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WACOSS congratulates Julie Jones and Maxie Reason for winning the Highest Mark in Working in Human Service Organisations and Highest Mark in Social Policy in Practice respectively.
The prizes were presented by Stuart Reid, in behalf of WACOSS, at the Curtin University School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology Prize Giving Ceremony.
WACOSS is gathering information on skills shortages in the community sector. If you can get your feedback to WACOSS before the end of February, we can provide it to the Community Services, Health and Education Industry Training Council for feedback to the State Government for inclusion on the State Priority Occupations List (SPOL).
Are you aware of instances of unmet demand in relation to any of these (or other) community sector occupations?
- Refuge Worker
- Drug and Alcohol Counsellor
- Psychologist NEC
- Clinical Psychologist
- Counsellors, NEC
- Rehabilitation Counsellor
- Educational Psychologist
- Social Worker
- Aged and disabled carer – The feedback may include (Mental Health Worker/Peer worker) as the qualification in mental health is linked to this occupation
- Welfare Centre Manager
- Health and Welfare Services Managers
- Family and Marriage Counsellor
- Welfare Worker
- Community Worker
- Family Support Worker
- Residential Care Officer
- Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant
- Hostel Parent
What are the causes and pathways to addressing unmet demand for these occupations?
Are there any other, non-market related factors influencing future training? For example, impending legislation/licensing regulations or technological change. How are these issues causing disruption?
Do you consider the issues, if any, associated with this occupation to be – Short term (1-2yrs), medium term (3-5yrs), long term (5+yrs) or no issues.
Please email your responses to Stuart Reid at WACOSS email@example.com as soon as possible. Thanks. Your input will assist in Government decision-making around addressing sector training and recruitment needs.
DropIN Solutions recently designed the ME/CFS and Lyme Association of WA 2016-17 Annual Report. The ME/CFS and Lyme Association of WA is an organisation committed to see improved understanding of these illnesses, more research into its causes and treatment and better services and care for those affected. DropIN Solutions is a WACOSS’ social enterprise committed to helping community organisations achieve more through marketing and design.
DropIN Solutions recently designed The Spiers Centre 2016-17 Annual Report. The Spiers Centre is an organisation committed to making a positive difference to the lives of individuals, families and their communities in the northern suburbs. As a WACOSS member, The Spiers Centre received a 10% discount on the design job. DropIN Solutions is a WACOSS’ social enterprise committed to helping community organisations achieve more through marketing and design.
The eight years of pay increases in the community sector following the Equal Remuneration Order in 2012 are good news for workers, but the impact on sustainability of services is starting to be felt across the sector. A new report from the Curtin Not-for-profit Institute released today shows that 65% of programs run by organisations surveyed were negatively impacted by 10% or more with consequent threats to services and organisational sustainability. The report, commissioned by WACOSS in partnership with Community Employers WA and proudly supported by Lotterywest, found that 11 of the 19 organisations surveyed would be under financial stress as a result. Participants reported that they were ‘likely to reduce output, reduce quality, reduce quantity, stop providing services and/or fund the extra expense from existing assets’.
Responding to the report, WACOSS and CEWA confirmed that the potential impact is emerging as a major issue. WACOSS and CEWA support the report’s recommendations that Government agencies review current contracts with the NFP community sector to assess the likely effect of the ERO on sustainability of programs and service providers, and the potential for failure. WACOSS and CEWA also support the report’s specific recommendations providing practical guidance on assessment, including the use of an ‘indicators of sustainability tool’.
We recommend that the sustainability assessment should only be initiated by those agencies that are seeking to review their contracts on the basis of ERO-related risks to delivery of services. It is not something to be applied across the board to Government contracts with service providers.
WACOSS and CEWA also recommend that current Government budget planning include the identification of funding to ensure continuity of service delivery. The report’s authors were not able to extrapolate across the whole sector to come up with a total cost, however it is clear that there is a systemic issue which will require a significant budget allocation if Government agencies are to be able to respond and protect vulnerable programs and services. Clearly, this is a cost shift that cannot be borne by the sector.
WACOSS and CEWA wish to thank Professor David Gilchrist and Penny Knight for their work in producing this highly valuable and insightful report. We also wish to thank Lotterywest who provided the funding to make this research and report possible.
Copies of the report can be accessed here
A new resource has been launched today to support partnerships between local governments and Early Years Networks to achieve positive outcomes for children and families in Western Australia.
Early Years Networks are voluntary community groups committed to supporting children and their families.
“As the closest sphere of government to the community, local governments have an enormous potential to create a community that cares for and supports children in their early years and their families,” said WA Council of Social Service CEO Louise Giolitto.
The development of the resource was made possible by the WACOSS Connecting Early Years Network Support Project, working in partnership with the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC), the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) and Local Government Professionals.
According to Ms Giolitto, “bringing together Early Years Networks and local governments can improve access to support and services at the same time as encouraging community ownership and participation.”
“Early Years Networks provide a direction connection to community professionals and local families, making them well-placed to provide advice to local governments and informing policy, strategy and services.”
“By working collaboratively, ensuring decision making is informed and evidence-based, and capitalising on local libraries to drive early literacy development and learning, Early Years Networks and local government can work together to improve the wellbeing of children in our state.”
The Local Government & Early Years Networks: Working in Partnership Resource was launched today at the Boulevard Centre, Floreat, by Minister David Templeman.
Louise Giolitto, WACOSS CEO
Phone 9486 7966 or 0411 534 911
WACOSS congratulates our partners at the WA Housing Authority on being shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Practice in Collaboration Between Government and Non-Government Organisations category of the 2017 IPAA Awards.
The shortlisted project is the SHIP Assisted Rental Pathways Pilot in which WACOSS was a key partner, facilitating the co-design workshops which developed the service model for the project. WACOSS was assisted by Shelter WA in engaging a wide range of community sector organisations to be part of the planning and the project is now successfully placing waitlist applicants and ‘over-income tenants’ in private rental accommodation.
WACOSS will be formally calling for a Special General Meeting to be held on Wednesday, 30th August 2017 addressing changes to the WACOSS constitution.
Please save the date until the formal notice and relevant motions are issued prior to the meeting.
When the Equal Remuneration Order was made in 2012 it was an important recognition that the salaries in the community sector were too low and that this was related to gender bias. The increases in wages required to bring about greater equity were spread over eight years and the effects on services, program budgets and organisational sustainability are starting to bite.
This might not have been such a problem if all service funding was increased to take account of the required increases, but over the past few years many contracts have been let on the basis of sums fixed to previous allocations.
To find out the extent of the impact on services – and on the agencies providing those services – WACOSS partnered with Community Employers WA to commission research from the Curtin Not-for-profit Initiative. The report based on that research, funded by Lotterywest, will be released on Wednesday 7 June at City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi St West Perth from 2pm–3pm.
Please join us to hear from the report’s author Prof David Gilchrist, WACOSS and CEWA about the impact. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
The State Government’s Service Priority Review panel has identified three major themes, drawn from its Terms of Reference, that are shaping its work on the functions, culture and operations of the WA public sector.
The themes are:
- Customer-focused and outcomes-based service design and delivery
- Contemporary, adaptable and high performing workforce
- More efficient and effective systems and processes
A detailed breakdown of the three themes can be seen in the attached document.
WACOSS will be submitting a response to the Review panel on the identified themes. We would appreciate any comments you have on the themes or relevant case studies of successful collaboration and service re-design to be emailed to email@example.com by 12 June.
The Bringing Them Home Committee (WA) and Yokai: Healing Our Spirit have organised a major Concert to commemorate the Twentieth Anniversary of Sorry Day at the Astor Theatre at 7.30pm on Friday 26th May 2017. Sorry Day is an event which commemorates the anniversary of the handing down of the Bringing Them Home Report in the Commonwealth Parliament on 26th May 1997.
“Given the significance of the 20th Anniversary we have attracted a very special line-up with Archie Roach as the headline act, with support from local Aboriginal performers Gina Williams, Della-Rae Morrison, Candice Lorrae, Beni Bjah and the Madjitil Moorna Choir”, according to Jim Morrison, the Co-Convenor of the Bringing Them Home Committee (WA).
“Archie Roach is a multi-award winning Aboriginal singer/songwriter and Stolen Generations man who is best known for his advocacy for the Stolen Generations and for his song “Took the Children Away”, which has become the unofficial anthem for the Stolen Generations. We are therefore honoured and delighted that he has agreed to travel to Perth to join us”
“Gina Williams, Della-Rae Morrison, Candice Lorrae, Beni Bjah are also award winning singers and songwriters so this is going to be a very special night showcasing some of the best Aboriginal performers in this country. We are also delighted that production for the night is being coordinated by well-known Noongar performer and producer Phil Walley-Stack!
“This is a significant anniversary for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. This landmark report into the Stolen Generations highlighted the past practice of removing Aboriginal children from their families and the ongoing impact of those policies. Proceeds from the Concert will support the Yokai: Healing Our Spirit initiative, which provides cultural healing for the Stolen Generations and their families”
“Most of the performers at this Twentieth Anniversary Concert have family connections to the Stolen Generations and they will be joined by Stolen Generations survivors and their families and the reconciliation community to acknowledge this anniversary. Please come along and join us for what promises to be a memorable night!” Jim Morrison concluded.
If you would like to purchase tickets go to the Astor Theatre Perth website:
astortheatreperth.com or ring 1300 111 369
Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency are launching the second report in their Gender Equity series on March 2, which examines the gender pay gap in the Australian labour market.
The persistence of the gender pay gap in the Australian labour market is perplexing. The past decades have seen some major advances for women in the workforce and intentional policy initiatives that have targeted a reduction of the pay gap between men and women, yet the pay gap remains.
Gender Equity Insights 2017: Inside Australia’s Gender Pay Gap is the second report in the series and extends and strengthens the evidence base around gender pay gaps and how these have changed over time across Australian workplaces.
Special investigations are included to provide additional insights and to highlight potential policy targets for governments and the business sector. The role of gender segregation within organisations is assessed along with pay differences between men and women engaged in graduate programs and how these pay gaps differ at the top and bottom of the wage distribution. The report also looks at the balance of women in top-tier management positions and how this impacts on the gender pay gap over time.
The panel for the launch will include Andrew McMahon, Research and Analytics Executive Manager of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency; Diane Smith-Gander, Non-Executive Director of Wesfarmers; and Edgar Basto, Asset President, Iron Ore at BHP Billiton.
For more information on the event, click here.
The Western Australian Council of Social Service yesterday released a report on the state’s not-for-profit landscape, which demonstrated the charity sector is a significant driver of activity in the WA economy, employing 7% of the state’s workforce and generating $12.7 billion in annual revenue, with 59% of its income raised from its own sources. WA’s charities sector employs three times as many workers as agriculture, forestry and fishing put together, and just behind manufacturing at 7.4% and mining at 8%.
“We need to stop seeing our social services as a drain on the economy and the public purse. Investment by government in our sector is an investment in our State’s economic health,” said WACOSS CEO Louise Giolitto.
“The annual revenue of the sector is around $12.7 billion, with $6.7 billion put into annual employee expenses. With the sector’s wages typically spent locally, they make a significant contribution to the WA economy.”
“Our organisations may not have profit as their purpose, but the economic impact of the charity sector must now be acknowledged alongside its social benefits.”
“Looking to the future, health and community services is one of the strongest areas of employment growth. With an ageing population and the growth in disability services, the demand for skilled staff will continue to rise yet we do not have a plan to develop this future workforce.”
“The community services sector provides essential services across a wide cross-section of the population. Most Western Australian’s will have used services provided by charities at some point in their lives.”
“The programs and services provided by charities are not only essential to tackle the growing levels of inequality and disadvantage in our community; they are themselves one of the pillars of the WA economy.”
“In these difficult economic times, it has never been more important for government to invest in our community services. Not only to support those doing it tough, but as a boost to the economy itself.”
“With the community services sector currently severely underfunded and overstretched, just imagine the benefit it could provide to WA both socially and economically if provided a sufficient level of investment,” concluded Ms Giolitto.
The WA Not-for-profit Landscape 2017 report was researched and written by Penny Knight and Professor David Gilchrist from Curtin University’s Not-for-profit Initiative on behalf of WACOSS with funding from Lotterywest.
Copies of the full report and a summary compiled by WACOSS can be found at www.wacoss.org.au or at http://business.curtin.edu.au/schools-and-departments/accounting/our-research/not-for-profit-initiative/. Some hardcopies of the report are still available from WACOSS.