VCOSS enews

VCOSS enews Issue #105
Thursday 31 October 2019 🎃
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The week that was.

VCOSS had the opportunity this week to present on behalf of the community sector to a Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into the engagement of culturally and linguistically diverse communities in early childhood services.
We told MPs there were three key pre-requisites for early years services that fully engage and embrace CALD communities:

Trust – Services must be welcoming and culturally safe. If CALD families feel unwelcome or unwanted, they’re less likely to engage in services. This means their kids risk missing out on the best possible start in life.
Community hubs – When education providers are located alongside other services (such as health, wellbeing and adult engagement services), or work together as a network, fewer people fall through the cracks. Community hubs foster greater collaboration between services and professionals, and can break down systemic or structural access barriers.
Flexible and adequate funding – This one’s a no-brainer. If services don’t have enough money or lack financial certainty they are unable to deliver the best services. This leads to disengagement across the board, but most acutely for CALD families.

You can read more in our submission to the inquiry.

And while you're here....

Now is the time to register for the upcoming VCOSS AGM on Friday 22 November.

This is our chance to come together, reflect on the past year, discuss the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

VCOSS AGM on 22 November 2019

Please note: Only those organisations and individuals who are current financial members as of Thurs 21 November 2019 (close of business 5pm) are eligible to vote at the AGM. Payment processing facilities are not available at the AGM venue. If you have a question about your membership, please email us or call 9235 1000.



Breakfast event: Disability diversity on your board

CEO, Board Members and Executive of disability organisations are invited to a special event with Christina Ryan, CEO and Founder of the Disability Leadership Institute exploring how to be more inclusive of people with disability at the board/committee level.

Tuesday 19 November 2019
7.30am Breakfast is served
8.00am Workshop begins
Register online

This interactive workshop will cover:
  • The importance of disability diversity on your board
  • Throwing merit out the window
  • Making inclusion work
  • What do I do next? – Finding new board members.
This is a free event but registration is essential by Monday 11 November.

The dilemma of restrictive practice in aged care

Too often restrictive practices are presented as measures to keep people safe, both residents and staff. But the appalling practices that we are hearing about through the Royal Commission do anything but create an environment and culture of safety for all. 

This event will explore how we manage behaviours of concern when staff are also vulnerable.

  • Prof. Joe Ibrahim, Head, Health Law and Ageing Research Unit, Monash University
  • Dr. Juanita Breen Senior Lecturer, Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania.
  • Micaela Cronin, Director FSSI, RMIT University
Monday 18 November 2019
9.30am arrival for 10am start
Free - bookings essential

Latest News and Resources

Join the VCOSS team and members in a consultation to inform the Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria.

Your knowledge and insights will help shape the VCOSS submission to the Inquiry and our ongoing engagement with the Victorian Government on homelessness. 

Tuesday 12 November
10am to 12pm
Melbourne CBD 

Register online

The Victorian Government is developing tools, training packages and a capability framework to help allied health professionals support people with disabilities and complex support needs. People can now share their views on what makes a good allied health professional, and the key capabilities needed to support improved outcomes for people with disability. The surveys close on 7 November 2019.

You can participate:

  • As a person with a disability, carer or advocate – share your thoughts about what makes a good allied health professional.
  • As an allied health professional – share your thoughts about which key capabilities allied health professionals need to develop to support people with disabilities and complex support needs.
Visit the Engage Victoria website to take part.

Organisations across Australia are exploring innovative new approaches to achieving social objectives through social procurement. Buying from a social enterprise is one of the most effective ways of breaking the cycle of disadvantage and strengthening Australian communities. 

Join Social Traders and the Victorian Government at this event to learn more about: 

Wed 27 November 2019
DJPR Corporate Centre, Melb CBD 
Free - registration essential


The Victorian Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) has released its review assessing Victoria’s emergency management sector arrangements for identifying, preparing and protecting high-risk communities.

The review finds that local governments, community service organisations and communities are best placed to identify the individuals most at risk in their municipalities.

IGEM makes a range of observations, findings and recommendations that highlight the need for cross-sector engagement, collaboration and cooperation to support the improvement of emergency management for high risk Victorian communities.

Read more online.


Mental Health Victoria (MHV) is asking NDIS workers, team leaders and managers to fill out a survey about professional development and training for NDIS staff working with people with a psychosocial disability.

The survey aims to find out what professional development and training is currently being provided for NDIS Support Workers and Support Coordinators working with people with a psychosocial disability and their team leaders. As well as what workers, team leaders and managers would like to see happen in the future.

MHV will use the results to develop tailored training for this mostly mobile and time-poor workforce, as well as advocate for change. 400-500 free training places will be rolled out in 2020.

Click here to fill out the NDIS Provider Psychosocial Workforce Survey by 17 November 2019.

Click here for more information about MHV’s NDIS Workforce Development (Psychosocial Capabilities) Project. This project is supported by Victorian DHHS NDIS Transition Support funding.

Effective quality governance is fundamental to consistently delivering safe, effective, connected and person-centred community services.

That's why VCOSS and DHHS have partnered to deliver a new online tool designed to help community service organisations evaluate and enhance their quality governance.

We're calling for volunteers to help test the tool to ensure it's relevant, easy-to-use and effective. We anticipate testing will begin in November.

If you're a board member or CEO and want to be involved, please register your interest online.
The survey is about how the community sector is faring in 2019, and what's needed to improve capacity and impact. 

Questions are about the work you do, levels of need in the community, and what would strengthen the sector. 

All staff in community sector organisations in Australia are encouraged to participate.  

Participation is voluntary and at the end, you can opt to enter the prize draw to win one of six prizes (including an iPad and vouchers). 

**** The survey closes tomorrow.

Community sector and not-for-profit organisations are encouraged to participate in a short Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC survey to help understand how community service and not for profit organisations may be involved in working with communities before, during and after disasters.

The results will assist emergency management organisations to explore new ways of inspiring whole-of-community efforts to building more resilient communities, and to develop enhanced approaches for working with community sector and not for profit organisations. 

Access the survey here.

Policy and research

  For the Sector en_poli_curve.png
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Community responses to gender portrayals in advertising: a research paper
This Women's Health Victoria study suggests that community members perceive that stereotyped gender portrayals and sexualised images of women are common in advertising, and that these portrayals pressure women and men to conform to limiting stereotypes, have negative impacts on health and wellbeing, and may support attitudes that cause violence against women.
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Can we talk?
This Mission Australia report reveals almost one in four young people in 2018 said they are experiencing mental health challenges, with young females twice as likely as males to face this issue. A higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people also met the criteria for psychological distress.
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Don't read the comments: enhancing online safety for women working in the media
This Gender Equity Victoria policy document brings together findings from secondary research and consultations with 12 female journalists and media workers and one male journalist from Australia to recommend strategies for media organisations to prevent and respond to gender-based abuse on their platforms.
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Why the government’s proposed facial recognition database is causing such alarm
Human rights groups say the bill is an attempt to introduce mass surveillance to Australia and an egregious breach of individual privacy, writes Sarah Moulds from the University of South Australia.

📅 Events and Training

Homelessness in Victoria
VCOSS Consultation
Consumer welfare and innovation in the digital economy 
Purchase two tickets and receive the early bird rate with code: Community240
The rights of the child: How are we doing?
Mental Health for the Young and their Families
Save the date: AGM
Council to Homeless Persons
27 JAN
Mediation Skill Set (CHCSS00110) Short Course
Relationships Australia Victoria
Support for Fathers national roadshow Oct-Dec
Relationships Australia Victoria
CPRC event

 Funding Opportunities

Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program Transition Assistance Funding Round 2
Youth Health Forum
Department of Health

 Submission and Consultation Deadlines

Victoria’s first Allied Health NDIS Capability Framework
Department of Health and Human Services
Victorian Volunteer Strategy
Department of Health & Human Services
Conversion Practices - Legislative Option to Implement a Ban
Department of Justice and Community Safety
Royal Commission
into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
Gender responsive budgeting in Victoria
Public Accounts and Estimates Committee 
Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria 
Legal & Social Issues Committee 
Leadership Victoria promo banner for new program open for enrolment. Shows a man sitting at a laptop, smiling at the camera.
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