Wednesday 21 October 2020

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Last week was Anti-Poverty Week, and to coincide with the week the 100 Families WA project shared their latest Speaking from Experience video on Poverty and Finances. Renna and Keira, who are both part of the project's Community Advisory Group, speak from their heart with honesty and candidness about their experiences. I highly recommend giving their video a watch, listening to their stories, and sharing them with your friends and colleagues.

As part of World Food Day on Friday we shared a video about the development of the Food Relief Framework, filmed in Perth and Broome in late 2019, we hear from the voices of lived experience - what it means to be food insecure and how we can collaboratively carve out a future where everyone has access to healthy, nutritious and appropriate food.

And finally, I look forward to seeing many of you at our Annual General Meeting, this Friday 23 October at the North Perth Town Hall. At the meeting the results of the Board Election will be announced, we will hear from special guest Professor David Gilchrist who will present the latest Landscape Report 2020 for NFPs in WA, and I will present our 2021-2023 Strategic Plan - our bold vision to challenge belief structures and cultural norms, and build community empathy, in order to drive change and overcome entrenched poverty, inequity and exclusion. 

Yours sincerely,

Louise Giolitto
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 Australian Government has announced strengthened digital and telehealth support services for mental health during COVID-19. These have been added to our Community Services COVID-19 resources page and can be found on the Australian Government website.

ERO win in the Federal Budget, but more work to be done

The Federal Budget handed down on Tuesday 6 October included a commitment to providing an additional $132.6 million over a three-year period, commencing in July 2021, for a range of programs. This is to replace ERO/SACS wage supplementation. The Department of Social Services has produced a fact sheet on the funding and the eligible programs.

Portfolio Budget Statements 2020-21 Budget Related Paper No. 1.12 stated (page 20) that “All DSS grants for frontline social services impacted by the cessation of the Social and Community Services Pay Equity Special Account will have their funding rebased from 1 July 2021 to ensure wage costs continue to be met.” We will be reviewing the term 'rebased' to understand if it means the ERO supplementation will be included in baseline funding moving forward.

Further, $87.3 million was allocated over three years from July 2021 to maintain funding for family law services funded under the Family and Relationship Services program, following the cessation of the SACS wage supplementation funding.

While these announcements seem positive in terms of funding continuity and sustainability of services, it will be important to see the levels of payments to be made, and exactly which contracts are funded. It appears that there was no extension of ERO funding for homelessness and housing, and this will remain an important area for ongoing advocacy in conjunction with other peaks and community service providers.

Has your organisation registered for WAConnect?

WAConnect is WA's whole-of-sector community services directory that collects data and valuable information about services, such as: opening hours, locations, and different types of emergency support for people doing it tough. During COVID-19, WAConnect has proved to be critical in collecting data, so that we can use this in the event of a future emergency situation. There are detailed instructions about how to register your service or organisation's WAConnect account.

Don't miss out on media and communications workshops for the sector by Counsel Communications

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

  • Generating Content - 9:00am-12:00noon, Thursday 22 October 
  • Media Performance Training - 1:00pm-4:00pm, Friday 23 October
  • Media Performance Training - 1:00pm-4:00pm, 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.

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.

Leadership WA - Aboriginal Leadership Scholarships available

Leadership WA is offering the Aboriginal Regional Leadership Development Scholarships for their 2021 Rising Leadership Program, proudly supported by Lotterywest and the Leadership WA Foundation. Ideal for mid-level professionals or emerging leaders, the Rising Leadership Program is a 6-month journey that fosters new thinking and perspectives on leadership.

Prevent. Support. Heal. Campaign at Parliament House

The campaign will gather at Parliament House on Tuesday 10 November, at 12noon to tell WA MPs that they need to properly fund our mental health system. Bring along a friend, and RSVP to register your attendance on the day.

Congratulations to HESTA Community Services Finalists

Congratulations to WACOSS member Ruah Community Services - their program Wongee Mia is a finalist in the HESTA Excellence Awards. Wongee Mia is an innovative pilot housing project designed to end the cycle of evictions and long-term homelessness disproportionately experienced by Aboriginal people. Congratulations also to Midlas, finalists in the same category for The Plenty Project, for providing emergency food relief to communities in need. Read about all of the finalists.

Change the World Digital Marketing Summit - 9 November

Change the World is a digital marketing summit for people making a difference. The conference is virtual and open to attendees from Australasia and beyond. Join the free event on 9 November and hear from eight speakers. This Hancock Creative event is designed to help as many good causes as possible and share education, tips, advice and training that can help you not just survive, but thrive, using digital media. Register here.

Shelter WA's 40th Anniversary Awards Event - 26 November

These Awards reflect collaboration, excellence, innovation, compassion and leadership in the social and affordable housing and homelessness sectors. Additional awards that reflect extraordinary achievements through COVID-19 have been incorporated into this year's event. Register to attend.

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

27 OCT | Tendering for community services training
Department of Finance - Online or Osborne Park - $ free

27 OCT | Julia Gillard in conversation, with Minister for Women's Interests Simone McGurk
Department of Communities - Online - $ free

28 OCT | Costing and pricing for community services training
Department of Finance - Perth - $ free

28 OCT | #TogetherWeRise - Jess & Nyadol in conversation with Brad Chilcott
White Ribbon Australia - Online - $ free

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

30 OCT | Kep Enderby Memorial Lecture: Racial Equality in the Time of Coronavirus
Australian Human Rights Commission - Online - $ Free

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

1-2 NOV | National Homelessness Conference 2020
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute - Online - $ varies between $50 and $250

9 NOV | Change the World Digital Marketing Summit
Hancock Creative - Online - $ Free, $59 to watch replayed conference

11 NOV | The role of technology for not-for-profits, in the context of COVID-19
Centre for Social Impact/Infoxchange - Online - $ Free

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 Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute has released a new report, Renting in the time of COVID-19: understanding the impacts, which shows that 40 per cent of tenant households surveyed indicated that after paying rent there was not enough money left over to pay for essentials, such as transport, bills, and food.
Foodbank Australia released their annual Foodbank Hunger Report, focused on the impact of COVID-19. The report found that of the 1/3 of Australians experiencing food insecurity in 2020, 28% had never experienced it before in their life, while in 2019 the 15% of Australians experiencing food insecurity were seeking food relief at least once a week, in 2020 this increased to 31%.

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.

Housing First Support Services Tender

The tender for the Housing First Support Services is now live on TendersWA. The HFSS forms the second integral part of the Housing First Homelessness Initiative that is aimed at implementing a housing first approach across the Perth metropolitan area, Rockingham/Mandurah, Bunbury and Geraldton. View the Tender.

Women’s grants program now open for applications

Grants of up to $10,000 are available for community organisations and local governments to implement projects that focus on the unique issues faced by Western Australian women. The funding is available through the Department of Communities to support projects that align with the vision, outcomes and actions detailed in 'Stronger Together: WA's Plan for Gender Equality' by addressing one or more of its priority areas, which include: Health and Wellbeing, Safety and Justice, Economic Independence and Leadership.

Dr Jennie Gray Talks Budget

RTRFM, Monday 12 October 2020

The Western Australian Council of Social Service has welcomed the focus on Aboriginal communities and well being in today’s State Budget, as well as keeping household bills manageable. “Today’s Budget makes clear that the difficult decisions made by the McGowan Government to keep Western Australians safe during this pandemic have also cushioned our state’s economy from the impacts seen in the rest of the country and around the world,” said Dr Jennie Gray, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Western Australian Council of Social Service. Listen to interview.

Households are winners, at least for now

ABC Perth Online Thursday 8 October

Households are expected to be $663 better off this year, mainly thanks to a one-off $600 electricity bill rebate and a freeze in household fees and charges. But the freeze is not destined to last, with increases in power prices of 2.25 per cent forecast each year over the next four years. Jennie Gray from the WA Council of Social Service said she was worried about the impact of future increases on struggling households. "We're absolutely concerned about any increase in tariffs after the freeze ends," Dr Gray said. Read full 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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