VCOSS enews

 

VCOSS enews

 
 

VCOSS enews Issue #49

Wednesday 9 August 2017

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CEO UpdatePhoto of Emma King smiling

Today has all been about power.

As power company barons met with politicians in Canberra, VCOSS was releasing Power Struggles: Everyday battles to stay connected, a new report exposing the daily struggles facing Australians on low-incomes. These are people who rarely show up in the official statistics about disconnections or hardship because they're making heartbreaking sacrifices to actually stay connected.

It's an often confronting read which reminds us that people sit at the center of Australia's so-called 'energy poverty' debate.

One of the people profiled in the report was Helen, who said:

"The way they keep putting the bills up is out of my control, and yes, I can get angry but I'm powerless."

We don't believe Helen should be powerless any longer. If the politicians and power bosses were serious about easing the burden of price hikes, they could empower Helen to find better energy deals. And they could give her increased powers to switch providers with minimal fuss. VCOSS will watch with interest what action comes from today's meeting.

A big thanks to all the organisations who made Power Struggles possible, whether they assisted with case studies, research, analysis or promotion: the Council of Single Mothers and their Children, Council on The Aging, cohealth, RMIT University, the Victorian Public tenants Association, Melbourne City Mission and the Yarra Energy Foundation. 

VCOSS takes pride in being able to amplify the voices of our member organisations and the communities they serve, and work in partnership to deliver a better Victoria. 

Best wishes,
Emma King
VCOSS CEO


 
 

 

 
 

 Featured

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We need a Victorian energy broker to take the power back

Runaway power prices are making life hard for Australian families. While our politicians argue about the reason prices are rising, people are shivering in winter, sweltering in summer and making grim sacrifices to pay their bills.

This situation is tragic, but there are levers the government can pull to lift the burden. For when it comes to power, Victorians have a lot of choice. About 30 companies are jostling for our business. But it’s a bit like walking around Costco: lots of options, brands you didn’t know existed—and all frightfully overwhelming.

But consumers shouldn’t be left to navigate this jungle alone. The Victorian Government should help people get cheaper power by introducing an independent Victorian Energy Broker.

Read more.

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Punished for being poor?

The facts are these: if you’re poor, live in regional Victoria or happen to be Aboriginal, then you’re much more likely to end up in the youth justice system than your richer, whiter or city-dwelling friends.

This isn’t a statement of class warfare, racism or division—it’s a hard truth based on raw data.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare recently released new snapshots of Victoria’s youth justice system. It gives us a small glimpse into the lives of 1,084 children and young people: kids locked in prisons, under community supervision, awaiting sentence and those who have already been through the court system.

The results are stark. Two thirds of those in Victoria’s youth justice system are from the two most disadvantaged categories.

Read more.

 
 

 

 
 

 Latest News and Resources

 

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Held back: The experiences of students with disabilities in Victorian schools 

A report by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission into the experience of students with disabilities in Victorian schools has found that there have been significant policy developments and action but more work is required to measure and ensure real change for students.

The report details the progress made by the Department of Education and Training on the Commission’s recommendations made in its groundbreaking 2012 research report Held back: the experiences of students with disabilities in Victorian schools. It draws on an analysis of information and engagement with the Department and other key stakeholders.

Read more here.
 

 

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Putting women at the centre: a policy forum

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand is holding its third gender policy forum, tackling the issues of the valuing of women's economic participation.

Women face poverty and disadvantage due primarily to the lack of acknowledgement of ‘women’s work’ in policy formation and the continuing dominance of economic analysis as the basis for policy, including social policy.

The forum will cover three main topics - Economic Rights and Social Policy, Housing as a Commodity, and the impacts of overwork on mental health.

Friday 22 September
9am to 5pm
@ Melbourne Town Hall


Book here.
 

 

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Australia 2030: National Conference program now online!

The 2017 ACOSS National Conference, in partnership with VCOSS, is being held in Melbourne on 24-25 October. 

The program is now available online, with sessions exploring shaping the future for regional, rural and remote communities; how to leverage partnerships and new coalitions for change and becoming a better advocate, plus many more!

Learn more and book your ticket online here.
 

 

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National emergency management conference coming in 2018

The Victorian Council of Social Service, Gender and Disaster Pod and Resilient Melbourne were successful in receiving National Disaster Resilient Grants Scheme grant funding to jointly convene a national emergency management conference in April 2018.

This conference will highlight successful approaches to building the resilience of people who may be disadvantaged or marginalised by bringing together research, policy and practice, and will help progress the aims of the emergency management sector to better understand and engage with diverse communities. 

Stay tuned for event information. 

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Delivering mission in a market based NDIS world

The NDIS, with its focus on large growth and commercial market based responses, represents one of the biggest changes to the way social services are structured, funded and delivered in Australia’s history, with profound implications for the not for profit sector.

There are significant opportunities, but also areas where the NDIS will change the way many not for profit organisations go about achieving their mission. Indeed the changes are so profound the continued existence of some organisations will be open for debate.

Join Joseph Connellan and Dale Renner at a lunchtime workshop for NFP Board and Executive.

Friday 15 September
12pm to 1.30pm
@ RMIT University


Book here.

 

koori kids shine at kindy little boy smiling

 
 
 

Call for 100,000 new homes during National Homelessness Week 

There's a number of ways you can get involved during National Homelessness Week (7 to 13 August).

The 100k Homes Campaign is about seeing real solutions to Australia’s biggest social and economic problem, the housing crisis. We want to see everyone in Australia able to afford a place to call home. You can add your voice to the call for change, and let the Treasurer know it’s time for a new direction in housing policy that puts people first. Sign the online petition here.

Currently, our state care system gives up on hundreds of young people when they turn 18. Within a year, many of them will end up homeless, living on the streets. The Home Stretch campaign advocates for young people in state care to have a place they call home and support until the age of 21.

Sign up to the campaign, help spread the message or share your story here

You can also visit the Homelessness Week website to see a range of events happening around Victoria.

 

koori kids shine at kindy little boy smiling

 
 
 

Easier online access to information for single mothers

Council of Single Mothers and their Children Vic have updated their website to provide single mothers and the service workers who support them with easy access to relevant information, accessible at the times they need it. 

The website houses a wealth of information and links on topics such as Government benefits, dealing with Centrelink, Family Court and Child Support Agency, parenting solo, housing, family violence, managing money, and work and study. 

Single mothers and workers can still call their support line Monday to Friday, 9.30am- 3pm on 03 9654 0622, or outside Melbourne on 1300 552 511

 

 

 

 
 

 

   
 

 Policy Updates

 

 

VCOSS Media and Policy

 
 

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Australians suffering under ‘horror’ power prices are being shut out
VCOSS Media Release

   
 

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Punished for being poor? Inside Victoria’s youth justice system
VCOSS Blog

   
 

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Ballooning rents leave Victorians out of pocket
VCOSS Media Release

   
 
 
 
   
       

 
 
 

Awards and scholarships 

Victorian Premier’s Volunteer Champions Awards
The awards celebrate and recognise the vital role that volunteers play in creating happier, healthier and well-connected communities in Victoria. 

hesta awards logo

Scholarship for NFP leaders to study at Stanford University, USA 
The Stanford Australia Foundation are offering two scholarships valued at $20,000 each to not-for-profit executives and leaders. Applications close Thursday 31 August at 5pm.
 

Not-for-Profit Grant Writing Scholarship
These webinars, by Strategic Grants, are designed to teach not-for-profit fundraisers and grant-writers the strategies for measuring social impact and writing a successful grant application. Applications close Monday 11 September at 5pm.
 

Postgraduate/Executive Education Scholarships
Melbourne Business School is offering two significant scholarships to students studying a Master of Business Administration. The SEMBA Class of 2003 Scholarship and the Harold Campbell-Pretty ScholarshipApplications close Saturday 30 September. .

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 Events and Training

14-18
AUG

 

Public Sector Week 2017
IPAA Victoria

23
AUG

 

Evidence-based policy in a post-truth environment
The Power to Persuade Symposium

25
AUG

 

The business of social work: Workshops for self employed social workers (including NDIS)
Australian Association of Social Workers

31
AUG

 

The value of data and its role in social policy
Future Social Service Institute

31
AUG

 

Personal budgets and their impact on users and workers 
Future Social Service Institute 

12
SEP

 

Preventing and Responding to Abuse: Guidance for disability service providers
Disability Services Commissioner

13
SEP

 

Victorian Homelessness Conference: Talking Solutions
Council to Homeless Persons

15
SEP

 

Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 2017
Disability Advocacy Resource Centre

19
SEP

 

Taking good practice in consumer directed care to the next level
ADMH Collaborative Panel

4
OCT

 

7th International Carers Conference
Carers Australia

11
OCT

 

9th Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium
Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association

24-25
OCT

 

Australia in 2030: Creating the future we want
ACOSS National Conference in partnership with VCOSS

15
NOV

 

What About Sexual Violence? Where to from here?
National Association of Services Against Sexual Violence Conference

1
DEC

 

What Works in Therapy, presented by Scott Miller, PhD
Relationships Australia (Vic)

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

 

 
 

 Funding Opportunities

14
AUG

 

Community Infrastructure and Cultural Precincts program
Victorian Multicultural Commission

23
AUG

 

Strong and Resilient Communities - Inclusive Communities Grants
Department of Social Services

23
AUG

 

Strong and Resilient Communities - Community Resilience Grants
Department of Social Services

30
AUG

 

Indigenous Family Violence Strategy Community Initiatives Fund
Department of Health and Human Services

15
SEP

 

Children's Facilities Capital Program 2017-18 Major Grants
Department of Education and Training

13
OCT

 

Changing Places funding round 2017 
Department of Health and Human Services

 
 

 

 
 

 Submission Deadlines

12
AUG

 

Disability Employment Services Reform 2018
Department of Social Services    

18
AUG

 

VEET Compliance and Enforcement Policy
Essential Services Committee

21
AUG

 

Assessing competition in superannuation
Productivity Commission    

25
AUG

 

Family Law Amendment
Australian Government Attorney-General's Department    

4
SEP

 

Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 
Australian Law Reform Commission 

22
SEP

 

Litigation funding
Victorian Law Reform Commission

31
OCT

 

Family Violence and Victims of Crime Legislation    
Victorian Law Reform Commission

 
 

 

 
 
 

HESTA awards nominate now click here

 
 

 

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