 and Thursday March 1 in Melbourne. Both networks will participate in a combined training session on Common Cause communication, and hold a joint dinner on the night of the 28th.

Other confirmed dates include:

  • The Housing and Homelessness Strategic Collaboration Group will meet on Friday 23 February 2018 in Canberra.
  • The CFOs will meet on Friday 9 March 2018. The location is TBC.
  • 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.

For more information on these meetings or any other network activity, contact the convenors or members of the groups direct, or ask us for assistance at [email protected].

Anglicare WA's Ian Carter AM named National Co-Chair of Anti-Poverty Week
Ian Carter AM, CEO of Anglicare WA, will join Professor Eileen Baldry, Deputy Vice Chancellor of UNSW, as the National Co-Chair of Anti-Poverty Week 2018.

Ian CarterAnti-Poverty Week is a week where all Australians are encouraged to organise or take part in an activity aiming to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship here in Australia or overseas. It was established in Australia as an expansion of the UN's annual International Anti-Poverty Day on October 17.  In 2018 Anti-Poverty Week will be held from the 14th to the 20th of October.

Anglicare Australia congratulates Ian on this appointment. More information on Anti-Poverty Week is available here.

Anglicare NT to support Territorians living with mental illness
The Northern Territory Government has announced that it will partner with Anglicare NT to deliver a $3 million housing initiative to support Territorians with ongoing mental illness.

Anglicare NT’s Executive Manager of Community Care & Access, Terry Cleary said this is an exciting opportunity to work in partnership with the Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services (CAAPS) Aboriginal Corporation, the NT Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and Top End Mental Health Services (TEMHS) to provide support for people with mental illness living in public housing.

“We are honoured and privileged to be given this opportunity to engage in such a significant way in the lives of people living with a mental illness, to be a part of their inclusion and participation which ultimately is all about making a better community for everyone.

“The NT Housing Accommodation Support Initiative gives Anglicare NT the opportunity to provide a wraparound service that will support people with a mental illness to maintain successful tenancies and participate in their communities,” Mr Cleary said.

Planning for the services is now underway. Referrals are expected to be accepted later in 2018. Click here to find out more.

Anglicare friends and volunteers recognised with Australia Day honours
Peter John FisherAnglicare Australia is delighted to congratulate several volunteers and friends of Anglicare, who were recognised with Australia Day honours this month.

They include Peter Fisher, the former CEO of Anglicare NT. Peter has also been the Chief Executive of Foodbank NT and Baptist Care NT. Having spent 27 years in the NT, Peter has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service to the community of the NT. More information about Peter is available here.

Heather GwilliamAlso recognised was Heather Gwilliam, who serves as Anglicare Sydney’s Western Sydney Disaster Recovery Coordinator. Heather serves Anglicare Sydney in a voluntary capacity, and has been involved in Anglicare Sydney's disaster relief work since 1996. She led the team in its response to the 2013 bushfires at a number of evacuation centres. Her work has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal. More information about Heather is available here.

Formation of a new Reconciliation Network
Anglicare Australia is forming a new Reconciliation Network. The network will finalise its Terms of Reference, based on draft objectives and a statement of purpose to get the group started started.

Anglicare Australia is registering its first Reconciliation Action Plan, and our hope is that this group will help us with meeting that plan as well as providing insights for the whole network around some of the issues that could further reconciliation across the whole network.

Nicole Chaplin of St John’s Youth Services in Adelaide has volunteered to facilitate the network. We would love to hear from people that feel they are able to contribute. We hope to hold a first teleconference in February.

For more information or express interest in joining the Reconciliation Network, email [email protected] by Friday February 23 2018.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: Anglicare Southern Queensland, AIHW, The McKell Institute and more

Youth VoicesYouth Voices Report
Anglicare Southern Queensland
Youth Voices has been a channel for young people to influence youth policy, program development and service delivery in government, schools and community organisations — to communicate what they see as a flourishing life, and the supports they need to achieve that. The final report is available here.

AIHWSpecialist homelessness services annual report 2016-17
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
This report describes the characteristics of clients of specialist homelessness services, the services requested, outcomes achieved, and unmet requests for services during 2016–17. The report is available here.

ALHR2017 Human Rights Report Card
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
The 2017 Human Rights Report Card has found Australia continues to significantly lag in key areas such as indigenous rights, disability rights, freedoms and LGBTI rights. Further, many states and territories also performed poorly in their approach to human rights. The report is available here.

MckellMapping Opportunity: A national index on wages and income
The McKell Institute
This report aims to add a deeper level of research to key policy reform and is aimed at strengthening opportunity for everyday Australians and increasing social mobility across generations in order to enable the economy to grow in a manner that benefits all. The report is available here.

OECDPensions at a Glance: How does Australia compare?
This paper finds that the earnings test for the Age Pension limits flexible retirement after the normal retirement age. Earning more than 14% of the average wage reduces the Age Pension. It also finds that reforms over the last two years in Australia have focused mainly on tax incentives. The paper 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.

Inquiry into Commonwealth Redress Scheme
On 30 November 2017, the Senate referred the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017 and the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2017 to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report.

Submissions are due by 2 February 2018. More information is available here. To provide input to Anglicare Australia’s submission, email [email protected].

Funding available through Telstra Foundation Tech4Good Challenge
The Telstra Foundation has launched the Tech4Good Challenge. This Challenge will support non-profits to innovatively use digital technologies. Participation in the Challenge includes $20,000 in funding, professional development in design and innovation; and mentoring from industry experts over five months. At the end of Stage 1, at least five of these projects will receive further funding to pilot, and if successful scale.

Applications are due by 21 February 2018. More information is available by emailing [email protected]

Inquiry into the Market Readiness of the NDIS
The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme in conducting an inquiry into and report on market readiness for provision of services under the NDIS.

Submissions are due by 22 February 2018. More information is available here. To provide input to Anglicare Australia’s submission, email [email protected].

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, January, 2018

Upcoming Anglicare Australia network meetings

The following Anglicare networks have upcoming meetings:

  • The Housing and Homelessness Strategic Collaboration Group will meet on Friday 23 February 2018 in Canberra.
  • 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. The location is TBC.
  • 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.

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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