No. 14, 2022 | 20 October 2022
From FRSA's Executive Director
There is so much happening this week but at the forefront of my mind is the very difficult and frightening time experienced by those in flood-affected areas in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. My thoughts are with all those impacted, including FRSA members and friends.
As we have reported in previous editions of this eBulletin, FRSA has been funded by the Department of Social Services, with support from AIFS, to undertake a Community of Practice pilot with a number of programs under the Department’s Families and Children Activity.
This week we held five online community of practice (CoP) sessions, and we are always struck by the richness of discussion as well as the passion and commitment that CoP participants hold for their clients and communities. One participant delivering Children and Parenting Support Services (CaPS) in a flood affected area described how they were connecting with all the families from their outreach playgroups to ensure they were safe and had all relevant information for flood preparation and emergency support. It is this care and connection, as well as practical support, which helps hold our communities together during crisis events.
This week is Anti-Poverty week – a time to reflect on the many Australian children, adults and families living in poverty and to come together to find ways to end poverty. As many people have reflected over many years, Australia is a wealthy country and we do have the means to ensure that all can live above the poverty line. The big question is, of course, do we have the will to achieve this? With the rising cost of living and secure affordable housing in short supply, FRSA hopes the Australian Government will provide some short-term relief in next Tuesday’s Federal Budget. But in the longer term it will take the will of the people as well as political will to find enduring solutions to poverty. On the release of the Poverty in Australia 2022 report, ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie stated: ‘ACOSS agrees with the Treasurer that we need to have a conversation about how we can grow the revenue Australia needs to pay for the essential services and safety net we need, to end poverty and deliver wellbeing and we are keen to work with the government on this.’ I similarly agree.
It is also National Carers Week, acknowledging the 2.65 million Australians who provide unpaid care and support to family and friends who are struggling with alcohol and drug issues, have chronic or terminal illnesses, or live with a disability or a mental illness. So many of us juggle these caring roles with paid work and study, for others the carer role is a full-time commitment.
We are excited to be holding our Strategic Leadership Forum, face-to-face, in Canberra on 23-24 November. It will be great for the network to come together and gain the attention of the Federal MPs and Senators before the year comes to an end. This is a member-only event, and we encourage senior leaders across our Membership to register and attend. We’ll be sending out registration details to FRSA Members today.
FRSA Executive Director
New report on poverty released
ACOSS and the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW, released a new report on the eve of anti-poverty week – Poverty in Australia 2022: A snapshot.
According to the research, one in eight people in Australia, including one in six children, are living in poverty. Average weekly incomes of people in poverty (from different-sized families) are $304 below the poverty line. This is known as the poverty gap.
The poverty line (based on 50% of median household after-tax income) is $489 a week for a single adult and $1,027 a week for a couple with two children, according to the latest available data from the ABS (2019-20).
The report found that temporary income supports introduced during COVID lockdowns in 2020 – the Coronavirus Supplement and Economic Support Payment – pulled 646,000 people, including 245,000 children, above the poverty line. Those new supports almost doubled the lowest income support payments, including the JobSeeker Payment.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said the study showed there is a clear way to reduce poverty in Australia: ‘Almost doubling the JobSeeker rate pulled 646,000 people out of poverty in 2020. That is a huge advance in an incredibly short period of time.’
You can read the report here.
Federal Budget just around the corner
The Albanese Government will deliver its first Federal Budget on Tuesday 25 October at approximately 7.30pm (AEDT).
The Government has indicated the Budget will focus on its election commitments and other Budgetary measures will be reserved for the next Budget in May 2023.
However, in light of the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage decision and the 4.6% increase to Award wages that came into effect on 1 July, we remain hopeful that the Government will address indexation of social services in this coming Budget to help Members and others in the social services sector meet the increased cost of wages. FRSA has met with both the Office of the Minister for Social Services and the Office of the Attorney-General to discuss this urgent issue.
As always, FRSA will be following the Budget closely and will provide an update to FRSA Members at the close of Budget night.
National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032
On Monday 17 October 2022, the new National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children was released. All Australian governments have agreed to work together to deliver on a shared vision to end gender-based violence within one generation.
The National Plan was developed with input from victim-survivors, frontline and specialist services, advocacy groups, researchers, representatives from the health, law and justice sectors, along with all governments.
For the first time, the National Plan includes a focus on recovery and the importance of engaging men and boys. The plan also highlights the need to respond to sexual violence in all settings and provides priority areas for action across the continuum of prevention, early intervention, response, and recovery and healing.
Clear actions to implement the National Plan will be outlined in two supporting five year Action Plans, which will show the steps the Commonwealth, state and territory governments will take to address the key areas in the National Plan.
Work will continue on a standalone Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander plan.
The National Plan is available on the Department of Social Services website.
AIFS support for Families and Children Activity Providers
The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) offer a range of evidence and evaluation support for Families and Children Activity (FaC) providers.
If you have been asked to make changes to your program logic and make a re-submission to the Department of Social Services, AIFS can help with:
- providing advice on how to apply the assessment feedback
- reviewing your logic model before you re-submit
- providing guidance on where to source evidence.
Email AIFS and book in a time to chat.
Drop in Q&A sessions with the Evidence and Evaluation Support team
AIFS is trialing an online drop-in session that FaC Activity funded services can use to ask quick questions about program planning, implementation and evaluation. Questions might include how to write a client survey, what tools are available to measure a particular outcome, or how to analyse large amounts of qualitative data.
The first session is on Wednesday, 2 November at 2-3pm AEDT and you can use this link to join.
A maximum of 10 attendees will be accepted, operating on a first in, first served basis. Once you join, you’ll be allocated a 5-minute time slot to ask your question.
Can’t make the session?
If you can’t drop in for the Q&A session, or you need longer than five minutes, AIFS can also provide one-on-one assistance at a time that works for you. Email AIFS to schedule a discussion or find out more about what they offer.
Neighbours Every Day
In recognition of the importance of maintaining respectful relationships on every day of the year; Relationships Australia has reframed Neighbour Day as a national, year-long campaign – known as Neighbours Every Day. While the mission remains the same, the messages and resources are just a little bit different – and hopefully even more helpful.
Launched on October 4, 2022, the theme of Neighbours Every Day is Create Belonging. The campaign will promote the importance of social connection, and focus on capacity building initiatives all year round, while also continuing to celebrate a dedicated call-to-action day [aka Neighbour Day] each year on the last Sunday in March.
You can read about this campaign here.
There are opportunities for organisations, councils and individuals across Australia to get involved. Visit the website at NeighboursEveryDay.org for more information.
It’s National Carers Week
Running from Sunday 16 to Saturday 22 October 2022, National Carers Week is a time to recognise and celebrate the 2.65 million Australians who provide care and support to a family member or friend.
Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged – anyone at any time can become a carer.
National Carers week is an initiative of Carers Australia. You can find out more here.
ANROWS – new research agenda under development
ANROWS was established under The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 (National Plan). With the imminent arrival of the successor plan, ANROWS has commenced work on the next iteration of Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and Children (ANRA). Dovetailing with the future National Plan, the updated national research agenda will guide funders and the research sector toward resourcing and compiling the evidence needed to achieve the outcomes set out in the National Plan.
The updated ANRA will be developed rigorously, using a methodical and transparent process. It will draw upon current evidence and will also be inclusive, bringing in the voices of people with lived experience, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, plus the full range of ANROWS stakeholders – academics, policymakers, and practitioners.
Volunteering Australia Research launched
On Monday 17 October, Volunteering Australia launched landmark research presenting a full picture of volunteering in Australia as told by volunteers and organisations.
The Volunteering in Australia 2022 reports provide insights into why volunteering is declining and how we can address the challenges facing volunteering and explore opportunities to create a future where volunteering in Australia thrives.
- Volunteering in Australia 2022: The Volunteer Perspective, was undertaken by the Australian National University Centre for Social Research and Methods
- Volunteering in Australia 2022: The Organisation Perspective, was undertaken by a consortium of researchers from Curtin University, Griffith University, and the University of Western Australia.
People who were unable to attend the launch of this research can access the presentation slides on the National Strategy for Volunteering website.
ACNC Advisory Board - public nomination process
On 11 October the Albanese Government announced it was seeking expressions of interest from people to join the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Advisory Board.
The Government has committed to partner with Australia’s charities and not-for-profits to build the capacity of the sector and enhance the role of charities building community and boosting participation. This involves the ACNC and Australian charities working constructively together to ensure regulations support a strong and transparent sector.
The Department of Treasury will administer the applications process. Further information, including a description of the position, can be found on the Treasury website. Expressions of Interest close 24 October 2022.
Poverty Inquiry starts in Anti Poverty Week
The Senate Inquiry into the extent and nature of poverty in Australia, which was referred to the Senate on 7 September, held its first public hearing during Anti Poverty Week, today 20 October.
The public hearing was held in Abbotsford, Victoria and the program is available on the Inquiry website.
Submissions to the Inquiry are due by 3 February 2023. The Committee is due to report by 31 October 2023.
Dual appointment to Family Courts
On 14 October, the Commonwealth Attorney General and the Attorney General Western Australia announced that Ms Robin Cohen SC has been appointed as a judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) and the Family Court of Western Australia (FCWA).
Ms Cohen will take up her role from 17 October 2022. She will replace the Honourable Justice Susan Duncanson, who resigns in December as a Judge of the FCWA and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) after 10 years of service.
More Census data released – ‘a caring nation’
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released more Census data last week, which shows that one in seven people (15%) in the Australian Workforce are working in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
Dr Gruen AO, Australian Statistician noted that, “Census data provides government and community groups with crucial information about essential healthcare and welfare services.”
Centacare Catholic Family Services celebrates 80th year!
Centacare Catholic Family Services has been supporting South Australians since 1942 and now supports more than 20,000 clients each year. This year marks the organisation’s 80th year!
The Southern Cross newspaper featured a commemorative wraparound to acknowledge this important milestone. You can read it here.
You can also find out more about how Centacare celebrated its 80 years of service here.
Centacare NENW CEO, Fergus Fitzsimons, has tendered his resignation from his role. Fergus’ last day will be October 28, 2022. Mr David Holzigal has been appointed the Interim CEO from Fergus’ departure until a new CEO has been appointed.
FRSA extends its best wishes to Fergus.
Ian Law, CEO of Relationships Australia Queensland, has tendered his resignation. The RAQ Board has commenced a recruitment process and Ian will support the Board through until early 2023 to ensure a smooth transition for the incoming CEO.
FRSA extends its best wishes to Ian.
It's Anti-Poverty Week
It’s Anti-Poverty Week (16-22 October), supporting the Australian community to have an increased understanding of poverty and to take action collectively to end it. The Anti-Poverty Week key message is: Poverty exists. Poverty hurts us all. We can all do something about it. It is one of hope, not despair.
It’s not too late to get involved. You can sign the pledge to halve child poverty.
Webinar: Family law parenting orders, breaches and their impact on children
24 October, 1pm (AEDT), Online
This webinar from ANROWS features a panel discussion amongst researchers and family law practitioners. It will focus on the impact of breaches of parenting orders upon children, and explore how the findings might shape future reforms to achieve better outcomes for families with complex needs and long litigation histories. Register here.
National Learning and Development Survey
The purpose of this survey is to support the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse to gain an understanding of the learning, training and development priorities for service providers and organisations who work with children, young people or adults who have experienced or been impacted by child sexual abuse and harmful sexual behaviours.
This survey has been designed for service providers that work across the broad spectrum of sectors, settings and systems that both protect children from harm and support and respond to children, young people and adults who have been affected by child sexual abuse. This includes but is not limited to those who have involvement in the following sectors:
- Police and Legal
- Child and Family Welfare
- Health including Mental Health
- Early Childhood Education and Care
- Aged Care
- Emergency Services
- General Practice.
You can access the survey here until the 4 November 2022. It is anonymous and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
To find out more about the National Centre, please click here.
Separated Women's Financial Survey
The National Council of Single Mothers and Their Children are conducting a Separated Women’s Financial Safety Survey, which looks at single mothers’ post-separation finances, including how money might be used by their ex-partner to control or abuse. The survey results will help to identify experiences of financial safety and how government policies and programs help or hinder financial safety.
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner | Relationships Australia NT
Counsellor (Family and Relationship Services) | Relationships Australia NT
Manager Counselling – Family and Relationship Services | Relationships Australia NT
Family Relationship Counsellor – Child Practitioner | Relationship Matters
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner | Relationships Australia Victoria
If you have any events you’d like listed on the FRSA Events and Training Calendar or job vacancies you’d like listed on the FRSA Jobs Board, email Communications Officer, Vanessa Lam at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that posting onto the FRSA website is reserved for FRSA Members only.
A home of one’s own | Per Capita, for Australians Investing in Women
This new report – A Home of One’s Own: Philanthropic and social sector solutions for women’s housing – highlights the heightened risk of homelessness for older women and single mothers and calls on the private and philanthropic sector to invest in social housing to help alleviate the worsening housing crisis in Australia.
Sexual harassment, aggression and violence victimisation among mobile dating app and website users in Australia| Australian Institute of Criminology
This study surveyed 9,987 dating app or website users in Australia to explore the prevalence and nature of dating app facilitated sexual violence (DAFSV) victimisation within the sample. The report provides valuable information to aid development of policies and practices to prevent the occurrence and recurrence of DAFSV.
Mighty Heroes – lower primary resource| eSafety Commissioner
‘Mighty Heroes’ is a new lower primary and curriculum-aligned classroom resource that features four short-animated videos with accompanying educator notes. It also includes downloadable posters and a family tech agreement to help parents continue the conversation at home.
How to ask adult mental health clients about sexual abuse| Child Family Community Australia
This short article presents research findings from mental health practitioner samples on how to safely ask clients about sexual abuse histories.
Raising Healthy Minds raisingchildren.net.au
raisingchildren.net.au, the Australian parenting website, has developed a free app – Raising Healthy Minds – that can be tailored to a particular child or family and their interests. It can be downloaded from the website.
Turning the tide on depression| The Black Dog Institute
The central questions the researchers seek to answer in this report is – are young Australians experiencing higher rates of depression than in the past, and if so, why? The report authors look at how childhood, adolescence and young adulthood have changed over the past two decades, and how social factors may be increasing young people’s risks for depression.
Care Workforce Labour Market Study |National Skills Commission
Nothing Left To Give | Anglicare Australia
Released as part of Anti-Poverty Week, this report – Nothing Left To Give: Emergency relief across the Anglicare Australia Network, finds that more and more people from increasingly diverse backgrounds are turning to Anglicare for help.
Foodbank Hunger Report 2022| Foodbank
The Foodbank Hunger Report 2022 helps to uncover and inform the extent and severity of experience with food insecurity among Australian households in the past 12 months. The Foodbank Hunger Report series has been released annually since 2012.
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