Aspect March 2019

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: Asking the provocative questions

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Part of Anglicare Australia’s mission is to shape debate with a strong prophetic voice, and to speak with those most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

That prophetic voice something we often reflect on. It goes beyond the advocacy we do. It is about exploring the kind of world we want to live in and asking provocative questions about how to get there.

That means looking past the issues that consume us each day and asking questions that get to the heart of the kind of community we want to live in. What would Australia look like if everybody had enough to live a dignified life? How can we make Australia fairer? And just as importantly, what do we need to make this happen?

Our responsibility to ask these questions has been at the front of my mind as we prepare for next week’s Federal Budget – and as we reflect on the last three years of government ahead of the looming election. What does this Budget need to do to make Australia fairer? Have the decisions that have been made in the last three years made us more or less equal?

These powerful questions can be hard to answer. If we reflect on the last three years, we see a mixed bag. There have been important reforms to superannuation for people on low incomes, and the initiation of a landmark Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

But as an organisation that speaks for the country’s most disadvantaged people we have also seen countless opportunities to tackle poverty that have been overlooked in favour of other priorities, from company tax cuts to exemptions for those who don’t need them. For each step forward, we seem to take two steps back.

As this term of government draws to an end, we have been reflecting on what can be done in the next term to make Australia fairer and help everyone lead a good life. Our key asks for this Budget and this election have been shaped by that question: A safety net, a secure home, and a dignified life for every Australian.

Australia has never been more prosperous, yet we are also a nation facing growing inequality. Nearly three million Australians live in poverty, and wealth inequality is now the worst it has been in seventy-five years.

Many of these Australians in poverty are in insecure work. Just last week, we learned that over a million Australians are forced to work two or more jobs. We should be investing in direct job creation programs to create more secure work – something that has been highlighted time and again by Anglicare Australia’s Jobs Availability Snapshot. Anglicare Australia has also long supported a living wage for those Australians who work full-time, yet still live in poverty. The debate that has been invigorated about living wages is getting to the heart of the important questions about what it means to be valued for our work.

Another 800,000 people who rely on income support are struggling daily to afford basic essentials. That includes parents, carers, people with disabilities, students, pensioners, and those who have been locked out of paid work.

What reason could there be to keep these payments so low? People cannot pursue a better life if they are forced to make tough choices between eating a meal and paying a bill, buying shoes for their children and filling a prescription. And they cannot look for work if they are homeless and hungry.

These problems cannot be solved by tax cuts, one-off payments, or even a single increase to Newstart. If we’re thinking about how to make sure everyone has enough to live a decent life, we need to increase these payments and then make sure they don’t keep losing value over time.

The best way to do that would be through an independent social security commission. It should be given the power to set income support payments based on the actual cost of living. Our research shows that Australians believe no-one should live in poverty; and they support the creation of this commission. We also know that raising the rates of these payments would be the most powerful and popular step that any government could take to reduce poverty across Australia.

These are not the only changes we need to make Australia fairer. Having a place to call home is a basic human need, yet even those working full-time are struggling to put a roof over their heads. Even in the midst of a so-called market downturn, Australians are still spending record amounts on housing.

The most recent figures show that people are spending more of their incomes on rent and housing than ever – and those numbers are only going up. Anglicare Australia’s own Rental Affordability Snapshot has shown that affordability has been going down over the last ten years, and that the private rental market is failing those most in need.

We need affordable rental homes and social housing to make sure everybody can keep a roof over their head. The Everybody’s Home campaign has estimated that 500,000 affordable rentals, including 300,000 social housing properties, are needed across Australia. This is a critical investment for those who simply can’t get a home through the private market.

Of course, these are not the only things we could be doing to answer the call for fairness. Anglicare Australia has many other priorities – stopping record numbers of Australians from retiring into poverty, valuing carers, and supporting people with disabilities all come to mind.

But at the end of the day, each of these ideas are about answering the same question – how can we make Australia fairer? That is what we will be looking for from this budget, and from every election announcement we look at this year.

National Office News

National Office News: Open letters, cashless welfare, child protection and more

Anglicare Australia seeks commitments through open letters
As this term of government draws to an end, Anglicare Australia is seeking commitments to ensure the next term of government focuses on making Australia fairer – and helping every Australian to lead a dignified life.

We have sent open letters to the government and opposition seeking commitments for:

  • Job creation programs, and reform of the Jobactive network
  • An increase to Newstart, Youth Allowance, and related payments
  • An independent commission to set social security payments
  • An investment in affordable and social housing
  • A fairer tax system.

We have also made it clear that one-off payments and tax cuts will not lift people out of poverty. We have called on the Parliament not to rush to pass more income tax cuts before the elections.

Anglicare Australia is also contributing to key campaigns on aged care, housing, and income support.

Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s open letters.

2019 Aboriginal Culture and Experience Program: 4-10 June 2019
NT study tourAnglicare NT is offering Anglicare Australia member agencies the chance to participate in an Aboriginal culture and experience tour.

Anglicare Australia together with Anglicare NT has coordinated the participation of Anglicare Australia members attendance at the Garma Festival for the past three years. Often the cost of attending Garma is prohibitive for many agencies, hence Anglicare NT proposing a more affordable alternative in 2019.

Participants will:

  • Be part of a six-day tour of Darwin, Katherine and Barunga in the Northern Territory
  • Take a pre-tour online cross-cultural training
  • Attend a unique dining experience in Darwin at a local Aboriginal owned café
  • Take part in a once in a lifetime celebration of Aboriginal music, culture and sport at the internationally renowned Barunga Festival
  • Develop cultural awareness and learn about the unique heritage, strengths and culture of Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory
  • Meet with Traditional Owners and local Aboriginal controlled organisations
  • Visit one of the world’s premier National Parks, the Nitmiluk National Park.

Click here for more information about the program. To register, email April Hines at [email protected].

Anglicare Australia responds to proposal to expand Cashless Welfare Card
cashless welfare cardAnglicare Australia has made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management and Cashless Welfare) Bill 2019. This Bill would extend the cashless debit card trial in the Ceduna, East Kimberley and Goldfields regions, and the income management program in Cape York, to 30 June 2020.

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 expansions are not supported by the local communities.

Anglicare Australia has called on the Senate reject the expansion of the trail.

Click here to read the submission.

A ‘public health approach’ to protecting children
Anglicare Australia has responded to the Productivity Commission's consultation on systems for protecting children.

To work in the best interests of children, we must ensure the wider support networks are strong and supportive. Anglicare Australia has called for purposeful investment in supporting families to provide a safe and nurturing environment in which children can develop.

It is also clear that outcomes are worse for children in care than those who have never entered the care system. We argue that the best approach is to support parents and families to provide loving and secure homes.

Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s submission.

Anglicare Australia publications
Who is Being Left BehindWe have a number of past years’ Anglicare Australia publications that due to limited space, are heading to the recycling centre unless we can find a home for them within our Network.

These include 90 copies of our Awards Booklets from 2018 and 15 copies from 2016.  We also have copies of The Review going back as far as 2013 and Who is Being Left Behind, our 2015 State of The Family Report.

If you would like any of past copies of these publications – possibly because they feature your work – please contact Gaea Cornelius at [email protected].

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Australia Network farewells Ian Carter AM after 25 years
Ian and Karen CarterAnglicare WA has farewelled long-serving CEO Ian Carter AM after 25 years at the helm. Staff held a farewell for Ian on 13 March, thanking and acknowledging his years of service.

The farewell event acknowledged Ian’s leadership of the organisation over a remarkable era as Anglicare WA evolved to a leading community service provider for WA’s most vulnerable people. Ian said the time was right for change.

“Anglicare WA provided help to more than 34,000 people in the last year, supporting 40 per cent of State’s homeless youth, and distributing over $1.6 million in emergency relief aid,” said Mr Carter.

Kasey Chambers, Ian Carter and Chris Jones“It’s an exciting time for Anglicare WA as the organisation strives to achieve a just and fair Western Australia where all people thrive, which will continue long into the future.”

Anglicare WA’s incoming CEO Mark Glasson said that Ian will leave a lasting legacy on the organisation.

“Ian was appointed CEO of Anglicare WA in April 1995. He has been CEO for nearly 25 of Anglicare WA’s 43 year history, and has overseen phenomenal expansion in the organisation’s service delivery. It’s a remarkable achievement.”

Click here to read a profile of Ian in The West Australian.

Brotherhood of St Laurence smashes the ‘avocado’ generation myth
Australia’s youth unemployment rate is stagnating at the levels seen in the early 2000s, despite 28 years of economic growth.

A disturbing analysis out today from Anglicare Australia member Brotherhood of St Laurence maps the 20 worst “hotspot” regions for youth unemployment, and confirms many regional and outer suburban areas bear the heaviest burden.

Youth Unemployment HotspotsAt 11.2% the youth unemployment rate, for those aged 15 to 24 in the labour force, is still more than twice Australia’s overall unemployment rate (5%), at December 2018, and almost three times the unemployment rate of those aged 25 and over. Across Australia, this translates to a quarter of a million young people who are still unemployed.

In the lead up to a federal election, the Brotherhood’s Executive Director, Conny Lenneberg, challenged policymakers to give Australia’s young people a fair go, including advancing solutions for the unprecedented challenges the emerging generation faces in the world of work in the 21st century.

“Young people come out of education and training with high hopes and aspirations for independence. It’s devastating that despite 28 years of continuous economic growth, too many young Australians are locked out of the prosperity dividend,” Ms Lenneberg said.

Click here to read more about the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s findings.

Young and Old brought together in friendship for new campaign to combat loneliness
#OLDMATE Queensland, a partnership between social impact strategists spur:org and Anglicare Southern Queensland, aims to reduce loneliness in people aged 18-35 and those over 65.

#OldMateAnglicare Southern Queensland’s Amy Lee-Hopkins said the organisation cared for thousands of elderly people who regularly experience loneliness and hoped the campaign helped highlight that getting older doesn’t mean you stop being your own person with your own interests.

“It’s a misconception when you get older your passions, interests, hobbies, and experiences take a back seat. We look after many lovely, interesting people who have lived incredible lives and have so many stories to tell and wisdom to give,” Ms Lee-Hopkins said.

“We also know that up to 62 per cent of people aged 18-35 feel they lack companionship. #OLDMATE Queensland will help us bring these two groups of people together to build connection and hopefully lifelong friendships.

“We’re asking young Queenslanders to take the pledge to become a Young Mate and have a go at spending regular time with one of our Old Mates.”

Click here for more information about #OLDMATE Queensland and how to get involved.

Home Stretch trial to provide additional support to vulnerable care leavers
The WA government will partner with Anglicare WA to implement a targeted trial of provides enhanced supports to vulnerable young people transitioning from out-of-home care to independence.

The trial will provide enhanced support to vulnerable young people aged 18-21 transitioning from out-of-home care to independence.

Anglicare WA chief executive Mark Glasson said the pilot would be the first step towards achieving a better outcome for all young people with a State care experience.

“The involvement of young people with a State care experience was critical to the pilot design. They have the lived experience and know best what the young people taking part in the trial will need,” Mr Glasson said.

“We believe the Home Stretch trial will comprehensively demonstrate the benefit to both the participants, and the broader community of increasing the leaving care age to 21.”

Click here to read more about the trial. More information about the Home Stretch campaign is available here.

June 11 and 12: Compliance or improvement – What’s the evidence?
Anglicare Australia’s Clinical and Care Governance Network will hold a national meeting in Brisbane this June. Please mark the dates in your calendars now.

The CCGN hopes to encourage those involved in quality and risk across our services to be learning from each other across out-of-home care, aged care, disability, and mental health. This meeting will focus on the tension between an increased pressure to demonstrate compliance and our desire to improve the quality of care.

We hope to have a dinner on June 11 with a guest speaker to stimulate thinking on the theme. This will be followed by three key sessions on June 12 focusing on:

  • Quality standards and frameworks across different services – how do they connect?
  • Dealing with the growing pressure on compliance, while keeping the focus on quality of care.
  • The role of the ‘client voice’ and the co-production of services.

 For more information, contact [email protected].

National Awards Profile

Awards profile: AnglicareSA Housing

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.

AnglicareSA HousingAnglicareSA Housing offers social and affordable housing, including refugee settlement, to the community of South Australia. It focuses on housing the most vulnerable and working with people at risk of homelessness.

The program’s vision is justice, respect and fullness of life for all. Its approach is built on the fundamental belief that every individual and family has a right to a safe and secure home. 

AnglicareSA Housing 2AnglicareSA Housing’s core business focuses on providing tailored services, working with tenants, building community networks, and providing connections with support networks.

With a portfolio of over 2,200 properties across regional and metropolitan South Australia, AnglicareSA’s properties provide security and the opportunity to create communities where people are valued and support each other.

The judges said they were very impressed by the scale of this service. They congratulated AnglicareSA for encompassing so many different services to offer holistic support.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: Brotherhood of St Laurence, AHURI, ACNC and more

Youth Unemployment HotspotsSmashing the avocado debate: Australia’s youth unemployment hotspots
Brotherhood of St Laurence
This report says young Australians are moving into adulthood while the nation is also navigating a period of testing social and economic change due to the interconnected challenges posed by globalisation, technology, climate change and demographic change. It maps the 20 worst “hotspot” regions for youth unemployment, and confirms many regional and outer suburban areas bear the heaviest burden. The report is available here.

Homelessness Report CardA National Report Card on Youth Homelessness
Youth Development Australia
This report card assesses how much progress has been made on a national level since 2008, when the National Youth Commission inquiry into youth homelessness published Australia's Homeless Youth. This report card assess the progress of ten strategic areas that the National Youth Commission highlighted in 2008. The report is available here.

Mental Health ServicesMental health services in Australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Mental health services in Australia provides a picture of the national response of the health and welfare service system to the mental health care needs of Australians. MHSA is updated progressively throughout each year as data becomes available. The report is available here.

Disability Accommodation FundingUnderstanding Specialist Disability Accommodation funding
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute
This study examined the Specialist Disability Accommodation program and the attitudes of industry to investment and participation in that program. It questioned developers, investors, housing providers, prospective tenants and governments on how the Specialist Disability Accommodation program will generate new supply that meets the needs and preferences of people with disability. The report is available here.

Self Evaluation ToolSelf-evaluation for charities: Meeting your obligations as a charity
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
The ACNC's self-evaluation tool aims to help charities assess if they are meeting their obligations, and to identify issues that may prevent them from doing so. The self-evaluation poses questions and prompts charities to describe both the practical steps they are taking to meet their obligations, and to list the relevant policies or procedures. The tool is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

Consultations and grants

The Future Shapers
The Future Shapers is a 12 month program of vertical leadership development, transformational leadership growth and big picture strategic thinking. It is designed for disability leaders by disability leaders, with intakes starting in June and September 2019. Those interested in participating can now apply for this year-long leadership program through the Disability Leadership Institute.

Applications close on Friday 5 April 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].

Jan Pentland Scholarships now open
The prestigious Jan Pentland Prize is awarded each year. The Prize recognises the work of an individual, group or organisation in the community sector, focussing on the financial or consumer rights of disadvantaged people in Australia. This includes work in the areas of financial counselling, financial inclusion, and consumer credit law. There is a particular focus on the effective integration of casework with campaigning for broader change. The Prize is for the amount of $1,000.

Nominations close on Friday 8 April 2019. The nomination form is available here.

Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program - Transition Assistance Funding
Organisations are invited to apply for Transition Assistance Funding to purchase tailored support including business advice, professional services and software upgrades, which will assist to build the disability sector capacity and service provider readiness in the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. A funding pool of $5,600,000 is available for this round.

Applications close on Friday 26 April 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, March 2019

Child Aware Conference
The 6th national Child Aware conference will be held in Brisbane, 16-17 May 2019. The conference will advance the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022, and the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The conference program will encourage thought leaders to stimulate discussion on how to make Australia an even better place for children, young people and their families. Registration and other information is 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.

Child Inclusive Practice
The 2019 Child Inclusive Practice Forum Rebuilding, Restoration and Renovation, acknowledges family breakdown is not a finite concept. Reflecting this our speakers will cover wide ranging topics to enrich the practice of Child and Family Therapists, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, Family Law and Childhood Specialists. The CIP Forum will be held 3-5 June 2019, at DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin, Northern Territory. Registration and other information is available here.

National Redress Scheme: Direct Personal Response Immersion Sessions
Registered 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.

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. Registrations will open in May.

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