Aspect July 2016

Aspect Newsletter

From the Deputy Director

Stormy weather

Roland MandersonIt’s a turbulent time, after an icy day of snow a couple of weeks ago, here in Canberra we’ve had a couple of the warmest July days ever and now a touch of grim cold rain. The political climate is also turbulent and warming:  at a global level, think of the US, the UK, France, Turkey and Syria: just for starters.

Australia’s long election is not completely over, but Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition government has been returned to office, and some of challenges and opportunities before us are clear. The fact that a growing number of Australians feel they are missing out as we move into a new economy means there will be added pressure on our services and a hotter debate on how they should be funded. 

Meanwhile, new evidence is reminding us that those with the least wealth also have the lowest life expectancies and the poorest health; the housing industry is still geared towards investors and existing home owners; insecurity in housing and work is a growing pressure for far too many; and the Productivity Commission has been charged with further investigating the marketisation of human services. There’s a lot on our plate.

It can get a bit dispiriting working on advocacy in Canberra if you get trapped into thinking everything is about influencing government. And we know it’s not. But elections do make us all focus on political parties, their ideologies and directions. And this next government has an agenda that will affect the work we do across the Anglicare network, so we all need to find ways to engage with it, and with parliamentarians of every stripe.

Darwin is a long way from Canberra. And generally speaking a lot warmer too. So it is great that so many Anglicare people will be there at Creative Edge, our national conference (supported again by Hesta, thank you!), to explore some of these issues at both a practical and a big picture way. What is the creative edge that we want to keep sharp in our work together?

And as well as the highlights of our Conference dinner, great keynote speakers, network meetings, there are the Telstra sponsored awards (This year at Government House, so please let us know before the end of the month if you plan to come so we can get you an official invitation) which are evidence – if you like – of the innovative and long-lasting work that we do.

In this dynamic environment of changing models of care, the collection of big data to inform government policy, and new highly competitive business practices, the opportunity to talk to and learn from each other can be invaluable.  So that’s why the conference in Darwin is so important.  It will help us be organised, as a network, for the changing climate of the year ahead.

In the meantime make sure you’ve booked your tickets: because one of the things that makes these social services a part of a richer more inclusive society is how we work together.

Acting Executive Director,
Roland Manderson

National Office News

Anglicare Australia looks forward to working with new ministry

young-1166562_960_720Anglicare Australia released a statement following the announcement of  new ministers by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on 19 July.

Anglicare Australia’s election priorities - informed by its service provision and advocacy agenda - were affordable and secure housing, secure work, adequate income and appropriate tax reform.

‘These will remain our priorities in our work with the Government’, Anglicare Australia’s Acting Executive Director Roland Manderson said of the announcement.

Read more

Anglicare Australia writes to Productivity Commission

treatment-1327811_960_720The Productivity Commission has invited human services providers to make submissions to its Inquiry, and Anglicare Australia Acting Executive Director Roland Manderson has written a letter in response.

The Inquiry into the increased application of competition, contestability and informed user choice to human services produced an issues paper called ‘identifying sectors for reform’.

Anglicare Australia’s response was that the Inquiry deserves special consideration by those at the coalface of service provision.

Human services provision in a country with an advanced consumer economy like Australia is multifaceted and not straightforward.

Roland Manderson wrote that inequities in Australian Society are growing as a result of the ‘collateral damage’ of a market approach to social support.

Minority government an opportunity for all Australians

BallotFollowing the election on Tuesday 5 July, Anglicare Australia sent out a media statement on the opportunities provided by minority government.

Kasy Chambers, Executive Director of Anglicare Australia argued that minority government can be a good thing and that this negotiating period is an opportunity for political parties to focus on governing for a more inclusive society.

She said that while there is nothing inherently unstable about minority government that it needs to be conducted in a collaborative way.

‘The leaders of our major political parties are honour-bound to listen to the voters and the range of senators and local members they have elected’, she said.

Read more

Major providers unite: We must give a voice to the homeless

Homeless person, photo from PixabayAnglicare Australia united with the leaders of Australia’s homelessness providers including Mission Australia, UnitingCare, the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society and Wesley Mission to produce an Opinion Piece about the 44,000 young people experiencing homelessness in Australia.

The piece focused on the hand-to-mouth existence of people living a life on the streets. 

The CEOs and Directors of all of the major homelessness providers participated in the process of penning the editorial, arguing that the nature of homelessness was linked to housing supply, development and planning and requires national leadership.

Read more

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare merges its Sydney Services

Grant Millard, CEOOn 1 July, 2016, Anglicare Sydney (also known as Sydney Anglican Home Mission Society) and Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV) officially merged into one large organisation and have, taken the legal name of 'Anglican Community Services'. 

CEO Grant Millard was appointed to lead the organisation.

According to the media release sent out by Anglicare Sydney, 'After a rigorous, externally facilitated process the Board selected Grant Millard as the new CEO of the merged organisation,' said Greg Hammond OAM, Chairman of the Board.

The organisation will use the trading names ‘Anglicare’ and 'Anglicare Sydney'.  This decision was made by the board of the organisation, recognising the good name Anglicare has in the Diocese.

Read more

Anglicare NT responds to ABC Four Corners Program ‘Australia’s Shame'

Don Dale Youth Detention CentreAn extremely confronting Four Corners program on the juvenile justice system in the Northern Territory has led to a call for a Royal Commission.

Horrific scenes of young people, many of them just teenagers, being beaten and tortured by guards at the Don Dale Juvenile Justice Centre made for chilling watching on 25 July.

David Pugh, CEO of Anglicare NT released a statement, saying that he was deeply disturbed by the reports in the July 25 Program called ‘Australia’s Shame’.

‘The appalling treatment of young people we witnessed in the program represents a failure in systems, leadership and values by the NT Government, the Minister for Corrections, the Department of Corrections and the broader community’, he said.

Read more

HIPPY Launch in Darwin

HIPPY image from the Brotherhood of St LaurenceThe Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) has expanded into the Northern Territory this year, offering the possibility for parents and youngsters to bond through early-childhood education.

HIPPY has been run for many years by our member Brotherhood of St Laurence in Victoria, and the expansion recognises the impact of the program.

HIPPY is now being offered in Katherine, Darwin and Milingimbi through Anglicare Northern Territory. HIPPY is a free home-based early learning program that supports four and five year old children to have a positive start to school.

HIPPY Darwin was launched in July with a fun-filled morning of activities including a jumping castle, face-painting, arts and craft activities and circus games. 

Holiday Circus Fun

anglicare-nt-logoAnglicare NT’s one-week circus holiday program, held at the Nhulunbuy Surf Club during the July school break, entertained up to 60 young people each day with a range of circus and drama activities.  

Young people participated in juggling, gymnastics, stilt-walking, poi twirling, acrobatics and drama activities reliant on co-operation with each other and strong communication.

Five days of circus fun resulted in a community performance held at the Town Hall on Territory Day, where young people honed their talent and wowed the audience with a diverse array of performances that highlighted the extraordinary skills of Gove Peninsula Youth.

Dinner with the Angels: Anglicare Victoria Dinner

Chefs uniteAnglicare Victoria will hold Dinner with the Angels to coincide with National Foster Care Week in order to raise funds for Victorian children living in foster care.

Scott Pickett, Owner and Head Chef at Northcote-based restaurant Estelle has been a regular participant in the gala and will again don his apron in 2016.

Among the chefs who are donating their time, produce and expertise are Nicky Riemer from Union Dining; Dusty Treweek from Bottega; James Kummrow from Pei Modern; Matt Dempsey from Gladioli; Zac Cribbes from Lucy Liu; Stuart Munro from Merricote; Peter Roddy from Noir; Tim Goegan from Supernormal; Tony Twitchett from Taxi Kitchen; Stuart Bell from Ten Minutes by Tractor; Andy Harmer from The Point Albert Park; Graham Jeffries from Tulip; and Rhys Blackley from Circa.

Dinner with the Angels will be held at Peninsula in Docklands, Melbourne on 7 September.

Read more

Financial counselling online chat

computer-768696_960_720Anglicare Tasmania has just launched an innovative online financial counselling service utilising Government funding.

In the past, only face-to-face or telephone counselling during work hours for people in financial stress was possible, however, Anglicare Tasmania is now providing an online service.

This new online service will offer access to financial counsellors for people to try and sort out ways of better managing their finances and access crucial support from 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday. 

Anglicare to build more than 300 retirement units and new aged care facility in Brisbane

hands-1176674_960_720A chronic shortage of residential aged care facilities in Brisbane is being addressed by the construction of more than 300 new units by Anglicare Southern Queensland.

Anglicare SQ Executive Director Karen Crouch said the Australian population was growing at a remarkable rate, with a significant number of people entering retirement in the coming years.

“In Australia, there are 455,000 Australians aged over 85, this figure is predicted to exceed 1.6 million by 2044,” she said.

“There is already a shortage of these facilities nationally and Anglicare is seeking to turn the tide with these important projects."

Anglicare WA benefits from LotteryWest grant

Anglicare WA unveils newly refurbished centreThe Premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett officially opened Anglicare WA's newly refurbished Geoffrey Sambell Centre in East Perth in early July. The new facility was made possible through a LotteryWest grant of $2.1 Million.

Mr Barnett acknowledged Anglicare WA’s significant history of helping people in need and said the centre’s refurbishment would allow the organisation to meet growing demand for its services.

“For 40 years, the staff and volunteers of Anglicare WA have provided valuable support services to West Australians experiencing relationship issues, financial problems and housing difficulties,” he said.

Selwyn Foundation and Feros Care to offer innovative service delivery model for community-based care

Selwyn Care and FerosThe Selwyn Foundation (Anglicare member based in New Zealand) has just entered into a joint venture with leading Australian health technology and community service provider Feros Care to service the New Zealand health sector’s community-based care requirements. 

The new company, ‘Inviga’ (from “Invigorate”) is a combined venture between the two organisations.

Inviga has been set up to provide technology-enhanced service models in communities around New Zealand. The two organisations are hoping to better provide technology-enabled, home-based service delivery models and to provide more holistic and coordinated wraparound care to a wider range of people who are in need.  

We Care packs for emergency relief

Items in the We Care packsThe Anglicare Australia network has been partnering with New Idea to provide emergency care packs to women in crisis situations.

In Australia one woman is killed every week by a violent partner. Every two minutes Australian police have to deal with a domestic violence matter.

Kim Gentle and Kay Schubach, two survivors of domestic violence, have united for the We Care pack campaign.

We Care packs are filled with essential toiletries and phone cards. Kasy Chambers from Anglicare Australia said the “extremely practical” packs would be welcomed by women receiving support from Anglicare. 

Read more

Happy 25th Anniversary St John's Care

St John's Care staff celebrateAnglicare ACT’s parish community service partner St John’s Care has celebrated its 25th birthday with two events, including a special service at St John’s Church, Reid, on 19 June.

The Director of St John’s Care, Mr Stuart Davis-Meehan, spoke about how much St. John’s Care has grown in 25 years, with teams of dedicated volunteers, and the provision of food and other necessities.

St John’s Care is an integral component of Anglicare’s emergency relief network in Canberra with them helping to deliver our DSS ER contract.

National Awards Profile

Highly Commended - PARTNERSHIP - Anglicare Tasmania

Partnership_HC_AngTas_Lift the Lid 1Welcome to the next in our series of profiles on the winners and highly commended of the Anglicare Australia 2015 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence. These profiles are also featured in the 2016 Anglicare Australia Review.

Anglicare Tasmania - Lifting the lid on mental health stigma

In response to the number of suicides in the small rural town of Bothwell, a partnership was formed between a number of local community groups and health providers, including Anglicare Tasmania’s Southern Central PHaMs (Personal Helpers and Mentors).

Discussion on how to appropriately address this sensitive and serious matter resulted in the development of a community event called Lift the Lid.

Lift the Lid is about starting open conversations around mental health, removing the stigma often associated with mental illness and normalising access to support services when most needed.

With most of the town’s 300 residents showing up, Lift the Lid was able to raise awareness of support available, help reduce the feelings of isolation and provide a safe forum where the community could ask questions.

So successful was the Bothwell event, the community of Oatlands asked for a similar event. The Lift the Lid Oatlands event was adapted to that community’s needs, with mental health awareness, suicide prevention and community capacity building at the forefront.

The Oatlands event was a partnership with key influential community members, the local football clubs, PHaMs participants and other service providers. The diversity of stakeholders included those both locally based and those doing outreach from the city. Some focused exclusively on mental health and others provided more generalist services.

Lift the Lid in Oatlands hosted 11 interactive service provider stalls, guest speakers, an art project, a local football match with a perpetual trophy, and an information show bag and mental health first aid kit for every household. Again, the event was successful with 250 residents attending.

Anglicare Tasmania’s PHaMs team believed a cultural shift was needed so that service providers were seen as more approachable and accessible to those individuals who hesitate to ask for help. The PHaMs team and their partners were committed to this cultural change and pleased with the results. A highlight was that individuals felt comfortable approaching the service providers and engaging in ongoing discussions with stallholders and guest speakers.

Anglicare Award judges found the collective impact was massive and were particularly impressed with how effectively this project tackled the rural isolation issue.

Research and Resources

HESTA supporting Anglicare and the community sector

fc-newsmain-hestaFor the second year, HESTA, the health and community services industry superfund is sponsoring Anglicare Australia’s National Conference Creative Edge.

Anglicare Australia is extremely grateful for this generous support, and will be featuring some of the work of HESTA in our upcoming editions of Aspect.

HESTA has invited community organisations to recognise exceptional contributions to social justice in Australia, by nominating them for the 2016 HESTA Community Sector Awards.

The Awards are presented by HESTA, in partnership with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), as part of its commitment to build a sustainable community sector and to support those affected by disadvantage and inequality.

Anyone can nominate an individual or organisation working in the community sector, with nominations closing on 19 August 2016.

To nominate for the awards, check out 

Survey finds a growing generational divide

house-insurance-419058_960_720A study by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics has found there is a rapidly growing wealth divide between generations, with median wealth increasing by 61 percent since 2001 for people aged 65 and over, compared to an increase of 3.2 percent for people aged 25-34.

This pattern is also reflected in household wealth. In the same time, the average wealth of a household headed by a person aged over 65 grew by 23 percent while the average wealth of households headed by people aged between 25-54 fell. 

The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey also highlighted the intergenerational dimension to  decline in home ownership.

Among people aged between 25-34, home ownership has declined from 39 percent to 29 percent since 2002.

The overall proportion of adults who are home owners declined from 57 percent in 2002 to less than 52 percent in 2014, and this number is on track to be less than 50 percent by next year. 

The research also looked into who had received income support payments and for how long. While in any given year only 18 percent of people aged 18-64 received income support payments, nearly 45 percent of these people received income support at some stage in the previous 14 years. Nearly 70 percent of people aged 18-64 had at some stage lived in a household that received income support payments. These results suggest that the welfare system is functioning largely as a temporary safety-net, rather than a long-term source of income. 

The HILDA Survey is a longitudinal study of Australians households that collects information on a wide range of matters such as household and family relationships, child care, employment, education, income, health care, family behaviour and planning. 

Read more

AIHW releases key aged care statistics

coupleThe Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new report with key statistics on residential aged care services, the Home Care Packages Programme and people receiving these services.

The Residential aged care and Home Care 2014–15 report sheds light on what makes up the aged care sector and provides information on aged care spending, access to aged care services and characteristics of people in aged care.

The report finds that 72 percent of operational places in government-funded aged care services were in residential care and Home Care accounted for 27 percent of places. Over two in three (68 percent) of people in permanent residential care  are women.  

Read more

First Census results to be released in April 2017

censusThe Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is fast-tracking the release of the first results from the 2016 Census to April 2017, two months earlier than in any previous Census.

This release will include National, State/Territory and Capital City data for selected key person, family and dwelling characteristics, including age, sex, religion, language and income.

The main release, involving community level Census data, will be released from 20 June 2017.


More support needed for Aboriginal Mental Health services

foot-224516_960_720New research published in the Medical Journal of Australia has found that nearly one in five parents or carers of Aboriginal children suffers a high level of psychological distress.

The study, which examined the prevalence of psychological distress in the primary carers of Aboriginal children living in urban communities and attending Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) in New South Wales, found that parents and carers who reported health problems that limited their daily activities had four times the odds of reporting high levels of psychological distress – important information for health practitioners to take into account.

Currently, only 13 percent of ACCHS are funded for mental health services, and the report’s authors argue that this needs to change.

The findings are the latest to emerge from the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH), an active partnership between Aboriginal community controlled health services and researchers to produce much-needed data that can guide policy and lead to improved services for Aboriginal people. 

New report highlights health inequities in rural and remote Australia

hot-spots-report-cover-web-graphic-486x282The Grattan Institute has published new research that reveals the impact of health care inequities in regional and remote Australia.

The report, Perils of place: identifying hotspots of health inequality finds that in every year for a decade, many rural and remote locations have potentially preventable hospitalisation rates at least 50 percent above the state averages.

The report’s authors comment that the hospitalisation rates for diabetes, tooth decay and other conditions that should be treatable or manageable out of hospital show how Australia’s health system is consistently failing some communities.

Read more

Improving skills is key to building fairer, more inclusive societies

key-96233_960_720A new report from the OECD has found that developing and using skills improves employment prospects and quality of life as well as boosting economic growth.

The report, entitled Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills, draws strong links between skills and economic equality.

It highlights that having poor skills severely reduces a person’s chance of securing a better-paying and more-rewarding job, and has a major impact on how the benefits of economic growth are shared within societies.

It found that in countries where large proportions of adults have poor skills, the rate of  improvement in living standards is stalled due to the difficulty in introducing new technologies and ways of working.

The report draws its findings from research conducted in Chile, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Lithuania, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey. 

organic-1280537_960_720Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law service has launched a new app to help Not-for-profit organisations find and navigate relevant legal information.

Developed in partnership with Melbourne University Law School and software provider Neota Logic, the app provides automated legal help to NFPs, charities and community groups. 

The app guides poses a series of questions and then produces a downloadable, individualised report with relevant legal information based on the user’s responses. 

Specialist Homelessness Services and mental health

SHS logoThe Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has published new data on Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) clients.

The data shows that of the 21,400 Specialist Homelessness Services clients aged 10 years and older in 2014-15, about 3 in 10 (29.5 percent) had a current mental health issue.

Almost half (47.5 percent) of SHS clients with a current mental health issue reported an episode of homelessness in the 12 months before they contacted the agency, compared with one third (32.7 percent) of clients without mental health issues. 

Policy, consultations and grants

Coalition returned with new ministry announced

reps pic aecAfter an eight week election campaign, we have seen the Coalition returned to Government by a narrow margin. Malcolm Turnbull confirmed his Ministry following a party-room meeting on 18 July.

The National Party’s Michael McCormack and Matt Canavan were appointed to the front-bench, reflecting the party’s strong election results. Other significant changes include Chris Pyne’s appointment as Minister for Defence Industry, Greg Hunt moving from Environment to Industry and Innovation, and Josh Frydenberg taking on a new combined Environment and Energy portfolio.  

Senator Zed Seselja was appointed Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs.

The Senate counting is yet to be finalised. The 45th Parliament of Australia will sit on August 30th.

2016 sitting calendar

Labor ministry announced

aec - papersThe Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has also made some changes to his Shadow Ministry following the federal election.

Senator Penny Wong will move from Trade and Investment to Foreign Affairs, and Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek will take up a large Education portfolio that includes both schools and universities. Tanya Plibersek was also appointed Shadow Minister for Women.

The Opposition Leader also announced the creation of a new Shadow Ministry for Charities and Not-for-Profits, which he gave to Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh.  

Anglicare Events

Sector Events

Sector Events, March, 2017

7th International Carers Conference
Dates: 4-6 October at the Adelaide Convention Centre

FCA Conference (Financial Counsellors Australia)
Dates: 14-17 May, 2017
Full program and registration information coming soon

HESTA awards
Nominations for the 2017 HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards are now open - the annual Awards recognise graduates, individuals and teams for their professionalism, innovation and care, across a range of health settings. 

GARMA festival
Regustrations open. Run by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, the Garma festival will take place from the 4th to the 7th of August.

18th International Mental Health Conference
Abstract submissions are now being accepted for the 18th International Mental Health Conference, being held on the Gold Coast, QLD on 21 – 23 August 2017. More information is available on the website where you can submit your abstracts and register.

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