Wednesday 29 July 2020

Congratulations to all of the students from the Leadership Development Program who graduated with a Diploma of Leadership and Management this week. It has been a challenging and interesting year to be a leader, and we wish you all well on your leadership journey. The course was delivered by WACOSS partner, MODAL.  

Dear *|FNAME|*,

We were incredibly disappointed to learn that the Federal Government decided to cut the JobSeeker allowance by $300 a fortnight. Our unemployment figures are at the highest they have been for years, and there is currently one job for every 13 applicants. We need reassurance and long-term certainty that people won't be forced into poverty, simply because they are locked out of the job market. The cuts are misguided and cruel, and we will continue to fight to #RaiseTheRateForGood.

Our Community Sector Recovery Webinar Series was launched last week - our way to gather input and feedback on our plans and recommendations to State Government on building back a better Western Australia. Don't panic if you missed out, the series will run for 8 weeks every Wednesday at 1pm, and will cover a range of topics, so register for our next webinar via the link.

And this week we found out that Crown Casino in Perth will trial cashless payments at their gaming tables - a move that WACOSS is certainly not supportive of. I spoke on 6PR about the consequences that it could have on people who have a gambling addiction, and the importance of taking a break to think through their options.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Jennie Gray
Acting Chief Executive Officer

COVID-19 Update #35

Stay up-to-date on all COVID-19 health matters via the WA Government Coronavirus webpage. Community service organisations can visit the WACOSS Community Services COVID-19 resources page on the website for resources and information relevant to the sector. 

Federal ERO Supplementation Campaign Update from ACOSS

ACOSS and the COSS network are campaigning to ensure that the Federal Government continues to provide funding for equal pay when payments from the Social and Community Services Pay Equity Special Account are scheduled to stop in June 2021. The campaign has four elements to it:

  • Continue engagement with the Minister for Families and Social Services and DSS: ACOSS is in active dialogue with the Minister about this issue. ACOSS regularly meets with Department of Social Service officers and continues to raise this issue with them.
  • Shape the public debate on this issue (attracting media attention): The COSS Network has a big media push planned for Equal Pay Day (28 August 2020) where we intend to highlight in the media the consequences and impact of not renewing funding for equal pay.
  • Directly lobbying the PM, Treasurer, Finance Minister and other cabinet ministers: ACOSS and the COSSes have met with the Treasurer and a range of other cabinet ministers and advisers and raised funding for equal pay with them, and have jointly written to the Prime Minister. We will continue to raise this issue during our engagement with these ministers.
  • Highlighting the issue in our submission to the October budget: The Government has invited another round of submissions in the lead up to the October budget. ACOSS will be making a supplementary submission which includes a strong call for action on ERO.
  • Mobilise members to take action on this issue: This is where you come in! It is vitally important that organisations in local communities raise this issue with their local members in the lead up to the October Budget. We need to see a commitment on funding for equal pay in the October Budget so that organisations have certainty as they prepare their budgets for 2021. That’s why the next few weeks are crucial, and why it is important that you take action now. For information about the issue, a template letter and other information you can check out ACOSS’ briefing note here.  

For more information about the campaign, or to get involved, contact John Mikelsons, Senior Advisor (Community Services and Health), ACOSS, via [email protected].

WACOSS Community Sector Recovery Webinar Series

WACOSS is holding a series of webinars about key topics facing the community services sector in WA. The eight webinars will run weekly on Wednesdays at 1pm, and will be co-hosted with our partner organisations. We are inviting input and engagement from our members, and the broader community services sector, into our initial thinking about what an inclusive plan for recovery needs to look like for Western Australia in order to leave no one behind. One of the webinars includes the launch of the Food Stress Index, in Connecting to secure healthy food for all Western Australians: Food Stress Index – A world first, presented in partnership with Curtin University and the Public Health Advocacy Institute WA. Register for one or any number of the free webinars.

Join the Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Social Impact Festival

This year's Danjoo Koorliny Social Impact Festival hosted by the Centre for Social Impact at UWA is fast approaching! The main event will be the Virtual Danjoo Koorliny Social Impact Summit.

Led by Aboriginal Elders and leaders who are offering their wisdom and guidance, the Festival invites organisations to be a part of walking together towards 2029 (200 years of colonisation in Perth) and beyond.

Join the Festival Opening Week key events between 3-9 August, especially the Virtual Summit (organisation options available), or make use of the tailored Organisation Package. For all event details visit:

State Government's strategy to reduce FDV

The State Government has launched a 10-year strategy to reduce and respond to family and domestic violence, with a long-term vision for a WA where all people live free from violence. Read and download Path to Safety: Western Australia's Strategy to Reduce Family and Domestic Violence 2020-2030.

Need help with your Annual Report? Get 10% off from DropIN

DropIN Solutions is a WACOSS social enterprise focused on providing professional graphic design, web and IT solutions, and marketing services for community service organisations. If you're looking for a professionally designed Annual Report to highlight your work, then this is the time to contact the DropIN Solutions team. Until the end of August you can get a 10% discount on all projects related to the design of reports, publications, brochures, flyers and booklets. Email Jaime at [email protected] or call 08 6381 5300 and explore the possibilities, and look at their portfolio of previous Annual Report here

Have your say on the State Infrastructure Strategy

Infrastructure WA is currently in a period of consultation as part of its work on the State Infrastructure Strategy – the 20-year blueprint that will help to create a long-term approach to infrastructure planning and delivery in WA. Have your say on what your priorities are for long-term infrastructure in WA and find out why it's important.

New Free Youth Service at HQ in Leederville

Young people aged 12-25 can now access free services at the Y's iconic gig space, HQ in Leederville, and connect with qualified youth workers through a series of programs, events and drop-in facilities. Case workers will provide one-to-one tailored support, to help empower and build on a strengths based approach to help young people build up their support networks, tackle obstacles in their lives, and help them reach their goals.

HESTA Award nominations closing soon

Nominate someone now for the HESTA Excellence Awards, and recognise the exceptional achievements in a range of settings across aged care, allied health, community services and disability services. Nominations open until Sunday 2 August.

Changes to the way Consumer Protection administers Charities

In a recent announcement, there will be changes to the Charitable Collections Act 1946 (WA), to simplify the application and reporting requirements while removing duplication of compliance. In a memorandum of understanding between Consumer Protection and the Australian Charities and Nor-for-profits Commission, from the start of the 2020 financial year most WA charities that are registered with the ACNC no longer need to submit annual financial statements to both agencies, as the ACNC now shares that information and, if annual revenue is under $250,000, the accounts do not need to be audited or reviewed. To participate in this arrangement, eligible WA charities must provide their WA fundraising licence number when submitting their Annual Information Statement to the ACNC. Read more about these reforms, reporting exemptions, and financial reporting requirements.

Submission into the issue of food prices and food security in remote Indigenous communities

WACOSS made a submission, in collaboration with the Food Relief Planning Group, about the issue of food prices and food security in remote communities. The Inquiry will identify and report on factors that contribute to high prices and situations where prices are considered unreasonable, investigate whether there is price gouging in remote community stores, and should pay attention to the availability and pricing of fresh and healthy foods in remote community stores. Food is a human right, and everyone should have access to safe, nutritional food. This submission has built on existing research and reports - including the WA Food Relief Framework Report and the Food Stress Index, which predicts the likelihood of food stress by geographical location, and forms part of the recommendations to Governments to map and monitor the potential risk of food insecurity in remote communities.

Here is The Coalition of Peaks' Report on Engagements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to Inform a New National Agreement on Closing the Gap, ahead of a new agreement between ACCOs and Government expected to be signed this week.
Children and Young People with Disabilities last week released a major report, Not even remotely fair: Experiences of students with disability during COVID-19, which explores experiences of students with disability in relation to educational changes made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.

29 JUL | Connecting to secure healthy food for all Western Australians: Food Stress Index – A world first - Webinar
WACOSS, Public Health Advocacy Institute, Curtin University - Online - $ Free

29 JUL | Grants Information Session - Webinar
Lotterywest - Online - $ Free

30 JUL | Child safety risk management - Webinar
Child Wise - Online - $55

30 JUL | Digital Inclusion and COVID-19
Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance - Online - $ Free

31 JUL | White Ribbon Night 2020 – Rosie Batty in conversation with Brad Chilcott - Webinar
White Ribbon Australia - Online - $ Free

2-8 AUG | Homelessness Week events
Shelter WA

3 AUG | Homelessness Week 2020 – Official Launch
Shelter WA - Online and Face-to-Face - $ Free

3 AUG | Sector, community and government conversation on the impact of Covid-19 on homelessness
Shelter WA - Online and Face-to-Face - $ Free

4 AUG | Journey Mapping for Scenario Planning Workshop – Lived Experience
Shelter WA - Online and Face-to-Face - $ Free

3-9 AUG | Danjoo Koorliny - Social Impact Festival
Centre for Social Impact and UWA - Online and face-to-face - $ Varies

5 AUG | Community Sector Recovery Webinar Series: The care economy
WACOSS - Online - $ Free

5 AUG | First Nations International Solutions to housing and homelessness webinar
Shelter WA - Online - $ Free

5 AUG | Land Use Planning for Disaster Resilient Communities - Webinar
AIDR - Online - $ Free

6 AUG | Housing First – Policy into practice
Shelter WA - Online and Face-to-Face - $ Free

6 AUG | Improving women's financial literacy - Webinar
Economic Society of Australia - Online - $ Free

7 AUG | Homelessness Crisis in Midland - A Call to Action
Swan Rotary & City of Swan - Midland - $ Free

7 AUG | Virtual Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Social Impact Summit
Centre for Social Impact and UWA - Online - $ Varies

12 AUG | Community Sector Recovery Webinar Series: Social isolation and wellbeing
WACOSS - Online - $ Free

19 AUG | Community Sector Recovery Webinar Series: Regional place-based recovery and community wealth building
WACOSS, Linkwest - Online - $ Free

24-28 AUG | Youth Future (Virtual) Summit
Youth Futures - Online - $ Varies

26 AUG | Community Sector Recovery Webinar Series: Energy and conservation
WACOSS, Conservation Council of WA, Shelter WA - Online - $ Free

2 SEP | Community Sector Recovery Webinar Series: Opportunities for justice reinvestment
WACOSS, Social Reinvestment WA - Online - $ Free

2 SEP | Wild Butterfly - charity movie screening and Q&A with Minister Simone McGurk
Phoenix Support and Advocacy Service Inc. - Belmont Cinemas - $23 + booking fee

9 SEP | Community Sector Recovery Webinar Series: The role of social enterprise, impact investment and co-operative
WACOSS, Impact Investment Alliance of WA, WA Social Enterprise Council, Impact Seed - Online - $ Free

Disability Services Social Worker - Stirling
Key Assets - applications closing ASAP

Connected Beginning Programming Co-convenor - Derby
World Vision - applications closing ASAP

Family Engagement Facilitator - Derby
World Vision - applications closing ASAP

Homelessness Week 2020

It's estimated over 9,000 Western Australians experience homelessness every night, a third of which are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples. This number is expected to grow across the whole population, once the Coronavirus supplement ends, and the state's six month moratorium on evictions end. But there are many ways you can support Homelessness Week 2020, to create awareness, get involved, connect, and share with your peers and networks. Download resources and get involved.

Save Social Work Campaign 

Social Workers provide essential services to those most in need, playing a crucial role during in supporting those most vulnerable in our community during difficult times. It is expected by 2024, there will be a 29% growth in the need for Social Workers. However, the Australian Government released a discussion paper which states that Commonwealth subsidies for social work will drop from $10,821 to $1,100 and student contribution will rise from $6,684 to $14,500 per year. These changes will exacerbate already critical shortages of qualified Social Workers. Less Social Workers means less support for Australians doing it tough and in a post-COVID world we need more Social Workers. Save Social Work is urging the Federal Government not to increase fees for social work degrees because the impact could be disastrous. Access resources and sign the petition to Save Social Work.

Creating an Australia Where All Children Can Thrive 

In striving to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people in Australia, we need to put children at the forefront of our minds in everyday decisions. The Valuing Children Initiative has a simple ask: that Australia has a Minister for children, Valuing Children Campaign, Annual Child Wellbeing Data, Systems Change, and a Children’s Alliance, so that children have a voice, are listened to, feel safe, and can grow. Download resources and join the campaign. 

Lotterywest Grants - applications and EOI now open

The Lotterywest COVID-19 Relief Fund includes three grant programs:

The programs have been designed to provide support to eligible organisations to assist individuals experiencing hardship; communities wanting to reconnect; and organisations to become stronger for the future.

Prospective grant applicants should visit the Lotterywest website for further information and to consider how their proposal might fit with the criteria.

Concerns for South West homeless after JobSeeker cut

The West Australian, Thursday 23 July 2020

Social advocates are concerned decreasing the rate of the JobSeeker welfare payment will contribute to a rise in people experiencing homelessness and poverty. Continue reading article.

Addiction experts slam Crown’s gaming move

6PR Radio , Friday 24 July 2020

Crown has announced they’ll be changing the way they manage money around gambling, but addiction experts aren’t happy. Dr Jennie Grey from the WA Council of Social Service thinks the move will have far-reaching consequences. Listen to the interview.

Changes to JobSeeker

RTRFM, Monday 27 July 2020

WACOSS Senior Policy Officer, Graham Hansen, chats with Jeff Bullen about changes to JobSeeker. Listen to the interview.

Members can submit news and events for publication in each Sector News edition for free, and non-members for a nominal fee.

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Acknowledgement of Country

Ngala kaaditj Noongar Wadjuk moort keyen kaadak nidja boodja.

In the spirit of deepening relationship, we acknowledge Wadjuk Noongar people as the original custodians of the land on which our metro office sits. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Western Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to Elders both past and present.

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