Welcome to 2024

Welcome to 2024!

As a kid – I always relished in the ‘getting ready for school’ ritual.  The buying of the books and stationery, collecting magazines to cut out the ‘topic relevant’ pictures for the covering and labelling books – everything in order, everything in its place.  I must confess I am still the one that loves to hover around behind my kids as they scour the aisles of Big W or Officeworks for their school stuff.  Although if I ever had the sort of stuff Officeworks has in its fancy smancy, super, super organised aisle – I would have been totally beside myself!  It’s definitely at a totally different level these days.

Although it seems we can afford ourselves less and less time to do so, the first week or so back into the New Year certainly does give us a chance to get things in order for the year ahead.  I have had that luxury and feel set to go – it will be a big year again this year – and I will start by thanking my Board, my staff, our members and stakeholders for coming on the journey of discovery and assertion with us!  The Family and Relationship Services sector is under the microscope on a range of fronts and our advocacy needs to be strong and resolute.  Thankfully we are ‘at the table’ but there is a lot of work to be done.

That said, I know that the start of the year – and including the end of 2023 – has been far from smooth sailing.  The weather has been unpredictable and downright life threatening in some parts of Australia and our thoughts are with the services as they work tirelessly to support their staff and community through these times.

As we have been preparing our input to the Federal Government’s pre-Budget process I am also really conscious that we are hearing from members that many more people are struggling financially and we are seeing more and more of these people presenting to our services – coming through different doors.  I encourage you to keep these life experiences coming through to me – they feed the fire that drives us to advocate for much needed change when it comes to addressing poverty and hardship in this country.

We have taken the liberty in this edition of the e-bulletin to highlight significant works completed at the end of last year and highlight some key events and processes coming up in 2024.  Conference registrations are open (we are in Melbourne this year) and I am delighted to see the regos flowing in – May is great timing to be showcasing the work of the sector – I hope to see you there!

I also wanted to let you know about a unique job opportunity we have going at FRSA – that can be filled from anywhere in Australia.  If you have been or are involved in the Communities of Practice we have been running – you would be well aware of the great role that our Project Officer, Sandra Rabjohns has been doing.  Regrettably – at the end of last year she decided to take up an opportunity to return to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.  So, that means we are hiring! This is a short term appointment (we only have funding through until the end of June this year) but if you know of someone who would be fantastic at driving and running ‘communities of practice’ in the FRS sector, who is passionate, enthusiastic and looking to expand their skillset with the strength and nurturing of a peak based national office (with great staff and supports) – then I would love to hear from you.  I am open to exploring secondment arrangements which means that if you want to offer a staff member a new and unique opportunity or if you want an opportunity to do something a bit different – they don’t/you don’t need to give up their current position.  But – it does mean that you/your employer would need to be open to ‘releasing’ you for a period of time.  Or – you could be working part-time at the moment and want to step up to full-time work and try something a little different – I would love to hear from you too.  You can find the PD in the Jobs section below.  If it is not for you but you know of someone – please pass it on.

Thanks to you for reading the e-bulletin.  We are up to 1530+ subscribers and we value this great opportunity to connect with people out there in the network.  I know it does take time out of your day but I do hope the FRSA lens we present to you in the e-bulletin is a value add to your work.

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