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

Sharing power to achieve shared responsibility

16 March 2015  |  

Sharing power is imperative to achieving shared responsibility in emergency management, an important new report suggests. Based on interactive research on the aftermath of Victoria’s February 2009 bushfires, the report provides valuable insights into the struggles, politics and issues experienced by local governments, community sector organisations, and community recovery committees following a major disaster.  It also highlights the successes and opportunities provided through the recovery process. Compiled by Daryl Taylor and Helen Goodman, Place-based and community-led specific disaster ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Community sector, Emergency management
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International Women’s Day: Gender inequality, are we progressing?

10 March 2015  |  

Forty years since women earned the right to equal pay for equal work, it is a poor reflection on Australia that as International Women’s Day was marked around the world this week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported the gender pay gap in this country had reached a 20-year high. Men now earn almost $300 more per week than women based on the average weekly earnings for full-time workers. PwC also announced Australia has dropped six places in its annual index ranking female economic empowerment, to 15th. This was the largest drop out of the 27 OECD countries measured. A result of ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Equal Pay, Family violence, Pay Equity, Women
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Frontline in emergencies

On The Frontline In Emergencies: a practical guide for communities and community services organisations

10 March 2015  |  

Community service organisations are often on the frontline in emergencies. Whether it is providing emergency relief and shelter or longer-term support, they are often the ones the community first turn to for help. A new guide, prepared by Berry Street, aims to help the community and community service organisations respond effectively to emergencies through each phase of emergency management: planning, response, relief and recovery. In a clear and concise way, On The Frontline In Emergencies: a practical guide for communities and community services organisations outlines what to expect, ... Read More

By under Emergency management
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The cost of youth homelessness in Australia

6 March 2015  |  

In this guest blog, Dr Monica Thielking, Research Fellow at Swinburne University, takes us through the recently released report, The Costs of Youth Homelessness in Australia: Snapshot Report 1: The Australian Youth Homelessness Experience. This ground-breaking study into the experience of young people in Australia who are homeless offers some profound insights about how young people end up in homelessness. Too many young Australians are without any form of safe and secure accommodation. Homelessness is one of the most severe and frightening forms of disadvantage and isolation that a person ... Read More

By under Homelessness, Housing

Changing perceptions around smoking care

4 March 2015  |  

Smoking rates are higher than the average among people who are already facing social and economic disadvantage – more than twice as high for people with a mental illness and single parents, more than three times as high for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and with more than 77 per cent of people who are homeless also being smokers. The community sector has an important role to play in reducing smoking rates among disadvantaged Victorians. In this guest blog Carla Seymour from Hanover describes how they have worked with Quit Victoria to support people accessing their services to ... Read More

By under Health and wellbeing
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Not as simple as it sounds: The Welfare Review in pictures

26 February 2015  |  

The Welfare Review Report released yesterday outlines the biggest reform to Australia's social security system proposed in decades. In this post, Peter Davidson - social security, employment and tax policy expert, and senior advisor at ACOSS - outlines what the changes mean and where the gaps will lie. This piece was originally published on his blog: Need to Know. You can follow Peter on Twitter: @pagdavidson. (more…) ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Budget, Welfare

Family violence royal commission a unique opportunity for change

23 February 2015  |  

Today’s commencement of the Royal Commission into Family Violence is the beginning of a process of investigation and discovery that will likely have profound implications for how we respond to this pervasive issue in Victorian society. It also presents a series of profound challenges for government, the courts, the police and the frontline services which support women and children to remain safe. In announcing the commencement of the Royal Commission, Premier Daniel Andrews, told media: “We have to get to the core of this, intervene early, prevent family violence and make sure that we protect ... Read More

By under Family violence