Aspect May 2018

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: Community advocacy shaped the budget debate

Kasy ED 4_pref

This month, Anglicare Australia has spent a great deal of time focusing on the federal budget, released at the start of May, and on defending the right of civil society groups to advocate with their communities.

Just this week, Anglicare Australia has joined other community organisations in meetings with key political figures to call for the abandonment of proposed laws that would silence non-profits and community groups.

Since December, we have been working to scrap three proposed bills which will tie community groups up in red tape and stifle the voice of the communities and causes for which they stand. Their effects will be to alienate marginalised people from decision-making and drag resources away from services charities provide.

And this month’s budget underscores why our advocacy is so important. The budget’s few bright spots all came about because of sustained advocacy from community organisations and charities.

We can see this in the new package for older people. Over 100,000 older people are waiting for high support home care packages. These packages make a big difference in helping people to stay in their own homes longer. With 14,000 new ones announced in the budget, nearly one in five of those waiting will be a step closer. And the release of a similar number of new residential aged care places is also good to see.

The package seems well-rounded with money to support capital expenditure, support to deliver services in remote Aboriginal communities, and assistance to apply for services through a very expensive ($61.7 million) new website with easier to use forms.

The aged care sector has been calling for action to support home care for years. It’s clear that their advocacy has made its mark and delivered real results for older people, although there is still more to be done.

The NDIS was another winner, and we were assured that funding is “in place and always will be”. The budget documents report that it is on track to be fully rolled out from 2020. There is also a $92 million “continuity fund” for services to people who aren’t eligible from the NDIS, but who are receiving support from services that are transitioning to the NDIS. Under these continuity arrangements, those who are eligible will continue to receive the same level of support they currently receive. After years of community campaigning and agitation from disability advocates, the key now is to ensure that the scheme continues to enjoy bipartisan support into the future.

An Implementation Taskforce for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse was monetarily small, but still an important and positive measure. This will help ensure that the findings of the Commission are given life and that this can never happen again.

The much touted women’s economic security plan was nothing more than a disappointing showbag of measures that had been re-badged. Aged care packages and jobs with the NDIS were amongst them, along with health measures for pregnancy and early childhood. Things that could really have made a difference like gender pay measures, support to build superannuation, and better retirement incomes were missing in action.

Of course this was also an election budget, and the wooing of voters came in the tax cuts. A seven year plan to restructure personal income tax will see the establishment of a huge bracket of people all paying the same tax rate. Whether you earn $40,001 or whether you are paid $199,999, you will pay the same rate of tax. As a prominent budget-watcher and economist has observed, the tax cuts for low-income earners making less than $37,000 add up to just $3.85 per week – less than the cost of a milkshake. Those on $200,000 or more will get $137.60 per week. That’s about enough to pay the loan on a medium-sized sedan.

The long-term vision of this budget is in the tax cuts – a seven year plan. There is no seven year plan for a healthier Australia, a more inclusive Australia, a more environmentally-friendly Australia.

In its budget response, the opposition pledged to oppose the broader seven-year plan – but that didn’t stop it from announcing its own multi-billion dollar tax cut package. Polls conducted in the weeks since budget week suggest that neither the government’s nor the opposition’s tax cuts have proven popular with voters.

Amidst the focus on tax cuts, there was a missed opportunity to join the chorus of community, business, civil society organisations and individuals calling for increases to benefits and pensions, especially Newstart.

Again we see the vital role of community advocacy in reinvigorating the debate on income support. I can’t remember a chorus of voices as united as this one. And like a choir, the call has been swelling over recent weeks to a crescendo carolling the paucity of Newstart.

The opposition has also failed to commit to raising Newstart, although they have pledged to conduct a review.

At very least, the budget could have established an Independent Commission to consider and set the level of benefits. Clearly there is a difference in perception between the public in its widest sense and the government. A Commission would be well-placed to set levels and take into account the incentive to seek work, as well as the need to have a decent standard of living whilst that occurs.

Not only was there no increase to benefits, but we are continuing to see measures target people in need. Stopping dole payments to those that have a court-set fine, or a warrant for indictable offences, won’t help people who find themselves in that situation. And by not helping them, it won’t help the rest of us either. Unless we’ve become so mean spirited that we actually enjoy kicking people when they are down, and feeling smug that welfare payments are being stopped to people whose lives may have not had the head start many of us enjoyed.

It is also clear from this budget that the government is not listening to the community on housing affordability. We must keep the pressure up, and continue to advocate for those who cannot afford to rent anywhere – and are risk of homelessness.

Other measures will extend the waiting period for migrants to four years. There is also a cynical saving measure to move people off the higher Disability Support Pension and onto Newstart if they are imprisoned for longer than 13 weeks. And sadly, our stronger budget position has not led to the removal of the so-called zombie measures, like raising the pension age to 70. This new pension age may suit a population of ageing office workers, but it is harder on manual workers, the caring professions, and those with a more precarious hold on the workforce. It will move many of these people from the aged pension to Newstart.

The big winner was the ideology of the individual. Yes, in the first instance there will be tax cuts for those on lower incomes. But they are nowhere near enough to meet the rising cost of living. Our own Rental Affordability Snapshot, released the week before the budget, found increasingly high levels of unaffordability with less than 3 per cent of private rentals being affordable for a single person working full-time on the minimum wage. The Senate itself acknowledged these findings in a motion passed earlier this month, calling on the government to act on the findings of our Snapshot.

If there is any good news to come out of this budget, it is the power of community advocacy to shape the pre-budget debate, and even parts of the budget itself. The changes to aged care have come about because of sustained community advocacy. So too has the recognition that people on low incomes are being left behind. That is as good a reason as any to keep standing up to attempts to shut down our advocacy – and lock the community out of crucial debates like these.

National Office News

National Office News: Anglicare Australia responds to the 2018 Federal Budget

Anglicare Australia responds to the 2018 Federal Budget
Anglicare Australia’s national office team were involved in many meetings and events before and after this year’s Budget. We were also kept busy on Budget night with our usual work of putting together the Budget Fast Facts analysis for Anglicare member organisations as well as a statement for the media.

commsectorbudgetAnglicare Australia Executive Director, Kasy Chambers and Policy and Research Director, Imogen Ebsworth attended the Budget lock-up at Treasury while Deputy Director Roland Manderson attended the Department of Health briefing. Deputy Director Roland Manderson joined the ACOSS community sector press conference at Parliament House following the Budget, Executive Director Kasy Chambers published an opinion piece, and Anglicare Australia’s response was written up by media outlets, particularly our disappointment at the lack of action on affordable housing.

Opinion piece: A Budget for middle Australia
In an Opinion Piece published by Pro Bono News the day after the Budget, Executive Director of Anglicare Australia Kasy Chambers responded to the Federal Budget. The piece argued an election budget aimed wooing middle Australia, but that it ultimately puts the individual ahead of community.

Click here to read the full opinion piece.

What the Federal Budget means for Anglicare Australia network members
On Budget night, Anglicare Australia released its annual budget analysis, Budget Fast Facts.

Many aspects of this year’s Budget were disappointing, including inaction on housing affordability, a continuation of the freeze of Newstart payments, and punitive programs for Centrelink recipients. Anglicare Australia supports the provision of new home care packages, although we note that the 14,000 new packages are not enough to clear the 100,000 backlog.

Click here to download Anglicare Australia’s Budget Fast Facts analysis.

Anglicare Australia joins HESTA ‘Transforming Aged Care’ roundtable
Transforming aged careDirector of Policy and Research, Imogen Ebsworth, represented Anglicare Australia at the HESTA ‘Transforming Aged Care’ roundtable. The roundtable explored HESTA’s recently released research report into the Aged Care sector, which found that it is facing a net shortfall of up 80,000 workers over the next five years.

HESTA’s research showed that more than 23% of aged care workers surveyed intend leaving the sector. The most common reasons for aged care workers wanting to leave the industry are:

  • develop new skills (49%)
  • try something different (38%)
  • not paid enough (22%).

The research identified key changes impacting the aged care industry and its day-to-day operations, including:

  • societal and demographic changes mean dementia care is now a core business
  • a shift towards greater consumer-directed care, means greater choice and changing care models requiring new skills and closer collaboration with other service providers
  • Increased physical demands of aged care work and time pressures on employees

Click here find out more about the roundtable and HESTA’s research.

Reconciliation Week and Anglicare Australia Reconciliation Action Plan
Anglicare Australia staff have been attending events for National Reconciliation Week. This year’s events highlight some of the lesser known aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, histories, cultures, and achievements.

Anglicare Australia has also finalised the development of our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The 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 network. It will guide us through a series of steps that have been designed to help us develop a greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, build stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and create more opportunities for us to work together.

To find out more about our RAP, email [email protected].

Register for Anglicare Australia’s 2018 Conference
LogoIt is with great pleasure that Anglicare Australia invites you to the 2018 Anglicare Australia National Conference, to be held at the Stanford Grand Glenelg in Adelaide, from 16-19 September, 2018. Early bird registrations have now opened, and registrations are open online.

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.

Speakers will include:

  • Dr Rebecca Huntley, social researcher and media commentator
  • Kate Hillman, Director at Ernst and Young
  • Professor John Pollaers, Chair of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce
  • Associate Professor Lorna Hallahan, disability expert
  • David Pearson, Executive Director of the Don Dunstan Foundation
  • Associate Professor Alwin Chong, Indigenous health and families expert
  • Debra Saffrey-Collins will deliver the annual John Roffey Lecture

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.

Call for Papers open for Anglicare Australia National Conference
Applications are invited for papers for the Anglicare Australia National Conference at the Stanford Grand in Glenelg, Adelaide.

Workshops and presentations are an important part of the conference, giving participants an opportunity for members of the Anglicare network to exchange information, showcase successes, promote your organisation’s agenda and make useful connections.

With a focus on the theme Courage in Kindness: Driving Change in Work and Community we welcome workshops and presentations in all service types from member organisations in areas such as:

  • Cutting edge service design
  • Client experience and co-production
  • Communications strategies for advocacy and for service delivery
  • Faith-based engagement
  • Leadership, management and staff development
  • Marketing / fundraising
  • Organisational development
  • Research, evaluation and outcomes measurement

More information on submitting an abstract is available online:

Papers should be submitted by no later than Friday 15 June 2018. To find out more, email [email protected].

Nominations Open: National Awards for Innovation and Excellence
Nominations have opened for the Anglicare Australia National Awards for Innovation and Excellence.

The Anglicare Australia National Awards for Innovation and Excellence, sponsored by Telstra, 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.

Click here to download a nomination form or find out more about the awards.

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Formation of Anglicare Australia Financial Counselling Network
FCAAnglicare Australia Executive Director, Kasy Chambers, was the opening keynote speaker at the Financial Counselling Australia conference in Hobart.  The conference theme was “The big yarn, stories that stir”.  Asked to talk about inequality, Kasy highlighted the some of the broader ways in which inequality manifests itself and is felt.  Noting the human propensity for empathy for those like us, Kasy urged delegates to share the stories of their work to help us all recognise that people who have less are not that different to those with more.

Later in the conference, attendees who worked for Anglicare Australia members met and decided to form a special interest network to discuss and shares issues pertinent to their work.  If you work in financial counselling or a related area, and would like to join, please email [email protected].

EPIC to expand across Australia
EPICEPIC is opening 23 more offices from 1 July this year, creating more opportunities for job seekers with disability to find jobs they are proud of. This will bring the total of EPIC’s Australian offices to 71, across Queensland, NSW, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania.

EPIC CEO Bill Gamack says opening new offices will help connect job seekers with prospective employers in their local community.

“Everybody has a right to meaningful employment, but it can sometimes be tricky for people with disability to get started,” said Bill.

“That’s where we come in. Everyone deserves the opportunity to show what they are capable of.

“Work provides us with social interaction, greater financial freedom, confidence and a sense of purpose. Communities are stronger when they are made up of people who are working and feeling great about their contributions,” he said.

As part of its operation, EPIC gives its employees the opportunity to work on projects such as website design and development. EPIC's website and digital marketing services are provided by its partners, Web Assist, and could be of interest to Anglicare Australia network members looking to expand or rebuild their online presence.

Click here to find out more about Web Assist's services. To find out more the EPIC expansion, click here.

Amana Living Fighting Loneliness with Digital Inclusion
Nobody wants to be lonely. It can have devastating physical and mental affects, particularly among older people who are increasingly at risk of social isolation and loneliness. Technology has a role to play in helping people to stay connected and, while it will never replace direct human contact, it can be a vital tool to combat isolation.

amanaAmana Living has been taking a proactive approach to tackling loneliness and social isolation in residents and clients through GenConnect. GenConnect involves a partnership with local Anglican schools where students teach digital skills to seniors, with the ultimate goal of increasing their social connections and independence.

“GenConnect aims to increase the digital literacy and social connectedness of Amana Living residents through personal tuition provided by secondary school students,” said Louise Molyneux, Amana Living’s Enrichment Technology Advisor.

“Our residents have really enjoyed learning in a stress-free and inclusive environment, plus the opportunity to bond with a younger generation. They’ve also loved the chats during the class, citing the social aspect as one of the most beneficial aspects of the tuition.”

Click here to find out more about Amana Living’s GenConnect program.

Pilbara headspace opens in Northwest with Anglicare WA
Anglicare WA’s proposal for an innovative youth mental health service model ‘headspace Pilbara,’ has now been launched in the North West of the State.

Anglicare WA, with funding provided by the WA Primary health Alliance (WAPHA), suggested a different model of headspace delivery – one which involved more mobile outreach – and which WAPHA and the headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation has agreed Anglicare WA could trial.

Spokesperson for Anglicare WA, Philippa Boldy, said her organisation recognised the need for additional mental health services across the Pilbara and wanted to shift the focus from clients coming into the service, over to one where the service goes out to clients. This was based on extensive community consultation and co-design.

“We will have staff based in Newman, Port Hedland and Karratha, but the innovative  approach we are taking with headspace Pilbara means that our counsellors and support staff will be out in the field, taking their counselling and psychology skills to where it’s needed across the wide geography of the region, and to work together with existing health and community services to meet young people’s wellbeing needs,” Ms Boldy said.

The service is designed to make it as easy as possible for a young person and their family to access the help they need for problems affecting their wellbeing.

Click here to find out more about headspace Pilbara.

Anglicare Sydney research finds Australians living alone are doing it tougher
going it aloneAnglicare Sydney’s latest research ‘Going it Alone’, confirms that people living alone are doing it tougher than most other types of household. The majority of people accessing Anglicare’s Food and Financial Assistance program are on Government income support, and over a third (37%) of them live alone.

“We compared single person households to other types of household, across nine different community service programs. The study shows that lone person households are not only financially disadvantaged but are also more likely to be socially disconnected,” said Grant Millard, Anglicare Sydney CEO.

“Being socially isolated is not simply a subjective feeling of loneliness. Social isolation is objective, and measures disconnection from important social networks. Our research shows that people living alone have fewer social connections; a lower sense of wellbeing; and a lower sense of control in decision making. A sense of control in decision making is important for people when dealing with the issues confronting them,” Mr Millard said.

Click here to read more about Anglicare Sydney's research.

National Awards Profile

Awards profile: Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy, Anglicare Victoria

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.

ARTICLE 15 - Indigenous Academy 1The Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy is an initiative of Anglicare Victoria which has developed into a partnership between Anglicare Victoria and the Bendigo District Co-Operative, Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative, The Long Walk and Bonoloola Community Education Centre.

The program originated in 2014 when Elders from the Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-Operative approached Anglicare Victoria asking to help address their great concerns about the low engagement with education amongst young people in the community, and the lack of emerging next-generation leaders.

ARTICLE 15 - Indigenous Academy 2The Academy, centred around the four guiding pillars of Culture, Aspiration, Education and Leadership normalises aspiration. It acknowledges the great range of untapped potential that exists in children and young people, particularly young people living within Indigenous or remote country communities.

The young people who take part in the Academy are encouraged to find their passion in life, then build their academic journey from this passion, whilst building a lifelong love of learning.

The judges congratulated the Academy for exemplifying Indigenous partnerships that are sustainable, culturally sensitive, leadership focussed, and community-focused. They highly commend this program for excellence in partnership with Indigenous communities.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: Anglicare Sydney, HESTA, ACNC and the ​Salvation Army

Going it alone

Going it Alone
Anglicare Sydney
This report confirms that people living alone are doing it tougher than most other types of household. The majority of people accessing Anglicare’s Food and Financial Assistance program are on Government income support, and over a third of them live alone. The report is available here.

HESTATransforming Aged Care
This research into the Aged Care sector found that it is facing a net shortfall of up 80,000 workers over the next five years. The research identified key changes impacting the aged care industry and its day-to-day operations. Further information on this report is available "National Office News", above. The report is available here.

ACNCGrowth and change in Australia's charities, 2014 to 2016
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
Growth and Change in Australia’s Charities: 2014 to 2016, is a sub-report of the Australian Charities Report 2016, which assessed the Annual Information Statements of more than 45,000 charities over three years to identify trends in income, workforce, location and activities. The report is available here.

SalvosFeeling the pinch: National economic and social impact survey 2018
Salvation Army
The national Economic and Social Impact Survey 2017 is the seventh consecutive report by The Salvation Army exploring the challenges, barriers, and levels of disadvantage experienced by those who access emergency relief services. It again confirms unacceptably persistent disadvantage and exclusion experienced by individuals and their families. The report is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

New consultations and grants

Inquiry into the Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 2018
The Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry is conducting an inquiry into Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The Committee is due to produce an interim report by 30 July 2018 and a final report by 29 November 2018.

Submissions are due by 11 June 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.

NFPs to receive free legal support to manage volunteers
Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan has announced a $250,000 grant to Justice Connect to deliver simple online legal resources to help not-for-profit organisations. Justice Connect will assess the legal risks of volunteer programs so they can confidently run safe and successful events and programs. Apps, e-learning modules, webinars, and a comprehensive national guide of best practice will all be available through this program.

Justice Connect’s suite of tools will be available from later this year. More information is available here.

Sector Events

Sector Events, May-June, 2018

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.

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.

Subscribe to Aspect Newsletter