FRSA eBulletin, No. 5, 2021


No. 5, 2021 | 20 April 2021

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From FRSA's Executive Director

It can be hard not to yield to the weight of political inaction. Last week marked 30 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody handed down its historic report on the deaths of 99 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and men who died in police custody between January 1980 and May 1989.

Yet despite the report delivering over 300 recommendations for change, more than 470 further deaths in custody have been recorded since 15 April 1991, when the report was made public. As former commissioner for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and current Labor Senator Patrick Dodson, said “It’s galling and frustrating”. First Nations peoples continue to be incarcerated at staggering rates which was the focus of a more recent Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry, the Inquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, reporting on 22 December 2017 and headed up by FRSA Board Member, Judge Matthew Myers AM. A number of core themes resonated in both Inquiries – that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are disproportionally affected by laws and legal frameworks and in many instances the unintended consequence of the application of these laws is over incarceration; there are many social, political and economic factors contributing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Imprisonment rates; and, imprisonment should only ever be used as a last resort.

Speaking of his feelings about the Royal Commission 30-year anniversary in recent days, Senator Dodson also noted his hope for, and commitment to, change. He talked about the need for federal leadership, the need for problem-solving, and the need for tangible action. With the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement galvanising awareness and action across the country – and across nations – and key organisations like Change the Record championing practical change, with enough people behind it change could be made real. I encourage you all to take supportive action.

This week our program for the online Child Inclusive Practice Forum goes live. This Forum is being held on Monday 7 June 2021 and is shaping up to be a truly rich event for practitioners, researchers and policymakers. We hope that delivering this event online makes it even more accessible to all people interested in working with children and giving children agency in the decisions impacting on them.  We would love to see you there (more on this below).

I hope you enjoy this fortnight’s new-look eBulletin!

Kind regards,
Jackie Brady
FRSA Executive Director


FRSA is excited to reveal the concurrent session program for the upcoming Child Inclusive Practice Forum on Monday, 7 June 2021. This year’s program is centred around the theme “Expanding the Lens: Child Inclusion and Vulnerable Children” and will deliver an abundance of ideas, evidence and practical skills that practitioners, researchers and policy makers may add to their existing ‘toolkit’.

The COVID-19 Pandemic brought with it additional challenges for vulnerable children.  This CIP forum provides a great opportunity to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on children through a CIP lens and the learnings from these experiences that will impact practice from hereon in.

Register today for the online Child Inclusive Practice Forum 2021!

Registration Categories Fees
FRSA Member $95
Non-FRSA Member $150

Forum registration includes streaming access to:

  • The Keynote address/es
  • All concurrent presentations
  • A panel discussion
  • The opportunity to participate in the live Q&A with speakers

Access to the on-demand library for up to 60 days post forum

This year’s CIP Forum is an Australian Community Workers Association endorsed CPD event. All registrants of the event will be eligible for seven Continuing Professional Development hours/points for their participation.

COVID-19 Social Security Measures Enabled Job-Seeking, But Payment Cuts Inhibit This Once More, Finds Survey

A new report by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare detailing the results of a November 2020 survey finds that the Coronavirus Supplement and suspension of mutual obligations improved respondents’ engagement in the labour market as well as their physical and mental health. Click here to read the report.

Communicating COVID-19 health information to culturally and linguistically diverse communities: insights from a participatory research collaboration

This paper describes a case study of a participatory research collaboration to better understand the role of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community leaders in shaping health behaviours and how that role might be leveraged.

Three key findings emerged:

  1. Partnerships between CALD leaders, communities and government are critical for effective health communication;
  2. Shifting behaviour requires moving beyond disseminating information to designing tailored solutions; and
  3. The diverse needs and circumstances of people and communities must be at the centre of health communication and behaviour change strategies.

Read the full paper.

All in it together? Financial wellbeing before COVID-19

Brotherhood of St Laurence has released its analysis of Roy Morgan Single Source Survey data, which showed that financial wellbeing in Australia improved in the two years before the COVID-19 crisis, but not everyone experienced the same improvements.

In the two years up to March 2020, unemployed workers, single parents, disability pensioners, young people and renters did not share the overall improvement in financial wellbeing.
Read the full analysis.

Release of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention inquiry interim report

The Parliamentary House Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention released an interim report on 15 April 2021.

The inquiry commenced on 24 February and one public hearing has been held so far.  In the second phase of the inquiry the Committee intends to hold a series of public hearings with a range of witnesses. The hearing schedule will be published on the Committee’s website once it has been finalised.

The interim report includes an update on the Committee’s activities to date, and emerging themes identified through recent reports into Australia’s mental health system and engagement with the Productivity Commission, National Mental Health Commission and Department of Health.

The final report of the Committee is due by 1 November 2021.

Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence – report published

The House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs tabled its report on its inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence on 1 April 2021.

The Committee makes 88 bipartisan recommendations which seek to inform the development of the next National Plan to reduce violence against women and their children, due to commence in mid-2022. The report’s wide-ranging recommendations reflect the Committee’s view that a whole of society response to addressing violence is needed.

FRSA made a submission to this inquiry as well as providing evidence at a public hearing on 16 October 2020.

Cabinet reshuffle

The Prime Minister announced a cabinet reshuffle on 29 March 2021. For the family and relationship services sector, the Minister for Families and Social Services remains the same with Senator the Hon Anne Ruston retaining the portfolio. Family law services now has a new Attorney-General at the helm with the appointment of Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash.

New provider announced for the redesigned Intercountry Adoptee and Family Support Service

Assistant Minister for Children and Families, Michelle Landry, recently announced Relationships Australia South Australia (RASA) as the successful provider delivering the Morrison Government’s $4.75 million redesigned Intercountry Adoptee and Family Support Service (ICAFSS).

RASA will begin to deliver the ICAFSS nationwide through the Relationships Australia network on 1 July 2021 over the next five years. Read more.

National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children – public consultation announced

On 7 April 2021, the Morrison Government announced that it has opened public consultation on the next National Plan to reduce family, domestic and sexual violence.

The consultation is open to all interested Australians with information available on the DSS Engage website.

The Government also intends to consult through virtual workshops with key stakeholders in each state and territory. A two-day National Women’s Safety Summit has been scheduled for 29-30 July. Participants will include women who have experienced violence, family safety advocates, and service providers amongst other stakeholders. The consultation process will close on 31 July 2021.

Review of direct cross-examination ban - Family Law Act 1975

The government has just commenced a review of amendments to the Family Law Act 1975, which were passed in late 2018 and designed to protect victims of family violence by banning direct cross-examination in certain circumstances in family law matters involving family violence. The amended legislation aimed to:

  • prevent the re-traumatisation of victims of family violence through direct cross-examination, and
  • ensure that victims are not deterred from participating in legal proceedings and potentially settling for less than they are entitled to.

The Act requires the government to review the operation of this legislation as soon as possible after the second anniversary of its commencement. Mr Robert Cornall AO and Ms Kerrie-Anne Luscombe have been appointed to conduct the review, and will report to government by August 2021.

The reviewers are seeking submissions on the terms of reference from interested stakeholders. Submissions are due by 28 May 2021.

For more information about the review visit the Attorney-General’s Department website.

Cath celebrates 25 years with YFS
Earlier this month YFS’ CEO Cath Bartolo celebrated 25 years with the organisation. Under Cath’s leadership, YFS has grown and evolved.

The former Mackay-born nun came to Logan in the 1980s as a teacher. Her first role at YFS was as the Disability Manager.
Over the years, there is little she hasn’t seen or experienced and has led the way in helping find solutions for the city’s most vulnerable. Read more.

Mediation Short Course – Apply Now, Start May 2021

Apply for Relationships Australia Victoria’s (RAV’s) intensive short course and gain the practical skills needed to be a mediator – an independent and impartial person who assists people in conflict to generate options, negotiate agreements and resolve disputes.

This course provides an entry pathway into RAV’s Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution and meets the National Mediator Accredited System course requirements for students wishing to undertake the additional assessment day to become an accredited mediator.

Visit or call (03) 8573 2222.

LCC To Change Its Brand To Lutheran Care

Lutheran Community Care has changed its name to Lutheran Care.

“Although our name will change, our commitment to our values, vision and mission will not change. Ours will continue to be a powerful and persistent voice for the voiceless,” said Rohan Feegrade, Chief Executive Officer, Lutheran Care. Read more.

Mission Australia Youth Survey

The Mission Australia Youth Survey is Australia’s largest online youth survey, providing a platform for young people aged 15 to 19 to ‘speak up’ about the issues that really concern them.

The survey closes 9 August 2021, click here to complete the survey.

LSAC Wave 10 content submissions

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study on Australian Children (LSAC) is currently seeking content submissions for Wave 10 of the study, scheduled for 2023.

LSAC has been following two cohorts of Australian children since they were toddlers in 2004 and they are now transitioning into adulthood. If you are a data user, researcher or policy maker interested in providing input for Wave 10, the study team would love to hear from you!

Click here to find out more or submit a proposal.

Compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders research project

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has been commissioned by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) to undertake research in relation to the compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders. The research will involve multiple studies, including a survey of legal and non-legal family law system professionals.

You are invited to take part in this survey if you are a legal professional (including judicial officers, barristers and solicitors) and non-legal professionals including: FDR practitioners and professionals working in post-separation support services, including parenting order programs and family violence sector professionals.

Click here to complete the survey. For more information on the research click here to download the information sheet.

Wed 26

Youth Officers – Gippsland | Relationships Australia Victoria

Practice Specialist Family Violence and Child Safety | Relationships Australia Victoria

Project Officer Child and Parenting Group Programs | Relationships Australia Victoria

Family Law Services Practitioner | OzChild

Practitioner – Intake & Engagement | Kids First


Policy, Research and Evaluation Manager | Relationships Australia Canberra & Region


Mental Health Clinician – headspace Batemans Bay | Relationships Australia Canberra & Region

Student Clinic Supervisor- Family Therapy | Relationships Australia NSW


Vulnerability and resilience in the social sector: what we learnt through COVID-19 | SVA Quarterly

This article discusses the capabilities of social purpose organisations which are protective in a crisis. Philanthropists, government funders and social purpose organisations need to work together to nurture these protective factors.

Helplines, telephone and online counselling services for children, young people and adults | Child Family Community Australia

This resource sheet is designed to provide practitioners and service providers with the contact details and links to helplines, telephone and online counselling services for children, young people and adults. Services are grouped according to the location in which they operate: Australia wide or state/territory.

How frontline domestic and family violence workforce in Australia kept connected to their clients and each other through the pandemic | University of New South Wales

Awareness of coercive control within the context of abusive intimate relationships is greater than ever before in Australia. This study examines the characteristics of violence and abuse reported by Australian women who had recently experienced coercive control by their current or former partner.

Resilience in Isolation | Well Ways

This report on a survey compiled by leading Australian mental health service providers shows COVID-19 has had an adverse impact on the mental health of those already experiencing issues relating to their mental health. However, the results also highlighted that access to in-community supports, existing skills and resilience helped to cope with isolation.

Reframing Children’s Mental Health – a communications toolkitFrameWorks Institute and Emerging Minds

This toolkit has been developed for this purpose. It is based on research about how practitioners understand children’s mental health, and how their understanding impacts their support for policies to promote better mental health outcomes for Australia’s children. It is intended to support child mental health experts and organisations who communicate about children’s mental health to create messages that resonate and inspire positive change.

Australian Leadership Index: 2020 national survey report | Australian Leadership Index

The Australian Leadership Index is a national survey that provides a comprehensive picture of leadership for the greater good in Australia. This report reflects the views of 4,000 Australians surveyed throughout 2020.

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