Smart Justice for Young People

Youth diversion: What Victoria needs

2 October 2014  |  

  Smart Justice for Young People launched a youth diversion video in April to highlight the value and importance of diversion for young people in the justice system. The following is an edited excerpt of a speech by Kate Colvin, Policy Manager at Jesuit Social Services, at the launch, which highlights issues facing vulnerable young people in the justice system that are important to consider in the lead-up to the November State Election. Victoria has an incredibly strong youth justice system. The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report on youth justice revealed significant ... Read More

By under Children and families, Justice, Justice, State Politics, Young people, Young People and Families
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Strategic and financial planning for community organisations

1 October 2014  |  

The roll-out of the NDIS, cuts to government spending on social services and recommissioning are just some of the current issues that Victorian community organisations must consider when planning for the future. At the latest bankmecu-VCOSS Finance Network workshop, dedicated to practical strategic planning, about 50 community sector representatives and financial planning experts discussed how to plan strategically in this changing environment. The Finance Network provides practical advice and information for community organisations to build their capabilities. The workshop was presented ... Read More

By under Community sector, Community sector strengthening, Sector Sustainability Newsletters, VCOSS Link
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Making Social Housing work

Help us make social housing work

30 September 2014  |  

Victoria’s lack of affordable housing is at crisis point. Only two per cent of rental homes in Melbourne are affordable for working single-parent families and none are affordable for a single person on the minimum wage or income support, according to one snapshot study. There is an estimated shortage of about 50,000 low-cost private rentals in Melbourne and there are high levels of forced evictions. Homelessness increased in Victoria by 20 per cent between 2006 and 2011, and about 22,000 Victorians are homeless on any given night. Social housing is an important alternative supply of housing ... Read More

By under Housing, Housing, State Politics
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Now more than ever, we need to work to close the gap in Aboriginal health

26 September 2014  |  

Despite living in a wealthy country with a 21st century health system , in Victoria today the Aboriginal child mortality rate is still higher than the non-Aboriginal rate, and Aboriginal life expectancy is still lower than for the rest of the community. Aboriginal people are also hospitalised at about twice the rate of non-Aboriginal people for respiratory disease and diabetes. These comparisons show that Aboriginal Victorians continue to experience poorer health outcomes than non-Aboriginal Victorians across a whole range of indicators. In the lead-up to the 2014 Victorian State Election, ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Indigenous
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The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army raises issues for the Victorian Election

24 September 2014  |  

In the lead up to the Victorian State Election we will explore the platforms and policies that will shape our state for the next four years.  Jason Davies-Kildea from The Salvation Army explains what they want to see on the agenda in the lead up to the poll. There are now just over two months until Victorians go to the polls to elect the party that they want to govern their state for the next four years.  In the area of social and community services, much has changed in Victoria since the last election with a number of reforms well underway and others clearly on the agenda.  In addition, the ... Read More

By under Advocacy, State Politics
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Cover the Costs

UK Children’s Commission on Poverty providing a voice for children

23 September 2014  |  

Too often children and young people’s voices are absent from debates about the impact of poverty.  In the UK, the Children’s Society has established the Children’s Commission on Poverty.  The aim of the Commission is to highlight children’s experiences of poverty to better understand the impact of poverty on their lives and to consider what more can be done to improve living standards. Fifteen young Commissioners will direct the work of the Commission over an 18-month period and will start reporting findings in 2015. Some of the work to date is available on the Commission’s website. The ... Read More

By under Budget, cost of living, Education, Education

What do Federal Budget proposals mean for vulnerable young people?

11 September 2014  |  

As the Federal Government continues to pursue its ‘earn or learn’ youth unemployment proposals, a forum in Melbourne has heard of the deep concerns this brings. About 120 people from across Victoria’s community and local government sector packed out the forum on the impacts of this year’s federal budget on young people. All were concerned about the loss of federal funding for programs that strengthen young people’s engagement in education and employment, and the proposed changes to Centrelink payments, which will leave people aged 18-30 without any income support for six months of each ... Read More

By under Budget, Young people

Time for energy retailers to respect customers in hardship

9 September 2014  |  

Spiralling energy costs are forcing more people into hardship and are consistently cited as one of the biggest cost imposts on households. Consumer Action’s Problems with Payment report presents the experience of real people finding it hard to pay their energy bills in. Claire Maries outlines the report’s findings and explains how retailers should do more to respect their customers’ needs. Australian energy bills have increased by 45 per cent in the last three years and a staggering 82 per cent in just seven years. If you’re not feeling the pinch yourself, you’re likely all too aware of the ... Read More

By under Energy and Water

Hazelwood mine fire added ‘insult to an already vulnerable community’

4 September 2014  |  

The Hazelwood Mine Fire Board of Inquiry has found that the Hazelwood mine fire ‘added further insult to the already vulnerable community’ of Morwell. The Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Report, tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, reported that Morwell is less prosperous and less healthy overall than the rest of Victoria, with median household incomes significantly lower than the Victorian average, and a much higher proportion of low income households than in Victoria at large. In addition, Morwell has an ageing population with a higher incidence of cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and the ... Read More

By under Emergency management

Raising Voices Against Violence for women with disabilities

3 September 2014  |  

Women with disabilities experience higher rates of violence against them than women in the general community, but are often too scared to report it. To help raise awareness of this and to help women with disabilities who have experienced violence to tell their stories, several organisations have joined together in the Voices Against Violence research project. Funded by the Legal Services Board and carried out by Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV), the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV), researchers listened to the experiences ... Read More

By under Disability, Family violence, Victorian state election, Women