In this issue:                                                                     November, 2013

State Project on Local Area Networks
Early Childhood Agreement for Children in Out of Home Care
Ageing Australia report
Productivity Commission Inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning
Citizenship Conferral Ceremonies Forum
Anti-racism and pro-diversity training for your locality - LEAD Training
A Taste of Harmony
Free interpreting services
Maternal and Child Health
Local Government Preventing Violence Against Women Forum
Consultation begins: health promotion policy for children and young people
Presentations for Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants now available

State Project on Local Area Networks

KPMG has been engaged by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) to provide advice on the development of a local networks model.

It will provide a collaborative framework across government and communities to identify and respond to local, complex, cross-portfolio challenges to improving outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families.

The MAV understands these networks propose to include the three tiers of government and may possibly be based geographically on the 17 DHS areas.

The focus of the project is to progress the first stage of establishing a statewide local networks structure. This involves further developing the purpose, scope and powers of the networks which will, in turn, inform their potential membership. The project will also involve preparation of a plan to implement a model early in 2014, with a process of review.

The initial focus of the model will be vulnerable children aged 0 -18, which is in line with the commitment given in the Vulnerable Children Strategy. It is intended to broaden this focus in coming years once the initial network structure is established.

The MAV has requested councils be consulted in the design stage of this proposal. As a result, KPMG attended the MAV Human Services Committee on 29 November to discuss the purpose, scope, powers and membership of the proposed networks.

All councils will be advised further once a proposal is on the table. Contact Clare Hargreaves.

Early Childhood Agreement for Children in Out of Home Care

The Early Childhood Agreement has been developed to facilitate a collaborative approach between state and local government, and service providers to improve participation by children in Out of Home Care (OoHC).

The parties involved include the DHS, contracted Community Service Organisations (CSOs), DEECD, councils and early childhood services.

This target group of children represents a relatively small number of those most vulnerable and at risk, and planning for early childhood services occurs within the context of the appropriate case plan for the child, their family and carers.

The draft agreement has been developed and modified after MAV and council input. The key role proposed for councils is to provide a central point of contact (such as the MCH Coordinator) to support the case manager in identifying local services and facilitating access if required. The draft has been circulated to all councils in November, seeking feedback on any issues or queries.

A similar agreement is already in place with the school system.

Contact Clare Hargreaves.

Ageing Australia report

The Productivity Commission (PC) report An Ageing Australia: Preparing for the Future suggests raising the pension age to 70 years, and ways of accessing equity in housing to pay for aged care, as well as urging the government to tackle the poor productivity of the health sector.

The report outlines Australia is facing a major slowdown in its growth in national income per capita and productivity outlook at the same time that ageing will start to make major demands on the budgets of the Australian Government.

It projects that labour force participation rates will fall from 65 to 60 per cent. The population aged 75 or more years is projected to rise by four million from 2012 to 2060. Australia's population will continue to grow strongly, and is expected to lie between 34 and 42 million people by 2060, with the most likely outcome around 38 million.

Productivity Commission Inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning

The Australian Government has announced the establishment of a Productivity Commission (PC) inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning. The PC inquiry was a Coalition election commitment.

The Inquiry will identify how the current system can be improved to make it more responsive to the needs of parents. The Commission has been asked to undertake an appropriate public consultation process including holding hearings, inviting public submissions (due by 3 February 2014) and releasing a draft report in July, and a final report to be provided before the end of October 2014.

The ALGA will consult with state and territory associations in making a submission to the review, and the MAV also plans to make a submission on behalf of councils.

Once the issues paper has been released by the Commission in early December, the MAV will be seeking your feedback and input.

Please contact Wendy Allan for more detail.

Citizenship Conferral Ceremonies Forum

The MAV, along with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), will hold a free, half-day forum for council officers responsible for organising Australian citizenship ceremonies.

The forum will address current issues relating to council responsibilities when conducting citizenship ceremonies.  It will focus on the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code.

The information session will also provide councils with an opportunity for discussion, clarification and provision of information.

It will be held at the MAV from 10:30am-1.30pm on 11 December. Email Kaji Vivekananthan or call 8682 2173 for further details or register online.

Anti-racism and pro-diversity training for your locality - LEAD Training

The MAV is an implementing partner in VicHealth’s LEAD Program (Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity). LEAD is a pilot program to prevent discrimination and support cultural diversity within local communities and organisations.

LEAD training is now available from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) on a fee-for-service basis, in a range of forms suitable for councillors and executives, managers and team leaders, customer service staff and community groups.

The MAV played a key role in shaping this intervention within the LEAD Program along with VicHealth, the City of Whittlesea, the City of Greater Shepparton, the VEOHRC and other organisations.

Contact Jane Lewis about training or phone 9032 3400.

A Taste of Harmony

The MAV is an official supporter of the Scanlon Foundation’s annual A Taste of Harmony event, which will run from 17-23 March 2014.

Each year, Australians are asked to bring a dish to their workplace that represents their cultural background and share their story with colleagues. This event is designed to stimulate conversation between work colleagues, break down cultural barriers and create a more cohesive work unit.

The Scanlon Foundation invites councils to participate in the event, and help spread the word by encouraging your workplace to register for 2014.

The MAV also encourages you to promote A Taste of Harmony through your own communication networks and channels.

Free interpreting services

The Australian Government, through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National), provides free interpreting services so councils can communicate effectively with their culturally and linguistically diverse residents.

Does your council make full use of this free resource? Find out more about the Free Interpreting Service (note not all local government services are eligible).

Maternal and Child Health

The MAV has developed an Expression of Interest (EOI) for suppliers to design a new data management system for MCH Services. The EOI has been advertised and expressions of interest from suppliers are due in December.

An evaluation group with representatives from the MAV, DEECD, and council FCSM, MCH and LGICT has been formed to review the applications.

The MAV hosted the Patchwork two-day training workshop for 11 councils in November while Kirsty Elderton from FutureGov was in Australia. Further training is planned for February 2014 for seven councils, with the possibility of more councils being involved.

The five pilot councils continue to be engaged in the evaluation of Patchwork and the development of the program. Meetings with DEECD and DHS are continuing so authorisation processes can be developed for their practitioners to join Patchwork.

Local Government Preventing Violence Against Women Forum

The MAV, in partnership with VicHealth and the Victorian Government, are hosting an exciting forum at the Windsor Hotel on Wednesday 18 December. The program’s keynote speakers include the Hon. Mary Wooldridge, Minister for Mental Health, Community Services and Disability Services and Reform, the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Ken Lay APM and comedic health promoter Nelly Thomas as MC.

The forum is designed for councils starting out on their journey to prevent violence against women, as well as those more progressed. It will showcase councils’ innovative work and includes a workshop on ways to successfully argue the case for preventing violence against women and gender equity.

The full program is available on the MAV website.

The forum will book out - secure your attendance by booking online.

If you are from a small council and find the $65 registration fee cost prohibitive please contact Kellie Nagle.

Consultation begins: health promotion policy for children and young people

A consultation process for a new Victorian Government policy statement on health promotion for children and young people has begun.

Consistent with the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan, the policy statement will focus on primary prevention and health promotion at a population level.

'Grow Learn Live Well: Promoting the health of Victoria’s children and young people’ will set directions for health promotion in Victoria for children and young people aged 0-18.

A draft policy framework with three reform areas has been developed by the Department of Health and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. A targeted consultation is being conducted with organisations and representatives that have an interest in or a contributing role to primary prevention and health promotion.

Councils are encouraged to engage with local organisations, networks and young people to promote and seek input into the consultation. Information and consultation questions are available.  Please contact Maureen Murphy at the Department of Health for supporting resources.

The consultation is open until 24 December and the Consultation Paper is available online.

Presentations for Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants now available

The Department of Justice’s Community Crime Prevention Unit, in partnership with LGPro and the MAV, held an information forum on the Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants on 6 November.

The Privacy Commissioner and speakers from the Department of Justice, Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure and Victoria Police, delivered presentations and answered questions on privacy, safe urban design and CCTV.

Case studies on developing and delivering public safety projects were given by Monash City Council, Moreland City Council and Greater Shepparton City Council. Presentations are available online.

Applications for the Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants program will close on Friday 21 February 2014.

Upcoming MAV events...

18 December

Local Government Preventing Violence Against Women Forum

 4 March

The Company Directors Course

5 December

The MAV Mayoral Program


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