Hive of activity at FRSA

As I noted in the FRSA Preliminary Budget Analysis on Budget night – on 25 October – the Federal Budget focused on delivering on the Government’s Election Commitments.  The Albanese Government had certainly been very clear in the lead up that was where the October Budget’s focus would be.  Therefore, as a sector, we were fortunate to receive news in the Federal Budget that the Government would be committing $560.0 million over 4 years, from this financial year, to support Community Sector Organisation in need of funding supplementation due to additional staff wages pressures and higher inflation outcomes.  How this will directly support the FRS sector, how much of an increase will be applied to programs under the Department of Social Services (DSS) Families and Children’s Activity and to Family Law Services funded by the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), who will be eligible, how and when it will be distributed are as yet unknown.  We are regularly checking in with our AGD and DSS colleagues for updated advice and we will bring them to the attention of our Members as soon as we can.

Today, the FRSA Chair, Ms Glenda Devlin announced the FRSA Board has engaged the Centre for International Economics (CIE) to undertake a Cost Benefit Analysis of the Family and Relationship Services sector.  The CIE will be modelling the social and economic benefits of the DSS and AGD services and programs delivered by the FRS sector and we anticipate a final report at the end of the first quarter next year.  Whilst we anticipate this report will clearly articulate the value of the Family and Relationship Services sector, we also hope there are aspects of this work that we can contribute towards the Treasurer’s own thinking about a ‘measuring what matters’ framework being attached to future Federal budgets. (See Section 4 of Budget Paper 2).

Last week, I did have the opportunity to attend the NPC address delivered by the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth speaking to the National Framework for Reducing Violence against Women and their Children.  It is a bold ambition to aim to end violence in a generation, but it is important to have these sorts of goals and targets to aspire to.  I was also delighted to bump into and reconnect with the newly appointed inaugural Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner, Ms Michaela Cronin, who in the mix of her strong career history in the social services sector was formerly the CEO of Mackillop Family Services, a Member Organisation of FRSA.

We are a hive of activity here at FRSA as we prepare to welcome our members to Canberra for our first Strategic Leadership Forum since before COVID.  If you are a Member and haven’t registered yet – it is not too late.  In addition, we have the FRSA AGM being held on Wednesday 23 November during which we will announce the results of the 2022 FRSA Board Election process.  That is closing tomorrow.  So, for any FRSA full members who have not voted yet – you still have time.

Preparations for the FRSA National Conference 2023 are well underway and our call for abstracts will open next week. If you haven’t subscribed to FRSA’s Conference email updates, click here to sign up.

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