Aspect October 2018

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: It's time to reimagine work

Kasy ED 4_pref

Few doubt the importance of having a secure income. It protects us from living in poverty and allows us to enjoy the benefits of stability. Without a secure income it is hard to live beyond the next pay cheque, plan for the future, or take control of our lives.

Many of us hope to draw a secure income from a secure job. That’s why more and more Australians name unemployment, job security and the search for jobs as the biggest problems facing Australia.

But work offers us more than an income. It is one of the most important ways that we can participate in our communities. For many people, work offers a sense of belonging, security, and identity. It is an anchor that allows us to look after ourselves and our loved ones, pursue our passions, or start a family.

The 2018 Anglicare Australia Jobs Availability Snapshot, released this month, shows what the job market is really like for the people who face the greatest barriers to work. These are people who might not have qualifications or experience, who are trying to re-enter the workforce after a long break, or who are living in regional or remote areas.

We found that these people have been left out of the dominant narrative about jobs in Australia – a narrative that assures us we are in the midst of a jobs boom, and that the inability to find a job is an individual failure instead of a structural one.

In our sample month of May 2018, there were 110,735 jobseekers with barriers to work. But low-skill, entry-level jobs (or ANZSCO Level 5 jobs) comprised just 14% of the jobs advertised, or 25,997 job advertisements out of 185,662.

In other words, between four and five of these people are competing for each of these jobs across Australia. We also found a major drop in the number of Level 5 job vacancies to just 14% in our Snapshot month.

Worryingly, there is no state or territory where there are enough suitable jobs for the number of people looking for them. The situation is most dire in Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. In Western Australia, which is still recovering from the end of the mining boom, six people with barriers to work are competing for every low-skilled entry-level job. In South Australia, eight of these jobseekers are competing for each suitable job. And in Tasmania, there are a staggering twelve jobseekers for each suitable job.

You might be surprised to hear that this is a conservative estimate. Over 1.13 million Australians were underemployed in our sample month, and some of them were likely to be applying for the same positions as entry-level jobseekers.

And as many Anglicare Australia Network members have found, people with barriers to work are not simply competing with one another. Many find themselves competing with recent graduates, retrenched workers, and other applicants with greater skills who often apply for positions below their skill level. All of this means that competition for low-skilled, entry-level jobs is much stronger than our research showed.

In the face of these findings it is clear that we need major reform of our employment services system. We must move away from a model that entrenches poverty and punishment to one that provides a tailored approach for each person. This approach would work in partnership with people to consider individual circumstances, strengths and aspirations. It would support people into the right training programs and jobs for them. It would also support them stay in employment – a factor that’s crucial for people coming out of long-term unemployment.

There remains a clear need to raise the base rates of government support for people who are unemployed. People seeking work should not be trapped in poverty while they search for a job, and current rates are so low that they are a barrier to jobseeking in and of themselves.

We must rethink our understanding of work. A paid job is not the only way for people to contribute their communities. Anglicare Australia members themselves are assisted by over 9,000 volunteers, enriching the community with their expertise and energy. This is cause enough to wind back recent changes that have made it harder for older people getting Newstart to volunteer.

And finally, we must start a conversation across the community about creative solutions. This year we’ve used the Snapshot to start a conversation about a Universal Basic Income and a jobs guarantee, calling for an inquiry to explore them in Australia. Innovative ideas like these are badly needed.

As it stands, there is a crisis facing the most vulnerable people in our workforce. If we do not change course, we risk leaving them behind and denying them a stake in our prosperity.

National Office News

National Office News: Jobs Availability Snapshot, Anti-Poverty Week, and more

Anglicare Australia launches Jobs Availability Snapshot 2018
JAS-2018Anglicare Australia has called on the government to take urgent action to fix the Jobactive Network following the release the 2018 Jobs Availability Snapshot. The Snapshot was launched on 18 October 2018, as part of Anti-Poverty Week.

The findings from the Snapshot show that only 14 percent of all advertised jobs in May 2018 were low-skilled jobs at the entry-level. That same month 714,500 people were unemployed, including 110,735 job-seekers who need these jobs.

press conferenceThere was a strong interest in the Snapshot all over Australia. Anglicare Australia’s Executive Director Kasy Chambers was interviewed on ABC News, ABC Radio National, and Sky News on the morning of the Snapshot release. It continued to be featured throughout the day by ABC News, SBS News, and Sky News.

The report was written up by outlets including The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph,, Triple J’s Hack, Buzzfeed, and The New Daily. In addition to the news coverage, The Guardian ran an additional opinion piece based on the Snapshot by Greg Jericho, while Fairfax Newspapers ran an opinion piece by Kasy Chambers.

Kasy on ABC-JASRegional interest in the report was strong. Highlights included several local ABC interviews, local WIN News stories across the country, and write ups in state newspapers such as The Adelaide Advertiser and The Hobart Mercury.

As always the Snapshot attracted interest from specialist outlets, such as Pro Bono News and Starts at 60, who focused on what the results meant for older Australians. Christian media outlets such Anglican Focus, The Melbourne Anglican, and Vision Christian Media also covered the report.

The Jobs Availability Snapshot was also the subject of speeches in parliament by Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services Linda Burney MP, Greens Spokesperson for Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert, Graham Perrett MP, Senator Murray Watt, and Mike Freelander MP.

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

Anglicare Australia sponsors 2018 Anti-Poverty Week
In 2018, Anglicare Australia was again a sponsor of Anti-Poverty Week. Anti-Poverty Week was promoted at the recent Anglicare Australia conference, and Anglicare Australia launched the 2018 Jobs Availability Snapshot as part of Anti-Poverty Week. Anglicare WA’s Ian Carter also served as national co-chair of Anti-Poverty Week.

Anglicare WA held financial wellbeing workshops to introduce members of the community to useful financial wellbeing websites. Anglicare WA also held a sausage sizzle with senior students as part of Anti-Poverty Week, getting comments from them about what they think causes poverty and how people can be affected. It also hosted a community lunch with interactive activities.

Anglicare NSW South, NSW West, and ACT held its annual ‘Pens Against Poverty’ competition, featuring poems and stories with the theme ‘On the Edge’ in mind. More information about the competition is available under ‘Anglicare Network News’.

AnglicareSA spoke at ‘Poverty Within Our Community’ church services across Adelaide. AnglicareSA also held ‘AnglicareSA and Poverty’ sessions for interested staff, volunteers and local parishioners to meet together to see and hear about how AnglicareSA tackles poverty in the most economically disadvantaged metropolitan area of Adelaide.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence held ‘Walk the Walk, Start the Talk’ to raise awareness about people seeking asylum having their income support cut off by the Australian Government. The 3km walk was open to all ages and abilities.

Anglicare Tasmania’s Social Action Research Centre moderated ‘Ending the Cycle of Poverty’, a panel discussion. It featured Dr Kathleen Flanagan, Professor Natalie Brown, TasCoss CEO Kym Goodes, and Meg Webb of Anglicare Tasmania's Social Action and Research Centre.

Anglicare North Queensland opened ‘A Tonne of Tucker in Ten Days’, a food drive with the aim of collecting a tonne of food for vulnerable people to give out as food hampers.

Anglicare Southern Queensland marked Anti-Poverty Week by encouraging staff to contribute food items to a Precinct Pantry for distribution to people sleeping rough. The pantry has been handmade and decorated by young people in the construction program at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.

Further details of activities are available at

National apology to survivors of child sexual abuse
Anglicare Australia issued a statement coinciding with the national apology to survivors of child sexual abuse in October:

b74de2cd-d43f-490a-a65a-90d9f9ab8c06“Today’s apology to survivors of child sexual abuse is a landmark moment as we deal with an ugly chapter in our history. Anglicare Australia supports this apology, which is long overdue.

Anglicare Australia’s members have been listening carefully to the experiences of survivors. Their stories have helped shape the Royal Commission, and we have been incorporating the Commission’s findings across our services.

Having fully supported the work of the Royal Commission, we fully support this apology. We now hope to see an end to the denial and covering up of these inexcusable acts.”

Click here to view the full statement.

Anglicare Australia partners with ACOSS on Poverty in Australia report
44088648_2105634599700299_4550755838544838656_oAnglicare Australia has partnered with ACOSS and others leaders in the sector to release Poverty in Australia 2018. The report found that more than three million Australians live in poverty. The report was launched with an address by ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie at the National Press Club in Australia.

ACOSS also held its Annual General Meeting at the National Press Club following the launch. Jeremy Halcrow, Anglicare Australia Deputy Chair and CEO of Anglicare NSW South, NSW West, and ACT stood down from the ACOSS board at the AGM, ending his time as Treasurer of ACOSS. In recognising this, ACOSS president Tony Reidy described Jeremy as a force of leadership during times of great change for ACOSS.

More information about the Poverty in Australia 2018 report, and the National Press Club address, are available here.

Peaks welcome extra funds but urge more support for home care
Anglicare Australia joined Aged and Community Services Australia and other aged care peak bodies to welcome additional funding for the Commonwealth Home Support Program. However we called for more to be done for older Australians waiting for long periods for home care services.

“There remains a large group of older Australians whose needs are quite simply not being met – and who are at a time of life when they simply cannot afford to wait. The government must act now to address that,” said Kasy Chambers, Executive Director of Anglicare Australia.

Coverage of our remarks is available here and here. Click here to view the full media release.

Anglicare Australia stands with the community for quality aged care
Anglicare Australia affirmed its support for the Royal Commission into aged care following the release of the Terms of Reference in October.

“The quality of the care we provide is a reflection of how we value older people. This Royal Commission is an opportunity for the community to shape that care,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“Everybody has the right to dignity and quality of life as they get older. We must protect the wellbeing of older people across Australia, whether they live at home or in residential care.

“Anglicare Australia will work with the Royal Commission to ensure the wellbeing of people is placed well ahead of the wellbeing of agencies.”

Coverage of our remarks is available here. Click here to view the full media release.

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Home Stretch Campaign Goes From Strength to Strength
homestretchOn the back of the September announcement that Victoria would extend out-of-home care to the age of 21, the Home Stretch Campaign has continued to go from strength to strength.

In WA, the government has announced that it will trial an expansion of care to 21. The voluntary trial will be held across several locations across Perth over at least six months.

homestretch-3State governments in Victoria, Tasmania, WA, and SA have now committed to investigating a change in legislation that would provide formalised care until the age of 21.

In NSW, the Home Stretch campaign was launched with the release of research from Deloitte Access Economics showing that extending the leaving age of care to 21 will double the educational engagement, halve homelessness, and reduce mental illness, drug dependence and hospitalisation for some care leavers.

homestretch-2“Evidence of poor outcomes experienced when someone leaves care at 18 has been mounting for decades. The financial benefits for the Government is obvious, but the positive impact these reforms would have on the lives of many individual care leavers is enormous,” said Jeremy Halcrow, Chair of the NSW Home Stretch Campaign and CEO of Anglicare NSW South, West and ACT.

The National Chair of the Home Stretch Campaign and CEO of Anglicare Victoria, Paul McDonald, said that evidence from the UK, US and New Zealand showed that the change was an economic and social “no-brainer”.

More information about the launch is available here. More information about the WA trial is available here.

Brotherhood of St Laurence shows spending on energy hits new high for people on low incomes
Householders’ income spent on energy in Australia is surging, according to new research commissioned by the Australian Council of Social Service and the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

The analysis, conducted by the Australian National University (ANU), investigated the burden of electricity and gas costs for a range of household types in Australia between 2008 and 2018.

The research found some of the lowest income households in Australia spend more than 10% of their incomes on spiralling energy costs. Meanwhile, more affluent households spend significantly less of their income (1.5%) on energy.

This gap between low and high-income households has also widened since 2008.

“These very high levels of income spent on energy will be stressing many household budgets, and it’s hitting those who can least afford it hardest,” said Damian Sullivan, head of Energy, Equity and Climate Change at the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

“On those very hot summer days, we know some older people in poor health who need cooling will go without it, just so they can afford to pay their bills. This risks their health and wellbeing. Winter is the same with too many households forgoing heating to pay their bills.”

More information about the research is available here.

Pens Against Poverty competition held in Anti-Poverty Week
Pens Against PovertyStudents from over 20 schools across the Canberra region put pen to paper in support of Anti-Poverty Week as part of Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT’s ‘Pens Against Poverty’ schools writing competition. The competition has previously won an Anglicare Australia National Award for Innovation.

The event is an opportunity for children to write for a genuine purpose. It has found to be extremely effective in promoting empathy and kindness from participants in the ways they think about and respond to the most vulnerable members of society – especially children, young people and the elderly – who are struggling with unaffordable living costs and trauma associated with poverty.

44255263_1911958535559885_1673472996875960320_oThe event is launched at the end of the second term of school and is centred around a theme. This year, the competition theme was ‘On the Edge’ and submissions were received from school students from grades 3 to 10 from over twenty schools across the Canberra region, with creative entries ranging from poems to short stories.

The awards ceremony, held on Friday 19 October 2018, was a key event in the ACT Anti-Poverty Week calendar generating media interest and support from other key charities and organisations across Canberra and the region.

To view Pen’s Against Poverty’s 2018 winning entries, click here.

Anglicare Sydney trials promising new dementia treatment
There is renewed hope for people living with dementia with an Australian trial involving a once-a-day pill underway. The pill was shown in a smaller study to relieve symptoms and slow progression of Alzheimer's disease.

"We need to remain cautious in our expectations as the earlier study was quite small, but we are quite excited," Kathryn Goozee, Director of Clinical Research at Anglicare Sydney and KaRa Minds Institute of Neurological Diseases, said.

Anglicare Sydney’s KaRa Minds is the first site in NSW to be part of the national trial which is recruiting 450 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

Nearly half a million Australians are currently living with dementia and the disease is the second leading cause of death.

More information about the treatment and Anglicare Sydney's work is available here.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: Jobs Availability Snapshot, ACOSS, UnitingCare and TITAN

JAS-2018Jobs Availability Snapshot 2018
Anglicare Australia
The Jobs Availability Snapshot, released as part of Anti-Poverty Week, is a simple test of the labour market as it affects people with the most barriers to securing work in Australia. It found that between four and five people are competing for each low-skilled, entry-level job. The report is available here.

BSLEnergy stressed in Australia
Brotherhood of St Laurence
This analysis, conducted by the Australian National University (ANU), investigates the burden of electricity and gas costs for a range of household types in Australia between 2008 and 2018. The research found some of the lowest income households in Australia spend more than 10% of their incomes on spiralling energy costs. Meanwhile, more affluent households spend significantly less of their income (1.5%) on energy. The report is available here.

UNSW-ACOSSPoverty in Australia 2018
Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)
This report was launched by ACOSS at the National Press Club of Australia as part of Anti-Poverty Week. Anglicare Australia is a partner in this research along with other sector leaders and UNSW. The report found that more than three million Australians living in poverty. The report is available here.

UnitingCareChild social exclusion, poverty and disadvantage in Australia
UnitingCare Australia
This report has been released by UnitingCare Australia, in partnership with the NATSEM as part of Anti-Poverty Week. The report found that one in six Australian children is living in poverty. The report is available here.

TITANWebsite Build and Match Funding Grant
The Institute of Technology in Australia and New Zealand (TITAN)
TITAN is offering free website builds to a minimum of 100 non-profits in Australia and New Zealand, to meet best practice around fundraising and other key goals. Additionally, TITAN will provide match funding to each successful applicant for donations they receive on the first campaign they use the website for. More information is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

New consultations and grants

Inquiry into credit and financial services targeted at Australians at risk of financial hardship
The Senate Economics References Committee is calling for submissions on credit and financial services targeted at Australians at risk of financial hardship. This includes the conduct of payday lenders and consumer lease providers.

Submissions close on Friday 9 November 2018. More information is available here. To provide input into Anglicare Australia’s submission, contact [email protected].

Inquiry into the effectiveness of the aged care quality assessment and accreditation framework for protecting residents from abuse and poor practices
The Community Affairs References Committee is calling for submissions on the effectiveness of the aged care quality assessment and accreditation framework. To complement the work of the recently announced Royal Commission, the committee has agreed its continuing inquiry will focus on the regulation of clinical, medical and allied health care in the aged care context.

Submissions close on Friday 30 November 2018. More information is available here. Anglicare Australia is considering making a submission. To provide input, contact [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.

Review of the Social Security Commission Bill 2018
The Selection Committee has called for submissions on the Social Security Commission Bill 2018. This private members bill would establish a Social Security Commission independent of government to research rates of income support.

Submissions close on Friday 1 March 2019. More information is available here. To provide input into Anglicare Australia’s submission, contact [email protected].

Sector Events

Sector Events, October 2018

2018 National Men’s Health Gathering
The Australian Men’s Health Gathering is a world-leading event that has been connecting people who are committed to improving the lives of men and boys, for over 20 years. This year’s Gathering combines the 12th National Men’s Health Conference and the 9th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Male Health Convention. The event will be held on the 12-14 November 2018 at the Novotel Parramatta. More information is available here.

'A Day in the Life': Connecting politicians, senior bureaucrats with financial counselling agencies
Many Anglicare agencies employ financial counsellors – they know already that financial counsellors provide advice to people struggling with bills and debts. But too often key decision makers – our politicians and their advisors or our senior bureaucrats - don't understand the role. That's why Financial Counselling Australia (FCA), the peak body for financial counsellors is putting together its "Day in the Life" project. Visits will be organised between September and November 2018. To find out more, contact [email protected] or call Rita Battaglin 0403 220 777.

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.

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