VCOSS enews
VCOSS enews Issue #110
Thursday 13 February 2020
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CEO Message

"Reconciliation is hard work and a long and winding road...The State of Reconciliation in Australia report calls on all of us committed to just and respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians to continue the journey with renewed vigour, courage and commitment, and to honour the legacy and ongoing fight of Aboriginal civil rights activists in this country." Erin McKinnon (read the full post)

On 13 February 2008, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered a speech apologising to the Stolen Generations on behalf of the Australian Government.

Today, on the 12th anniversary of that momentous occasion, and one day following the release of the latest Closing the Gap report, it's painfully clear there is a long way to go on the journey of reconciliation and equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  

In Victoria, the Treaty Advancement Commission has completed its work and the First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria is now leading the journey to Treaties, with work including:

  • A framework for Treaty negotiations
  • The Treaty Authority
  • An Elders’ Voice within the Assembly.

Here at VCOSS we are conscious that we work, live and play on the lands of the Kulin Nation and that sovereignty has never been ceded.

We reaffirm our commitment to walking alongside First Nations people. We will continue to be guided by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and friends in our work towards reconciliation and a future defined by self-determination for all First Nations people.

Best wishes
Emma King


Latest News and Resources

State Trustees Australia Foundation has announced its Community Inclusion grant round is now open for four weeks, closing Friday 6 March.

In recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the Foundation, the round will distribute $250,000 to organisations encouraging social inclusion and participation for people with disability.

Preferences will be given to socially innovative projects, as well as to organisations based in rural and regional Victoria.

For further information visit the website, call 03 9667 2845 or send an email.

There’s a vast gap between the projected lifetime earnings of the average Australian man with kids, compared with the projected earnings of the average Australian woman with kids. The gap is about two million dollars.

In this Brotherhood Talk podcast, Grattan Institute’s budget policy director Danielle Wood looks at the main factors that contribute to women’s economic disadvantage. Brotherhood RPC and University of Melbourne economic sociologist, Dr Dina Bowman argues many of those factors have persisted over the decades. 

Listen online or through Apple/Google podcasts, Soundcloud or Spotify.

The Harvard Club of Australia is once again inviting not-for-profits to attend the 2020 Program for Non-Profit Leaders, which enables 50 community leaders every year to learn from a leading Harvard Business School Professor. 
In 2020, attendees will have the privilege of hearing from Professor Karim Lakhani who will unpack how digital innovation is transforming the business landscape and what NFPs can do to master these digital strategies in their own organisations.

This program is specifically designed for CEOs and senior leaders of charitable not-for-profit organisations or social enterprises. 

Thursday 23 -  Saturday 25 July 
RACV Healesville
$2,250 + GST per person. Details here.


Social Ventures Australia (SVA) has recently launched Review; a free online toolkit for organisations that deliver community-led employment programs. Review includes surveys and tools that are designed to make it easier for organisations to design and deliver effective programs, to collect feedback from young people and make data-driven improvements to their programs over time.

Download the Review Toolkit.

You can also work alongside SVA to implement the tools and provide support to use the data collected. 

SVA is looking for organisations that:

  • deliver employment programs for young people aged 16-24
  • would like to build their capability around data collection and use; and
  • are delivering programs between now and May 2020.

There is no cost involved. To learn more email Anne Duncan or call 0414 660 529.


Victoria's family violence workforce is around 255,000 people but the response rate for the workforce census is low.

This census is for every person who comes into contact with victims or perpetrators of family violence in the course of their work, even if it’s only sometimes or briefly. 
So if you work in:

  • Counselling
  • Disability Services
  • Employment Services
  • Financial and Gambling Services
  • Housing and Homelessness services
  • LGBTIQ Services
  • Older Victorians services, or 
  • Policy, Research and Advocacy - then this census is for you.

When you fill out the survey just skip any questions you feel don’t apply to you.

The census must close on Friday 28 February. Complete it now and share with your colleagues.

Low income families such as those headed by a single mother are struggling to meet the basic costs of education such as school fees and uniforms. The opportunity for these kids to experience extracurricular activities is completely unaffordable, which means they don’t get the benefits or the fun of joining in football, dance, music or martial arts.  
Council of Single Mothers and their Children is petitioning the Government to introduce a voucher-based scheme for extracurricular activities, as all other states have. 

Go to the petition.


CFA wants to learn how to better support bushfire preparedness planning with those at greatest risk and most vulnerable to bushfire.

Community organisations are encouraged to complete a short survey on bushfire planning with people (clients) who live at home. The survey will help CFA understand how widely bushfire planning is undertaken in the community and social services sector. 

Data obtained from the survey will inform CFA’s decision making in relation to improving bushfire safety for those at greatest risk. Please email Angela Cook with any questions.

Take the survey.

Volunteering Victoria recently redeveloped and refreshed its Volunteer Management Toolkit.

The new toolkit is simple, easy to use and provides guidance for volunteer managers at each stage of the volunteering life cycle. It also includes:  

  • Hints and tips for best practice
  • Useful links 
  • Downloadable templates

Download the toolkit.

You can also download Top 20 Ideas in Volunteer Engagement for 2020, a free ebook exploring the biggest trends, ideas and challenges leaders of volunteers will face in 2020 and beyond.


Policy and research

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Children’s rights report 2019
This report from the National Children’s Commissioner tells the story of how well children’s rights are protected and promoted across Australia. It covers all the basic rights that children need to do well, like having a home and a family, getting a good education, being able to access quality health care, being safe from harm, and having a voice.
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Social Impact Investing Taskforce: interim report
Despite Australia’s prosperity, too many Australians still face persistent disadvantage and exclusion. Social impact investing can ignite—and grow—better interventions to ensure everyone can participate in the economic and social life of the nation. In Australia, the full potential of social impact investing is as yet untapped.
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Co-designing a peer support platform for people with low vision and  blindness
This report evaluates the design and development of a prototype Peer Support Platform that aimed to address the information, linkages and capacity (ILC) building needs of people with low vision and blindness.
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Understanding the experience of social housing pathways
Australia’s social housing system is under considerable pressure, with high demand but manifestly inadequate supply. In this context, governments have introduced ‘pathways’ frameworks to promote movement through the social housing system. This report explores tenants’ experiences of and perspectives on social housing ‘pathways’. 
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A woman in her 30s- to 40s wearing glasses with short hair is smiling at the camera. There is an orange shape on the left which includes the text: 202 could be the year you find your leadership purpose. Take the next step in your leadership journey. Visit our website to find the perfect program for you. Leadership Victoria Org. Click the image to be taken to the website.

📅 Events and Training

Working with Families of Refugee Backgrounds
Brotherhood of St Laurence - also 13/3 (Shepparton), 21/4 and 10/6
Responding to Family Violence in the Workplace
Relationships Australia Victoria
Mental Health Across the Lifespan
Mental Health Victoria 2020 Conference
Maximise the impact of your submissions
Parliament of Victoria Workshop
Fostering Multicultural & Inclusive Workplaces
Brotherhood of St Laurence - also on 17 June
Youth Futures Summit
National Youth Commission
A - Z of Volunteer Management
Volunteering Victoria
Banner advertising the Parliament of Victoria's submission workshop taking place on Wed 25 March from 10.30am to 12.00pm. Free event. Click the image for more information and to register.

 Funding and Award Opportunities

Community HART Awards
Reconciliation Victoria - opening 17 Feb
Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Law Week event grants
Victoria Law Foundation - Priority given to bushfire affected regions
Small Grants Program
Transport Accident Commission
OBrien Real Estate Foundation
For innovative projects from local community organisations
Victorian Learn Local Awards
These awards recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of individual programs and training providers within the Learn Local education and training sector.

 Submission and Consultation Deadlines

Macklin Review - skills for Victoria's growing economy
Department of Education and Training    
Victoria's Draft Public Engagement Framework
Department Premier and Cabinet    
Review in VCAL Pathways in Senior Secondary Schooling
Department of Education and Training
Victorian State disability plan 2021-2024 consultation
Department of Health and Human Services
Victorian Volunteer Strategy
Department of Health and Human Services - workshops Feb through May
“The National Reconciliation Week 2020 theme reinforces that we all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures,” she said.
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