Aspect November 2019

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: How We Become Our Better Selves

Kasy ED 4_pref

Anglicare Australia’s mission is to partner with people, families and communities to build resilience, inclusion and justice. We have pledged to do this by building on the strengths of individuals and communities, and by acting with accountability to the communities we service.

Our nineteenth State of the Family report Our Better Selves: Appreciating and Re-Imagining Our Work to Create Change, released last week, is a reflection on how we do that.

The Our Better Selves project was made up of separate teams from across the Anglicare Australia Network. The five teams conducted appreciative inquiries into their services. This is a process that is about discovering the best of what we do, and the strengths of those we work with.

The five teams were all different, showcasing different parts of our Network: a mental health community centre in Brisbane; a post-release drug and alcohol service in Newcastle; a youth homelessness to housing scheme in Adelaide; a housing support service in Alice Springs; and a child and parent centre in Mandurah. Yet each one showed us the power of the relationships that develop through their work and with their communities – and they showed us the energy that comes from imagining a positive future.

Each of these journeys allowed us to reflect on why we exist. They explored the link we have with our foundations and the hope we have for a better society. The way these inquiries were held reinforces our mission, and our shared belief in the worth and dignity of every human being.

In bringing the report together, we saw strong themes coming from all five inquiries. In reading them, I was struck by the principles of a life-filled approach to working alongside people, and by how we draw on people's knowledge and experience.

Through each unique service, we saw how Anglicare Australia members provide an open and accepting space for people. We are at our best when we are patient and allow people to simply be and to connect; when we listen to them and are interested in their stories and their strengths.

We also saw how services across the Network are flexible and responsive. We seek to answer the needs and the ambitions of the people we serve. Sometimes it is just to walk beside them. We know how important that can be. And at other times, it is to give them a push. It depends on the people involved and the relationships that have grown up between them.

The project showed that we are learning organisations. We look for opportunities for everyone to learn skills that can open the doors they want to go through.  Our goal is to learn about everyone’s capabilities and find ways to support them when they need it.  Essentially, learning is interpersonal and reciprocal. I learn about you – your culture, your knowledge and your journey. You learn about me – my culture, my knowledge and my journey. We learn from one another.

And crucially, we saw how we offer a platform for people to speak for themselves – to tell us their stories and to share them more widely. We also provide avenues for people to help shape the programs they are a part of, and the directions of our services overall. They can provide support for others, or work to make change.  Their expertise is essential to the work we choose to do. Their voice and leadership is a gift.

This has been a journey of learning for Anglicare Australia and the Network as a whole. It has also been affirming for our role: To engage with people through connecting to their strengths and capabilities.  At a time when help is becoming more conditional and care is becoming about transactions instead of relationships, Our Better Selves shows we can promote a positive shared image of the future – and suggests some actions we can take together to get there.

National Office News

National Office News: State of the Family report launched, Royal Commission on aged care, Robodebt scrapped and more

Anglicare Australia launches 2019 State of the Family Report: Our Better Selves
Anglicare Australia has launched the 2019 State of the Family report. Our Better Selves: Appreciating and Re-Imagining Our Work to Create Change has been the culmination of an eighteen month project, led by Anglicare Australia’s Deputy Executive Director Roland Manderson.

The Our Better Selves project was made up of five separate teams from across the Anglicare Australia Network. These teams conducted appreciative inquiries into their services, discovering the best of what they do, how they make strong connections, and build change in their communities. Our thanks to Anglicare Southern Queensland, Samaritans Foundation, Anglicare NT, St John’s Youth Services and Anglicare WA for leading their inquiries and investing in the project. The story of each inquiry is at the heart of this report.

Our Better Selves then brings together the overarching themes from the five inquiries and uses them to re-imagine how we go about our work. It offers a number of actions the Anglicare Australia Network can take to draw on deep knowledge in the network to build a powerful and positive culture of development and change.

“Relationships are the key to Anglicare Australia’s work. This report shows us how we build those relationships – and the impact they can have when they’re strong,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“This report is full of stories of people who have overcome major challenges because their wisdom and potential has been recognised – and harnessed to make change. Our Better Selves offers a raft of ideas that we can take back into our membership to strengthen those relationships, our impact and our work together.”

Unlike previous reports, the audience for this year’s State of the Family is not Government or decision-makers, but rather the Anglicare Australia Network itself. We encourage members to distribute this report internally to your own teams, boards, community partners, local parishes, and others you may partner with.

Click here to read the media release. The full report is available here.

Aged Care Royal Commission a wakeup for the nation
Anglicare Australia has called the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s interim report a wakeup call for the sector and for Government.

“It’s fitting that the Commissioners have called their report Neglect. It describes a system which can’t assure us that people will be well cared for, valued or respected. Worst of all, the problems it faces have been known for years,” said Anglicare Australia Acting Executive Director Roland Manderson.

Anglicare Australia also said that the system is broken and must be reformed.

“We need a national commitment to end these years of neglect, and make the profound investment needed to build a system that will value people and care for them properly.”

Our comments were covered in The Canberra Times, SBS, and Nine News as well as specialist outlets such as Aged Care Guide and The Senior.

Click here to read the full media release.

Extra funds for aged care welcome, but only a start
Anglicare Australia has welcomed new funds committed to aged care. We are calling on the Government to build on this commitment in its next budget.

“Today’s announcement from the Prime Minister is a good start, but it’s only a first step. More must be done to improve care for older people,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“16,000 people died waiting for home care packages last year. Another 120,000 are languishing on the waiting list. The Government must take real action on this in its next budget.”

Anglicare Australia called on the Government to start planning for longer-term reforms.

“The Government must build on today’s announcement. That means committing to a funding model that guarantees quality aged care for everybody who needs it. It should start budgeting for this now so it’s ready to act on the Royal Commission’s final recommendations in 2020.

“We have heard a lot about the promised budget surplus. But the best thing we could do for older people is make sure that everyone can get the quality care they need, when they need it, where they need it. Making that a reality should be our first priority.”

Our comments were covered by specialist outlets including Australian Ageing Agenda, Talking Aged Care, and Your Life Choices.

Click here to read the full media release.

Anglicare Australia responds to Regional Australia inquiry
Anglicare Australia has made a submission to the submission to the Select Committee on Regional Australia. We have argued that any growth, development or improved wellbeing in regional Australia needs a robust and well-resourced community service sector. It is through investing in community development and place based initiatives that Australia regions will develop the capacity and connectedness to see them through the cycles of change ahead.

Our comments are based on feedback from Anglicare Australia Network members based in regional Australia, who have emphasised that we need to draw on our rich community resources, and grow the care systems.

Click here to read our submission.

Robodebt debacle must never be repeated
Anglicare Australia has welcomed news that a key plank of Centrelink’s Robodebt system will come to an end.

“People caught up in the Robodebt debacle will be breathing a sigh of relief,” said Anglicare Australia’s Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

The Government must now work with those affected to fix the problems created by the Robodebt system, and create a better one.

“The wrongs and personal pain caused by Robodebt could have been avoided if the Government had listened to the community sector, academics, lawyers, judges, and most importantly, the people affected by the system.

“This is an opportunity for the Government hear from those who have been through the system – and work with them to put things right. We are ready to work with the Government and all parties affected to design a system that works for everyone. We hope they are willing to answer that call.”

Click here to read the full media release. Click here for coverage of our comments.

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare North Coast ‘3Es to Freedom’ a finalist at the Migration and Settlement Awards
Women who arrive in Australia from a refugee background tend to be a very resilient group of people. Many, however, struggle with how to deal with the different cultural expectations and lifestyles that they suddenly find themselves a part of.  Many of the things that Australian ‘born and bred’ women take for granted, such as riding a bike, going for a swim and achieving educational and employment goals, are foreign concepts to them. This can have a negative impact on their settlement into Australian life.

Southern Cross AwardsAnglicare North Coast staff recognised several years ago that there was a need for a program that specifically assisted women from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The 3Es to Freedom program – Education, Employment and Empowerment – was developed by Anglicare staff and commenced in 2016 as a pilot program in Coffs Harbour. It was very successful and as a result the Federal Government requested us to expand the program to two additional locations, Richmond-Tweed and Gold Coast, providing additional funding to enable this. The program offers a range of activities designed to empower women and help them achieve their goals, whether that be social inclusion, a university education or their dream job.

The program was recently a finalist at the 2019 Australian Migration and Settlement Awards, for the category of ‘Empowering Women’. In the same month, the program was recognised by the Southern Cross University Impact Awards as a winner in the Social Justice category. Anglicare North Coast are proud of the recognition the program is gaining, and are looking forward to continuing to assist these amazing women.

Click here to find out more about the 3Es to Freedom program.

Brotherhood of St Laurence joins calls to cut energy bills and tackle climate change
Conny LennebergAnglicare Australia Network member the Brotherhood of St Laurence has joined other groups in calling on Energy Ministers to cut energy bills, reduce carbon emissions and create jobs by improving the energy efficiency of millions of existing homes.

Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director, Conny Lenneberg said, “We’ve found the benefits for low-income households of installing energy efficient appliances like efficient hot water, heating and cooling are almost immediate – lower energy bills, with healthier homes and people. People with chronic health issues and those struggling to heat or cool their homes tend to benefit most from these upgrades.

“We need systemic investment to substantially upgrade homes for all residents on low incomes, whether they live in their own homes, or in social and community housing or rent privately, so that all benefit regardless of their financial circumstances,” said Ms Lenneberg.

The call was also joined by forty community groups across Australia.

Click here to find out more about the call for action.

Anglicare Southern Queensland launches Adopt-a-Family Appeal
Families facing the prospect of a bleak Christmas this year due to financial hardships could do with a helping hand with your generous support of the 2019 Adopt-a-Family Appeal from November 20 to December 11.

Adopt-a-Family hampersMore than 40 Gympie families are up for “adoption” with the help of Anglicare Southern Queensland and our Family Charity, and people are encouraged to help out and bring joy to those who are finding it hard to make ends meet.

Anglicare‘s Gympie Service Manager Sue Mills encouraged Gympie residents to get behind this fantastic heartwarming and potentially life changing cause.

“Christmas spirit is alive and well in Gympie. Throughout the year Anglicare works with families facing many challenges, and the Adopt-a-Family project shows them that they are not alone,” Ms Mills said.

“Our families are delighted to receive such generous gifts at Christmas and Anglicare greatly appreciates the support of the Gympie community.”

Click here to read more about the Adopt-a-Family Appeal.

Anglicare Tasmania partners with Women's Legal Service to pilot new financial counselling program
More than one in ten Australian women will experience financial abuse in their lifetime and a new trial in Tasmania is hoping to put support women experiencing it.

Anglicare Tasmania and Womens Legal ServiceAnglicare Tasmania is partnering with the Women's Legal Service to trial the financial counselling program to address financial abuse, which involves access to money and finances being restricted or taken away.

Yvette Cehtel of the Women's Legal Service Tasmania said the partnership will help deliver a more holistic service which did not segregate legal, social and financial services.

"Financial abuse and the use of money to further control and coerce has received increased attention in the community as awareness grows of this type of abuse.

"Often clients will not initially realise they are experiencing family violence in the form of financial abuse. However, when we talk with women about the sorts of behaviours in their relationship, financial abuse is commonly a feature."

The year-long trial is funded by the Federal government, after similar trials were undertaken in Victoria.

Click here to read more about the service.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: State of the Family, ​Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, and more

Our Better SelvesOur Better Selves: Appreciating and Re-Imagining Our Work to Create Change
Anglicare Australia
Our Better Selves brings together the overarching themes from five inquiries across the Anglicare Australia Network. It uses these findings to re-imagine how we go about our work. It offers a number of actions the Anglicare Australia Network can take to draw on deep knowledge in the network to build a powerful and positive culture of development and change.

The report is available here.

Royal CommissionInterim Report: Neglect
Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Interim Report has found the aged care system fails to meet the needs of its older, vulnerable, citizens. It does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care, is unkind and uncaring towards older people and, in too many instances, it neglects them. Entitled Neglect, the Interim Report found that an overhaul of aged care in Australia is required.

The report is available here.

Productivity CommissionDraft Report: Mental Health
Productivity Commission
In its draft report, the Productivity Commission estimates that mental ill-health and suicide are costing Australia up to $180 billion per year and treatment and services are not meeting community expectations. The report says that change is needed not only in the health system itself but in schools, workplaces, housing and the justice system.

The report is available here.

Vital SignsVital Signs
HESTA Super Fund
This report highlights the challenges faced by HESTA members, of which 80% are women. It sets out a number of indicators which measure the status of Australian women today across areas including work, income, education and retirement. It also looks at how the persistent gender gap in wages and salaries affects HESTA members, as for other working women.

The report is available here.

Rental Affordability SnapshotRental Affordability Index
National Shelter
The Rental Affordability Index is a report from National Shelter in conjunction with Community Sector Banking, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and SGS Economics and Planning. It is a price index for housing rental markets. It is an easy to understand indicator of rental affordability relative to household incomes and is applied to geographic areas across Australia.

The report is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

Policy, consultations and grants

Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is now accepting submissions. Submissions can be made using an online form. An Easy Read version of the form is also available.

The Australian Government is also funding a legal advisory service and advocacy support for people who want assistance to make a submission. To access this support, subscribe to the Commission's mailing list.

Submissions are open, and no closing date has been nominated. More information is available here. Anglicare Australia has assembled a reference group on the Royal Commission, and our team are happy to answer any questions about the process to date.

Hearings for Productivity Commission inquiry into mental health
This inquiry is examining the effect of mental health on people’s ability to participate in and prosper in the community and workplace. It is also examining the effects it has more generally on our economy and productivity. As part of the Inquiry, the Commission will hold public hearings in each capital city and some regional centres.

Hearings will begin in November 2019, and continue to early 2020. More information and exact dates are available here. To express interest in participating, email [email protected].

Anglicare Australia has prepared a summary for members on the Commission's draft report, and is seeking feedback from members. Input can be sent to [email protected].

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, November 2019

Training workshops with Adjunct Professor Tracy Westerman
Indigenous Psychological Services, founded by Adjunct Professor Tracy Westerman, has been at the forefront of cultural competency intervention programs for over twenty years. In 2020, they will hold a series of workshops to train professionals on the cultural competency for supervisors of Aboriginal people, and on mental health assessment and suicide prevention. Tracy Westerman was a keynote speaker at Anglicare Australia's recent conference, and her work was warmly received by our members. Places are limited and interested attendees are encouraged to register early. More information is available here.

National Consultations on Human Services Care Skills
Members of the Anglicare Australia Network have been working with the Australian Government to establish a National Skills Commission, Skills Organisations and National Careers Institute. The aim is to help strengthen the skills system by driving research and analysis of national skills needs, raising the profile of VET as a career pathway of choice and giving industry greater ownership of the skills and training system. As members of the human services care industry, members of Anglicare Australia are invited to consultations to help with the co-design these initiatives. They will be held in Adelaide, Melbourne, Bendigo, Perth, Cairns, Orange, Canberra, Darwin, Sydney, Hobart, and Brisbane in October and November. To find dates and register, email [email protected].

Fundraising Institute of Australia Conference
The Fundraising Institute of Australia Conference 2020 will be held in Brisbane, 26-28 February and registrations are now open. The program will be of interest to those in the Anglicare Australia network working on fundraising, major donor relations, and bequests. It will feature three keynotes, eight masterclasses, eight streams of curated content designed for fundraisers. More information is available here.

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