Wednesday 26 August 2020

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Our weekly Community Sector Recovery Webinars, Wednesdays at 1pm, continue to be a hit among our sector and communities. Today's webinar will explore issues around energy hardship and climate change vulnerability. I know we can continue addressing these issues while supporting our state through the social and economic recovery from COVID-19. We continue to welcome sector and community feedback and input at these webinars. Register for the remaining two webinars about Justice Reinvestment and the Role of Social Enterprise.

Today is a National Day of Action to #RaiseTheRateForGood in support of JobSeeker remaining at a rate that does not send people into poverty. Before COVID-19 hit, people who were unemployed were living on just $40 a day. Now that COVID has impacted us all, there is just one job for every 12 applicants. Australia is a wealthy country, and it's simply not good enough that our support system for people looking for a job can entrench poverty and disadvantage. The Coronavirus Supplement has seen many on the lowest incomes finally be able to afford to pay overdue bills, buy fresh fruit and vegetables, and eat three meals per day. We must never settle for a social support system that does not keep people above the poverty line. Support the campaign - share on social media, tweet your local representative, and call your MP, and tell them to #RaiseTheRateForGood.

Finally, this Friday is Equal Pay Day. The community sector is currently in limbo, while we wait for the Federal Government to commit to extending funding that allows for equal remuneration of community sector workers. WA has the highest gender pay gap in Australia, at 22.9 per cent, compared with the national average of 14 per cent. We cannot afford to let equal pay for this sector slide. While so many continue to rely on support from the sector, services are at risk of being cut, or staff laid off. And in the middle of a pandemic, this will make the gender pay gap even worse. We have joined ACOSS and other Councils of Social Service in our national network in calling on the Federal Government to commit to fair funding for equal pay.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Giolitto
Chief Executive Officer

COVID-19 Update #38

Last week WACOSS sent an email reminding community service organisations, individuals, and our communities that we must remain vigilant, and to ensure we are all following Government advice and continuing COVID-19 hygiene practices, so that we are prepared, should an outbreak in WA occur.

A recent COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Operations Centre Bulletin details the postponement of Phase 5 of the WA COVID-19 Roadmap which is tentatively marked for Saturday 24 October, and the updated Presentation for Testing Directions, while the latest COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Operations Centre Bulletin from 25 August highlights new resources for the Aboriginal sector, a National COVID-19 Alcohol Campaign, and the development of a protocol for WA event organisers to follow to ensure public health and safety are prioritised. 

The WA Government Department of Training and Workforce have developed a series of free short courses in infection control, to help customer-facing businesses work safely and train staff in safe infection control practices. Read more about the COVID-19 Direct Care Skill Set.

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. 

Advocacy continues for greater investment in Care Economy

The pandemic exposed the critical role of frontline health and social services in caring for our community in our hour of need. This industry is the largest employer in WA, particularly for women, and is projected to grow faster than any other sector over the next five years, offering good jobs and careers for young workers. Care work has a crucial role to play in our social and economic recovery, and OECD modelling shows that investment in care is the most effective form of economic stimulus.

WACOSS continues to highlight the critical role of the Community Service Sector and the positive impact investment will have on health, wellbeing and the economy in all our senior policy and strategy meetings with central Government agencies and Ministers. Consulting closely with the sector we have developed priorities to build back better - read our State Recovery Plan and recommendations.

It is really pleasing to see WACOSS members getting behind our recovery recommendations, taking initiative and putting their hearts and own resources into initiatives to respond to this unprecedented crisis and ensure no-one is left behind.

Anglicare WA has prepared an excellent 2 page summary on Investing in the Care Economy.

Delivering Community Services in Partnership Working Group

The DCSP Working Group held their first meeting earlier this month. WACOSS, in collaboration with other peak bodies, have been advocating to establish a mechanism to engage across State Government, in order to improve the implementation of the DCSP policy. The Working Group is to engage both sectors in shared responsibility, to ensure effective implementation of the intent of the DCSP policy. Collectively we all recognise the need for a quality community service system that can sustainably meet the needs of Western Australians, and that effective implementation of the DCSP can help achieve our common objective. In the first meeting John Bouffler, Executive Director, Community Employers WA was appointed co-chair, and the group identified the need to develop a clear work plan and the need to develop a clear connection with the Supporting Communities Forum and Outcomes Framework. The Terms of Reference were reviewed and will be made available soon by the Department of Finance. The group recognised the need to expand the membership to include greater representation from regional WA and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, and are investigating additional members.

Participate in consultation on the WA Digital Inclusion Blueprint

Community organisations are invited to provide feedback on the draft WA Digital Inclusion Blueprint currently being developed by the Office of Digital Government, Western Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet. The Blueprint progresses the Government’s commitment to improving digital inclusion in Western Australia, empowering all members of the community to confidently and safely enjoy the benefits of digital technology in everyday life. Access the draft Blueprint and information about how to provide feedback, and complete the online survey or return a printed version of the survey. Survey responses are required by Friday 18 September 2020.

The Shopfront moves from Maylands to Bentley

The shopfront provides donations of food and goods, blankets, clothing, toiletries, and is a drop-in and referral centre. The Shopfront recently moved to a new location at 59 John Street, Bentley, just 140 metres from the Welshpool station. Download their brochure for more information.

Markyt Community Resilience Scorecard

The Community Resilience Scorecard was undertaken for the DLGSC with support from LG Professionals WA, to empower state and local government leaders with state-wide, local data to respond, recover and thrive. Data was collected between 5-8 July, and the final Community Resilience Scorecard Report released in early August, which can be read alongside the webinar launch video.

eConnect Space - new free service at State Library of WA

The State Library of Western Australia's new service, eConnect Space, can support members of the public to find information and services online, and offers public computers, free WiFi, access to interpreters, and a staff member on hand to help people navigate Government websites, create email addresses, or search and apply for jobs online; help with uploading/downloading, printing, or submitting online forms; and guide people through the setting up of online accounts such as MyGov. Read more about the eConnect Space and the services available to help people navigate the digital world.

Last week the 100 Families WA project released their latest research report, The Impact of COVID-19 on Families in Hardship in Western Australia, which presents the findings collected from a supplementary survey which investigated the social impact of COVID-19 on families experiencing hardship. Download the snapshot from the findings.

This release by the AIHW updates the online data visualisations for indicators under the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children and the National Standards of Out-of-Home-Care. It includes updated child protection indicators, along with a variety of other measures that focus on the safety and wellbeing of Australia's children.

The Youth Affairs Council of WA have released A Framework for Young People's Recovery from COVID-19 in Western Australia: Creating a new normal that can provide the State Government with guidance on how to address the immediate needs of young people and prevent long-term consequences from COVID-19.

The Human Rights Commission has released, Guidelines on the rights of people with disability in health and disability care during COVID-19, for health care workers and disability services and support workers assisting individuals with complex support needs, and may be a useful resource for people with a disability, their families, and their carers, to help them to understand their rights in a health care setting.

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

27 AUG | Strengthening and Adapting Organisations - Grants Webinar
Lotterywest - Online - $ Free

28 AUG | The Early Years: Investing in our Future
Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre - Online - $ Free, registrations essential

31 AUG | Unite2020 Reboot - Digital Marking and Social Media Impact
Hancock Creative - Online - $ Pay what you want

1 SEP | Costing and pricing for community services training
Department of Finance, Funding and Contracting Services - Perth - $ free

2 SEP | Community Sector Recovery Webinar Series: Opportunities for Justice Reinvestment
WACOSS, Social Reinvestment WA - Online - $ free

8 SEP | Forum 1: Revision of the National Comorbidity Guidelines
University of Sydeny Matilda Centre - Online - $ Free

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

10 SEP | Forum 2: Revision of the National Comorbidity Guidelines
University of Sydney Matilda Centre - Online - $ Free

15 SEP | Mental Health and AOD
WAAMH / Women's Council - West Perth - $150-$180

16-17 SEP | Reflective Supervision Workshop
Anglicare WA - Perth - $533

22 SEP | Tendering for Community Services
Department of Finance, Funding and Contracting Services - Osborne Park & Online - $ free

Program Manager - West Leederville
Kidsafe WA - applications closing Friday 28 August

Manager Special Projects - West Leederville
WACOSS - applications closing Sunday 6 September

Community Support Worker - LibraryConnect-Freo
St Patrick's - applications closing ASAP

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

Family Engagement Facilitator - Derby
World Vision - applications closing ASAP

Equipment available from Lotterywest

Lotterywest is donating office furniture to community organisations. If your organisation is interested, contact Emma Linklater via [email protected] or 08 9488 6277. The items are to be picked up around Monday 14 September from the Lotterywest office, 38 Station St, Subiaco.

Apply now for Volunteer Grants!

Volunteering WA, on behalf of the Australian Government, is offering Supplementary Volunteer Grants to Volunteer Involving Organisations across WA to help them support volunteers, with a particular focus on assisting organisations transition their volunteer programs back into operation following the disruption caused by COVID-19. Grants are available between $1,000 and $5,000. Apply by Sunday 20 September 11:59pm AEST.

Lotterywest launches Adapting Organisations grants

The first round of Strengthening and Adapting Organisations grant programs is now open. Grants will help NFP and local government authorities with three grant streams, including; enhancing organisational capability and governance; the development of innovative service models; and enhancing sector collaboration. Applications are welcomed until 5pm, Monday 21 September, and a second grant round will take place in February 2021. Attend a free webinar on 27 August to learn more.

Soft drinks cheaper than water, hygiene products unaffordable, inquiry into regional food pricing told

The West Australian, Wednesday 19 August 2020

WA is “lagging behind other States” in monitoring food prices in remote areas, while the country’s peak consumer watchdog has ruled out conducting audits of the enormous cost increases in regional Australia. Witnesses fronting an inquiry into food pricing and security revealed that in some regional areas water was more expensive than soft drinks, while hygiene products were completely unaffordable. Continue reading article.

In the second video in the Speaking from Experience series, Renna and Keira, members of the 100 Families WA project Community Advisory Group share their experiences about the impact the Coronavirus Supplement has had in their lives.

Join the Movement - Become a WACOSS Member 

COVID-19 has forced us to evolve in new and challenging ways, and as a sector we are faced with an extraordinary challenge. It's a challenge we cannot take on alone, and to effectively Build Back Better we need to ensure no one is left behind. Joining WACOSS is joining the growing movement of people and organisations who have an unwavering commitment to social justice. Help us to continue doing the important advocacy work that is needed. Become a member today.

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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