In this issue:                                                                     August, 2016

Have your say: MAV Communications Survey
MAV social policy contacts: update

MAV-Creative Victoria Partnership Agreement & new advisory position
Kindergarten central enrolment update
Kindergarten fee assistance for dairy farmers
Victorian Aboriginal Local Government Action Plan
Rural councils receive age-friendly funding
Councils sign Age-friendly Declarations
Preventing Violence Against Women Grants: update
Victorian Gender Equality Strategy
Early Years Management Forums
VicHealth local government health and wellbeing indicators
NDIS transition
News in brief 

Have your say: MAV Communications Survey

The MAV is seeking feedback on our current publications and communications channels to gain a better understanding of what our members receive, read and find useful.

As a loyal bulletin subscriber you are invited to have you say and participate in our MAV Communications Survey.

Your views about our current communications will help us to improve the information we provide, and ensure our member communications are informative, timely and meet your needs.

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. The survey closes on 23 September.

MAV social policy contacts: update

MAV-Creative Victoria Partnership Agreement & new advisory position

Work is progressing on the development of a partnership agreement with Creative Victoria, which will be supported by $600,000 over four years to 2020. This will assist the MAV in establishing a new Arts and Culture Policy Adviser position.

During the four-year agreement, Creative Victoria and the MAV will work with councils on growth of creative industry organisations and activities to ensure the Creative State is implemented in the most effective way.

The focus of the partnership will be a standing agenda item at the MAV Arts and Culture Committee meetings.

Kindergarten central enrolment update

The MAV is currently analysing 42 reports from councils for the Central Enrolment Grants Project which will be included in the final report to the Department of Education and Training (DET).

Key aspects of the project include:

  • Statewide collection of consistent baseline child data and place allocation using the DET Priority of Access
  • Clearer and easier to use central enrolment policies and processes
  • Seven new councils commencing/working towards central enrolment
  • Marked increase in engagement with MCH, playgroups and cultural communities to increase kindergarten enrolment – particularly for vulnerable families
  • A revised MAV Guide with council processes to support automation.

The MAV will be presenting a business case to the State to fund interfaces with the Maternal and Child Health Child Development Information System and progress partnership work needed to strengthen statewide central enrolment provision.

For further information, contact Jan Barrett or Wendy Allan.

Kindergarten fee assistance for dairy farmers

The MAV’s partnership work for a better deal for rural kindergartens continues.

Following extension of the kindergarten fee subsidy to drought affected families and increased funding rates for rural kindergarten service providers for 2017, the Victorian Government has announced further support for dairy farmers under the Dairy Assistance Package.

This package includes access to 15 hours of free/low cost kindergarten for dairy farming families, which will be known as the Dairy Kindergarten Fee Subsidy (KFS).

Eligible dairy farming families will be able to access the Dairy KFS in any funded kindergarten program, including integrated long day care services. Most eligible dairy farmers are broadly located in rural and regional areas (with some limited numbers in outer fringe metropolitan LGAs).

The application and payment process is currently being finalised but in the interim any urgent enquiries can be directed to

Victorian Aboriginal Local Government Action Plan

The State Government has released a draft Victorian Aboriginal Local Government Action Plan for consultation with councils and Aboriginal communities.

The Plan is intended to be a resource for councils to assist in improving relationships with Aboriginal communities; promote reconciliation; and engage Aboriginal people in council planning, decision-making, employment, programs and services.

The MAV is pleased to be part of the development of the plan, and we will continue to work with the government to implement the plan. Draft consultation ended on 26 August.

Councils can provide feedback direct to the MAV to inform our ongoing advice to LGV and Aboriginal Victoria. Please email Rosemary Hancock.

Rural councils receive age-friendly funding

The Department of Health and Human Services has advised that seven rural councils have received funding through the Age-friendly Rural Community Grants.

The two-year grants will see older people driving local initiatives that create better communities to age in. The projects are just starting up in East Gippsland, Macedon Ranges, Mitchell, Moorabool, Mount Alexander, Murrindindi and Wellington shires.

For further information, contact Jan Bruce.

Councils sign Age-friendly Declarations

The Age-friendly Victoria Declaration has been signed by 18 councils following the signing of the document by the MAV President, Cr Bill McArthur, and Minister for Ageing, Martin Foley in April this year.

The declaration makes a statement about council commitment to the age-friendly direction, and the MAV looks forward to more councils signing the declaration in future.

Further information and a downloadable copy of the declaration is available on the Seniors Online website. For further information, contact Jan Bruce.

Preventing Violence Against Women Grants: update

Applications have now closed for the Local Government PVAW Grants Program, funded by the Victorian Government and administered by the MAV.

A total of 31 applications have been received on behalf of 66 councils. Applications are currently being assessed and councils will be advised of their application’s outcome shortly.

The grants aim to increase the leadership capacity and capability of local government to engage and lead community action for the prevention of violence against women, and embed principles of gender equality.

The number and strength of applications received clearly demonstrates the readiness of councils to lead primary prevention work in their local communities.

For further information, contact Kellie Nagle.

Victorian Gender Equality Strategy

The State Government is holding a series of consultation sessions to help inform its Victorian Gender Equality Strategy, due for release later this year.

Consultations will engage a range of stakeholders from business, government, community and industry sectors. The State’s discussion paper will help inform these consultations.

Advancing gender equality increases women’s safety, security, health and well-being by encouraging a society based on respect and equality. Gender equality also has tangible benefits for Victoria’s productivity and economic prosperity. The links between this Strategy and the Family Violence 10 year plan will also be discussed as part of these consultations.

Registrations can be made via email. For further information call Georgina Padgham on 03 9651 2007.

Early Years Management Forums

The Department of Education and Training (DET) is delivering a number of forums regarding the release of the revised Early Years Management (EYM) Policy and Guidelines (previously known as Kindergarten Cluster Management).

Please note that participants will need to be familiar with the new policy framework and guidelines prior to the forum.

VicHealth local government health and wellbeing indicators

In October VicHealth will release selected findings from the VicHealth indicators survey conducted in 2015, which includes approximately 300 respondents from each local government area.

The indicators include subjective wellbeing; safety; physical activity; sedentary behaviour; healthy eating; alcohol consumption and related social norms; mental wellbeing; and gender equality.

Some indicators have changed from the 2011 survey to ensure alignment with VicHealth’s Action Agenda and to reflect recommendations arising from consultation with the MAV, councils and other key stakeholders.

NDIS transition

The National Disability Insurance Scheme rollout has commenced in Victoria, with four councils in the Barwon region continuing beyond the trial period. A video has been created to explain the commencement dates of the transition in Victoria.

The NDIS Implementation Taskforce (ITF) was established at the end of 2015 by the Victorian Government to provide a forum for key stakeholders such as service providers, consumers, peak bodies and the NDIA, to work closely with government on dealing with the scheme reforms.

The ITF includes several working groups that focus on particular areas of development:

  • Housing
  • Cross Sector Work and Innovation
  • NDIS Client Readiness
  • NDIS Sector Readiness
  • Workforce Development

Each working group shares guidance and feedback on NDIS activities, with a view to addressing issues as they arise and keeping government informed.

The MAV sits on the NDIS Sector Readiness Working Group and the Cross Sector Work and Innovation Working Group. For further information on the NDIS and local government, contact Jan Black on 9667 5512.

News in brief

  • VicHealth has launched its Alcohol Strategy and $1.3 million in new grant funding. The grants are open to councils until 13 September. The aim of the grants is to fund councils to work with researchers, community partners and others to design, implement and evaluate initiatives to reduce harm from alcohol.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services held a well-attended Age-friendly Victoria Roundtable on 3 August. Local government was well represented and a number of important issues were raised at the table discussion. DHHS will bring together a summary of the issues which will be distributed to councils.
  • The Victorian Government has released a statewide public health system consultation discussion paper for public comment. The consultation process will help guide the future of Victoria’s hospitals, community health centres, and other services.
  • The MAV is seeking support from DHHS to develop a resource for councillors and executives about council’s role in the development of health and wellbeing plans, as part of the key strategic documents required under legislation.
  • Councils can encourage local sporting clubs to apply for VicHealth’s Active Club Grants to help increase the opportunities Victorians have to participate in community sport clubs. Applications close on 23 September.
  • The Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Gerard Mansour officially launched Colac Otway Shire’s Positive Ageing Ambassadors Toolkit on 3 August. The toolkit provides a range of resources to assist local government in establishing an ambassador program based on the experience and learnings from Colac Otway Shire.
Upcoming MAV events...

8 September

MAV Annual Conference and Dinner

9 September

Writing for the Web workshop

21 September

The Economics of Multiculturalism forum


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