In this issue:                                                                     March, 2014

MAV Aboriginal Employment Project and other news
Early childhood education and care
Vulnerable Children Strategy
State Government continues support for MAV positive ageing 
Funding for initiatives in ageing
Sports without borders
Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network update
Local councils encouraged to sign on as Refugee Welcome Zones
Cultural diversity in the workplace
The Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program
Preventing Violence Against Women
Healthy Eating Forum
Submission to Inquiry into Social Inclusion and Victorians with a Disability
$2.4 million for local projects on prevention of gambling-related harm

Cultural Planning Forums

MAV Aboriginal Employment Project and other news

The Indigenous Health Campaign’s goal is to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

The campaign is built on evidence that shows significant improvements in the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can be achieved within short timeframes.

Around 150,000 Australians joined this year’s National Close the Gap Day last week, with many awareness raising activities held.

The Ricci Marks Award is provided by the Victorian Government to encourage and support young Aboriginal people to pursue their goals and aspirations and continue with their leadership development.

The inaugural Koorie Youth Summit is a two-day event bringing together over 100 young Koories between the ages of 18-30 years from across Victoria.

If you’re interested in having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people work in your council, contact Lidia Thorpe.

Early childhood education and care

In the past month the MAV has responded to the Commonwealth Government’s Productivity Commission Inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning and two Commonwealth Senate Inquiries.

One inquiry is about the immediate future of the childcare sector in Australia and the second is about the delivery of quality and affordable early childhood education and care services.

The MAV made a number of recommendations to these inquiries.

For further information, contact Wendy Allan.

Vulnerable Children Strategy

The Parent Research Centre has been contracted to research and trial models of streamlining services across the universal secondary and tertiary system with the trials focussing on vulnerable children currently in the secondary support system.

This project is being led by DEECD as a cross-government initiative also involving Health, Human Services and Treasury and Finance, and arises from the Victorian Government's Vulnerable Children Strategy.

The implementation phase commences through 2014 with three trial sites in Latrobe, Whittlesea and Yarra Ranges. The learnings from these trials are intended to be rolled out on a statewide basis in the future.

The MAV is participating in the Project’s Central Implementation Team to support the three trial councils, ensure the project aligns with current good practice in this area, and links in with MAV initiatives such and Patchwork and the Maternal and Child Health ICT project.

We held a briefing session on the project for participating and interested councils in February.

Following this meeting, the MAV is facilitating high level meetings and processes with DHS and DEECD to progress the development of formal protocol so councils can address blockages that prevent them from working collaboratively across the whole service system.

These will include improved, agreed linkages for councils with Child First Alliances and with DHS Child Protection. The MAV will keep councils informed on the progress of these negotiations

For further information, contact Clare Hargreaves.

State Government continues support for MAV positive ageing

The MAV has been advised of the Department of Health's intention to continue funding for the Positive Ageing Adviser position through to 2017.

We welcome this commitment, which will enable us to continue a range of initiatives around local government and ageing.

For more information, contact Jan Bruce.

Funding for initiatives in ageing

The Department of Health has funded the MAV for two initiatives that will enable work to be undertaken on developing the Casserole Club concept in Victoria and projects that will explore the future of seniors clubs and centres.

Funding has also been secured for a small number of local government projects that focus on innovations in the age-friendly cities and communities direction.

Details of the projects and their implementation are currently being developed. For more information, contact Jan Bruce.

Sports without borders

The 2014 Sports Without Borders Conference will be held on 2 May at the Moonee Valley Racing Club as part of the Sports Participation Conference & Sports Technology Expo.

It aims to provide inspiration and practical support to ensure everyone, including young migrants, can get involved in sport.

Attendees, including sportspeople, clubs and local government staff, will get inspiration for the year ahead, learn how to use technology to recruit and retail players and supporters, and learn how to foster an ethical framework without compromising a winning spirit.

Guest speakers will include the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty and Senator Nova Peris. The day will also include a great debate.

Registrations can be made online.

Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network update

Following deliberations at the last VLGMIN meeting, we are currently merging the VLGMIN and MAV Multicultural Issues Network e-distribution lists.

This will address the occasional overlap and duplication in communications over recent years. The next regular bi-monthly VLGMIN lunch-time meeting for local council cultural diversity planners will be held at the MAV on Tuesday 8 April.

For further information, contact Con Pagonis.

Local councils encouraged to sign on as Refugee Welcome Zones

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is encouraging local councils to join the Refugee Welcome Zone initiative.

RCOA has issued a research paper, which explains how local councils throughout Australia are welcoming refugees in their communities.

The Refugee Welcome Zone initiative comprises 89 councils which have made a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into the community.

Cultural diversity in the workplace

The Australian Human Rights Commission, the Diversity Council of Australia and VicHealth are searching for local councils and other Australian organisations that recognise the benefits of a culturally diverse workplace, and are willing to showcase their efforts nationally.

They are developing an online audit tool that will help Australian organisations reap the benefits of a culturally diverse workplace through their planning, leadership, communication, evaluation and human resources practices (in recruitment, retention and promotion).

The audit will feature examples of initiatives that demonstrate good practice in the inclusion of people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program

WELL assists councils and other organisations to train staff in English language, literacy and numeracy skills.

Funding is available for English language and literacy training linked to job-related workplace training and is designed to help councils meet their current and future employment and training needs.

For further information, contact Greg Carson.

Preventing Violence Against Women

The MAV made a submission to inform development of the second action plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

We highlighted important work and benefits that have been derived from investing in local government, as a setting for place-based activity in the primary prevention of violence against women and promotion of gender equity.

We also noted local government’s role across early intervention and response. While the first action plan acknowledged the critical role of local government in leading communities in the primary prevention of violence against women, it did not provide for financial and/or other resources to be invested in this setting.

The MAV highly recommends that the second action plan under the National Plan takes advantage of the experience and leadership in the sector and ensures investment in local government across the country.

The MAV is in the process of surveying councils in relation to their prevention violence against women and gender equity activity. We recently circulated the survey to all Human Services Directors, seeking support in coordinating council responses.

The survey is designed to benchmark councils’ leadership and engagement in the prevention of violence against women. We appreciate your assistance in submitting a response by Friday 4 April.

For further information, contact Kellie Nagle on 9667 5585.

Healthy Eating Forum

The MAV is holding a forum on 21 May for local government to showcase practice-based evidence of programs and initiatives that focus on healthy eating.

This will be the first of a series which will include physical activity and community wellbeing later in the year. For further information, contact Jan Black on 9667 5512.

Submission to Inquiry into Social Inclusion and Victorians with a Disability

The MAV presented a submission to the Victorian Parliament Family and Community Development Committee’s Inquiry into Social Inclusion and Victorians with a Disability.

We addressed the committee on the role of local government and communities in improving social inclusion for people with disability.

Our submission and presentation emphasised the importance of the Community Building Program (Metro, Rural and Deaf Access) in continuing to progress access and inclusion issues.

This program assists with organisational and community capacity building and provides a focus for embedding inclusion into council agendas.

$2.4 million for local projects on prevention of gambling-related harm

Funding for projects to reduce gambling-related harm is being boosted by $2.4 million under the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation's new prevention program.

The foundation is inviting eligible organisations across Victoria to apply for funding to run local prevention projects.

Set to launch on 1 July, the new program will complement the foundation’s existing portfolio of prevention and community education activities.

Applications close at 5pm, 10 April.

Cultural Planning Forums

The MAV in conjunction with the Cultural Development Network and host councils, is running a series of three Cultural Planning Forums for local government.

The forums will be held between April and July in central Melbourne and four regional locations; Camperdown, Kerang, Seymour and Morwell.

The format will include presentations, group discussion, case studies and information about resources. Participants will:

  • Learn how to consult, research, develop, implement and evaluate cultural plans
  • Develop skills in use of national, state and local data to inform their planning
  • Share knowledge and ideas with councils in their region
  • Link in to worldwide networks and resources on culture and planning
  • Consider theircouncil’s plan in the light of a shared statewide approach.

For more information, contact Kim Dunphy. Or register online.

Upcoming MAV events...

27 March

Maternal and Child Health Nurses Conference

3 April

Patchwork: introductory and networking session

3 April

Local Laws: Identifying family violence


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