Wednesday 7 October 2020

Dear *|FNAME|*,

This week we spoke about the State Government announcement that all Western Australian households will receive a $600 credit towards their next power bill, and the positive injection this will have in our economy. This is one announcement ahead of releasing the State Budget on Thursday 8 October.

Each year we provide an analysis across key areas of interest for the community sector in WA - what the impacts of the budget will be on people experiencing hardship and disadvantage, for community services and the broader context the sector operates in, and the intersectionality of the federal and state budgets, from a recovery perspective. If you haven't already, register to join the briefing from 2:30pm, Friday 9 October.

And finally, we were pleased to share that the WACOSS Conference and the Community Service Excellence Awards will be going ahead in February 2021 with the revised conference theme, Finding Ground: Building a better way back together. The Pitch category of the abstract callout has be reopened, and we are inviting re-submissions and new submissions for this category, until 5pm, Friday 23 October 2020, to ensure the inclusion of novel and innovative ideas that may have come from the entirely new circumstances we have navigated this year.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Jennie Gray
Acting Chief Executive Officer

COVID-19 Update #41

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. 

The State Government announced that a rent grant for tenants and landlords impacted by COVID-19 would continue through Phase 2. Read more about the Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme, for tenants experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

Federal Budget handed down last night

The Australian Council of Social Service has said that the Federal Budget "provides a glimmer of hope on jobs for young people, but comes is a crushing let-down for others without paid work". ACOSS's breakdown of the budget also said that it "misses key opportunities for job creation initiatives that would have delivered public good, particularly in female-dominated sectors, instead focusing on projects that will take longer to get off the ground". It has also failed to deliver a permanent and adequate increase to the JobSeeker rate. Read ACOSS' response to the budget and watch some community sector responses on the budget.

Last chance to register for our State Budget Briefing this Friday

Following the State Budget being released on Thursday 8 October, WACOSS will deliver our State Budget Briefing and what this year's budget means to the sector and the communities we work with. This year's budget will be crucial for economic and social recovery in WA. Join us, with Special guests, Michael Barnes, Under Treasurer, and Michael Andrews, Acting Executive Director of Strategic Policy and Evaluation. Register now for the webinar at 2:30pm, Friday 9 October.

Counsel Communications offering media workshops for sector

Counsel Communications is offering a series of workshops designed to enhance your skills and support your business outcomes.

  • Crisis and Issues management - 9:00am-1:30pm, Wednesday 21 October 
  • Generating Content - 9:00am-12:00noon, Thursday 22 October 
  • Media Performance Training - 1:00pm-4:00pm, Friday 23 October and Thursday 29 October 

To register, contact Simon Bailey on 0400 248 880 or [email protected]

WACOSS members receive a 10% discount on individual sessions and packages.

Community Services Sector Digital Inclusion Workshop

Join WACOSS and the WA Government’s digital inclusion project team at a workshop for the community service sector, to discuss the Government’s proposed approach for digital inclusion in WA. What does digital inclusion mean for the community sector, and the communities they work with? Register for the face-to-face workshop on Friday 16 October in West Perth. In preparation for the workshop read over the Digital Inclusion Consultation Draft and the Our Community Blueprint for Digital Inclusion in WA. There is also a Public Information session on 20 October for the general public.

Webinar: Quick fixes or here to stay? The COVID-19 overhaul of Australia’s social safety net

Register for the policy event, Quick fixes or here to stay? The COVID-19 overhaul of Australia's social safety net, from 12noon, Thursday 15 October. Chris Twomey, Leader of Policy and Research will represent WACOSS among a panel of experts, researchers, front-line service providers and policymakers, to take stock of how the Government's COVID-19 measures have reshaped its social policies; to analyse their effectiveness and long-term effects; the gendered nature of the policy responses, and to take a look at what Australia’s social safety net may look like in 2021 and beyond.

Congratulations to 40under40 award recipient, Kelda Oppermann

The annual Business News 40under40 has been awarded. Congratulations to Kelda Oppermann, Chief Executive, Zonta House, who was an award winner for 2020, for her experience and dedication to the community services sector. Read more.

Nominate now for the Consumer Protection Awards

Nominate yourself, or others whose achievements help communities understand and have better access to consumer protection in everyday situations. Nominations are open until 11.59pm Monday 30 November 2020.

Building Bridges recommendations for youth mental health

Building Bridges is a three-year research project, located on Whadjuk Nyoongar boodja (country) and an innovative initiative in partnership with Aboriginal Elders, Aboriginal young people, youth mental health services and policy and advocacy organisations in Perth, Western Australia. The project demonstrated the impact of the sector and the community working together, and the value of strengthening the voices of Aboriginal young people and their Elders in youth mental health service provision. Read some of the recommendations for the youth mental health sector.

30th Annual Silent March

Join the Women's Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services and their partners and supporters for the significant event this year, of the 30th Annual Silent March. The march honours and pays tribute to those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence, and will feature a performance by the Madjitil Moorna choir. Please register for the event.

YACWA mental health and AOD consultations

The Mental Health Commission has engaged YACWA to consult with young people aged 12 to 24 about current and future priorities for the mental health and AOD service sectors. There is a short timeline for consultation and reporting, and there are gaps and opportunities in the system in WA. The consultation period runs from Tuesday 29 September to Monday 12 October, and there a number of ways to get involved - either through one-on-one interviews, forums, an online survey, and via a consultation run by a service. All young people who participate in a forum or interview will be paid $35 per hour in vouchers to thank for their time. Read more.

FCAWA Conference - Redefining 2020

This year's Financial Counsellors' Association of WA Conference is themed as Redefining 2020, Forging new Pathways for our Sector and will be held at the Pan Pacific Hotel, 26-28 October 2020. It's an excellent opportunity to network face-to-face, and the program has a stellar line up from around the country, and delegates attending from across our State. You may have the opportunity to apply for Lotterywest assistance to attend this conference. To find out more contact Pam via [email protected]. Read more and register for the conference.

Child Wise October virtual classroom training calendar available

Do you work or volunteer with children and young people? Learn how to facilitate meaningful consultation with children and young people, and get up to speed with WA and national child safety requirements with Child Wise Virtual Classroom Training. Browse all upcoming virtual classroom training sessions on the Child Wise website, and view all training sessions for October.

9 OCT | State Budget Briefing
WACOSS - Online - $ free for members, $40 for non-members

11-17 OCT | Anti-Poverty Week
Anti-Poverty Week - Online - $ N/A

13 OCT | The Role of Support Groups in Trauma and Recovery
ConnectGroups - Online - $ free

15 OCT | Webinar: Quick fixes or here to stay? The COVID-19 overhaul of Australia's social safety net
Anglicare WA / UWA Public Policy Institute - Online - $ free

15 OCT | Translating research into policy
WA Social Research Network - Online - $ free

15 OCT | Young People, Health Equity and Social Enterprise Forum
Centre for Social Impact / YLab and others - Online - $ free

16 OCT | Community Services Sector Digital Inclusion Workshop
WACOSS / Office of Digital Government - West Perth - $ free

19 OCT | Workshop: Dealing with De-Escalation
Anglicare WA - Perth - $267

20 OCT | Digital Inclusion in WA: Public Information session
Office of Digital Government - Perth - $ free

21 OCT | Crisis and Issues Management Workshop
Counsel Communications - West Leederville - $750+GST 

21 OCT | Smart Justice: How we can reform a broken system
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Western Australia - Crawley - $ free

22 OCT | Generating Content Workshop
Counsel Communications - West Leederville - $450+GST 

22 OCT | Measuring Australia's digital divide: Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2020 launch
Centre for Social Impact and others - Online - $ free

23 OCT | Media Performance Training Workshop
Counsel Communications - West Leederville - $450 

23 OCT | WACOSS Annual General Meeting
WACOSS - North Perth - $ free

29 OCT | Media Performance Training Workshop
Counsel Communications - West Leederville - $450 

29-30 OCT | Power to the People 2020 Virtual Conference
Bank of Ideas - Online - $99

12 NOV | The role of technology for not-for-profits, in the context of COVID-19
Centre for Social Impact - Online - $ free

12 NOV | Spotlight on Sexual Violence in Western Australia
WCHNWA / Alambee Counselling / Desert Blue Connect - West Perth - $ free

25 NOV | 2020 Mental Health Awards
Western Australian Association for Mental Health - Perth - $ varies

26 NOV | Shelter WA 40th Anniversary Awards event
Shelter WA - Northbridge - $16.75 - $48.07

27 NOV | 30th Annual Silent Domestic Violence Memorial March
Women's Council for Domestic and Family Violence - Perth - $ free

The Parliamentary Budget Office released a report, JobSeeker Payment: Understanding economic and policy trends influencing Commonwealth expenditure, showing that in the lead up to the COVID-19 crisis, older women were increasingly recipients of JobSeeker - half of all people on the payment were aged 45 or older, and of those aged 60 and over, more than half were women. The Australian Council of Social Service put out a statement on the report last week
Mission Australia has launched the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Report: Youth Survey 2019, which highlights the views, experiences and aspirations of 25,126 young people across Australia, 1,578 of whom identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Homelessness Coordinator - Geraldton
The Salvation Army - applications closing 14 October

Aboriginal Health Outreach Officer (re-advertised)
St Patrick's - applications closing ASAP

Family Engagement Facilitator - Derby
World Vision - applications closing ASAP

Resources for people experiencing financial hardship

Many people may be feeling the effects of COVID-19 right now, and help is available from community service organisations, including financial counselling, food vouchers, assistance with bills, emergency accommodation, and referrals to other supports and services. To find these services, use WAConnect, a state-wide directory.

Feel free to share the resources, including:

If you're looking for assistance in sharing this info, here is an example post for Facebook.

Find Financial Hardship Resources on the WACOSS website.

Dream it Forward small grant applications open

ConnectGroups Support Groups WA is pleased to announce the next round of Dream it Forward small grants program, which focuses on social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families, and communities in WA. Apply for Dream it Forward funding for projects based on needs identified by community, for community, and delivered by community. Applications close Thursday 15 October.

Grant writing specialist, Ali Spiker Consulting

Do you need support to win a grant for your organisation? Capture the attention of your funders! Make a positive, lasting impression on your funding body and enhance your organisation's opportunities for success. For support in gaining funding to deliver a new project or continue/expand an existing project. Ali has more than 13 years' experience for the Australian and NT Governments, has worked in the private sector, and has sat on grant application assessment panels, and volunteered for NFP and clubs. Now privately consulting for all your grant writing needs, contact Ali on 0422 977 216 or [email protected], or online at

The West Live: McGowan Government’s $600 power bill credit to boost WA’s lower income earners

The West Australian, Monday 5 October 2020

West Australian households are set to receive a $600 credit towards their next power bill as part of the McGowan Government’s State Budget, to be released on Thursday. The Western Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Louise Giolitto will join The West Live this morning to discuss what the move will mean for lower-income earners. About 1.1 million households will receive the one-off credit from November 1 — just in time for the next power bill. Continue reading article and listen to interview.

Multiple home owners could cash in on energy credits

6PR Radio, Tuesday 6 October

This means for those who own a number of properties will receive the $600 credit for each of the properties for which they also hold the synergy account. For example those who are able to afford a home in Perth and a holiday house down south will get $1200 worth of energy credit. Leader of Policy and Research at the WA Council of Social Services Chris Twomey says he did not believe the measure was fair and suggested those who could afford to could donate their savings to families in need. Continue reading article.

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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