Aspect June 2019

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: Deep listening and reconciliation

Kasy ED 4_pref

This month, members of the Anglicare Australia Network were part of a unique immersion experience in the Northern Territory. Our first Aboriginal Culture and Experience program, hosted by AnglicareNT, was designed to build a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture and people, and foster reflection on how we as a Network contribute to reconciliation.

Those who joined the tour came back with many powerful reflections. One of these stemmed from a deep listening exercise; that we can only truly listen when we put aside and let go of our perspective.

This sentiment led me to reflect on the role of perspective, and listening, in reconciliation – how we understand each other, our perspective on each other, how much we really know about each other.
Perspective matters. Even the concept of ‘reconciliation’ has many different meanings stemming from different perspectives. Its use in parliamentary speeches has been analysed to carry nine separate meanings. In those contexts, it almost always refers to material inequalities – what John Howard used to call ‘practical reconciliation’.

We’re all familiar with this kind of reconciliation by now. And we all know about the great inequalities of life experience and life expectancy. The Government’s strategy on Closing the Gap, launched soon after the National Apology, had targets for closing the life expectancy gap, halving the infant mortality rate, getting equal access to early childhood education, halving the year 12 attainment rate, and halving the gap in employment outcomes.

The shortest timeline to achieve any one of these targets was a decade. The longest was the vaguer concept of ‘a generation’. Several targets did not aim to achieve equality, but to lessen inequality.

Of course, strategies like these are critical. And of course, Anglicare Australia supports efforts to close the gap. But think more deeply about what this means and it becomes dispiriting. No parent should be asked to reconcile themselves to a lower life expectancy or lesser experiences for their children.

Yet even against these dismal goals, we have not fared well – we have failed on all but two of the strategy’s ten-year targets. The experience of the Closing the Gap strategy reveals different understandings and approaches to reconciliation. Strategies, plans, and targets are tangible. They help us know where we stand. They have measureable end-points, and they satisfy our need for certainty. 

But there are other approaches to reconciliation that are just as critical: Those that see it as a less tangible, more amorphous endeavour. These approaches see reconciliation as a journey, not a destination. Of course, these approaches must be pursued alongside our work to end material inequality. And in pursuing them, we need to accept that they may raise more questions than answers.

I was struck by one anecdote from the Aboriginal Culture and Experience program – in an effort to recognise traditional owners and confer land rights, our legal system was creating borders and boundaries that never used to exist. Seeing reconciliation as a journey means that we cannot always satisfy this superficial need for certainty. Instead, we must focus on building understanding. That put the onus on all of us to find a way to live with complexity, and embrace it.

Crucially, it also means that we must let go of our own perspectives in order to listen.

It is not possible to measure the hurt, distrust, and damage caused over the course of our history. Nor is it possible to measure understanding, trust and respect that we hope to build over the course of our reconciliation journey. But as reconciliation progresses we will learn more about each other. And on this, we can build.

National Office News

National Office News: NT Tour, Aged Care Royal Commission, National Conference and more

Anglicare Australia leads debates on the Aged Care Royal Commission
Anglicare Australia has spoken at several events this month focusing on the Aged Care Royal Commission. Speaking at the Governance in Aged Care Conference in Sydney, Executive Director Kasy Chambers advised the sector not to wait until the Commission ends before taking action:

“Don’t wait for that final report. Have a look at what you’re doing on the way through. What [the Commissioners] are interested in is that you as leaders can understand and see the cutting edge practice, the up to date knowledge, and that your policies and practices pick up on that.”

Anglicare Australia also spoke at the Strengthening the Aged Care Workforce conference. Ahead of the conference, Ms Chambers said that that the Commission must be treated as an opportunity. “Don’t paint the Royal Commission only as negative and don’t be defensive. Talk about it as an opportunity to learn from others, and to have the spotlight of the country on your work area,” Ms Chambers said.

“It is a time for us to think together as a sector about what really great aged care would, could and should look like. These are wonderful conversations to involve staff in and will help us generate lots of new ideas and innovations,” she said.

Coverage of Anglicare Australia's remarks is available here and here.

Minimum wage failing to keep pace with rents
Anglicare Australia has responded to the recent minimum wage decision, saying that wages weren't keeping pace with housing costs.

Executive Director Kasy Chambers said that the reliance on the CPI presents a problem because it doesn’t fully reflect the costs associated with private rentals.

“It’s all well and good to say these increases should be around inflation, but rents have actually shot up way more than that,” Ms Chambers said.

“Housing costs have gone up by 300 per cent since 1998, which is about five times faster than CPI which has increased 63 per cent over the same period.”

Anglicare Australia's most recent State of the Family report noted Australia's cost of living measures downplays essential costs, such as housing, transport, childcare, by treating them as equal to the costs of consumer goods.

Coverage of Anglicare Australia's comments is available here.

Anglicare Australia briefs community sector on The Real Story
Anglicare Australia presented on the findings of The real story: What Australians think about poverty and how we shape the debate to an ACOSS Member Strategy Day in Sydney. The day was aimed at reviewing the political landscape following the recent federal election and its implications on poverty and disadvantage.

The report was a study of social attitudes that looked at how Australians see people experiencing poverty. It also reflects on what these attitudes mean for how we as advocates communicate and persuade. Our findings showed that attitudes are not fixed. They are shaped and reshaped through persuasion and debate. We also found that Australians are more sympathetic to those in poverty then even they realise.

In considering the way the community sector can best influence the agenda, The real story was heralded as a valuable tool to help us talk to the wider community.

For more information about the 2018 State of the Family report, contact [email protected].

Implementing the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
Several members of the Anglicare Australia Network are working to develop tools, pointers and assistance on how members can best implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.  The National Principles reflect ten child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, with a broader scope that goes beyond sexual abuse to cover other forms of potential harm.

The group is working to assist not only services with child facing services but also those that have services such as aged care and housing. The group is being led by Anglicare Australia Council Member and AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman, and it will be bringing this work to members over the coming months.

For more information about the group’s work on child safe organisations, contact [email protected].

AnglicareNT hosts the inaugural 2019 Anglicare Australia Network Aboriginal Culture and Experience Program
In June 2019, ten delegates from across the country travelled to the Northern Territory to take part in the Anglicare Australia Aboriginal Culture and Experience program, hosted by AnglicareNT. This immersive week-long program being the first of its kind to be run within the Network, intended to facilitate deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture and people, and support reflection on how we as a Network are working to strengthen and grow our reconciliation efforts.

The amazing program was organised by Leonie Patterson, Senior Aboriginal Advisor, Cultural Safety and Partnerships at AnglicareNT, who worked closely with Aboriginal organisations and people to provide a truly unique experience for Network representatives who attended.

2019-06-05 17-19-24Commencing in Darwin, the first day participants met with Aboriginal leaders from within government, health, justice and business areas in the Northern Territory, as well as learning from Larrakia Traditional Owners. The day’s events culminated in participants experiencing the backdrop of one of Darwin’s famous sunsets all while savouring local Aboriginal tucker (periwinkles, long-bums, barramundi, mangrove worms and mussels) cooked fresh over a campfire at East Point.

Then onto the Katherine region, with the group travelling 3 hours down the Stuart Highway. After a quick stopover lunch in the historical township of Pine Creek, participants were greeted at AnglicareNT’s Katherine Office by local staff and May Rosas, a Wardaman/Dagoman Elder. Participants heard from both May and staff about the challenges and important cultural considerations for living and working in in Katherine, and how working in partnership with the Aboriginal community continues to support and shape the delivery of AnglicareNT services.

2019-06-06 14-53-47 (1)The following day, participants were the first to experience the Jawoyn Association’s newly developed cultural training, ‘Sharing Our Culture’. The Jawoyn workshop provided a unique opportunity to hear directly from Traditional Owners about their Elder’s vision for their people, hear the Jawoyn story and journey to reconciliation and recognition in the Katherine region, and their ongoing struggles and efforts to keep their culture strong. In the evening participants enjoyed a sunset dinner cruise against the backdrop of the Nitmiluk Gorge, a place of immense cultural significance to the Jawoyn people.

2019-06-09 11-15-43The final days of the tour saw the group travel an hour south-east of Katherine to attend the annual celebration of Aboriginal music, sport and culture at the Barunga Festival, hosted by the Jawoyn Bagala clan group.

The continued generosity and openness of Elders, community leaders and organisations in sharing with the group made for extraordinary and humbling experiences throughout the tour.

Throughout the tour participants from the Anglicare Australia Network reflected together on the beliefs, values and biases we bring, and how we can work across all levels of our organisations to support culturally safe environments. All participants spoke of feeling changed by this experience and with a deeper commitment to continued learning and connection with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and working for reconciliation in their own roles and communities.

The hope is that this program will continue to run annually, hosted by different Anglicare Australia Network members, to continue the national conversation about reconciliation within our Network, and to connect with the diversity and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures around the country.

To find out more about the Anglicare Australia Network Aboriginal Culture and Experience Program, email [email protected].

Register for Anglicare Australia’s 2019 Conference
It is with great pleasure that Anglicare Australia invites you to the 2019 Anglicare Australia National Conference, to be held at the Pan Pacific in Perth from 8–11 September 2019. Early bird registrations have now opened, and registrations are open online.

Our theme for 2019, Our Stories: The Power to Change, will capture our work and builds on our mission. As Anglicare Australia Network members, we work in hundreds of communities across Australia to build resilience, inclusion and justice. And as a Network, we are always sharing stories of change as we advance our mission.

Speakers will include:

  • Kim Beazley, Governor of Western Australia and former Opposition Leader
  • Jane Caro, commentator and author, who is set to appear in an IQ2 debate on ageism
  • Dr Tracy Westerman, West Australian of the Year, who recently launched the Dr Tracy Westerman Aboriginal Psychology Scholarship at Curtin University
  • Katie Stubley, of the Centre of Social Impact and Director of the Social Impact Festival
  • Janet Anderson, Aged Care Quality Commissioner
  • Archbishop Kay Goldworthy will preach at the conference’s opening service
  • An expert panel will explore issues in philanthropy and social ventures

Delegates will be treated to concurrent sessions from experts from across the Anglicare network, 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.

Award nominations open for Anglicare Australia National Conference
This year, we are again combining the Anglicare Australia Awards Ceremony and the conference dinner for one big night to remember. The event will be held at Fraser's Function Centre and Restaurant. Nominations for the Awards have now opened.

The Anglicare Australia National Awards for Innovation and Excellence, sponsored by Ansvar Insurance, recognise outstanding services, projects and programs provided by the organisations of the Anglicare Australia network, as well as individual volunteers who have made a significant contribution.

The awards are an opportunity to promote successful programs within Anglicare agencies, or recognise the contributions of outstanding volunteers. We are seeking nominations in the following categories:

  • Excellence (for example, excellence in client services, social justice, research, governance, or quality improvement)
  • Innovation (for example, innovation in to improve client outcomes, focus on particular target groups, overcome barriers, or bring about social change)
  • Partnership (for example, regional partnerships, partnerships with Indigenous communities, agency partnerships, parish partnerships, or cooperation with industry and community)
  • Volunteer achievement (recognising exceptional service by an individual who has made a significant contribution).

This year we have streamlined our award forms. You will only be required to complete one form, although supporting material will strengthen your nomination. We hope this makes the nomination process easier.

You can find more information about the Awards, along with the nomination forms, on the Anglicare Australia website:

Nominations should be submitted by Monday 22 July 2019. To find out more, or to arrange an extension, email [email protected].

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Thriving through change: Aged and Community Care Network meeting
In the context of ongoing massive sector reforms, a Royal Commission and a newly appointed Minister, the Anglicare Australia Aged and Community Care network came together in May 2019 to share inspiration for “thriving through change”.  This annual network gathering was generously hosted this year by AnglicareSA.

The first day of the meeting opened with discussion about our national advocacy priorities, affirming that expanding the aged care workforce and developing a long-term plan for aged care are fundamental priorities for Anglicare Australia to pursue with this Government. The Network also shared about the impact of the Royal Commission for our aged care staff, organisational practices and processes for engaging with clients.

Over dinner, Richard Miller of Crisp Advertising challenged the group to think outside the box in transitioning to person or “customer” centred care. Richard shared his experience working with independent grocers in South Australia to transform their business model around customer experience.

Day Two of the gathering included a presentation from Dr Duncan McKellar, about his leadership in responding to the trauma experienced by residents of Oakden, through developing a service model and care centre where everyone matters, everyone contributes and everyone grows.  Marcela Carrasco from Anglicare Sydney gave an informative presentation on the current process for integrating the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and Home Care Packages.

Presenters from Anglicare SA, Amana Living and Anglicare SQ generously shared their experiences in transitioning to the single Aged Care Quality Standards, and communicating these changes to staff and clients. These changes were reflected in new training for staff and audit experiences.

The expert contributions of so many network members, warm hosting of AnglicareSA and collegial spirit of all attendees together made this an impactful gathering.

To find out more about the Aged and Community Network, email [email protected].

Compliance or improvement – where is the evidence?
The Clinical and Care Governance Network held a successful mini-conference in mid-June, generously hosted by Anglicare Southern Queensland. Focused on the theme Compliance or improvement – where is the evidence?, the meeting kicked off with a provocative presentation before dinner from Anthony Blackof Ansvar Insurance, urging us to take clinical and care governance ‘beyond compliance’.

The following day featured focused discussions on the challenges and opportunities from implementing multiple quality standards and frameworks for different services; dealing with the growing pressures of regulatory compliance while trying to focus on quality; and finished with a deep discussion on the best ways to include client voice in the design of best practice care governance. Feedback from attendees showed the meeting was very useful, and key themes to continue to explore collaboratively have been identified.

To find out more about the Clinical and Care Governance Network, email [email protected].

Anglicare Tasmania calls for action on homelessness
Anglicare Tasmania has called on the state government to commit more funding to homelessness to tackle the housing crisis.

"I think what we need to make sure is that the Government are able to provide the funds that those of us who work in the community sector will need to ensure people have the beds," said Anglicare Tasmania CEO Chris Jones said.

"What we need to make sure of is that extra spending that's required comes through.

"I'm hoping that Cabinet... signs off on it, and the money will flow so that we can make sure that people will have safe, warm beds."

Click here to read Anglicare Tasmania's call for action on homelessness.

EPIC Assist serving up more than jobs in Bundaberg
24 job seekers connected with the EPIC Bundaberg team have been served up more than jobs this June, taking part in a Jamie’s Ministry of Food program to learn practical cooking skills.

Over five-weeks, participants learn how to whip up affordable and healthy meals that can be made on the fly. Kelly O’Brien, EPIC Regional Coordinator says that the program is a great example of the support that EPIC provides to job seekers on their employment journey.

“We’re really passionate about providing holistic support to our job seekers. Our ultimate goal is for people with disability to find sustainable employment and live happy and productive lives,” said Kelly.

“It’s been great to see that the job seekers who are participating have really enjoyed learning recipes that will help them to make healthier choices.

“It has also been encouraging to see how they have developed connections with others and it is an opportunity for them to build interpersonal skills and connect with other people.”

Click here to read more about the EPIC Bundaberg team.

WA housing price crash hurting people in need
A growing number of West Australians are grappling with negative equity, with mortgage holders owing more to the bank than their house is worth.

Speaking about the issue, Anglicare WA, which runs a financial counselling service, said even a small or temporary reduction in household earnings could tip people into mortgage arrears.

"A lot of families are living under enormous pressure, knowing that if something goes wrong — if there's a medical crisis, if they lose their job, if they get less hours at work — that they're going to really be in trouble," Anglicare WA Mark Glasson said.

"And for those people it's like a gnawing, ever-present burden that they're carrying."

Click here to read more from Anglicare WA about the housing price crash.

Brotherhood of St Laurence announces Tony Nicholson Fellow

ANZ with the Brotherhood of St Laurence has month announced Dr Jeremiah Brown as the first recipient of the ANZ Tony Nicholson fellowship.

As the inaugural ANZ Tony Nicholson Research Fellow, Dr Jeremiah Brown will use the six month scholarship to undertake research on the role organisations can play in improving the financial wellbeing and financial capabilities of disadvantaged people and communities.

Conny Lenneberg, Executive Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, said: “From our community programs to formulating policy and advocacy, a strong research-and-evidence base has always been critical to the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s pursuit of an Australia free of poverty. This fellowship will contribute to the key task of building financial capability in the community.”

Funded by ANZ, the Fellowship is named after the Brotherhood’s former Executive Director, who led the not-for-profit for 13 years, recognising Mr. Nicholson’s many years of leadership in advocating for disadvantaged people throughout Australia.

ANZ will contribute a seed donation to establish an annual six-month fellowship for a minimum period of 10 years. The Brotherhood of St Laurence will select the fellows.

Click here to read more about the Tony Nicholson Fellowship.

National Awards Profile

Awards profile: Human Centred Design Program, Anglicare WA

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.

Human Centred Design 1Most agencies face challenges that stand in the way of making an impact for the people they work with. Anglicare WA has turned to Human Centred Design to tackle these challenges and drive innovation across its work.

Human Centered Design uses the principles, sensibilities and techniques of good design to help solve problems.

After 18 months, the approach is paying off as many new projects have upended traditional approaches. These projects are tested with users, giving Anglicare WA a clear idea about their strengths and weaknesses. Testing allows them to be improved before they are launched.

Human Centred Design 2Human Centered Design is changing the way Anglicare WA sees problem solving and decision making. It has left people more willing to take risks, and made it easier to act quickly.

The judges said this is a new and exciting way to draw on Human Centred Design in human services. They said that the beauty of this approach is that it brings human needs together with the services that meet those needs.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: AHURI, Advance Care Planning, Australian Institute of Family Studies and more

Social housing and infrastructure

Social housing as infrastructure: rationale, prioritisation and investment pathway
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute
Considering social housing as infrastructure may improve investment in the sector, as well as increase transparency and efficiency in project appraisal and funding prioritisation. This report explores different methods of calculating the benefits of social housing relative to cost, including the savings that might accrue in other areas of government expenditure.

The report is available here.

Advance care planning in AustraliaAdvance care planning in Australia
Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
This paper provides a high-level description of the components of advance care planning, an overview of the practices in each state and territory, and a brief explanation of advance care planning as it relates to aged care.

The paper is available here.

Indigenous health checksIndigenous health checks and in preventable hospitalisations and deaths
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, this report shows how rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations, potentially avoidable deaths and Indigenous health checks vary geographically within each Australian state and territory and between Primary Health Networks.

The report is available here.

Implementation in actionImplementation in action: a guide to implementing evidence-informed programs and practices
Australian Institute of Family Studies
The purpose of this guide is to assist in the implementation of evidence-informed programs and practices in the child and family service sector. It uses a staged implementation process to guide your implementation activities. The guide outlines all stages and steps briefly, and provides links to useful online resources.

The guide is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

Policy, consultations and grants

Consultation on the Indigenous Evaluation Strategy
The Productivity Commission released an issues paper to guide people in preparing a submission to its consultation on the Indigenous Evaluation Strategy. It sets out some of the issues and questions the Commission has identified as relevant at the early stage of the project. Participants should provide evidence to support their views, including data and specific examples where possible.

Submissions close on Friday 23 August 2019. 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 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.

Priority Assist
Telstra’s Priority Assist program offers a higher level of service for customers, or someone living at their home, with a diagnosed life threatening medical condition. Eligible customers are entitled to faster connection and fault repair of their fixed-line telephone service. This may be of interest to many Anglicare clients or their carers.

Applications can be made at any time. More information is available here.

Sector Events

Sector Events, June 2019

Anglicare Australia National Conference
Our Stories: The Power to Change is the theme for Anglicare Australia’s National Conference, to be held in Perth from 8–11 September 2019. This year's conference will capture our work and builds on our mission. As Anglicare Australia Network members, we work in hundreds of communities across Australia to build resilience, inclusion and justice. And as a Network, we are always sharing stories of change as we advance our mission. Delegates will be treated to concurrent sessions from experts from across the Anglicare network; outstanding keynote addresses; and networking opportunities throughout the three days. Delegates can register here.

National Redress Scheme: Direct Personal Response Immersion Sessions
Registered organisations are invited to attend an information session on direct personal response, one of the three elements of redress available under the National Redress Scheme for institutional child sexual abuse. The ‘immersion’ sessions will be delivered by the Department of Social Services, and will offer an introduction and overview of direct personal responses under the Scheme. Several session times are available up to June 2019, and the sessions are free. Participants can register here.

National Elder Abuse Conference
To be held on the 22 and 23 July in Brisbane, the National Elder Abuse Conference 2019 will help safeguard the right of older Australians to live free from abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect. NEAC 2019 is an opportunity to drive real change as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety unfolds and a National Plan on Elder Abuse is in the spotlight. The theme, Rock the Boat, means we will harness their insight, creativity and passion to challenge the status quo and drive action to end elder abuse. Participants can register here.

Family Relationship Services Australia 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. This ‘not to be missed’ event 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. This year’s Conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, 19-22 November and the theme is New Horizons: Building the future, Paving the way. Information on how to register is available here.

Australian Council of Social Service National Conference
The 2019 ACOSS National Conference will be held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra on 26-27 November 2019. It will provide a deep dive into the latest research and developments in economic and public policy, with a focus on poverty and inequality in Australia through a series of interactive plenary sessions. The conference offers attendees the opportunity to participate in key learning and development opportunities, to be a part of an important knowledge exchange as well as the opportunity to network with representatives from the sector, government and business with shared interests. ACOSS members can register here.

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