FRSA eBulletin, No. 16, 2022

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No. 16, 2022 | 2 December 2022

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From FRSA's Executive Director

It was great to be able to welcome over 45 CEOs and Senior Management staff from our members to Canberra last week. We have not held a Strategic Leadership Forum since 2019 and the event was a great opportunity to hear from and talk to key figures in Canberra, meet and network with colleagues in the sector and engage with politicians on the Hill. You can read more about the event below.

Last week, we also had the FRSA AGM and announced the results of the 2022 FRSA Board Election.

The FRSA Board now comprises:

  • Glenda Devlin
  • Serge Sardo
  • Teresa Jayet
  • Leanne Strommen
  • Allison Wainwright
  • Zoe Locke
  • Fallon Roberts

Co-opted Board Members:

  • Judge Matthew Myers
  • Megan Mitchell

FRSA did farewell Paula Washington and Tony Fitzgerald from the Board and the Chair of the Board, Glenda Devlin, thanked them both for their commitment and dedication to FRSA and the network during their tenure.

The Board met after the AGM to elect Office Bearers and establish the Board Committees. The FRSA Office Bearers are:

  • Chair – Glenda Devlin, General Manager – Community Services, Anglicare Sydney
  • Deputy Chair – Teresa Jayet, CEO, Mallee Family Care
  • Treasurer – Serge Sardo, CEO, Better Place Australia

A full list of committees is provided below and on the FRSA website.

The FRSA Board will drive the deliverables articulated in FRSA’s Strategic Plan 2023 – 2027 that was launched at the Strategic Leadership Forum. I invite you to take the time to read through these priorities and we look forward to bringing them to life over the coming years.

It has been a huge fortnight and last but not least – we have announced the FRSA Conference 2023 will be held at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Queensland. Our competition had phone lines running hot but the winner was quick off the mark – dialing in to the office about 10 seconds after the FRSA Conference bulletin went out! Congratulations to Denise Giles from Scope Consulting, who successfully secure a complimentary FULL registration to the FRSA Conference. It was also great to speak to all the other callers! We look forward to seeing many of you at the FRSA Conference 2023.

The Call for Abstracts is out – and you can read more on that below.

Kind regards,
Jackie Brady
FRSA Executive Director

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FRSA National Conference 2023 - Call for Abstracts now OPEN!

FRSA invites you to submit an abstract to present at the 2023 FRSA National Conference. The Conference will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on 15-18 May 2023.

The theme for the FRSA National Conference 2023 is Services within everyone’s reach: choice, connection, collaboration.

Family and relationship services are generally touted as early intervention, universally accessible services – that is, services targeted to whole communities or populations with the aim of providing support early, before problems take too strong a hold or perhaps even occur.

But in our current context with the cost-of-living skyrocketing, families still reeling from the impacts of COVID-19, and many of our communities in or recovering from climate-related crises, what impact is this having on service delivery and service demand?   Who are our services connecting with? And, how are those people faring? Are there cohorts of people who are missing out on the services they need?

The FRSA Conference presents a great opportunity for you to showcase the work that you do. We welcome abstracts that speak to the conference theme – Services within everyone’s reach: choice, connection, collaboration.

  1. The first 1000 days
    Topics covering the period from preconception to birth, the birth of a child, child health and wellbeing and impact on family relations and transitions into parenting.
  2. Key transition points in the schooling years
    Topics can include school readiness, transitions into and across primary and secondary schools/school years, young people with significant caring responsibilities and transitioning out of school into training, tertiary education or employment.
  3. Partnering and cohabitation
    Topics can include relationship formation, relationship and marriage education and counselling and developing and maintaining respectful and safe relationships.
  4. Relationship breakdown and re-partnering
    Topics can include family law services, FDR, parenting after separation, ensuring the best interests and wellbeing of children are paramount, family/domestic violence, men’s behaviour change programs, and the changing nature of family dynamics experienced during and after separation.
  5. Ageing
    Topics can include grandparents as primary care-giver of children, elder abuse and changing family structures as people stay at home for longer.
  6. Across the lifecourse

FRSA strongly encourages abstracts that focus on services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and other vulnerable groups of children, families and communities.

The Call for Abstracts closes COB Monday 12 December 2022. For more information, or to submit your Abstract, please visit the FRSA National Conference website here.

Strategic Leadership Forum 2022

FRSA was delighted to welcome over 45 senior executives from the FRSA Membership to Canberra last week to our Strategic Leadership Forum – SLF 2022: Leadership in a New Era – which was held on 23-24 November.

Ordinarily held annually, this two-day event brings organisations together from across the sector that are responsible for the delivery of programs that assist Australian families.

The SLF includes a Parliamentary Briefing ‘Day’ as part of the two-day program. The purpose of the Parliamentary Briefing Day is to provide FRSA SLF delegates with an opportunity to meet with Senator and Members of Parliament – as part of the FRSA network, to discuss current policy priorities for the sector.

Day one – National Portrait Gallery

With a new Government in power, FRSA felt it was important to set the scene for leadership in a new political/policy context. We are grateful to Liz Hefren-Webb, Deputy Secretary, Department of Social Services and Tamsyn Harvey, Deputy Secretary, Civil Justice and Corporate Group: Families and Legal System, Attorney General’s Department for taking the time to speak frankly with delegates about the priorities and pressures for their respective portfolios.

This was followed by an invaluable behind the scenes snapshot by Government Relations guru, Simon Banks, Managing Director, Hawker Britton. Simon provided his candid view on how the current Government will be operating and where the opportunities for Family and Relationship Services lie.

To end day one, we invited the Centre for International Economics (the CIE), who FRSA has commissioned to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the family and relationship services sector, to provide Members with an overview of the project and workshop aspects of it. CIE got a lot from these discussions, and we thank delegates for sharing their experience and expertise.

Day two – Australian Parliament House

Day two started early and in a very busy sitting week! We gathered at Parliament House for breakfast and the launch of FRSA’s Strategic Plan 2023-27.  We were honoured to have Parliamentary guests join us for this event: Senator Kerrynne Liddle; Amanda Watson, adviser to the Honourable Amanda Rishworth, Minister for Social Services; Kylie Jensen, adviser to the Honourable Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Skills & Training and Tarek Dale, Senior Adviser to Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens Spokesperson on Social Services, Aged Care, Government Services and Forests.

The breakfast was followed by a flurry of meetings with Government Members, Senators and advisors. We cannot overstate the value of our Member Organisations discussing the sector’s priorities and achievements and the issues impacting their communities with our Nation’s leaders.

FRSA was pleased and honoured to have Ngunnawal leader, Selina Walker, Welcome us to Country at both sites of our two-day program.

Mission Australia's Youth Survey 2022 report

Mission Australia has released its Youth Survey 2022 report. This year, 18,800 young people were surveyed for the 21st annual Youth Survey between April and August 2022.

This year’s report reveals financial concerns and housing instability affected many young people and their families. The environment (51.0%), equity and discrimination (35.9%) and mental health (33.9%) topped the issues young people aged 15 to 19 want Australia to address in 2022.

Mission Australia’s CEO Sharon Callister said the report showed that young people faced a range of challenges and concerns in 2022.

“Transitioning to adulthood comes with challenges and these are even more pronounced for more vulnerable young people like those who are homeless or financially stressed,” she said.

“As we consider this year’s findings, we must bear in mind the impacts that the pandemic, recent natural disasters and financial pressures have on young people’s lives and perspectives. Australia must do all we can, so the negative impacts of the past few years don’t cause ongoing problems for this generation.”

And for the first time the Youth Survey report reported on young people’s solutions to the issues they face. Young people voiced the importance of asking friends, family and health professionals for support, the need for learning strategies to reduce stress and more emphasis on mental health and wellbeing at school.

Read the full report or summary booklet.

Family Matters Report 2022

The Family Matters Report 2022 was released on 23 November 2022 by SNAICC – National Voice for Our Children.

At 30 June 2021 there were 22,243 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 10.4 times more likely to be in out-of-home care than non-Indigenous children.

The report looks at what is working to turn the tide of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system. It shows that where ACCOs are being given authority in child protection, where families have a voice in decision-making, and where there are accessible, culturally safe child and family services and supports, there are better outcomes for children and families.

The report notes that the new Safe and Supported: National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children offers an opportunity for a way forward through enacting shared decision-making with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The report sets out 11 recommendations to change the current trajectory of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system.

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Strategic Plan 2023-2027 launched

The past few years have been tumultuous for everyone. In the wake of the 2019-20 bushfires and floods and as the states and territories began moving in and out of COVID lockdowns, the FRSA Board recognised that Australian children, adults and families were going to be impacted in unparalleled ways.

The immediate focus was, of course, attending to the challenges that the pandemic was generating for our members, working on the frontline.

Accordingly, the Board guided the organisation, successfully navigating pandemic related challenges, while looking firmly ahead. The result was the creation of a new five-year Strategic Plan for 2023-27.

The first question the Board asked is to what extent does our vision reflect all we have learnt over the past 15 years – the ways in which our thinking and practice has been challenged and has consequentially changed?

That vision was:

The wellbeing of all children, families and communities in Australia is supported and protected.

On reflection, we realised this vision was a little paternalistic and limiting. Of course we want the children, young people and adults we work with to be safe, but we also want them to thrive – to have opportunities and choice and agency. We know that family and relationship services work with, and build on, the strengths that exist within those individuals and families and communities.

FRSA has a new vision:

An Australia where children, families and communities are safe, strong and thriving.

Our future success will be judged by the influence it has on the quality and effectiveness of family and relationship services and the efficacy of national policies and programs.

FRSA exists for our Members and for the children, families and communities they work with and we look forward to continuing the journey with our sector over the next five years. Read the full Strategic Plan here.

Community of Practice Pilot: update

FRSA has now delivered 24 Community of Practice (CoP) sessions and we have another seven scheduled for next week! CoP sessions will then be on hold over the holiday period, resuming in mid-February 2023.

We are delivering the 12-month pilot with the support of the Australian Institute of Family Studies and funding from the Department of Social Services. The pilot will end in June 2023.

The CoP sessions provide the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning, building networks and harnessing the power of the collective to find approaches and solutions to common problems.

From FRSA’s perspective, the CoP discussions are invaluable. They help us to better understand the issues impacting our Member Organisations and that helps us to represent members in our discussions with government and other stakeholders.

At this point in the pilot we are taking stock of what’s happened and what we have heard so far. We’ll look at ways to tweak and improve the sessions for our participants. We’ll also look at the themes that have emerged in discussions and if they would benefit from further exploration/support outside of the community of practice sessions.

FRSA Board and Board Committees 2022-23

FRSA Board:

  • Glenda Devlin
  • Serge Sardo
  • Teresa Jayet
  • Leanne Strommen
  • Allison Wainwright
  • Zoe Locke
  • Fallon Roberts

Co-opted Board Members:

  • Judge Matthew Myers
  • Megan Mitchell

FRSA Board Executive
Chair: Glenda Devlin
Deputy Chair: Teresa Jayet
Treasurer: Serge Sardo

Finance, Risk & Governance Committee
Chair: Serge Sardo (Treasurer)
Members:
Glenda Devlin (Board Chair)
Teresa Jayet
Zoe Locke
Tony Fitzgerald (Co-opted Independent Member)
Jackie Brady (ED – Ex officio)

Research Advisory Committee
Chair: Allison Wainwright
Members:
Teresa Jayet
Megan Mitchell
Fallon Roberts
Leanne Strommen

Sector Events Committee
Chair: Leanne Strommen
Members:
Glenda Devlin
Zoe Locke
Fallon Roberts

Conference Reference Committee
Chair: Leanne Strommen (SEC Chair)
Members:
Zoe Locke
Fallon Roberts

FRSA Board Election Results
L-R: Fallon Roberts, Jackie Brady and Zoe Locke

The FRSA Board Election process for 2023 closed at 4pm (AEDT) on Friday, 11 November 2022.

The election results were announced and elected nominees were formally appointed as FRSA Board Directors at the FRSA AGM on Wednesday, 23 November at 4pm in Canberra.

FRSA is please to present to you the incoming and returning members of the FRSA Board (in alphabetical order) with the term of re-appointment/appointment for each of the nominees taking effect from the AGM for a two year term.

  • Teresa Jayet, CEO, Mallee Family Care
  • Zoe Locke, Deputy Director, CatholicCare Social Services Toowoomba
  • Fallon Roberts, Executive Manager, Centacare New England North West

Congratulations to Teresa, Zoe and Fallon! And thank you to outgoing Board Directors Paula Washington, who stepped down from the Board having reached her 6 year absolute term and Tony Fitzgerald for their service to the FRSA Board and through that body – their service to the FRSA members and all the children, young people, adults and communities they work with.

FRSA Annual Report 2021-22 launched

FRSA’s Annual Report for 2021-22 was launched at the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 23 November 2022 at the Strategic Leadership Forum 2022 in Canberra by FRSA Board Chair, Glenda Devlin.

FRSA’s annual reports provide an overview of FRSA’s activities during each 12 month period (July-June). This includes program activity and evaluation, policy and advocacy, research, events and the financial report for that period.

Read the full report here.

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Incoming ACNC Commissioner

Sue Woodward AM has been appointed as Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) for a five-year period commencing on 12 December, 2022.

Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP announced the appointment on 18 November noting the value the charitable sector brings to Australian society.

Ms Woodward is a recognised legal and regulatory expert, with extensive experience in the charities and not-for-profits sector. She was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2021 for her significant service to the sector, to fundraising and to the law. Since 2015, she has been the Chief Adviser, Not-for-profit Law at Justice Connect. She was previously engaged on the taskforce to establish the ACNC as the inaugural Director, Policy and Education.

The sector has welcomed the appointment.

Select Committee on Cost of Living

The Senate Select Committee on the Cost of Living is inviting individuals and organisations to make submissions on the cost-of-living pressures facing Australians and related matters by 10 March 2023.

On 28 September 2022 the Senate established a select committee to inquire into and report on:

  • the cost of living pressures facing Australians;
  • the Government’s fiscal policy response to the cost of living;
  • ways to ease cost of living pressures through the tax and transfer system;
  • measures to ease the cost of living through the provision of Government services; and
  • any other related matter.

The Committee will report 30 November 2023. Click here to find out more.

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Leanne Haddad appointed Director of Centacare Catholic Family Services
L-R: Leanne Haddad and Pauline Connelly

Child protection and family support services specialist Leanne Haddad has been appointed Director of Centacare Catholic Family Services.

Leanne will commence in the new role on January 3, 2023. For the last year she been Deputy Director, providing leadership, corporate and service delivery support to Director Pauline Connelly.

Pauline assumed the role after the retirement of longtime director Dale West in early 2021.

After guiding Centacare through a period of significant change, Pauline has chosen to return to her substantive position of Deputy Director.

Leanne said together they will continue to lead in partnership and shape service growth in-line with community need. Read more.

Relationship Matters announce new CEO

Relationship Matters has announced that Maya Avdibegovic has been appointed as their new Chief Executive Officer for the organisation. A highly experienced senior leader and CEO, Maya succeeds Janet Jukes who has recently moved into a new role. Maya assumed her new responsibilities on 22 November 2022.

Maya brings to Relationship Matters extraordinary experience as a dynamic and respected senior leader and CEO, most recently as Court Networks Executive Director. She was previously the CEO of InTouch, during which time she achieved significant growth and public recognition for the organisation.

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774,000 Australian children living in poverty is a policy choice

The Valuing Children Initiative has created a petition to raise awareness of Australian children living in poverty and calls for a Child Poverty Reduction Act. The percentage of Australian children living in poverty is 17.7% – higher than any other age group. 1 in 6 children in Australia is living in poverty. That’s 774,000 children aged 0-14 years.

The petition, ‘774,000 Australian children living in poverty is a policy choice’, specifically calls upon our political leaders to advocate for and introduce a Child Poverty Reduction Act. When you sign this petition, a letter will be sent in your name to key politicians. We all have a moral responsibility to act in the interests of vulnerable children. However, only our political leaders can address the systemic drivers of poverty and implement the policy levers available to governments to ameliorate poverty.

Children have no choice about the circumstances of their birth or childhood. Kids are not responsible for their poverty, and they can’t fix it. However, there are solutions. The introduction of the Child Poverty Reduction Act in Australia is a crucial first step.

Safe and Together Community Grants Program

The Government is inviting community organisations to apply for a grant under the Safe and Together Community Grants Program.

The program will enable communities and organisations to deliver activities and programs to support, at the earliest possible stage, individuals who may be vulnerable to developing extremist views and behaviours.

Three categories of activities will be considered for funding:

  1. activities that strengthen the Australian community’s broader awareness of and resistance to extremism
  2. activities that empower communities and families to engage with vulnerable young people
  3. activities that support individuals and their families who are successfully disengaging from extremist views.

The outcomes that the program will aim to achieve are:

  • across Australia, communities will gain a general understanding of the nature of extremism and how to improve individual and community resilience to it
  • at all levels, people will work together to identify risks and triggers that may lead vulnerable young people to extremist views and behaviours, and learn how to foster protective factors against those risks
  • communities and organisations will be skilled in engaging and facilitating discussion with young people about violent extremist issues
  • vulnerable young people are referred to appropriate support programs at an early stage, to reduce the risk of them becoming violent.

Visit Grant Connect to find out eligibility criteria and how to apply. Applications close 9pm AEDT on 12 January 2023.

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Thu 09

Managing Difficult Calls eWorkshop 9-Feb-2023

February 9 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm AEDT
Wed 15

Webinar: Aboriginal Mental Health

February 15 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm AEDT
Mon 20

Theraplay Level 1 & MIM – Sydney

February 20 @ 9:00 am - February 23 @ 5:00 pm AEDT
Wed 22

NEURO-DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY TO PRACTICE – Perth

February 22 @ 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm AEDT

TAS

Case Worker – Family Programs | CatholicCare Tasmania

NT

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner | Relationships Australia NT

Counsellor (Family and Relationship Services) | Relationships Australia NT

Manager Counselling – Family and Relationship Services | Relationships Australia NT

VIC

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner – Shepparton | Relationships Australia Victoria

Family Violence Practitioner and Case Manager – Sunshine | Relationships Australia Victoria

Counsellor Couple, Family and Child – Traralgon | Relationships Australia Victoria

QLD

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) – Strathpine | Relationships Australia Queensland

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) – Rockhampton | Relationships Australia Queensland

NSW

Senior Program Manager – Adoption and Guardianship | Anglicare Sydney

Couple and Family Counsellor | Relationships Australia NSW

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 communications@frsa.org.au. Please note that posting onto the FRSA website is reserved for FRSA Members only.

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A call for change | Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to domestic and family violence

This inquiry report outlines evidence that there are cultural issues within the Queensland Police Service which inhibit the policing of domestic and family violence. There is also evidence that there is a lack of understanding of the dynamics of, and power imbalance within, domestically violent relationships.

Mapping the digital gap: Tennant Creek, Barkley region, Northern Territory community outcomes report 2022 | ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society

Based on 44 surveys and 13 interviews with residents and stakeholders, this report outlines the findings from the researchers’ initial 2022 visit, and highlights the current access and use of media, communications and online services and the digital inclusion challenges in Tennant Creek and across the Barkly region.

Child wellbeing during the COVID pandemic: Parental concerns | Australian Institute of Family Studies

The report explores the varied impacts of COVID-19 on children of all ages below 18 years, and delves into the experiences of families and the factors that parents say contributed to their children’s wellbeing.

Hygiene poverty in Australian schools: the hidden crisis | Pinchapoo

Hygiene poverty is emerging as a significant crisis, not just for low-income countries, but also high-income OECD countries – in the wake of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report was commissioned with the goal of informing further discussion about the needs of those facing hygiene poverty.

Ten to Men Insights #2 report | Australian Institute of Family Studies

This report investigates specific health concerns and related issues affecting boys and young and adult men across the country. The full report has now been released including chapters on:

  1. Gambling participation and harm among Australian men
  2. Mental health care needs and access among Australian men: A data linkage study
  3. Illicit substance use among adult males in Australia, 2013/14–2020/21
  4. Recent natural disasters in Australia: Exploring the association with men’s mental health and access to healthcare

How the experiences and circumstances of culturally and linguistically diverse children and families influence child mental health | Emerging Minds

Children from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds may have specific experiences which affect their mental health. It is important to use a social determinants lens when exploring the factors that contribute to the mental health of children from CALD backgrounds.

A Data Capability Framework for the not-for-profit sector | Swinburne University of Technology

As community services rapidly digitise, they are generating more data than ever before. This research shows that data capability involves fostering effective and responsible data practices across three integrated dimensions – data access and infrastructure, data skills and data governance.

Understanding Loneliness and Mental Health | Lived Experience Australia

Lived Experience Australia, in collaboration with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Community Collaboration Committee, commenced this research project to better understand loneliness and its effects, particularly in relation to mental health, physical health, families, and wellbeing. It was important to understand what supports people felt may help overcome their loneliness.

Income support receipt for young people transitioning from out-of-home care 2022 | Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Young people who are, or have been, in out-of-home care (OOHC) may be particularly vulnerable in the time after leaving care, as they adjust to independent living. This national report is an update to the AIHW’s first report on this topic. It aims to build the evidence-base on transition outcomes up to the age of 30 by exploring patterns of income support receipt and transitions between payments using linked Australian Government (Centrelink) and state and territory (OOHC) administrative data.

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