Aspect July 2018

Aspect Newsletter

From the Deputy Director

Editorial: The Civic Square

Roland Manderson

Canberra, where the Anglicare Australia office is based, has a Civic Square. Indeed Canberra’s CBD was for a long time known as Civic Centre or more colloquially as Civic. So it’s sad or perhaps ironic that now there seems to be quite a push from the government, which is based here in Canberra, to put limits on our civic conversations, on the metaphoric civic or public square.

I am convinced by the argument that the opportunity for our societies to hear everyone, and for all sectors to have a stake in shaping them, is what makes them strong and allows them to truly care for their people. And in our world of instant mass and micro-communication, this diversity of voices and interests is an essential counterforce to organised money. In my mind, the role of civil society organisations in ensuring that what goes on in the civic square is respectful, well-informed and inclusive, is vital. But if we – as members of the community sector – want to keep playing this role, I think we’re going to have to fight for it.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by the pressure. In the eyes of many, civil society is much easier to support when it promotes civic debate somewhere else, such as in the developing world, or when it’s dutifully providing the services that people used to expect from government. When its advocacy is domestic, a part of national priority setting perhaps, civil society is too often described as agitation or dissent.

That’s why not-for-profits and charities are facing a number of lines of attack: on their tax deductible status, on their capacity to advocate for the purposes that define them, and on their right to speak into the public space without being attacked or dismissed for taking a supposed party political line.

In a recent parliamentary debate on the role of charities, government MP Tim Wilson argued:
"We all agree that, when donations are made in this country, they should, of course, go to the people to which they are served, to try to minimise overheads and to make sure that people can get the support and assistance they need."

This is a revealing comment. It seems that a virtuous charity is one that works efficiently at the bottom of the cliff and doesn’t think of guiding people away from its edge. Andrew Laming, another government MP, went on to add:
"All the people listening around Australia just want not-for-profits to get on with doing what their bread and butter business is. There is no disagreement there... [But] they take the gift of tax deductibility from the Australian government, and they take that money and engage not in their core business but in party-political activity."

And so we have to ask why the opponents of public advocacy – the civic square – conflate this public conversation, the exchange of ideas about how society should work, with partisanship?  I suspect it’s because the arguments being made by civic society actors, the for-purpose community organisations, are mostly about the wellbeing of the least powerful people, countries, and ecologies on the planet. And it seems partisan if they are consequently arguing for a change of direction.

The strategy of those opposed to this diversity of choices is to brand this advocacy for change as illegitimate. There is no shortage of tactics being employed to support that plan. At the state level for example, we are seeing anti-protest measures that target community campaigns on mining and environment issues. Nationally there are rules stopping doctors and community workers from revealing abuses in offshore detention. And critically for the Anglicare Australia Network, there have been under-the-radar changes to the Electoral Act that will make it harder for civil society groups to be part of public debate. Then the political donations Bill, which is still before parliament, will couple those Electoral Act changes with measures that would classify most major community organisations as ‘political campaigners’.

This would define being part of the political process as partisan electioneering, thereby painting politics itself as a subversive and dangerous activity when it involves community groups, and suggest we must closely scrutinise – and mistrust – anyone who seeks change.

It’s already getting quite murky. Think, for example, of the role of Catholic Education Melbourne in the recent Batman by-election. While they cannot campaign for any party or candidate, charities are still allowed to compare or rank the policies of parties and candidates. Whatever we may think of their statements, Catholic Education Melbourne has the right as a charity to advance its purpose by engaging in public debate. But there’s now an investigation questioning its charity status. Perhaps the investigation will come to nothing. But it is still likely to deter many charities from speaking up in an election period.

Any further changes to these laws, and even the continuing campaign against community participation in public debate, is likely to undermine the nominal protection of the charities act and see greater self-censorship. This would be a great shame because Australians rely on our sector more than ever for help, and governments rely on us more than ever to deliver their policies. Our role in the civic conversation leads to better policy. We can see this in years of advocacy from the Brotherhood of St Laurence, which has shaped the Victorian Government’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Plan. The Homestretch Campaign that has pushed the Tasmanian Government to extend out-of-home care to 21 year-olds. And Anglicare Tasmania’s work on pokie machines has helped shape the public debate on gambling.

This work is not a-political. It is an essential part of the political process. But characterising it as partisan diminishes what we’ve achieved. If the civic conversation is shut down, or if important players are too scared to be part of it, everybody loses. Policies and politics will become more and more exclusionary. People on the margins will lose their voice in the process. And our civic square will be reserved only for those who already have access and privilege.

One part of the answer is to make sure we do speak up. All community organisations should see their advocacy as in an essential, perhaps the most essential, part of their public work. Perhaps then we can go back to seeing the centre of our cities not as the central business district, but as the Civic Centre.

National Office News

National Office News: Anglicare Australia calls for action on inequality and marks NAIDOC Week

Report shows we must tackle inequality
Acting Executive Director Roland Manderson joined the launch of ACOSS’s Inequality in Australia report, and the launch’s press conference, on Tuesday 31 July. He said the report shows we must tackle inequality.

“Inequality is real – and this report shows that it’s worse than many people think,” said Mr Manderson.

“Australia has had twenty years of economic growth, but not everyone is sharing the benefits. A smaller and smaller number of Australians own more and more of the nation’s wealth.

“The report also shows that the gap between the highest and lowest and incomes is growing. That’s something the Anglicare Australia Network has been seeing for years, with more people seeking help from our emergency relief services. Worryingly, some of the people coming to us – a growing number – are in paid work.

“We must accept that growing inequality is a problem across Australia and do something about it – not leave people behind,” Mr Manderson said.

Click here to read Anglicare Australia's media release. Click here for the coverage.

Anglicare Australia marks NAIDOC Week by launching Reconciliation Action Plan
As part of NAIDOC Week celebrations, Anglicare Australia has launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan. The Plan has been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia and marks the first steps towards a reconciliation journey.

RAPKaren Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia, commended Anglicare Australia’s inaugural Plan.

“Reconciliation Australia is delighted to welcome Anglicare Australia to the Reconciliation Action Plan program and to formally endorse its inaugural Reflect RAP. We wish Anglicare Australia well as it takes these first critical steps in its reconciliation journey.”

Anglicare Australia's Executive Director Kasy Chambers said the Plan recognised the organisation's role in supporting change.

“As the Executive Director of Anglicare Australia, I’m proud to launch our first RAP. This Plan outlines our strategy for implementing and measuring practical actions to build respectful relationships and for exploring opportunities for cultural learning and development across the Anglicare Australia Network.”

Click here to download Anglicare Australia’s RAP.

NAIDOC Week marked by the Anglicare Australia Network
Anglicare Australia Network staff have held and attended NAIDOC Week celebrations across Australia, celebrating the culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year's theme, ‘Because of her, we can!’, celebrated the role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have in our families, communities and Country.

NAIDOCHighlights included an all-day NAIDOC celebration hosted by Anglicare Sydney. Staff members were able to drop in throughout the day to chat with Aboriginal elders and the next generation, view traditional artworks and artefacts and create their own Aboriginal artwork.

In Darwin, Anglicare NT supported the NAIDOC Awards and a family movie day with Larrakia Nation, and in Alice Springs, Anglicare NT held a Family Fun Day with stalls, food and activities including an activity for children and families to draw or write about the inspiring women in their lives.

In South Australia, AnglicareSA are partners in the NAIDOC SA Committee, which holds five major events including the NAIDOC SA Awards and the NAIDOC SA Ball.

ASQAnglicare Southern Queensland has marked NAIDOC week by speaking to some of their Indigenous staff to find out more about their roles with Anglicare and what NAIDOC Week means to them. Click here to read their profiles.

As well as these highlights, other Anglicare Australia Network members held events all over Australia.

Anglicare Australia's national office staff also participated in events in Canberra, including the “Because of Her, We Can...!” Photographic Exhibition and the screening of a digital video work by Amala Groom.

Anglicare Australia responds to proposal to expand Cashless Welfare Card
Anglicare Australia has made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018.

Our submission notes that:
- There is no evidence from previous Cashless Debit Card trials in Australia that it works to achieve its stated goals;
- The government’s management and evaluation of the trials has been severely criticised and found to be deeply flawed;
- There is no evidence to suggest that further trialing of the card will produce positive or credible results; and
- The proposed expansion into Bundaberg and Hervey Bay is not supported by the local community.
- Anglicare Australia has called on the Senate reject the expansion of the trail.

Click here to read the submission.

Our Better Selves project update
Anglicare Australia’s nationwide Appreciative Inquiry into our services and the people who use them, and the impact they can have, is now up and running.  It’s at A Place To Belong (West End, Brisbane); Recovery Point (Broadmeadow, Newcastle);  First Step (Port Adelaide); Housing Support (Alice Springs); and Child and Parent Centre (Dudley Park, Mandurah).

First workshops have now been held, and the people in each team are framing a topic for their inquiry which reflects their knowledge of the impact of the work and their vision of its best outcome.  Anyone interested in knowing more about Our Better Selves can catch Roland Manderson, who is leading the project, presenting on it at the Anglicare Australia national conference in September.

For more information about Our Better Selves, contact Roland Manderson on [email protected].

Register for Anglicare Australia’s 2018 Conference
Registrations are still open for the 2018 Anglicare Australia National Conference, to be held at the Stanford Grand Glenelg in Adelaide, from 16-19 September, 2018.

YellakaThis year, we are delighted to invite delegates to Yellaka, a greeting ceremony to be held before the first day of the Conference at 8am on Monday morning. All delegates are invited to bring a leaf or a small stick to place on the spirit fire of peace. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates are particularly welcome.

Our theme for 2018, Courage in Kindness: Driving Change in Work and Community, captures our work and our mission. Individually we are strong and together we are even stronger. We work in hundreds of communities across Australia, responding to the needs of people in need of care. As a network we are working towards our shared goals, collaborating to improve our work, and supporting each other as we advance our mission.

Delegates will be treated to concurrent sessions from experts from across the Anglicare network; some outstanding keynote addresses; and networking opportunities throughout the three days. And as always, we will kick off on Sunday evening with an opening service on Sunday night.

Click here to register for the Anglicare Australia National Conference. When registering, please ensure that you request an invoice. Do not register with a credit card.

Join us for the Anglicare Australia National Awards for Innovation and Excellence
We are delighted to invite you to the 2018 Anglicare Australia National Awards for Innovation and Excellence. Award nominations have now closed, and this year’s awards are shaping up to be more exciting than ever.

The Anglicare Australia National Awards for Innovation and Excellence are sponsored by Telstra. They recognise the unique culture of the Anglicare Australia network in innovation, excellence, partnership and the invaluable contribution of volunteers.

This year for the first time, we are combining the Anglicare Australia Awards Ceremony and the conference dinner for one big night to remember. The event will be held at the National Wine Centre of Australia, nestled in the heart of Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens, on Monday 17 September 2018.

The Centre is the national showcase for the Australian wine industry. As the home of the nation’s wine collection, the Centre offers wine lovers an unparalleled opportunity to learn more, and enjoy the rich diversity of varieties produced in Australia.

Click here to register for the Anglicare Australia National Awards Ceremony and Dinner. When registering, please ensure that you request an invoice. Do not register with a credit card.

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Housing and Homelessness SCG July meeting
The Housing and Homelessness SCG met on July 27th in Brisbane and discussed a national response to housing and homelessness. This included broad collaborative coalitions to end homelessness, and network members taking a lead role based on such a collaborative approach. The SCG discussed the need to ensure that national approaches are also relevant to smaller regional agencies where resources and data collection is limited.

The SCG also discussed ways that agencies could unite as community housing providers, noting that any entities involved need to keep true to their mission and  ensure their policies and practices align with  and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled housing organisations.

For more information about the Housing and Homelessness SCG, contact Michelle Gegenhuber on [email protected].

Anglicare Australia Fundraising Network Members invited to September presentation
Members of the Anglicare Australia Fundraising Network are invited to a fundraising session, to be held as part of the Anglicare Australia National Conference. The session is also open all major gifts managers, donor relations managers, bequest managers and any other fundraisers.

The session, hosted by Peter Burt, Relationship Manager – Gifts in Wills and Kristine Pillai, Donor Relations Manager of Anglicare Victoria, will discuss ways we in which can work together. This session will explore recent successes at Anglicare Victoria and focuses on Regular Giving, Gifts in Wills and Donor Care. Peter and Kristine will share ideas and best practices as well as explore the idea of an Anglicare Fundraising Conference in 2019.

The session will be held on Tuesday 18 September at 11.15am. Further information, and the exact room location, will be available through the Conference Handbook in August.

For more information about the fundraising session, contact Kristine Pillai on [email protected].

AnglicareSA is building a better future for Syrian refugees
IBP0927018 Syrian refugees have graduated with Australian qualifications in the building and construction industry thanks to a partnership between AnglicareSA, the North Eastern Development Agency (NEDA) and Australians for Syria SA.

The men, who arrived in Australia 18 months ago from Syria, have completed a funded, 10-week Certificate 2 in Construction – a skills-based pre-vocational program delivered by NEDA’s North East Vocational College (NEVC), a WorkReady Training Provider.

IBP09247AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman said that AnglicareSA advocates to find training and employment opportunities for newly arrived refugees.

“In this instance, we had a group of Syrian men with prior experience in building and construction in Syria, but no formal qualifications for the Australian industry,” he said.

“NEVC tailored an existing Certificate course to meet the specific needs of these men, customising it to integrate their pre-existing skills. AnglicareSA provided an Arabic speaking volunteer with technical skills to assist the students to feel confident in their learning and to aid their full understanding throughout the course.”

Click here to find out more about AnglicareSA’s work with refugees and new migrants.

Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT announces partnership with MacKillop Family Services
Anglicare NSW South, West and ACT has announced the establishment of a consortium with MacKillop Family Services to deliver the newly launched Permanency Support Program – Intensive Therapeutic Care (ITC) as part of the Out of Home Care reforms in NSW.

The partnership ensures continuity of therapeutic approaches across both agencies. This will be particularly important for young people transitioning from one part of the ITC service system to another, or moving to a step-down option in cases where they return home, are placed with kin or placed into a new permanent family.

“Through our shared journey implementing the Sanctuary model the relationships between staff of both agencies is already deep,” said Anglicare CEO, Jeremy Halcrow. “We are looking forward to working together in this new collaborative partnership with MacKillop Family Services for the benefit of highly vulnerable children, young people and their families.”

Anglicare and MacKillop are strongly aligned with common values drawn from the Christian faith, and a shared commitment to caring for vulnerable people and supporting their healing and full participation in society.

Click here to find out more about the partnership.

Benetas celebrate long service and its contribution to our success
BENETASBenetas has held its first dedicated High Tea to commemorate its Long Service Award recipients employed at Benetas for 10 years or more. The Awards recognise that Benetas would not be able to do its important work without its dedicated staff.

This year Benetas had 43 staff celebrating 10 years of long service, with many of them from our St Georges facility in Altona Meadows which opened 10 years ago so they have been with us from the start. Eight staff were awarded for 15 years employment, two staff for 20 years, and one for 26 years. The longest standing member has been with Benetas for 36 years.

A client experience survey conducted late last year found that, among other things, clients and their families feel welcomed, supported, and heard by staff. This kind of feedback is significant and it’s important to acknowledge the contribution required from all staff have this kind of impact on our clients.

Click here to find out more about the Benetas Long Service Award recipients.

National Awards Profile

2017 Awards profile: Wanggaay Koori Out-of-Home Care Service, Anglicare NSW South, NSW West, and ACT

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.

Over the past five years Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT has successfully partnered with the Rivmed Riverina Koori Medical and Dental Corporation, an Aboriginal led health services to develop the Wanggaay Koori Out-of-Home Care Service.

ARTICLE 08 - Koori OOHC ServiceThis partnership reflects Anglicare NSW South, West and ACT’s strong commitment to providing mentoring support to Aboriginal-led organisations, and to empower Aboriginal communities to have self-determination over child protection and safety matters.

Anglicare saw great value in investing in strengthening local Aboriginal organisations to take on the case management of these children in the future. As an accredited out-of-home care provider, Anglicare has acted as the lead agency and provided mentoring, capacity building, service development and quality assurance to Rivmed. In return Rivmed has provided Anglicare with cultural support and advice, supervision and mentoring for Aboriginal staff, as well as assistance to recruit and train Aboriginal foster carers. The value of the relationship developed was evidenced by the significant mutuality of learning by both partners.

The partnership was so effective that by mid-2017 Rivmed were able to commence moving towards becoming an accredited OOHC provider in their own right. The judges described this program as brilliant, and felt it was a real partnership leading to culturally-led service delivery and kinship care models that foster self-determination.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: ACOSS, OECD, Foundation for Young Australians, and more

ACOSSInequality in Australia
Australian Council of Social Service
ACOSS, in partnership with UNSW Sydney, released the latest Inequality in Australia Report on Tuesday 31 July 2018. The report shows that both wealth inequality and income inequality are growing. Anglicare Australia is listed as a partner in this report. The full report is available here.

OECDA Broken Social Elevator? How to Promote Social Mobility
This report provides new evidence on social mobility in the context of increased inequalities of income and opportunities in OECD and selected emerging economies. It covers the aspects of both social mobility between parents and children and of personal income mobility over the life course, and their drivers. The report is available here.

FPDNACulture is Inclusion
First Peoples Disability Network Australia
The First Peoples Disability Network has released a landmark report following a two-year community-directed research project, across Australia, on the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability. The research was conducted in remote, regional and urban locations, combining statistical data with personal testimony, to provide a detailed representation of the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability. The report is available here.

FYAThe New Work Reality
Foundation for Young Australians
Following the journeys of 14,000 young people over a decade, the New Work Reality report reveals the factors that accelerate the transition to full-time work, including the skills, mindset and confidence young people need to navigate our changed world of work. The report is available here.

MHAOptimising Support for Psychosocial Disability
Mental Health Australia
Mental Health Australia is managing an exciting project which aims to develop alternative ways to provide support for NDIS participants with psychosocial disability than those currently on offer at this stage of NDIS rollout. This working paper has been prepared as part of that project. The working paper is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

New consultations and grants

Inquiry into Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century
The Senate has established a Select Committee on Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century to inquire and report on the current framework of fundraising regulation for charities and options for reform. Anglicare Australia will make a submission to this inquiry. To provide input, contact [email protected].

Submissions close Monday 6 August 2018. 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 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.

National Disability Agreement Review
The Productivity Commission will review the National Disability Agreement, including by examining progress against the performance framework in the Agreement and the extent to which it has supported improved outcomes for people with disability, their families, and carers.

Submissions close on Friday December 21 2018. More information is available here.

Sector Events

Sector Events, July 2018

HESTA Community Sector Awards
Nominations are closing soon for the 2018 HESTA Community Sector Awards, recognising people and organisations making exceptional contributions to social justice in Australia. The national Awards recognise excellence in service provision, advocacy and leadership in the community sector. Anyone can nominate an individual or organisation with nominations closing on 03 August 2018. More information is available here.

Lived Experience Summit
The inaugural Lived Experience Summit will be held in Brisbane on 21-22 August 2018. The meaningful inclusion and engagement of people with a lived experience of suicide is a new phenomenon, and Australia is paving the way internationally. The event will be workshop based with organisations and researchers bringing specific projects or topics of discussion to the table for lived experience input and guidance. Opportunity then exists for project participants to remain connected and continue working together. More information is available here.

Anglicare Australia National Conference
The 2018 Anglicare Australia National Conference will be held at the Stamford Grand Glenelg in Adelaide, from 16-19 September, 2018. Our theme for 2018 is Courage in Kindness: Driving Change in Work and Community. This is a professional development prospect that will give you the opportunity to share your ideas and experiences, and celebrate your progress and plans for the future. More information is available here.

Anti-Poverty Week
Anti-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 Anti-Poverty Week will be held from the 14th to the 20th of October. Anglicare Australia is a principal national sponsor of Anti-Poverty Week, and Anglicare WA’s Ian Carter is a national co-chair. More information is available here.

'A Day in the Life': Connecting politicians, senior bureaucrats with financial counselling agencies
Many Anglicare agencies employ financial counsellors – they know already that financial counsellors provide advice to people struggling with bills and debts. But too often key decision makers – our politicians and their advisors or our senior bureaucrats - don't understand the role. That's why Financial Counselling Australia (FCA), the peak body for financial counsellors is putting together its "Day in the Life" project. Visits will be organised between September and November 2018. To find out more, contact [email protected] or call Rita Battaglin 0403 220 777.

Family and Relationship Services Australia National 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. It 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. The Conference will be held on the 20-23 November, 2018 at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel. More information is available here.

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