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Insight 12: Unemployment and disadvantage . . .

The VCOSS magazine Insight is the only publication of its kind in Australia.

Focused on finding ways to end poverty and disadvantage and making the clear case for change, it explores important themes and features research, ideas, analysis and commentary from leading thinkers and practitioners on social justice. Insight is published three times a year by VCOSS, with national editions in collaboration with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).

Each of VCOSS’ member organisations receive a free copy of Insight.

Subscribe or order additional copies. We also welcome advertising and sponsorship. Contact Publications Editor Kellee Nolan or phone 03 9235 1000.

Below are the latest Insight Issues published by VCOSS. You can also subscribe to the Insight Issues RSS feed.

Insight - On the fringes: Tale of two cities

Insight 10: On the Fringes – Tale of two cities

7 August 2014  |  

This issue of Insight examines the needs of communities on Melbourne’s outer fringe. From Melton to the Yarra Ranges, Whittlesea to Mornington, our fringe communities circling Melbourne need greater investment in services including transport, healthcare, jobs, housing, emergency management.

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Issue 8: Crime and Justice

25 June 2013  |  

In this edition

Editorial

Carolyn Atkins, Acting VCOSS CEO
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Myths, misinformation and missed opportunities

We should want to prevent crime, not just punish it. Hugh de Kretser says there is no excuse for the failure of governments to act on crime prevention when there is no shortage of evidence about what works.
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In Conversation
Q&A with Victoria’s Attorney General, the Hon. Robert Clark

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Statistics, crime and politics

After decades of advocacy, the Victorian Government has announced funding to establish a ‘crime statistics agency’. Emeritus Professor Arie Freiberg explains why such a body is so important to a system of justice and what it should do.
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Youth justice: getting the early years right

Victoria’s approach to juvenile justice has resulted in low rates of young people offending and in detention. However, says former Children’s Court Judge Paul Grant, it needs better court-based diversion, better bail support and more Koori Children’s Courts if it is to deliver real justice to young people.
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Tough on crime is not smart on crime

United States Judge Peggy Hora has seen the impact of ‘tough on crime’ policies in California, which not only breach the US constitution but fundamentals of justice and rehabilitation.
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Time to arrest rising Aboriginal prison rates

Thanks in large part to the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement, Victoria’s Aboriginal imprisonment rate remains lower than the national average. But, warns Professor Chris Cunneen, tougher penalties are having a disproportionate rate on Aboriginal Victorians and pushing up rates.
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Victoria’s Aboriginal Justice Agreements

Q&A with Andrew Jackomos, Director of the Koori Justice Unit.
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Disabling justice

Our prisons are packed with people with mental and cognitive impairments. Professor Eileen Baldry offers alaerming insights into how they are failed before and after they become enmeshed in the criminal justice system.
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Thinking outside: alternatives to remand for children

Children in remand are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community. Julie Boffa and Michael Livingstone outline the findings of a major new report by Jesuit Social Services on their experiences and the reforms needed to legislation, policy and practice.
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Hearing the voices of young people

Victoria’s Children and Young People’s Commissioner Bernie Geary OAM outlines the growing role of the Independent Visitor Program in providing independent ‘eyes and ears’ on the experience of young people in custody in the state.
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Justice reinvestment: the circuit breaker?

The term Justice Reinvestment was first coined only 10 years ago but has since shot to prominence in the US, UK and now Australia. Professor David Brown outlines the principles, practice and politics.
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The role of out-of-home care in criminal justice outcomes

Children and young people in out-of-home care have experienced profound trauma and face a lifetime of consequences. Che Stockley looks and where and how out-of-home care and schools can step in to break the nexus.
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New risks in family violence reforms

Victoria has led the way nationally on family violence reform but, warns Alison MacDonald, the momentum has stalled and is putting women and children at risk.
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An end to racial profiling in sight

In a landmark settlement, Victoria Police this year opened a public inquiry into stamping out racial profiling in police practices. Anthony Kelly outlines the case and its implications.
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Insight Issue 7

Issue 7: Sustainable sector – changes and challenges

17 September 2012  |  

In this edition

Editorial

2022: the future is here

The issue of sector sustainability has been on the agenda for some time. Former VCOSS CEO Cath Smith looks back on a decade of looking forward and finds the seeds of an exciting, if challenging, future.
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Sector reform: unfinished business

There’s been much attention on the establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) to strengthen accountability in the not-for-profit sector – and rightly so, argues ACOSS’s Tessa Boyd-Caine. But she says the sector also needs to look at some big questions beyond reporting requirements to fully explain its work.
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In Conversation

Q&A with the Hon. Mark Butler, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Minister for Social Inclusion, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform.
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Politics, policies, and changing times

When funding gets tight, it can be harder to bite the hand that feeds you. Former UK Social Exclusion Task Force director Naomi Eisenstadt talks about the risks for the community sector in tougher times – and ways to maintain influence and integrity.
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Demanding a just transition

The global financial crisis and political reform have unleashed a wave of changes to the way the community sector operates in the United Kingdom. It means tough times for services and those they serve, but – counsels Julia Unwin from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation – it is these moments that belong to civil society.
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Big Society: too big a price to pay?

In just two years, the dramatic ‘Big Society’ policy changes in the United Kingdom have redefined the role of the state. Centre for Policy Development Fellow Dr James Whelan looks at the impact on the community sector and the implications for Australia.
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Vox Pop

What are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the community sector over the next decade – from outside and from within.
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Risk ready: it’s time for innovation

Finding better ways to fund and deliver community services will demand a greater appetite for risk and innovation from both government and the community sector itself, says Professor Peter Shergold, Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney.
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Workforce: what’s the strategy?

The community services and health workforce is growing twice as fast as other industries in Australia and will generate one in four of all new jobs in the next few years, yet already it struggles to attract, retain and properly skill workers. Wallis Westbrook from Queensland’s Community Services Workforce Council looks at the challenges and opportunities ahead.
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How ‘place’ fares in place-based solutions

Governments are looking increasingly to place-based initiatives to address deep disadvantage. David Tennant from Goulburn Valley Family Care assesses how the Shepparton welfare reform trial in Victoria meets some key elements for success.
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Funding models: a realistic road ahead

Funding arrangements with government agencies are a constant and complex concern for the community sector. Myles McGregor-Lowndes and Amanda McBratney show how the Productivity Commission has shown the way to a better system that should not go on the backburner.
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Working together

The Queensland Community Services Futures Forum agreed in March 2011 to develop a ‘Green Paper’ on how the community sector could work better together in the face of significant state and national change. Its author Trevor Carlyon details the results.
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The Road Home: how we are travelling?

The White Paper on Homelessness was hailed as a breakthrough for Australia. What has it delivered and where should the road head? Nicole Lawder and Travis Gilbert from Homelessness Australia do the rating.
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Comparing costs through collaboration

A group of Victorian community sector organisations are breaking new ground in collaboration by sharing sensitive information on costs to find better ways to manage back-of-office functions. MacKillop Family Services Chief Executive Micaela Cronin outlines the process and promise.
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Sense of struggle, need for hope

In being true to mission, St Vincent de Paul Chief Executive Dr John Falzon argues that the community sector should expect much from government – and also from ourselves.
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Issue 6: Gimme shelter – housing affordability in Australia

3 March 2012  |  

In this edition

Click on the article title to launch the online reader.

Editorial

Turning the housing policy Titanic around: Cassandra Goldie (ACOSS) and Cath Smith (VCOSS).
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Low income + high rental is a poor equation

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie does the numbers on why $35 a day is not enough, for anyone.
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The politics of housing

Sarah Toohey from Australians for Affordable Housing on how and why we need to shift the agenda on housing.
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In Conversation

New Housing and Homelessness Minister Brendan O’Connor outlines some views and priorities in this Q&A, just weeks after his appointment.
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Spotlight on the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA)

Researchers Hellene Gronda and Lauren Costello look at how the NAHA was set up and how it’s worked.
Adrian Pisarski from National Shelter outlines the way ahead for a more effective NAHA.
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State of housing in Australia

We ask the heads of housing departments across Australia: what are the biggest challenges, what is your housing plan, what are your best initiatives?
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Door should close on First Home Owner Grant

Economist Saul Eslake demolishes the myths.
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Scrapping stamp duties for a land tax

Gavin Wood and Ian Winter do the modelling to show how stamp duty reform could introduce greater equity and efficiency to the market and cut land prices by up to 10 per cent.
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Investing in infrastructure

Caryn Kakas, from the Residential Development Council, outlines a new funding model for community infrastructure.
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Tale of two cities: supply and demand

How do we stop our outer urban areas becoming places of last resort? Simple, says Professor Michael Buxton.
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Housing bonds: back on the agenda

Housing economist Judy Yates explains how bonds could be the answer to funding affordable housing stocks in Australia.
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Shared equity: new models at work in WA

Tania Loosley-Smith outlines innovative policies being rolled out by the Western Australian Government.
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Fixing rent assistance

How and who Commonwealth Rent Assistance fails. Toby Archer from the Tenants Union of Victoria argues the case for change.
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The Road Home: how we are travelling?

The White Paper on Homelessness was hailed as a breakthrough for Australia. What has it delivered and where should the road head? Nicole Lawder and Travis Gilbert from Homelessness Australia do the rating.
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Generation Rental

Australian writer Benjamin Law never thought he’d see houses regularly on the market for a million dollars. Now it’s the going price for something with a yard, some stainless steel appliances, and no obvious traces of asbestos.
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Issue 5: Emergency management – Trauma and resilience

14 December 2011  |  

In this edition

Click on the article title to launch the online reader.

Editorial

Cath Smith, VCOSS CEO
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Aftershock: the ongoing impacts of disasters

Carolyn Atkins
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VCOSS vox pop

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Letter from Christchurch

Christine Hendry
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In conversation

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan
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A life with trauma

Ruth Wraith
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Wild fires

Jill Miller
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What works:

Festival for Healthy Living
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In the spotlight: Media and disasters

Denis Muller
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Resilience: The right ingredients

Penelope Hawe
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When emergency is everyday

Heather Holst
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Where philanthopy fits in a disaster

Jo Mason, Alexandra Gartmann
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The two of us

David Hall and Alison Dyson
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Fiction: What are the attributes of God?

Tom Cho
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Issue 4: Fair Share – The Tax Edition

10 September 2011  |  

A special national edition of Insight, published by VCOSS in collaboration with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).

In this edition

Click on the article title to launch the online reader.

Editorial

Cath Smith, VCOSS CEO
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Taxing issues

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie on why tax reform matters to the community sector, way beyond allowing sufficient revenue to be raised for programs and services.
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Tax reform: agenda 1 – Personal income tax

How the personal income tax system allows wealthier Australians to ‘choose’ to pay tax at a lower rate. ACOSS’ Peter Davidson explores the inequity in our tax rates.
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VCOSS vox pop

What’s the greatest social justice reform of the Australian tax and transfer system – and what’s the one that ‘got away’?
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In conversation: Julian Disney

Julian Disney, national chair of the Community Tax Forum, on priorities for tax reform and the tax debate.
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Tax matters

A scorecard and insights
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Sector in the sights

The community sector’s facing significant tax reform itself, explains Myles McGregor-Lowndes.
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Tax reform: agenda 2 – Housing

We have got our policy wires crossed with housing and tax in Australia, writes Sarah Toohey, from Australians for Affordable Housing.
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Crunch time for negative gearing

Saul Eslake from the Grattan Institute looks at the negative impact of negative gearing.
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Tax reform: agenda 3 – Superannuation

It’s time, writes Peter Davidson from ACOSS, that we expose superannuation tax treatment to the same tests of fairness and efficiency that we apply to other forms of ‘welfare’.
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Future funding

Simon O’Connor from the Australian Conservation Foundation explores new ways to boost investment to tackle major social and environmental challenges.
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Carbon costs

Cameron Rider looks at the potential impact of the carbon tax on low-income households and the not-for-profit sector.
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Give ’em a nudge

Mark Henley from UnitingCare Wesley looks at ‘sin taxes’ – innovative ways to help people live healthier lives or an unfair impost on the poor?
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Issue 3: Setting the Agenda

9 June 2011  |  

In this edition

Click on the article title to launch the online reader.

Editorial

Cath Smith, VCOSS CEO
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Back to the future?

Monash University’s Nick Economou rates the chances of a return in Victoria to Jeff Kennett-style free market radicalism.
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On the agenda

VCOSS’ Kate Colvin examines which doors may be opening and closing in social policy under the new Baillieu Government.
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VCOSS vox pop

‘How has the agenda changed in Victoria and what will you work towards now?’ How community leaders see the political landscape, six months into the new Government.
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In conversation

Mental Health, Women’s Affairs and Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge talks about her philosophies and priorities.
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Jeff’s agenda

Marilyn Webster and Carolyn Atkins look back on the impact of the Kennett Government, nearly 20 years after it was first elected.
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Harder Labor?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised to be there for the tough times. RMIT’s Kate Driscoll asks: for whom?
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All in the family

Support for families is now at the core of conservative welfare policy in Australia. VCOSS’ Llewellyn Reynders examines the shift.
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Contradictions of wealth

La Trobe University’s David Green explores what’s behind the growing gap in prosperity and wellbeing in Australia, and where we can look at different responses.
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Binding values

Renee Koonin reflects on a career in the community sector which began in apartheid South Africa.
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View from the UK

What is the Big Society and what does it mean for the community sector? Nick Ellison maps out the philosophy of the Conservative Government in the UK.
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Changing focus

A landmark report from the US reveals the different lenses through which Democrats and Republicans see and understand health disparities.
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Advocating for advocacy

Esther Abram reports on the Aid/Watch case and what it means for advocacy in the community sector.
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The two of us

Meet Faye Pattinson, commuter, and Garth Wilson from Travellers Aid Australia.
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