Building a Victoria without poverty: Strengthen the community sector through fairer funding

16 April 2015  |  

Community sector organisations face growing demand from Victorians with increasingly complex needs. The sector needs a sustainable and appropriately indexed funding base to meet these challenges, and funding to meet mandated increases in wage and superannuation entitlements for employees. Victoria must strengthen the community sector to help people thrive.  A strong community sector helps people overcome disadvantage and become part of strong, cohesive, self-reliant communities. A strong community sector is able to deliver a wide range of services and programs and advocate for policies that ... Read More

By under Budget
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VCOSS snapshot: Youth unemployment in Victoria and Melbourne’s north

13 April 2015  |  

On 13 April 2015, VCOSS CEO, Emma King, sat down with ABC 774 Melbourne's Jon Faine to explore youth unemployment in Victoria and taking a particular focus on the northern metropolitan region of Melbourne. If you missed it you can catch up on the The Conversation Hour online. VCOSS prepared the following snapshot of youth unemployment in northern metropolitan Melbourne. It is clear that Victoria today is facing a jobs crisis. Youth unemployment is at its highest level since the 1990s and Victoria’s underemployment rate is the highest it has been in more than 40 years. Youth unemployment ... Read More

By under Education, Education, Uncategorized, Workforce participation, Young people
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Building a Victoria without poverty: Help the community sector to prepare and plan for emergencies

13 April 2015  |  

The state government can increase vulnerable people’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from disaster and emergency events by supporting emergency planning in the community sector that builds disaster preparedness and resilience, both within community organisations, and in the broader community. Experience and research tells us that disasters are profoundly discriminatory in where they strike, and the way they affect people. For people who are already facing disadvantage, they can be overwhelming. It is estimated that around half of all community sector organisations would be ... Read More

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Building a Victoria without poverty: Make communities safer by addressing the causes of crime

8 April 2015  |  

It is time for Victoria to pursue a new approach to reducing crime in the community that addresses the reasons people offend and slows the rapidly increasing spending on prisons. VCOSS’ State Budget Submission 2015-16 Building a Victoria without poverty calls for the adoption of justice reinvestment strategies that redirect funding from policies that increase the prison population towards community initiatives that target the causes of crime. Governments have tried the ‘tough on crime’ approach. The Victorian prison population has grown more than 40 per cent over the last five years.[1] But ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Justice
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Building a Victoria without poverty: Tackling unemployment

1 April 2015  |  

Victoria’s unemployment and youth unemployment rates are at their highest levels in decades. In late 2014 the State’s unemployment rate hit 6.8 per cent, the highest it has reached  since 2001 The average monthly youth unemployment rate for 2014 was 14.6 per cent, a level which we have not seen in Victoria since the 1990s. On coming into office the Andrews Labor Government committed to creating 100,000 full-time jobs for unemployed Victorians over the next two years. Back to Work Bill The Government has made some progress on this commitment including the Back to Work Bill passing through ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Budget
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Expanding the Victorian Drug Court model

31 March 2015  |  

The VCOSS State Budget Submission 2015-16 Building a Victoria without poverty recommends the state government build on the success of the Victorian Drug Court model by rolling it out to every Magistrate’s Court jurisdiction in Victoria. This call is timely, with the KPMG Evaluation of the Drug Court of Victoria (DCV) launched in March 2015. The evaluation confirms the success of the Drug Court in working effectively with individuals with severe drug and alcohol dependency to both improve community safety and reduce crime. The Victorian Drug Court initiative is a response to the failure of ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Budget
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Service gaps in transition to middle years still a problem

20 March 2015  |  

An Auditor General report released today on Education Transitions found that while the Department of Education and Training (DET) has improved transitions from early childhood to primary school, it does not have a comparable strategy for the primary to secondary school transition. The Auditor General found that while there are many examples of good practice for transitioning students from primary to secondary school, practice is inconsistent, there is limited transferring of student information and a lack of support and guidance to schools. Transition from early years to primary school A ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Children and families, Education, Education, Young people

Strategy needed for growing number of Aboriginal children in care

17 March 2015  |  

In February, the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, Andrew Jackomos wrote an open letter to the Victorian community about the shocking increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care, and the findings so far of the Taskforce 1000 project. Taskforce 1000 is focused on critically examining the experiences of Aboriginal children in care, in order to improve outcomes. Some extracts from his letter include: "I distribute this letter to you in response to the rapidly increasing number of Victorian Aboriginal babies and children being removed from ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Children, Children and families, Family violence, Young People and Families