Aspect January 2019

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: Valuing people at every age

Kasy ED 4_pref

You’d have to have been hiding under a rock for the last few months not to have noticed the attention that Australia’s aged care system has been getting. The public attention began in earnest with the ABC’s 4 Corners programme in September and the resultant Royal Commission opened this month in Adelaide.

In our fast changing world it is tempting to focus our optimism or panic on the future; regarding the past as irrelevant and finished. But I would contend (especially in a week that includes the controversial Australia Day holiday) that a country that dismisses or disrespects its past loses sight of its future.

Anglicare Australia is underpinned by values that recognise the intrinsic worth of every person. Not because of who they are, what they do, or how wealthy they are, but quite simply because they are human. Unfortunately we seem to be out of step with our society on this one. It seems our society regards the worth of individuals by their contribution to a minor part of society – the economy.

Our policy makers and government value people who have good jobs, who pay taxes, who produce things and who buy and consume things. This leaves a long list of people who are valued less by our society. Those with mental illness, those without a job (even though we know there are not enough jobs to go around). Careers, volunteers, and those in low-paying jobs also sink on this measure.

Then there those that are outside the economic workforce due to age – children and older people. Children and old people are not economic contributors in quite the same way.

Children are often explained away as “our future”. This shows a worrying attitude towards valuing the child not for themselves but for what they mean to the rest of us. The philosopher Immanuel Kant famously said that it is immoral to treat a human being as a means to an end. Everyone must always be an end in themselves. This is another manifestation of Anglicare Australia’s view of intrinsic worth. Valuing people for their contribution to the economy seems to be the worse of this. Worse still, it leaves many citizens unvalued. There is also the fear of old age. Perhaps it comes from our difficulty in coming to terms with death, and a need to pretend it isn’t part of life itself.

Older people are unlikely to be economic producers. They also tend to consume less that younger age groups. So how are we to value them?

Old age needs to be valued by us as a time of life. It is hard for society to value older people if it doesn’t value old age. It is a time when people should be able to reflect and offer those reflections to a world that is able to listen. A time when pursuits other than production and consumption can be pursued full time.

An ecosystem is much poorer when a diversity of age is missing. Think of a healthy forest, with its seeds and its seed producers, its sapling and its old trees. It is the old trees that offer shelter to the new and to the animals and birds that add to the wealth of that system.

Not every older Australian will need aged care, particularly not residential aged care. But not everyone enters old age equally. The soapie staple of older people sweetly maturing in their own home is not possible for those retire into poverty, in the private rental market, with little superannuation, or perhaps disconnected from family. This is the group we need to be most concerned about.

We sincerely hope that the Royal Commission will help us as a community come to terms with people getting older, with the value of old age, and with the value of those people that inhabit that age group.

We also hope it will shine a light onto those people and organisations that do care about all older people, and who see old age as a valuable period in a fulfilling life. Anglicare Australia’s members work hard in this area to ensure everyone can make the most of this time in their lives, not just those inoculated by wealth in their youth and middle age.

National Office News

National Office News: The Anglicare Australia Review, Federal Budget, position statements, and more

2019 edition of the Anglicare Australia Review out now
The ReviewAnglicare Australia has released the 2019 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. Hard copies are being sent to Anglicare Australia members.

Anglicare Australia launches position statements
Anglicare Australia is developing a range of position statements to communicate our position on key issues facing the Network. These will be released throughout 2019.

Position statements are developed by Anglicare Australia, drawing on our existing positions and consultations with the Network. These statements will be reviewed regularly.

The following position statements are now available:

  • Adequate income
  • Affordable housing
  • Children and young people
  • Mental health
  • People with disability
  • Secure work

Click here to download the statements. This page will be updated with new statements as they are released.

Urgent action needed on inequality
Kasy+Chambers+Federal+Budget+Reaction+Canberra+rNPWlEFmDoPlAnglicare Australia has called for urgent action on inequality following reports of a widening wealth gap in Australia.

Kasy Chambers, Anglicare Australia executive director said that inequality was not only real, but a choice.

“The latest figures from Oxfam show us that inequality is real – and worse still, it’s a choice,” she said.

“Our own report on The Cost of Privilege shows that each year, a staggering $68 billion in taxpayer dollars is spent on tax concessions and subsidies for the wealthiest households.

“The money we spend keeping the wealthiest households wealthy is greater than the cost of Newstart, disability support, or any other benefit.

“We should remember this whenever anybody claims that we can’t afford to raise Newstart or take action on inequality. The government must accept that growing inequality is a problem across Australia and spread the benefits of prosperity to those who need it.”

Click here to read the coverage of this story.

Anglicare Australia makes submission to the 2019-20 Federal Budget
Anglicare Australia has made a submission to the 2019-20 Federal Budget, due to be handed down in April.

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. That's why it's critical that the tax and transfer system is reformed, and that income support payments are raised and restructured. These are key recommendations in our submission.

Anglicare Australia also made recommendations in the following areas:

  • Social security
  • Aged care
  • Disability and mental health
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Out-of-home care
  • Job creation and employment 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 Tuesday February 26 and Wednesday February 27 in Sydney. Both networks will participate in a joint session on the findings of Anglicare Australia's 2018 State of the Family research, and the Media and Communications Network will have a training session on crisis communications and issues management.

Other confirmed dates include:

  • A group of CEOs will meet to discuss the Royal Commission into Aged Care on Monday 11 February 2019 in Melbourne.
  • The Housing and Homelessness Strategic Collaboration Group will meet on Tuesday 12 February 2019 in Canberra.
  • The Out-of-Home Care Strategic Collaboration Group will meet on Wednesday 20 February 2019. The location is yet to be confirmed.
  • The CFOs will meet on Wednesday 6 March 2019 in Sydney.
  • The Financial Wellbeing and Children and Family Services Networks will hold a joint forum Wednesday 6 March 2019 in Adelaide.

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].

Looking on the bright side of life: Benetas CEO Sandra Hills pens op ed on planning for better aged care
Sandra HillsLife is brimming with many major events, occasions and milestones planned for well ahead of time. It’s interesting however, how we avoid planning for life’s biggest and most inevitable event; ageing.

We plan for weddings, holidays and babies, scouring the internet for the cheapest deals or scrolling through Pinterest for creative ideas but very few of us utilise easily accessible resources and plan ahead when it comes to ageing.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills OAM has offered her own advice for how best to plan for aged care.

“Researching the aged care industry and knowing your choices as you age is crucial. Ageing is no different to any other major decision that you make throughout the course of your life and this one will be life changing.

“Government sees itself as having responsibility, alongside providers, for your ageing journey. But... the decision will ultimately sit with you and your family.”

Click here to read the full opinion piece.

AnglicareSA to deliver early intervention pilot program aims to keep families together
The SA state government and AnglicareSA will pilot a ground-breaking new early intervention program specifically developed for families at risk of having their children enter the child protection system.

AnglicareSA Chief Executive Officer Peter Sandeman said the service would draw on preexisting, tested programs interstate and overseas, such as the US-based HomeBuilders model.

“We know that intensive family support is effective and if children can stay safety within their birth family, then that’s by far the best place for them to be,” said Mr Sandeman.

“It is clear from our work at AnglicareSA that, faced with the risk of losing their children, many families will work hard to get back on track and this program will help them do just that.

“We believe that we can make significant impacts at a critical time, which will mean long-term positive outcomes for children and their families. It will strengthen our community and benefit our economy.”

The $2.8 million program will engage 46 families and about 138 children each year and will be delivered by AnglicareSA over two years from early 2019.

Click here to find out more about the early intervention program.

Young Australian workers trapped in ‘part-time purgatory’, Brotherhood of St Laurence report finds
Conny-Lenneberg-BSL_640A powerful reshaping of Australia’s youth labour market has ushered in an era of extreme job insecurity for the nation’s youth. Young Australians are far more likely to work part-time than 40 years ago.

Just as they are trying to launch independent lives, 20-somethings are especially hard hit, according to the new analysis by the Brotherhood of St Laurence for its latest Youth Unemployment Monitor.

For tens of thousands of young Australians, their first ‘real’ job is likely to be a ‘survival job’—and a part-time one at that.

To gain an accurate picture of how young people were faring in Australia’s labour market both youth unemployment and underemployment needed to be considered, said Brotherhood Executive Director Conny Lenneberg.

‘Young Australians today face job challenges their parents and grandparents simply could not have imagined. The combination of stubbornly high youth underemployment and unemployment poses enormous risks, especially for young people experiencing disadvantage,’ Ms Lenneberg said.

Click here to read more about the report.

National Awards Profile

Awards profile: 3Es to Freedom, Anglicare North Coast

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.

3Es to FreedomAnglicare North Coast believes that former refugee women are less likely to be victims of domestic and family violence if they are Educated, Employed and Empowered. The 3Es to Freedom program came out of Anglicare North Coast’s work with families from refugee backgrounds. Working with female heads-of-households, they found that financial security and independence had a positive impact on other aspects of women’s lives.

The Federal Government funded Anglicare North Coast to tackle this issue, and the 3Es to Freedom program was launched in 2016.

DSC_0670The pilot aimed to support and empower women at risk of violence with an intensive programme. The program has helped to build a sense of connection among the participants, and between their cultures. Many of the women have developed a sense of pride and ownership of their program, and of their ‘new 3Es friends.’

The judges were impressed by this program’s focus on heads-of-households and women. They congratulated the program for targeting a vulnerable group with a strong theory of change – and a strong evidence base.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Benevolent Society, and more

BSLPart-time purgatory: young and underemployed in Australia
Brotherhood of St Laurence
This report points to the reshaping of Australia’s youth labour market over the past four decades, accelerated by the economic downturns in the 1990s and, more recently, during the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC). Compared with 40 years ago, 20-24 year olds today are four times as likely to work part time, fuelling underemployment. The report is available here.

BenevolentIndex of Wellbeing for Older Australians
The Benevolent Society
The Index of Wellbeing for Older Australians, commissioned by The Benevolent Society and prepared by The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM), maps how older people are faring nationally across five domains, including education, health, resources and wealth, including housing. The report is available here.

PCSuperannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness
Productivity Commission
The Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a 12-month inquiry into the efficiency and competitiveness of Australia's superannuation system. This represented the third stage of the Commission's review of the Efficiency and Competitiveness of Australia's superannuation system. The final report is available here.

Parliamentary LibraryTrends in use of non-standard forms of employment
Parliamentary Library
This report explores structural shifts in the economy and the labour market. It finds that there were 2.6 million casual employees in Australia in August 2018, and one million independant contractors. The report is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

New consultations and grants

Consultation on the Aged Care Diversity Framework Homelessness Action Plan
Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) is working with a Reference Group and the Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub-group to develop an action plan under the Aged Care Diversity Framework for older people experiencing, or at risk of homelessness. It is consulting with professionals, providers and services who work with older people, even those that are not specialised in providing services to people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

Responses to their survey consultation are due by Friday 8 February 2019. The survey is available here.

Review of the early release of superannuation benefits
The Australian Treasury has released for consultation an issues paper with findings and draft proposals for reform of the rules governing the early release of superannuation benefits on compassionate and severe financial hardship grounds.

Submissions close on Friday 15 February 2019. More information is available here.

Review of the Social Security Commission Bill 2018
The Selection Committee has called for submissions on the Social Security Commission Bill 2018. This private members bill would establish a Social Security Commission independent of government to research rates of income support.

Submissions close on Friday 1 March 2019. More information is available here. To provide input into Anglicare Australia’s submission, contact [email protected].

Jan Pentland Scholarships now open
Each year the Jan Pentland Foundation makes several scholarships available to people who will make a great contribution to the financial counselling sector but require some financial assistance to complete the Diploma of Financial Counselling. Successful applicants will be required to enrol in the Diploma of Financial Counselling by the end of 2019 and to complete the Diploma in a two and a half year timeframe. The scholarships cover costs associated with the diploma up to $5,000.

Applications close on Friday 29 March 2019. More information is available here.

Productivity Commission inquiry into mental health
This inquiry will examine the effect of mental health on people’s ability to participate in and prosper in the community and workplace, and the effects it has more generally on our economy and productivity.

Submissions close on Friday 5 April 2019. More information is available here. Anglicare Australia will be making a submission. To provide input, contact [email protected].

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.

Sector Events

Sector Events, January 2019

Upcoming Anglicare Australia network meetings
The following Anglicare networks have upcoming meetings:

  • A group of CEOs will meet to discuss the Royal Commission into Aged Care on Monday 11 February 2019 in Melbourne.
  • The Housing and Homelessness Strategic Collaboration Group will meet on Tuesday 12 February 2019 in Canberra.
  • The Out-of-Home Care Strategic Collaboration Group will meet on Wednesday 20 February 2019. The location is yet to be confirmed.
  • The Research Network will meet on Tuesday February 26 and Wednesday February 27 in Sydney
  • The Media and Communications Network will meet on Tuesday February 26 and Wednesday February 27 in Sydney
  • The CFOs will meet on Wednesday 6 March 2019 in Sydney.
  • The Financial Wellbeing and Children and Family Services Networks will hold a joint forum Wednesday 6 March 2019 in Adelaide.

Email [email protected] for more information.

Public Assembly on Housing
On Thursday March 14 2019, St Vincent De Paul Society NSW, the Sydney Alliance and the Everybody’s Home campaign are co-hosting a public assembly on affordable rental housing and clean affordable household energy. The March Assembly is an opportunity for the community to hear about and ask questions on the policies of political parties and key issues for candidates in the lead-up to the NSW and Federal elections. It will be held from 6.30pm on Thursday 14 March 2019 at Sydney Town Hall. Free tickets can be booked here.

National Youth Homelessness Conference
One in four Australians experiencing homelessness are children and young people aged 12-24, and this is widely acknowledged as an underestimate. This conference will look at what has or hasn’t happened to address youth homelessness in the past 10 years, what we have learnt works, what reforms are required and the development of an agenda that we can advocate to Governments. The conference will be held at Melbourne Town Hall on Monday 18 to Tuesday 19 March 2019. Tickets are available here.

National Families Week
Registration is now open for National Families Week 2019. The Week will be held from 15 May, the United Nations International Day of Families, to 21 May 2019. 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.

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