VCOSS enews


VCOSS enews
VCOSS enews Issue #45
Wednesday 14 June 2017
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CEO Update

VCOSS was proud to join with more than 50 organisations last week to warn of likely damage from the Victorian Government’s latest changes to youth justice.

The open letter, coordinated by the Smart Justice For Young People coalition, predicted two Government Bills currently before the Victorian Parliament would “undermine the foundations of the youth justice system” and  were “likely to cause further harm to children and young people, and place them at risk of becoming chronic, long-term offenders”.

VCOSS believes there are smarter ways to combat crime and reoffending in Victoria, including a greater focus on rehabilitative and age-appropriate justice. As former Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls wrote in Insight, “doing justice differently is not Pollyanna stuff, it’s about using evidence, it’s about understanding what works.”

Last week we met with more than 25 members of the Education Equity Coalition to identify priority issues in the lead-up to the 2018 election year, and we responded to the Finkel Review into the future of the Australia’s electricity market.

VCOSS urges all political leaders to embrace the Finkel Report and move towards a new system that will both reduce runaway energy prices and deliver on Australia’s carbon reduction targets.

Best wishes,
Emma King




Don’t leave renters out in the cold image of two people

Don’t leave renters out in the cold

Thousands of Victorians are living in draughty, poorly insulated rental properties that are freezing in winter and cost a fortune in energy bills just to keep at a healthy temperature.

It’s unfair. And all that wasted energy is just adding to Victoria’s climate pollution.

The good news is that right now the government is reviewing tenancy laws, so we have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to fix the problem.

Can you send a message to your local MP calling for them to support minimum standards for health, safety and efficiency for rental homes? Click here to add your voice.

image of houses and blue sky

New challenges need new approaches

A more diverse, interconnected society means many familiar approaches to solving problems have become less effective, and demand and appetite for new solutions is on the rise, Tom Bentley says.

Victoria is in the grip of fundamental shifts and changes that challenge the fabric of our society. To emerge with strong solutions, we need to reshape our approach to complex social issues.

Tom Bentley is an internationally renowned policy advisor and writer on learning and innovation.

Read his new approaches Insight article in full, online


 Latest News and Resources

RecVic logo  

Celebrating grassroots reconciliation

During National Reconciliation Week, VCOSS attended the 2017 Community HART Awards presentation event at Koori Heritage Trust.

With 14 finalists over three categories celebrated on the day, it is great to see so many meaningful and ongoing partnerships and contributions happening at a local level across Victoria, as people are helping achieve reconciliation together.

Congratulations to everyone nominated, shortlisted and to the three winners:

  • Mullagh Wills Foundation: Reconciliation through Sport - “Journey to the G"  
  • The Sovereign Hill Museums Association/ Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation: Gnarrwirring Ngitj (‘Learning Together’) Festival    
  • Rural City of Wangaratta: Bullawah Cultural Trail Project.

Learn more about the winners and these awards at Reconciliation Victoria's website.

ACOSS logo

Free IT resources to assist you and your organisation

Last week ACOSS launched a brand new version of Improve IT, a website full of free resources for people working in not-for-profit organisations who want to make the most of the technology that is available to make their work better and easier.

Have a look at the website and see the enormous number of resources available to you.

You can also complete the new Digital Capability Quiz, which can help identify an organisation’s IT strengths and areas for improvement. After taking the quiz, users can then be shown the articles that most suit their needs.

Keep your heart homelessness image  

Rough sleeping bylaws - #keepyourheart

City of Melbourne Councillors will soon vote on whether Melbourne is to become a city that punishes people for being homeless, or a city that continues its humanitarian track record on homelessness and sound social policy.

The collective expert advice of over 50 agencies and community groups is that new laws will do nothing to solve homelessness, and will only make things worse for already very disadvantaged people, entrenching them in the justice system, and lumping them with fines they can’t pay.

We encourage you to check out Council to Homeless Person's 10 things Melbourne Council could do instead of homeless bans, and help us spread the word online leading up the vote using hashtag #keepyourheart.

Koori youth campaign image  


Talking to Koori youth about healthy relationships

On 22 May, Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service Victoria (FVPLS Victoria) launched a social media campaign for Victorian Aboriginal youth aged 13-21 years, as part of a primary prevention strategy to end family violence.

The campaign aims to promote healthy relationships to young people, enabling them to reflect on their own behaviours and to identify their own healthy and respectful relationships.

You can check it out at the FVPLS Victoria Facebook page. Young Aboriginal women aged 13-21 years can also enter the Deadly Duos competition for the chance to win a $1000 Visa gift card. Entries close Thursday 29 June 2017, with winners announced 4 July.


 Policy Updates

  VCOSS Blogs & Media  
bullet Point Ending abuse and neglect for people with disability
bullet Point Insights into social innovation
With economist and innovation leader, Dr Nicholas Gruen
bullet Point Government changes will undermine Victoria’s youth justice system
VCOSS Media Release
  VCOSS Submissions  
bullet Point Youth Justice Reform
VCOSS Submission to Victorian Parliament’s Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee

Awards and scholarships 

Premier's Sustainability Awards
The Awards, now in its 15th year, recognise and celebrate Victorians who are leading the way to a sustainable future - across 10 categories. Nominations close Wednesday 21 June.
Victorian Senior Of The Year Awards 
The Awards highlight the role of seniors who inspire others as mentors, educators, role models, leaders, or behind the scenes workers. Nominations close Friday 23 June.
Joan Kirner Young and Emerging Leaders program
The program will award scholarships to 25 young and emerging women leaders. Applications close Monday 3 July.
Women's Board Leadership Program
This program offers 100 scholarships to Victorian women to build their board capabilities through a range of options. Applications close Friday 21 July.
Victorian Homelessness Achievement Awards
Presented by Council to Homeless Persons, the awards celebrate the exceptional efforts of workers, consumers and organisations in ending homelessness. Nominations close Friday 4 August.

 Events and Training

  World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Seniors Rights Victoria/United Nations General Assembly
  Emergency Management Forum 2017: Partnering for emergency planning
  The Power of Association
Volunteering Victoria 2017 State Conference
  Not-for-profit Law Masterclass
  Role of financial counselling in improving well-being of older persons in primary care
Chronic Illness Alliance, RMIT, Financial Consumer Rights Council Vic
  13th Biennial National Rural Remote Social Work Conference
Australian Association of Social Workers
  Legal Education Seminar for Social Workers: Superannuation, Insurance and Disability Benefits
Australian Association of Social Workers
  Preventing and Responding to Abuse: Guidance for Victorian disability service providers
Disability Services Commissioner
  Victorian Homelessness Conference: Talking Solutions
Council to Homeless Persons
  Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 2017
Disability Advocacy Resource Centre
  7th International Carers Conference
Carers Australia
  9th Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium
Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association
  Australia in 2030: Creating the future we want - save the date!
ACOSS National Conference in partnership with VCOSS
  What Works in Therapy, presented by Scott Miller, PhD
Relationships Australia (Vic)

 Funding & Tender Opportunities

  Education theme: $100,000 grant 2017
  Community Safety Fund grants
Department of Justice and Regulation
  Changing Places funding round 2017 
Department of Health and Human Services

 Submission Deadlines

  Energy Payment Difficulties
Essential Services Commission    
  Aged Care Diversity Framework
Australian Government Department of Health    
  NDIS Code of Conduct
Department of Social Services
  Family violence protections in family law
House of Representative Social Policy Committee
  Rights in Specialist Disability Accommodation
Victorian Government 
  Future of disability services in Victoria
Department of Premier and Cabinet   
  Climate change impacts on housing and infrastructure 
Senate Environment Committee
  Transitioning regional economies
Productivity Commission

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