Aspect November 2016

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

How we should live together

5438778-1x1-700x700At Anglicare Australia we underpin our advocacy with a basic question about “how we should live together”.  The answers can look like complex superannuation or taxation equations, they can look like the way we arrange housing, the way in which aged care or disability services are delivered, and specifically how equity is or is not created, nurtured and protected. Our view of how we should live together is founded in our deep belief that every human being has inherent potential and dignity, built of course on our Christian heritage.

Our belief that a good society is a just one that seeks to redistribute its benefits and offer protection from risk underpins our thoughts on these issues.  It is something that all members of Anglicare Australia share, which in turn gives rise to our mission to serve those who are disadvantaged, marginalised or vulnerable.

It’s important to have those conversations and to have them explicitly.  By asking those questions (and ones like them – what is a good society, how shall we live, what is a good life?) we can know what we feel and think about the myriad of issues that come our way in the course of the year.  This year alone we have met with Ministers, made submissions, opined on line and in print, published reports and made public comments on literally thousands of social, environmental and economic issues.

chair-1836372_960_720So we are sad and perplexed, along with many others judging by the reactions in the media, by the ABC’s decision to review its religious programming including the axing of the popular Sunday Nights program.  We should of course declare our own interest here: this program has been a valuable vehicle for us to hold these conversations, to examine the issues of social justice more deeply than is possible in the 30 second news grab.  And therein lies its value; the ability to have conversations built on ethical frameworks (and those ethical frameworks can be secular as well as religious) brings about much more thoughtful responses to the complex problems of our society. 

Without this thoughtfulness we find ourselves operating as an economy instead of a society, making decisions based on what things cost rather than what the right thing would be.  It is important that we know and understand what interventions work, and which ones actually hinder.  It’s important to know where costs lie, but only as a secondary consideration once we know what we should do.

house-insurance-419058_960_720Thus when we find ourselves in conversations about the Priority Investment Approach to welfare policy, we know that it isn’t right that because you are a young carer you are more likely to have your education interrupted, your chances of secure work (and all the benefits that delivers) affected.  We can look at our past experience in this area to see what has worked and develop ideas for future services along with those young carers. This is a much deeper conversation than the headline reported in the media about the “burden” these people will present to society over their lifetime.

Used properly, and underpinned by a desire for a society where every individual is considered of equal worth, this actuarial modelling of the cost of various groups may be helpful in identifying those most at risk and therefore needing assistance to enable a decent life.  Wouldn’t it be interesting though to produce an actuarial model on the lifetime cost privilege – funding to private schools, to private health care, to private housing through taxation and to savings via superannuation, the list would go on.

laptop-762548_960_720This simplistic distillation of a life down to costs that fit in the columns of an accountant’s page is not all that government should be doing. Its role is far more than that. This actuarial model is a way to manage the symptoms and measures the usefulness of the medicine. It is not going to give us the answers to how we should live together or what makes a good society.

As governments move away from conversations about the social contract more of us need to step into this space.  The recent ACOSS conference set out to promote just such a conversation about the goals and values of civil society.

The examples from the Anglicare network published in our State of the Family report this year are about how we contribute to that social contract and about how when we believe everyone has equal worth we step in when someone is doing it tough. Social supports, flexible work places, adequate income, secure and safe housing and real opportunities for individuals are all the things that help people contribute to and be a part of a good society.  Interestingly they are also often the very things that privilege delivers.

leave-1738132_960_720These initiatives and services are still enabled or disabled by public policy though.  While we cannot rely on our engagement with governments alone to deliver the kind of policies that enable a good society nor can we ignore them.  We need to play our part in ensuring that people who make up our governments understand their role in building a society which best enables the best possible life for all its citizens.

With Christmas just around the corner why not pick up a pen and send a Christmas card to your local members and remind them that we all need to work together if we’re to live together in a way that recognises the worth of each of us.  We would all be the richer for it, and imagine what that would do to the bottom line.

Kasy Chambers,
Executive Director, Anglicare Australia

National Office News

ACOSS brings the big debates to Sydney

ACOSS-imageRoland Manderson and Zoë Coombe attended the ACOSS conference in Sydney on 17-18 November. The theme of the conference was Leading the Big Debates. It posed questions about the future of social justice and what it will take to continue the momentum of social progress.

The conference opened with a session on how disruptive change will impact civil society organisations. The key note speaker, Burkhard Gnärig from the International Civil Society Centre, argued that if community and civil society organisations do not re-invent themselves and adapt to disruptive change, they risk irrelevance or failure. Gnärig’s video on ‘riding the wave’ of disruptive change is available here  Panellists also discussed the impact of disruptive change in an Australian context.

Other sessions covered topics including Universal Basic Income, competition policy and human services delivery, climate change and economic transition to net zero-emissions, and the role of media in public opinion and social cohesion.

Australian Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs addressed the final session of the conference on ‘Truth telling: Speaking with conviction and living with the consequences’. Triggs discussed a recent UN report which criticised the government’s intimidation and pressure of Australian human rights advocates and government whistle-blowers. She said she was also deeply concerned about Australian government ministers increasingly putting their actions beyond judicial supervision and review. More positively, however, she assured the audience that truth will always prevail.  

Anglicare network at FRSA conference in Canberra

promo-300x170The FRSA conference this year has been in Canberra, and 25 delegates  who are all members of Anglicare organisations enjoyed a network dinner together to put plan in place for  working cooperatively and sharing their expertise and insights over the next year.

The reinvigorated families and communities network  will now has a steering committee led by Sue Christophers (SA)  and Glenda Devlin (Syd) supported by the Anglicare Australia office. If you weren’t at dinner, but you are interested, please contact Roland Manderson in the Anglicare Australia office in the first instance. 

Just Transition Forum

safe-913452_960_720Roland Manderson attended an all-day forum in Canberra organised by the ACTU on just transitions to a low carbon future. It included community organisations, unions and other environmental groups and business people.

There is a growing body of work that links the strong economic benefits of inclusive approach with the deliberate development of sustainable industry.   The forum incorporated a lot of discussion on the inevitability of a profound change in the power industry, and the terrible, and evident, human impact of those changes when they are not planned for or properly managed. It was also clear that ‘just transitions’  are needed in response to increasing automation  and other large scale economic adjustments, not only the move towards a low carbon economy.

Positions Vacant? When the jobs aren’t there, Anglicare Australia’s new State of the Family report ,  fills in a lot of that emerging picture, and points to the shift in thinking that we need if (to recap on our 2016 election theme ) we are to leave no one behind.

Pathways to real jobs in a changing work landscape

50290Executive Director of Anglicare Australia Kasy Chambers penned an opinion piece for Eureka Street, following the media coverage of State of the Family.

Drawing on the findings of the Jobs Availability Snapshot and the essays in State of the Family, she argued for more innovation and a more lateral-thinking approach to employment.

She wrote: In Australia, industry change and unprecedented technological progress have seen an automation of jobs that were previously done by people.

In Rick Measham's recent piece in Eureka Street discussing the need for innovation in employment, he made a few interesting points about what this means for employment in this country. He asks: 'What are we planning for a society in which there is no paid work for most people?'

Innovation is absolutely necessary in this debate, according to Fairfax workplace editor Anna Patty, who told ABC's Sunday Night program last week:

'I think there is a real policy vacuum. I went to a breakfast recently where Michaelia Cash, the employment minister, was basically saying that in 15 years' time, 40 per cent of existing jobs will be automated, and Australia needs to embrace the way Air B&B and Uber do business ... but there is not a lot of detail in how we adjust to this new future of work.'

To read the opinion piece in its entirety, click here

Anglicare Network News

Aged and Community Care Network

hands-216982_960_720There are a couple of matters of interest to Aspect readers this month that relate to our aged and community care network.

Inquiry into the future of Australia’s aged care sector workforce

On Nov 3, a small team of our experts – from Benetas, AnglicareSA and Anglicare Southern Queensland – gave evidence at a public hearing of the Senate Community Affairs Committee inquiry into the future of the aged care workforce.

We addressed the changing model of care, the need to take the whole reablement approach more seriously and to invest in, and train, a workforce that is both more sophisticated and more highly valued. On the day, the Senate Committee was most interested in the impact of the upcoming funding cuts in residential care, although it has since expressed interest in seeing how Anglicare members provide the connected, or relational, care that we spoke about at the hearing.

National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) Meeting

Roland Manderson and Sandra Hills attended the final NACA meeting for 2016,  in Adelaide  Nov  7 and 8. It was a good meeting which  saw us lining up – as providers, consumers, unions and health professionals – to  do a lot more coordinated work and advocacy over the next few years.

The meatiest discussion was on the issue of quality, and the lack of progress to date on quality of life indicators. That’s important, because the whole new aged care scheme is based on the assumption that  consumers  can make choices based on their quality of life.

In the meantime NACA also e endorsed the principles put forward by the Equity of Access and Outcomes working group, which aim to ensure any changes to aged care in Australia deliver outcomes that respond to the needs and goals of the whole mix of older Australians.

Reablement, restorative care and wellness forum

A working group from the network is pulling together a forum on reablement, restorative care and wellness. It will be at the end of May (or maybe the very start of June) most likely in Sydney.

We are planning for a service visit on the first afternoon followed by dinner with a speaker and then a full day looking at outcome measures and how they change practice; assisting and monitoring technology; empowerment and development of staff; and working together on wellbeing indicators.

 Stay tuned, we’ll give you the concrete dates and location as soon as we have them.


U-Turn: the transport woes of Australia's young jobseekers

iStock-trainsystem-transportation-sydney-499430086This article and resource was provided by the Brotherhood of St Laurence

The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s latest data analysis shows, strikingly, that 61 per cent of unemployed people aged under 25 lack a driver’s licence. Drilling down, the percentage of jobseekers aged 18 to 24 with no licence is more than 40 per cent. And, overall, as many as a quarter of young jobseekers cite transport issues as a key reason for not being able to find a job.

In October this year, 268,000 youth in the labour market were unable to find work. The big picture remains troubling, with youth unemployment trending close to 13 per cent – far exceeding the rates below 9 per cent in 2008 before the global financial crisis hit. Youth unemployment in Australia is concentrated in regional areas and in fast-growing outer suburbs where public transport options are notoriously limited.

Click here to read the report: U-Turn: the transport woes of Australia's young jobseekers

Every Child Succeeds

15310735_10155467672394460_83004907_nThis article was provided by Anglicare Tasmania

Over 450 people gathered in Launceston last week with one purpose: to equip themselves for the important work of supporting children and families in Tasmania. Their common goal was to see that Every Child Succeeds.

The Communities for Children conference is hosted by Anglicare Tasmania. It is part of a bigger collective impact movement in Launceston Tamar Valley called Every Child Succeeds, for which the Communities for Children team provides backbone support. Originally envisioned as a professional development opportunity for those working directly with children and families it has now developed into a significant biennial event with a collective focus on improving outcomes for children.

“As a community we have every resource to make our community socially just. People are realising that to turn things around, there has to be a common agenda that prioritises children,” said Chris Jones, CEO of Anglicare Tasmania.

“We’ve all heard that it takes a village to raise a child, so partnerships are essential to every child succeeding,” said Chris.

Everyone agreed that this conference was a huge success. There were many practical lessons shared, with the shared goal of inspiring and encouraging every Tasmanian child to succeed.

The filmed keynotes and workshops are available on the Anglicare Tasmania You Tube channel

From Ice to Inspiration

15281195_10155467672164460_324245067_nThis article was provided by Anglicare Tasmania

Lives can be changed. At Anglicare Australia’s National Conference this year when Tasmanian mum Deb Gyles shared her story of how she found the strength to make enormous changes in her life, you could have heard a pin drop.

Deb’s story was honest, powerful and inspirational. It’s proof that providing non-judgemental care and support, showing kindness to another, can be transformational.

“My life was violent, lonely, scared and addicted. I was a meth addict and was stuck in a violent and abusive relationship,” said Deb, “I had people in my back yard handing over hundreds of dollars to my ex-boyfriend to buy drugs, while I was inside the house writing out an I.O.U letter from the tooth fairy for my son to put under his pillow that night.”

“I was not allowed control over my own finances and didn’t have a cent to my name.

“My life focussed on the next payday. How much could I pay off my bill with the drug dealer? Was there anything in the house I could sell or swap?

“I was emotionally unavailable to my children. The days I didn’t have any drugs I would spend the whole day in bed.

“When my mental state would actually allow me to leave the house I would often walk down to the bluff, climb under the barriers at the lighthouse and sit on the edge of the rocks thinking that if I was a decent person I would just throw myself off. I was in a really bad place,” she said.

Child Protection removed Deb’s sons from her care. “My boys were placed under the guardianship of the Department of Health and Human Services,” said Deb.

To read the whole article, click here


Staff Soar At Annual Awards

ACQ board chair Rhylla Webb & Chairmans Award winner Heidi 1This article was provided by Anglicare Central Queensland

Outstanding Central Queenslanders working in child protection, housing and community services from mental health to disability support have been recognised at Anglicare Central Queensland’s annual awards.

AnglicareCQ’s Staff Outstanding Achievement Recognition Awards celebrate their team’s passion, hard work and achievements, and their contribution to the communities they live and work in right across Central Queensland from the coast to the Northern Territory border.

This year’s SOAR Award winners include people working with young people in rural and regional communities, supporting Indigenous mothers, helping refugees settle into their new communities and build new lives, and giving community housing tenants a new way to have their say on the decision that affect their lives and homes.

Winner of the Chairman’s Award, the major award for significant achievement and contribution to the organisation, went to Heidi, co-ordinator of AnglicareCQ’s counselling and support programs.  Heidi looks after a diverse portfolio from homelessness support to youth services, and is developing programs to meet current and emerging needs and build AnglicareCQ’s future leaders.

Read the full list of winners here:

Online resource set to add ‘life to your years’ for older Australians

15282033_10155467672284460_1306933725_nThis article was provided by Benetas

An innovative tool aimed at identifying and reducing serious health issues in older people was launched in November, providing access to vital medical and community supports to provide a better experience of ageing.

The Positive Ageing Resource Centre (PARC), accessible at, offers a one‐stop shop for people seeking support around Frailty and health.

The resource, funded by the Australian Government through the Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants fund, (now the Dementia and Aged Care Services fund), has been developed by leading Victorian not for profit aged care provider Benetas with research support from Monash University.

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said that providing opportunities for older people, and their carers, to self‐manage their health and wellbeing in particular around Frailty was important to achieving positive health outcomes.

“We want to ensure older people and their carers, wherever they live, have access to the supports and information they need to maintain their quality of life as they age,” Minister Wyatt said.

“By providing practical and individualised tools such as PARC, we’re making sure that Frailty, and its serious consequences, can be identified and mitigated in older people.”

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills said the multi‐faceted nature of the website, in both screening for Frailty and offering self‐management tools and resources, enabled older people to take a proactive approach to their health and wellbeing to help prevent serious health issues.

To read the original article, click here


Teralba Emergency Relief 25th Anniversary

15282039_10155467672244460_1469203343_nThis article was provided by Samaritans

Samaritans has provided emergency relief in Newcastle, the Hunter Valley, Central Coast and Mid North Coast regions of NSW for over 30 years, and this week celebrates 25 years of Emergency Relief services in Teralba.

Each month, Samaritans provides more than 1,000 families with emergency assistance and relief, supporting people to pay their bills or feed their families.

Samaritans will hold a lunch on Friday to commemorate 25 years of service to the community at the Teralba Emergency Relief service. As well as Emergency Relief, the service also supports the community through breakfast programs in schools and a local Toy Warehouse.

Pat Korsman is a volunteer who has been instrumental in the delivery of the service for the full 25 years.

“I have record books dating back to our very first day that detail how we have helped people in need. Since 11 November, 1991 we have been able to support over 30,000 people from Teralba alone,” Pat said.

Many of Samaritans Emergency Relief services are grassroots initiatives that provide much needed support to people who are struggling in the area, by assisting those in financial crisis to deal with their immediate situation in a way that maintains dignity and encourages self-reliance.

“Samaritans Emergency Relief and Assistance Centre’s rely greatly on the generosity and time of volunteers to staff and run these services. People like Pat have made this work possible, and what a huge achievement to be celebrating 25 years of service to the community for Teralba Emergency Relief,” Emergency Relief Coordinator, Tracy Jackson, said.

The services offer short-term emergency, financial or material assistance to those in need and, where possible, aim to establish links with other appropriate services and support to prevent ongoing hardship.

“In 25 years, many of the same issues are the same in providing emergency relief- ongoing funding, staffing with volunteers support and of course, the needs of the people we support are growing in complexity and expectation. It’s a challenge, but we provide such a vital service and it’s important that it continues into the future,” Ms Korsman said.

“Without the commitment, hard work and enthusiasm of our volunteers, we would not be able to continue this vital community work. These centres are often the first point of contact for Samaritans to meet some of the most disadvantaged members of our community and it’s our best opportunity to help,” Ms. Jackson said.

To read the original article, click here

Morgan Rides for Samaritans and White Ribbon

15218671_10155467672339460_799215466_nThis article was provided by Samaritans

CEO of Club Taree, Morgan Stewart, put on the lycra for a 230km bicycle ride to raise awareness and much needed funds to support the many victims of domestic and family violence.

The three day ride departed from Newcastle Police Station on Saturday 19th November and wound its way to Blacktown Workers Club.

Morgan rode as a White Ribbon Ambassador raising funds for the Taree Women’s Refuge, a Samaritans service supporting women and children in the Manning region.

“One in six Australian women has experienced violence from a current or former partner and one in three Australian women will experience violence in their lifetime. As at the end of September this year, sixty-three women have been killed in Australia this year. These statistics are staggering and totally unacceptable,” Mr. Stewart said.

The Taree Women’s Refuge provides short term crisis accommodation and outreach to women and their children, including referrals, information and advice, emotional support and assistance with accessing additional support services to people in need.

“I became a White Ribbon Ambassador because I saw it as my responsibility as a leader in the hospitality industry to make sure that the message that violence against women is a man’s issue is sent and received.

“It is a fact that one of the major causes of violence in the home is alcohol related. As a business that sells alcohol, I believe that it is our responsibility to challenge the old ways of some Pubs and Clubs that were traditionally male dominated spaces. I will challenge those attitudes as I need to, so that people come to understand that we will not tolerate any kind of violence or negative sentiment towards women,” Mr. Stewart said.

If you would like to support Morgan on his ride and in turn the Taree Women’s Refuge, donations can be dropped into Club Taree Reception or to Morgan himself.

Morgan also has a MyCause page for fundraising, you can donate here. 



GR8CLEAN | Anglicare North Coast's Social Enterprise

GR8CLEAN 3This article was provided by Anglicare North Coast

Anglicare North Coast has soft launched its first social enterprise, GR8CLEAN.

GR8CLEAN is a specialist cleaning service dedicated to cleaning and servicing air-conditioning units and pressure cleaning whole houses and driveways. Initially servicing Ballina, Byron Bay, Lismore, Alstonville and surrounds on the Far North Coast of NSW, Anglicare North Coast is hoping eventually to have a team of cleaning specialists stretching the 450KMS from Port Macquarie to Tweed Heads on NSW’s north coast.

Shane Aho is its first employee and is seen here removing mould and dust from an air conditioning unit. The unique selling points of the enterprise is a clean air conditioning unit can save on power bills, extend the life of a unit and importantly eliminate the health risks associated with dust and mould build up.

All funds raised will go towards help solving local affordable housing issues.

To visit the website, click here

Individual Placement and Support Trial at headspace Darwin

headspacelogoThis article was provided by Anglicare NT

headspace Darwin is excited to announce it has been selected as one of 14 headspace centres nationally to participate in an Individual Placement Support (IPS) trial through the Department of Social Services.

The Darwin IPS trial, commencing in February 2017 and based at the headspace centre in Casuarina, aims to ensure that young people experiencing mental health issues are supported to gain and keep a job.

The service will employ two employment workers to connect employment and vocational support with clinical mental health support, and focuses on the individual needs of people with mental illness who are seeking to enter or remain in education or employment.

headspace Darwin is run by Anglicare NT. Anglicare NT CEO, Dave Pugh, says that this is a vital addition to mental health services in Darwin.

“We see over 1,200 young people per year. Mental health issues can be a real barrier to gaining and keeping employment, yet a good job is often something that keeps people mentally healthy. This innovative new service model will provide a vital link between headspace, young people, employers and other support and employment services. It will make a big difference.”

To read the whole article, click here

#TheFutureWeWant Art Exhibition

downloadThis article was provided by EPIC Assist

EPIC Assist is presenting #TheFutureWeWant Art Exhibition, showcasing the artwork of professional and emerging artists with disability.

The exhibition coincides with International Day of People with Disability, and will run for a six day period.

EPIC Events Coordinator Erickson Ilustre says the exhibition is a great opportunity to celebrate the skills and creativity of people with disability.

“We have chosen the theme #TheFutureWeWant to highlight our goal of creating a society of inclusion and diversity, which values the many talents and contributions of people with disability,” says Erickson.

“We hope everyone takes the opportunity to visit the exhibition during the week, and join us on Friday night for the celebration.”

Erickson says EPIC is proud to be hosting this event, which would not be possible without artists displaying the personal artworks which are so close to their heart.

“Art is such a powerful form of self- expression, and we have many talented artists willing to share their experiences with us through this exhibition,” said Erickson.

“We can’t wait to share that with the community. Together we can achieve #TheFutureWeWant.”

Event Details

Location: Aspire Gallery, 53 Kennedy Tce, Paddington, Brisbane 4064

Dates: Monday 28 November- Saturday 3 December 2016

Opening Hours: 10.30am – 4.30pm

A celebration event will be taking place Friday 2 December, from 5pm. All are welcome to come and join in the festivities, where there will be live music, drinks and light refreshments. 

Significant Milestone for Job Readiness Program

Ali and Arthur - Power GenThis article was provided by AnglicareSA

More than 40 young South Australians have secured employment during the past 12 months thanks to one of AnglicareSA’s job readiness and support programs.

AnglicareSA partners with the Port Adelaide Football Club to deliver an outcome-focused employment and training support program called Power Generation for Aboriginal students and graduates of the Aboriginal Power Cup (APC).

Employment outcomes have occurred across a range of industries and businesses including:

• Traineeships and apprenticeships across business administration, community services, disability, carpentry, horticulture, sheet metal, civil construction and diesel mechanic

• Casual and full-time employment across retail, sporting, hospitality, school support and civil construction.

Power Generation has also facilitated 25 training outcomes for participants including successful completion of courses in civil construction, community services and community development, hospitality and pre-employment.

Power Generation assists APC graduates and students from years 10, 11 and 12 with job readiness and ongoing support. The APC is a joint football and academic initiative which sees Aboriginal students achieve a range of educational outcomes, including progressing successfully through their SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education).

AnglicareSA’s wrap-around services support the students and graduates to keep progressing with their study and/or employment by providing a variety of supports in addition to the employment supports provided such as:

• Youth emergency accommodation

• Housing support

• Financial counselling

• Emergency assistance

• Grief and loss counselling

• Furniture and white goods assistance

• Driving lessons and license assistance.

Employment supports include work experience placements, resume preparation, interview preparation, conducting formal mock interviews, transport to and from interviews, assistance with application letters and online applications, and post-placement support once young people are in employment.

To read more about the program, click here

Working with Colleen to build a healthy future

15239202_10155467664959460_1502336132_nThis article was provided by Anglicare Central Queensland

Colleen* was just 16 when her family dynamics meant she had to leave home.  She was starting her last year at high school when Anglicare Central Queensland helped her settle into a community rent scheme property and live independently.

As well as staying on top of year 12, taking care of the housework and yard and getting the rent paid on time, Colleen set out to build her future.  She worked casual jobs, got her drivers licence, bought herself a car and grew in independence and confidence.

With support from AnglicareCQ and the Department of Housing and Public Works, Colleen was able to maintain a stable independent home life and successfully complete year 12.  She’s now studying nursing, and has moved past her challenges to create an amazing future.

To read the original article, click here

National award for care and innovation

IMG_7849-900x398This article was provided by AnglicareSA

Canterbury Close, an AnglicareSA aged care facility in Adelaide’s north, has been awarded a national Better Practice Award by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA) for its PIE (Positive Interactive Engagement) program. 

These awards recognise initiatives that demonstrate best practice in Australian aged care.

PIE is a structured after hours activity program developed by Canterbury Close staff to provide connection, stimulation, routine and positive triggers for residents with dementia in the Memory Support Unit.

It is based on Alzheimer’s Association research and Montessori principles and increases interaction and engagement and reduces unsettled behaviour in the evenings and at times of reduced activities.

Virginia Matthews, AACQA Acting State Director SA/NT, presented the Canterbury Close team with the prestigious award at a special afternoon tea event to celebrate the win. Bruce Linn, AnglicareSA Board Chair, praised the team for their innovation, care and creativity.

AACQA is the independent body responsible for managing the accreditation and ongoing supervision of Commonwealth funded aged care homes.

To read the original article, click here

National Awards Profile

WINNER of the Innovation category – Digital Life Project, Samaritans Foundation

Photo 3- Digital Life StoriesWelcome to the next in our series of profiles on the winners and highly commended of the Anglicare Australia 2016 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence. These profiles will be featured in the 2017 Anglicare Australia Review.

The Digital Life Project is an initiative delivered by the Samaritans Foundation in partnership with Family and Community Services (FACS) in NSW.  The Project aims to deliver up to 120 video/multimedia digital stories for people residing in large residential centres.

The purpose of the project is to allow people living with disabilities, currently residing in the Stockton or Kanangra Residential Centres, to create their own digital introductory stories to capture important information about themselves. These short, three-minute introductory films aim to support their current and future care needs by capturing information about their interests and dreams for the future.

This project aims to capture important information about the person with a disability in a universally accessible and user-friendly format, and to communicate this information during the transition process. Digital story telling has the potential to provide a personalised bridge of communication between the person, support services and the wider community.

The judges thought this an innovative response to a new and real emerging issue. Not only innovative but creative and respectful.


Research and Resources

The Future of Work: Setting Kids up for Success

HomeReportThe Regional Australia Institute in partnership with nbn launched a report and online toolkit to help people navigate the future of work. Changing skill requirements, industries and demographics will mean the workforce will look very different in 2030 than it does today. The report explores what kinds of skills young people will need to develop now in order to be competitive when they enter the workforce. It finds that a mix of hard and soft skills will be necessary for most. The online toolkit explains what these skills are and how young people can develop their capabilities in these areas.

Government consulting researchers and NFPs about the data they need

logoThe Government has begun a consultation process with businesses, researchers, and the not-for-profit sector on what high value data they would like made available. Interested parties are invited to complete an online survey before a series of roundtable discussions next year. The aim of this consultation process is to engage with those who use data, to identify the characteristics of high-value data and datasets, and have a frank discussion about issues and barriers to access.

The online survey, as well as links to register for the 2017 roundtable discussions are available here

Hope of a new era in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention

photographic-background-1540116_960_720The findings of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led research project on suicide intervention have been released this month.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project report is called ‘Solutions that Work: What the Evidence and Our People Tell Us’.  It identifies what works to prevent suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through an analysis of program evaluations and previous research and consultations on Indigenous suicide prevention. Some of the key success factors identified in the report are:

-Community owned and community specific programs
-Culturally informed programs and cultural competence of mental health workers
-24-hour, seven day a week accessibility of support services
-Resources designed for young people 
-Gatekeeper training, whereby community members are trained to identify people at risk of suicide and connect them to help.
-Alcohol and drug use-reduction as a part of an overall response

The project aims to share this knowledge of what works to reduce the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide Australia-wide.  The authors say it is now incumbent on Australian governments to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities receive the support they need to achieve this goal.

To read the report, click here

$10 million volunteer grant round open

vcgOrganisations are invited to submit applications for the 2016 Volunteer Grants funding round. The grants of $1000-$5000 can be used by community organisations to buy equipment, train volunteers or improve fundraising efforts. The Minister for Social Services Christian Porter has encouraged Indigenous and regional organisations to apply. The Volunteer Grants funding is part of the Strengthening Communities programme, designed to support the capacity of communities to address local issues.  Applications for Volunteer Grants close 20 December 2016.


Call for abstracts: 2017 Child Aware Approaches Conference

cropped-CAconf17_banner_1800x600Child Aware are looking for researchers, policy makers and service delivery experts to present their work at the 2017 Child Aware Approaches Conference in Brisbane. The theme of the conference, to be held on 15-16 May, is ‘Driving national action on child safety and wellbeing’. Organisers are inviting experts to submit abstracts for presentations in three key areas:

  • Advancing children’s development and wellbeing in the first 1000 days
  • Supporting young people in out-of-home care to flourish in adulthood
  • Building child safe organisations and environments  

There are a number of traditional and non-traditional options for the presentation format. More information is available from the Child Aware website

Urgent government and community action needed on number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in child protection

download (1)A Family Matters report has found that the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children being removed from their families will triple by 2035 unless there is an urgent and concerted effort by government and the community to tackle the problem.

Currently 15,000 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are living away from home after having been removed by child protection services.  

Family Matters Co-Chair Gerry Moore said that the current approach is reactive, rather than preventative, with only 17 per cent ($700 million) of overall child protection funding spent on support services for families.

The Family Matters coalition has called for a comprehensive national strategy to be adopted by state and federal governments.

Anglicare Australia is a Gold Sponsor of Family Matters. 

Report on costs of telecommunication services highlights digital divide

Connectivity Costs - Report image for websiteA new report by the South Australian Council of Social Services (SACOSS) has highlighted the challenges that people on low income faces staying connected to telephone and internet services. The report, Connectivity Costs: Telecommunications Affordability for Low-Income Australians, surveyed more than 500 Centrelink recipients and low-income Health Care Card holders on telecommunications affordability.

It also looked into the extent to which telecommunications cost pressures bar low-income consumers from choosing services that best suit their needs and whether the most billing methods such as direct debit are compounding difficulties in maintaining connectivity.

The report found that 66 per ent of low income consumers rated telecommunication costs in the top five most important factors in their day to day household budgets. 62 per cent reported experiencing either difficulty paying, having to cut back, or having to stop using one or more telecommunications services for financial reasons in the last 12 months. This was particularly a problem for those on Newstart, Youth Allowance and the Parenting Payment.

The report highlights a ‘digital divide’, where people on low incomes are priced out of maintaining a connection to essential telecommunication services. It argues that the rates and accessibility of the Centrelink Telephone Allowance needs to be addressed, along with market barriers to affordability, in order to ensure people on low incomes can access these essential services. 

Policy, consultations and grants

National Disability and Carers Advisory Council announced

wheelchair-RS-newThe Government has established a 17 member council to provide advice of policies and legislation that affect people with disability, carers and the sectors that serves them. The National Disability and Carers Council is co-chaired by Keran Howe, Executive Director of Women with Disabilities Victoria and the Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice. Assistant Minister Prentice said the Council will also play an important role in helping to drive the implementation of the overarching National Disability Strategy 2010-20. The Council will meet formally at least twice a year and establish working groups and community consultations as needed.

Sector Events

Sector Events, March, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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