30 January 2019
WACOSS Sector eNews


Community Housing Study Survey enters Stage 2

The Department of Communities is undertaking a study to better understand the contribution of community housing providers in terms of a tenant, asset and financial outcomes.

It will provide information for the development of a State Housing Strategy.

Responses are confidential and analysis of the survey will focus on patterns and responses of the group not the individual.

The survey is for peak bodies, member-based networks and consumer groups to complete, by Wednesday 13 February 2019 and will take between 15-20 minutes to complete.

If you have any queries or experience any difficulties completing the survey, email for assistance.

Take the survey
More information on the Housing Study


  Sector Headlines   

WA Government to investigate underpayment of employees

The WA Government has announced an inquiry to investigate the underpayment of employees in WA will commence in February. The inquiry will collect evidence to determine if underpayment is occurring and if so, what impact it is having on employees and the wider community. The announcement by the State Government can be found here.
This is a timely reminder for all WA community service organisations to ensure their employment arrangements such as contracts of employment, superannuation, and policies and procedures are compliant with the relevant State and Federal legislation.

Have your say on the WA State Disability Plan

The WA Government is developing a 10-year State Disability Plan, to build an inclusive community that supports and empowers people with a disability. It aims to be community-driven and reflect aspirations of people with disability throughout WA. Register your details at to be kept informed and invited to participate in the Plan's development. The survey will remain open until Tuesday 12 February. There will be an ongoing opportunity to contribute to the Plan's development throughout 2019, including face-to-face consultation sessions and partner networks. 

Supporting Communities Forum - December meeting communication

The Supporting Communities Forum Secretariat have provided communication which provides an update on the work of the Forum to date after the most recent meeting on 10 December 2018.

Training Schedule for Tenancy Law FDV Amendments

Tenancy WA in conjunction with the Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services WA are providing training on the upcoming Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2018. This Bill, which will come into law in March-April 2019 (exact commencement date TBC) will provide significant new options to anyone experiencing family violence whilst party to a tenancy agreement. Alongside other changes, it allows tenants to remove themselves, or a perpetrator from a lease with appropriate documentation. Training is being rolled out over coming months.

My Health Record opt out ends tomorrow Thursday 31 January 2019

A My Health Record will be created for every Australian who does not opt-out before Thursday 31 January 2019. Workshops are being held in each state and territory to seek input from consumers as well as representatives from key community organisations and consumer peak bodies. Workshops are designed to assist My Health Record develop tailored education materials for consumers to help support them to receive information and use My Health Record effectively. These materials will then be used in communication and education activities. A range of workshops will be held in February in Perth.

Defibrillators and first aid training subsidised for NFPs

Thanks to Lotterywest, St John Heart Grant is offering 1,000 defibrillator packages - which includes the defibrillator unit, a lock box and necessary first aid training - at a reduced rate of $200 for not-for-profit WA sporting or community groups that are an incorporated association or have a similar accountability structure defined by the WA Department of Commerce.

Productivity Commission Report on Government Services

Last week the Productivity Commission released a report on Government Services, which details information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia. There are individual reports on the whole sector, including housing and homelessness, out of home care, justice, aged care, and disabilities.

New Chair to lead Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability in WA

Kerry Allan-Zinner has been appointed to lead the advisory council by the Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Disability Services. Kerry represents Western Australia on the National Independent Advisory Council on NDIA and is former Chair of the Cerebral Palsy Association of WA (now known as Ability Centre Australasia). Through her many years of advocacy and her own lived experience, as well as running her own disability awareness business, Kerry has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience of the disability sector. If you would like to arrange a meeting with Kerry or any of the members on the council, contact Peta Kenworthy, Executive Support Officer, on 9426 9269 or

Department of Communities Acting Director General announced

Michelle Andrews, Deputy Director General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, has been announced as Acting Director General of the Department of Communities from 2 February 2019 for three months. Michelle recently headed the secretariat for the recent Service Priority Review. Graham Searle, Director General will depart the role on 1 February 2019, and the three month appointment of Michelle will provide for the recruitment process of a Director General. 

Vote now in the Impact 25 awards

Vote now in the Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 awards. The awards recognise the most influential people as nominated and voted for by their peers, and are from a range of not-for-profit organisations, corporations, government, social enterprises or may simply be notable individuals. Nominate and vote for up to three individuals who you think deserve to be recognised for their positive impact on the community.

Voices for Change project at Ruah seeking participants

Ruah is looking for people who want to share their personal stories about the experience and impact of violence - in the media, at forums, and beyond. It's an opportunity for people to tell their stories, help others understand the impact of domestic violence, inform and educate, change attitudes, and inspire others to make a change. To become a Voice for Change, you will attend a free three-day course, run by experts who can support attendees. The project is funded by Our Watch.

Tenancy WA Conference

Join the housing and community sectors for a chance to learn more about the upcoming reform of the Residential Tenancy Act, how it will affect you, and what you can do to have your say in the community. The event is a professional development opportunity, with separate sessions for those working in the housing, community services and health sectors and even includes CPD approved sessions for lawyers. Discounts available for NFPs and heavily subsidised tickets for individual tenants.

Grandparent carers sought for Wanslea study

Wanslea are still looking for grandparent carers, to participate in their study to develop a better picture of grandparent mental and physical health, and the services that grandparents would like access to, to help make their carer role easier. Read the latest newsletter on the research project here.

2019 Lotterywest Grants Information Session

Are you planning a project or event that may require grant support? Looking for help so your group can deliver important work in the community? Or keen to find out a bit more information about Lotterywest and Healthway grants? Information sessions will be held throughout 2019, with the first session on Thursday 21 February 2019, at Lotterywest/Healthway, Level 2, 38 Station Street, Subiaco.

McCusker internships an opportunity for students and organisations

The McCusker Centre has collaborated with students and the broader UWA community, NFP and community sector, government and business sectors to make a difference in our local, national, and global communities. Since the commencement of the internship program in 2016, the McCusker Centre for Citizenship has partnered with over 250 not-for-profit, community and government organisations to place 540 student interns contributing over 57,000 hours of service within the community. Students contribute to a wide range of social benefits in the community, across the community services sector. Invitations for host organisations wishing to offer Summer or Semester One internships are now open. For more information, please contact Tennille Trevaskis at the McCusker Centre for Citizenship at: ph: 6488 4254

International Women's Day - High Tea Fundraiser

The Women's Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services is holding a fundraiser High Tea to celebrate International Women's Day on Friday 8 March 2019. Funds raised on the day will contribute to the Funds for Freedom project, which assists women and children making a fresh start after living in a violent relationship.

Dept of Communities consultation to reduce family & domestic violence

The Department of Communities has commenced State-wide consultation to inform development of a strategy to reduce family and domestic violence in the Western Australian community over the next 10 years. People can get involved and have a say through an online survey, by written responses to a consultation paper, sending a message to the Hon. Simone McGurk, and through face-to-face forums and workshops (dates and locations to be confirmed in early 2019). For further information please contact

Have your say to transform local government complaints management

Local government reform and the Local Government Act 1995 review has the potential to impact your community organisation. Local governments, like all public-sector organisations, have a responsibility to consider and respond to complaints. Growing public expectations and use of social media make effective complaints management even more important. Should local governments be required to adopt a Customer Service Charter? Should local government decisions be subject to independent review?

Give It Forward Grants are open to Self Help and Support Groups

ConnectGroups' Give it Forward (GIF) easy grants program is now open to WA Self Help and Support Groups, managed by ConnectGroups and supported by Lotterywest. The objective of the grants is to help Self Help and Support Groups to grow, increase their capacity to support others and remain robust and sustainable. Grants of up to $10,000 are available for your Support Group, within funding categories of capacity building and sustainability, marketing and promotion, information technology, or customised projects.

Child safety training in Perth

Do you work or volunteer with children and young people? Child Wise, a social enterprise of Save the Children that specialises in building the capacity of organisations to keep children and young people safe in their care, will be running child safety training workshops in Perth in 2019. Child Wise’s training programs are supported by practical, real-life examples of how to implement a best practice approach to child safety based on the National Child Safety Principles. Learn how to implement policies, procedures and practices that strengthen your organisation's capacity to provide a safe and empowering environment for children and young people.

Women Who Use Force in a Couple or Family Context

Women’s use of force is commonly described as a response to a primary aggressor’s violence (i.e. it is often an act of self-defence or defence of others, such as children, in response to a violent partner’s actions), though it may also take a number of other forms. Very little is known about this in the Australian context, so this study is aimed at gathering Australian evidence. This project is a partnership between Curtin University (led by Professor Donna Chung with A/Professor Robyn Martin, A/Professor Richard Norman, and Amy Warren) the University of Melbourne, and Baptcare, Victoria, and has been funded by the Department for Social Services. As part of this research, Curtin is undertaking a national workforce survey to help build an understanding of the workforce’s capacity to respond to women who use force, as well as identifying any required workforce and program adjustments to improve the sector’s ability to respond. We hope that this survey will provide evidence in the Australian context, and ultimately lead to improved responses to women who use force. Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has approved this study (HRE2018-0638). If you have any questions about the project or would like more information, please contact Amy Warren at, or Professor Donna Chung at

Pay It Forward Grants are open to Self Help and Support Groups

The Pay it Forward Plan (PIF), in partnership with the Mental Health Commission, is a ConnectGroups small grants program available to members. It is an early intervention and prevention mental health program. The objective of PIF is to empower and encourage Self Help and Support Groups (SHSG) to achieve positive mental health outcomes while promoting the Group's sustainability.

Sustainable Health Review (SHR) Update

The Final Report has been submitted to Government, for consideration early in 2019. The SHR Interim Report (in February 2018) received a lot of feedback, and the panel shifted focus to targeted consultation and engagement in the lead up to the Final Report. Consumer and carer engagement became a major focus, and the panel partnered with consumers to reach and engage Aboriginal people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, mental health consumers and carers, and youth. Strong themes in the feedback included the focus on clear and practical recommendations addressing critical matters for sustainability in the WA health system, to ensure implementation is staged and achievable. Information about the release of the report will be provided when it becomes available.

  Sector Training and Events

1 FEB | Members New Year Sector Breakfast
WACOSS - Kings Park  - Free
5 FEB | Countering Violent Extremism (multiple dates across WA)
AASW - Various  - Free
6 FEB | Funding & Contracting Advocacy Consultation
WACOSS and CEWA - West Perth  - Free
6 FEB | Local Governments and Family and Domestic Violence Prevention: What is your role? - free webinar
Injury Matters - Online  - Free
7 FEB | Strata Reform Briefing
ShelterWA - East Perth - Free
7 FEB | Good Governance Workshop - Karratha
WACOSS - Karratha - Free
7-8 FEB | Tailored Governance Support - Karratha
WACOSS - Karratha and Hedland  - Free
13 FEB | Good Governance Workshop - Hedland
WACOSS - Hedland - Free
13-14 FEB | Tailored Governance Support - Hedland
WACOSS - Karratha and Hedland  - Free
20 FEB | Whole-of-Sector Outcomes Framework Conversation
WACOSS - West Perth  - Free
21 FEB | Grants Information Session Lotterywest
Lotterywest - Subiaco  - Free
27 FEB | Reducing alcohol-related harm in your community - free webinar
Injury Matters - Online  - Free
6 MAR | Foundations in Governance Training - Geraldton
WACOSS - Geraldton  - Free
6 MAR | Advocacy Training - Geraldton
WACOSS - Geraldton  - Free
7 MAR | Outcomes Framework Conversation - Geraldton
WACOSS - Geraldton  - Free
7 MAR | Outcomes Measurement Training - Geraldton
WACOSS - Geraldton  - Free
8 MAR | International Women's Day - High Tea Fundraiser
Women's Council for Family and Domestic Violence Services - Perth  - $85
12 MAR | Protection and Prevention: WA Inaugural Forced Marriage Conference
Women's Council for Family and Domestic Violence Services - Doubleview  - $35
1-2 APR | Non Lethal Strangulation Prevention Training
Red Rose Foundation and Women's Council WA - Crawley  - $620
3 APR | Finance Essentials for Not-for-Profits - Hedland
WACOSS & Northwest Accountancy - Hedland  - $24
 4-5 APR | WA Tenancy Conference
Tenancy WA - Wembley - $30-$595
9 APR | Finance Essentials for Not-for-Profits - Karratha
WACOSS & Northwest Accountancy - Karratha  - $24
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  Job Opportunities

Manager, Wungening Moort Program
Wungening - Thursday 31 January 2019 
Richmond Wellbeing - Friday 1 February 2019  
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