FRSA eBulletin, No. 19, 2021


No. 19, 2021 | 18 November 2021

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From FRSA's Executive Director

Getting closer to the end of the year generally means a winding down/winding out of projects and activities but once again this year, it is feeling like we don’t get to that point anymore. Perhaps it is social media and 24 hour news cycles that keep up this momentum but we are certainly a hive of activity at FRSA.

Last week we proudly released the “Family and relationship service providers’ experience of telepractice during COVID-19” report that we commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies to conduct with our members.  Based on survey results, in which we attracted a response rate of over 50 per cent of members, this Report paints a picture of the use telepractice in the Family and Reltaionship Services sector following the radical and immediate shift to technology aided support for the the children, women, men and communities our sector worked with during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is a point in time capture of the opportunities and challenges emerging through the use of telepractice and it is a great contribution to this vitally important area of investigation if we are going to be actively responding to the needs and wants of the people we work with and aptly ensuring the workforce has the appropriate skillset and requirements to enable them to work in this environment.  This also must be balanced against the need to ensure we can still achieve the important outcomes for the people we work with.  Our very special thanks to Dr Trina Hinkley, Kristel Alla and Nerida Joss for their hardwork, commitment and dedication to this project.

FRSA has always indicated that it will be looking at the issue of telepractice through a prism of safety and suitability.  The Research Report does touch on a range of issues with these foci.  We are also excited to be embarking on qualitative research, working with FRSA members, to more thoroughly investigate the use of telepractice at the program level within the Families and Children Activity (including the range of Family Law Services).  This will enable us to look specifically at cohort groups and to explore particular lines of inquiry around suitability and safety.  These focus groups started today and will run over the next two weeks.  So, if you are a member and you are keen to participate – please don’t hesitate to be in touch with the office on 02 61621 1811 and speak with Robyn or Lucy.

On the same day we released the Research Report, FRSA moved into our new premises.  Our time at our Fyshwick office came to an abrupt end when the building sold and our lease was not renewed.  However, we have landed on our feet and secured a lovely light filled space back in the ‘Canberra peak precinct’ in Deakin.  Whilst working from home ensured we kept on keeping on, it is so nice to be back in the office and working as a team in situ.  Just a reminder that if you are ever in town we would love to have you visit our office and there is always a spare hot desk for you should you need a space to work between meetings.  You can now find us on Level 1 at 36 Thesiger Court in Deakin – our phone numbers stay the same.

Now that we are returning to the workplace and the previous restrictions of state based lockdowns are relaxing, momentum is gathering around the FRSA Conference 2022 scheduled to be held at the Adelaide Hilton Hotel from 16-19 May.  The Call for Abstracts closes off tonight which means that we then begin the exciting process of assessing these and beginning to build the concurrent segments of the FRSA Conference program.  We are aiming to have this completed over the next month.  Given the experiences of the network, professionally and personally, over the last two years, the Conference is aptly themed – “Together we can:  Connect, Innovate, Transform“.  I strongly encourage you to consider registering for the Conference which is promising to be better than ever.  Registrations for the FRSA Conference are now open – you just need to follow the prompts on the FRSA website.

Just a reminder that we are holding the FRSA AGM tomorrow, Friday 19 November at 12:00pm (AEDT) via ZOOM.  If you haven’t had a chance to register and would like to do so, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with Narelle Kay in our office 02) 6162 1811 or email

Kind regards,
Jackie Brady
FRSA Executive Director

FRSA's Telepractice Report launched

FRSA was thrilled to launch the report – Family and relationship service providers’ experience of telepractice during COVID-19 – at a webinar on 10 November. We commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) to undertake a survey with FRSA members to explore the use of telepractice in the family and relationships services sector in Australia, and prepare the report.

Following an evidence review published by AIFS, which highlighted a lack of available data about telepractice use, AIFS and FRSA developed a survey to explore the experiences of service providers within an Australia context. We were pleased to report that 104 people from 45 organisations completed at least part of the survey, capturing data from 50% of FRSA members. The survey specifically explored the prevalence and uses of telepractice within organisations, perceived benefits and challenges, barriers and enablers to implementing telepractice, as well as service providers’ plans to use telepractice in the future.

A recording of the webinar is now available on the FRSA website.

FRSA’s work on telepractice doesn’t stop there. In mid-late November, FRSA will run a number of focus groups with FRSA members on a program-by-program basis to further delve into practice implications of service delivery via telepractice.

If you are an FRSA member and would like to participate in the focus groups, please contact Robyn at FRSA for more information –

Framing age message guide to challenge ageism

A consortium of multi-agency Elder Abuse Prevention Networks (EAPNs) led by Southern Melbourne Primary Care Partnership (SMPCP), Eastern Community Legal Centre, Merri Health and Barwon Community Legal Service, have recently launched a new values based guide to challenge ageism: Framing Age Message Guide.

SMPCP commissioned Common Cause Australia to develop the guide, which aims to reduce ageist attitudes, stereotypes and behaviours within our society. It comes amid a growing amount of research that suggests these attitudes can create an environment where elder abuse occurs. The guide contains research and recommendations based on Common Cause Australia’s unique approach to community engagement. Among the recommendations is six ‘top tips for messaging’ including, using values to persuade, emphasise similarities, celebrate diversity, repeat your story, focus on solutions and to keep it real. Along with the guide, a cheat sheet has been released for those who are already familiar with Common Cause Australia’s research and approach to value based messaging.

You can find both the guide and cheat sheet here.

AIHW Report Released: Monitoring perpetrator interventions in Australia

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a report that illustrates how perpetrator interventions are being monitored in Australia. Currently in Australia, 17% of women and 6.1% of men have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner since the age of 15. The aim of perpetrator interventions is to prevent and reduce family, domestic and sexual violence and hold perpetrators accountable in order to keep our families and communities safe.

A number of FRSA members deliver Men’s Behaviour Change Programs. Some members also deliver intervention programs for others who use violence in the home – women, adolescents, trans and gender diverse people.

The new report has resulted from the need to strengthen the evidence base for perpetrator interventions, as identified in the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-22. The report itself outlines the outcomes and indicators used to assess perpetrator interventions and identifies keys areas where data gaps remain as well as what has been done to improve data collection at a national level.

Find the report here.

A guide for children and young people to understand child sexual abuse and where to get help

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), in collaboration with children, has developed a guide to help children aged 9-18 understand child sexual abuse along with how and when to get help. Included in the guide is an explanation of how the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030 will assist in improving Australia’s response to child sexual abuse. The National Strategy was recently established as a result from a key recommendation out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Developed by AHRC, on behalf of the National Office for Child Safety, the guide was informed through consultation processes with children, who received parental consent to participate. As part of the consultations, specific target groups comprising children with disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, were included. It is hoped that the guide will support children and young people’s understanding of and engagement with the National Strategy as well as provide practical resources on where to get help.

You can find the guide here.

ANROWS report on Australian's mistrust in women's reports of sexual assault

ANROWS has released a confronting new report, “Chuck her on a lie detector”: Investigating Australians’ mistrust in women’s reports of sexual assault. According to the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey, as many as 40% of people in Australia mistrust women’s reports of sexual violence, despite the fact that false allegations are extremely rare. The study was designed to identify the underlying factors and myths about sexual violence that contribute to the mistrust that exists in our community.

On 1 November, during the webinar release of the report, researchers emphasised the need to challenge the dangerous myths, attitudes and beliefs and increase community understanding of sexual assault. The report itself details a range of reforms, initiatives and education campaigns that could help better inform Australians and prevent violence from occurring in the first place.

You can read the full report, alongside a resource presenting its key messages and webinar recording through the ANROWS website.

826,000 people forced to languish on income support payments for over a year, and more to join in wake of COVID: new report

A new report produced by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has shined light on the crisis levels of people in long-term unemployment. The ‘Faces of Unemployment 2021’ report was supported by Ecstra Foundation and draws upon data from the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS). As of June 2021, there were over 1.1 million people in Australia receiving unemployment payments with 80% of people having received the payments for over a year and 17% for over five years. Despite labour shortages in some industries coming out of lockdown, many people receiving unemployment payments face high barriers to employment and remain at the back of the jobs queue.

The report is advocating for a four-pronged strategy to ease poverty among people who are unemployed and improve employment prospects for those facing the largest barriers to employment. This includes lifting unemployment payments from $45 to $67 a day, a comprehensive full employment policy, implementing a flexible jobs and training guarantee for people unemployed long term and redesigning employment services to better support people.

You can find the full report here.


Thank you to everyone who has submitted an abstract for the FRSA National Conference 2022. As we make our way through the review process and look forward to 2022, don’t forget to take advantage of our Early Bird discount rate for your conference registration!

Registration Categories Early Bird Registration
Fee* until
31 January 2022
Standard Registration Fee** from
1 February 2022
Member Complete Conference Experience
(Including dinner)
$995.00 $1,195.00
Member Conference Only
(No dinner)
$920.00 $1,120.00
Non-Member Complete Conference Experience (Including dinner) $1,295.00 $1,495.00
Non-Member Conference Only
(No dinner)
$1,220.00 $1,420.00


Want to send more than one person? The Conference registration also offers a ‘6 for 5’ promotion for all FRSA Members only. Simply enter the names of 5 members you will register in one transaction and when complete, you’ll receive a link and code in your confirmation email to register your 6th attendee. Available at both Early Bird and Standard Rates. Interested in becoming an FRSA Member? More information here.

Stay up to date by subscribing to our Conference and Forum Updates.

Public Consultation: Children’s Contact Services – Methodology to select locations for additional services

The Attorney-General’s Department’s consultation on methodology to select locations for additional Children’s Contact Services (CCS) has just closed.

In the May 2021 Budget, the Australian Government announced that it would increase funding for CCS, including funding to establish 20 additional CCS across Australia. The Department developed a methodology to estimate demand for new CCS by Statistical Level Area Level 4 (SA4) which is outlined in a short consultation paper.

The Department will consider the feedback received as it finalises the methodology. It is expected that applications to provide services at selected locations will be sought through a grant selection process in early 2022 through the Department of Social Services’ Community Grants Hub.

Public consultation on Family Report Writers opens

The Attorney-General’s Department opened its consultation on ‘Improving the competency and accountability of family report writers’ on 22 October. The consultation closes on 3 December 2021.

Family report writers play an essential role in family law parenting matters before the family law courts. They also play an important role in obtaining and representing children’s views to the court.

However, reports and public inquiries have raised concerns about the quality of family reports and some of the professionals involved in preparing the reports.

The Australian Government agreed in principle with the Australian Law Reform Commission’s  recommendation 53, that the Attorney-General’s Department should develop a mandatory national accreditation scheme for private family report writers on the basis that it supports ensuring professionals in the family law system are appropriately qualified, trained and accountable.

The Department’s consultation paper – Improving the competency and accountability of family report writers – and further information on the consultation are available online.

November Meeting of Attorneys-General

A Meeting of Attorneys-General was held on 12 November 2021 by videoconference. The meeting was chaired by Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Commonwealth Attorney-General. All jurisdictions were represented.

At the meeting, participants endorsed the National Strategic Framework for Information Sharing between the Family Law and Family Violence and Child Protection Systems, and noted the resourcing, privacy and legislative implications arising from its implementation. Participants agreed the Family Violence Working Group will oversee the implementation of the National Framework, and that future updates in relation to this work will be provided out of session.

Participants also agreed to further the development of National Principles to address Coercive Control. Participants settled on the key milestones for this project, including that the Family Violence Working Group will report to the Meeting of Attorneys-General on proposed draft principles for public consultation in early 2022 with a view to finalising the national principles by June 2022.

You can read the Communique of the Meeting of Attorneys-General here.

YFS CEO honoured

Congratulations to YFS CEO Cath Bartolo on receiving the Stan Wells Award  at the City of Logan Safe City Awards 2021. The award recognises contributions that go above and beyond to achieve outstanding safety benefits to the wider community. Read more

FRSA Members nominated for the AHRI Awards

A number of FRSA Members have been nominated as finalists for the AHRI Awards 2021. The Awards recognise the best HR practitioners, organisations and leaders paving the way for business best-practice. The Awards are judged by prominent HR and business leaders – winning one is the pinnacle of HR and business excellence. Winners will be announced on Thursday 25 November at their virtual celebration. Below are the FRSA Member nominees and their category:

  • Child and Family Services Ballarat are finalists for the Wayne Cascio Organisational Award and Michael Kirby LGBTQ+ Inclusion Award. And CEO Wendy Sturgess is nominated for the CEO Diversity Champion Award and Liz Hardiman is a finalists for the HR Diversity Champion Award.
  • EACH CEO, Peter Ruzyla is nominated for the Lynda Gratton CEO Award

Best of luck!

Baptist Care SA establishes new pathways centre

Baptist Care SA has established a new Southern Pathways Centre. The centre will be a hub of activity and a welcoming place where people in crisis will be respectfully welcomed and actively supported along their ‘transition pathways from adversity to opportunity’.

The opening of this new Southern Pathways Centre will herald an exciting new chapter in the unfolding history of Baptist Care SA by:

  • expanding their capacity to serve disadvantaged people in the Onkaparinga Council area and beyond
  • developing strong ‘purposeful partnerships’ with their Toward Home Alliance partners: Lutheran Care, Mission Australia, Sonder and the Salvation Army.

Read more

Anglicare Southern Queensland named QLD’s Provider of the Year at ACSA Awards

Anglicare Southern Queensland has been named Queensland winner of the ‘Provider of the Year’ and ‘Innovation in Service or Design’ awards at the annual Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) awards.

The ACSA Awards highlight outstanding achievements and contributions made by organisations, teams and individuals in the aged care industry throughout the year.

The Innovation in Service or Design award was awarded for their By Request campaign which was an eight-part web series celebrating music’s ability to connect us back to our treasured memories. Read more.

Fourth Families in Australia Survey open

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is calling on every Australian to share their experience in the Families in Australia Survey. The survey helps to understand the circumstances and wellbeing of families over time. The Institute wants to hear about family relationships, connections, support given and received and how COVID-19 has affected families. The survey is open to anyone over 18 years of ages in every type of family.

Make your experience count.  AIFS will share the insights from the survey with government decision makers and service providers. The findings will help inform decisions on family policy programs and initiatives.

As a thank you, participants in the survey will have an opportunity to opt into a random draw for one of five $500 shopping vouchers.

Complete the survey today

Please share the survey throughout your networks []

Thu 25

1-2-3 Magic® & Emotion Coaching

July 25 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm AEST
Fri 26


Child Wise Youth Advisory Group | Child Wise


Specialist Lead – Counselling | CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay


Family Safety Practitioner – Kew | Relationships Australia Victoria

Senior Practitioner Therapeutic Services | Relationships Australia Victoria

Recovery Support Case Manager | Anglicare Victoria

Practitioner – Functional Family Therapy | Anglicare Victoria


Walking into the eye of the storm: how the climate crisis is driving child migration and displacement | Save the Children

This report considers children’s vulnerability to key climate threats, and how those threats are driving child displacement and migration, in six high-risk settings: low-lying coastal areas, river floodplains, drylands, mountainous areas, cyclone zones and urban areas. It also provides examples of effective governance and responses.

Managing vaccines in the workplace | Justice Connect

Justice Connect has developed a list of resources to help navigate managing vaccines in the workplace, covering questions such as: Can our organisation make a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for employees or volunteers? What are the employment-related legal requirements and considerations for COVID-19 vaccines? What are the key considerations for mandatory vaccine directions?

Digital technology in the not-for-profit sector: November 2021 | Infoxchange Australia

The ongoing disruptions to the way we work posed by COVID-19 have emphasised how important it is for not-for-profits to have efficient and reliable technology in place. This report aims to recognise where areas of growth and improvement are needed across the sector, so that not-for-profits can ensure they are using technology in the best way possible to achieve their mission.

Not-for-profits’ guide to complying with Commonwealth electoral laws | Human Rights Law Centre

With the next federal election not far away, charities and community groups are thinking about what advocacy they want to do. Under Commonwealth electoral laws, some advocacy spending and donations may need to be publicly disclosed, and your organisation may need to consider adjustments in how you use or track donations. This guide is designed to step you through your obligations under these laws.

Sustainable Indigenous housing in regional and remote Australia | Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

Indigenous regional and remote communities will experience the negative impacts of climate change earlier and disproportionately, compared with most urban Australian settings, according to new AHURI research.

New vulnerable research | Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand

Good Shepherd commissioned Roy Morgan to help us better understand the Newly Vulnerable and their experiences navigating support systems. The findings have confirmed what we had suspected. Rather than declining, the Newly Vulnerable cohort increased in 2021 at a similar rate to what we had seen in 2020.

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