Operational funding arrangements for 2014 kindergarten programs
In April, Victoria signed up to the new National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, which provides Commonwealth funding to the states and territories to support 15 hours of kindergarten until December 2014.
Following this, the State Minister for Education and Early Childhood Education Wendy Lovell has written to all Victorian kindergarten services advising of funding rates for 2014.
All services who receive government funding for a kindergarten program will be required from 2014 to deliver a 15 hours program, unless exempted by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Education.
Exemptions may be granted in two circumstances. A service operating at licensed capacity that has space constraints preventing it from offering a 15 hours program may be eligible for a six-month exemption. A small rural service that would be unviable under a 15 hours model may apply for a 12-month exemption. In both cases, services are required to work with their council and the Government to explore options to address these constraints.
The Minister has acknowledged the work of councils and local services in supporting 15 hours implementation. There are now only 105 services across Victoria left to apply for 15 hours funding, 39 of which are in council-owned facilities.
The MAV is working closely with those individual councils and the Department to address barriers to implementation. We will continue to work with the State to support further government investment in early years facilities to address both 15 hours implementation and the new 1:11 staff ratios due to be in place by 2016.
For further information contact Jan Barrett.
MAV Patchwork information session and extended timeline for EOIs
Thank you to the councils that have already expressed interest in joining the second stage of the Patchwork roll-out, as detailed in MAV bulletin issue 947.
An information session for interested councils will be held at the MAV from 2 pm – 3.30 pm on Friday 27 September with Dominic Campbell, Director of FutureGov. Register now.
We have extended the timeline for councils to express interest in participating in the second stage until Friday 4 October.
Stage two will commence in November with an initial combined session for all the councils participating – dates will be advised shortly.
For further information contact Clare Hargreaves.
Maternal and child health review directions report
The maternal and child health (MCH) review directions report has been submitted to Minister Lovell. The joint MAV-DEECD report will be released to councils for consideration shortly. The high standard of the universal service we have in Victoria has consistently been acknowledged, so any changes to improve services to vulnerable families will be incremental.
The MAV has commenced a project to address the current local government data system issues raised in the Victorian Auditor General’s report through a new standardised data management system for MCH. We have also met with the Child First Alliance and Victorian Council of Social Services agencies to discuss meeting the needs of vulnerable families and children in out of home care.
Preventing violence against women and local laws
There is emerging awareness of the potential role of local laws enforcement in preventing violence against women. Evidence shows that perpetrators of violence often threaten or hurt pets as a way of controlling a woman, and many women delay leaving violent relationships for fear of their pets’ safety.
Last month the MAV was pleased to organise two training sessions for local laws officers in Melbourne and Bendigo on identifying family violence. The City of Casey also presented on how revising local laws operating procedures and applying an active bystander role in the community can contribute to preventing violence against women. More than 80 local laws officers have attended the training so far, and a further session will be delivered in Ararat on 18 October for members of the South West Authorised Officers Group.
For further information contact Kellie Nagle.
MAV Arts and Culture Committee
At the recent MAV Arts and Culture Committee meeting, presentations by Jeremy Gaden and Janet Dawes (Hobsons Bay City Council) and Kaz Paton (Greater Geelong City Council) gave insight into the rejuvenation of older, disused buildings into arts centres and lively cultural precincts.
Kaz Paton presented on cities in transition from her Churchill Fellowship trip and the important role of investment in cultural facilities in Leeds and Cardiff in the UK, Linz in Austria and Malmo in Sweden. Jeremy Gaden and Janet Dawes demonstrated how the passion of the Newport community with financial assistance from government, independent organisations and individuals, has transformed the substation into a cultural hub.
The MAV Committee and the Cultural Development Network (CDN) discussed assisting Victorian councils via forums and conferences focusing on cultural planning and further research on cultural activities in Victoria. CDN Director, John Smithies reported on the key issues concerning the National Local Government Cultural Forum, including local government data and indicators, the National Arts and Culture Accord, infrastructure development and spaces, and the collection and utilisation of case studies.
For further information contact Clare Hargreaves.
Aboriginal employment project ebulletin
Our Aboriginal employment advisor has sent out the August edition of the Aboriginal Employment Project eBulletin with up-to-date information and resources to assist Victorian councils to improve Aboriginal employment and engagement outcomes.
By celebrating and sharing the good work that councils are doing with their Aboriginal communities, the bi-monthly ebulletin will assist and guide improved outcomes for Aboriginal employment in local government. It is also a way to connect potential Aboriginal job candidates with the relevant council areas.
Australian Bureau of Statistics presentation
The MAV, in conjunction with the Housing and Local Government Network, is hosting an ABS presentation on Friday 18 October from 1.30 – 3 pm. The ABS has tailored information on how you can get the most out of Census data and the various Census products. This session will focus on ABS products and services with a housing lens.
For further information contact Jan Black on 9667 5512.
Census 2011 product releases
The ABS has released Spotlight 2.0, a new version of the Census Spotlight application. Spotlight 2.0 takes data from 2011 and turns it into an interactive movie to show a few of the interesting things that the Census can tell us about Australia's people and population.
This release follows on from the Run that Town game for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. It has proven to be popular with over 60 000 downloads, and was awarded the Favourite Website Awards "Mobile of the Day" on Friday 12 July. The game uses actual Census data to make planning decisions for local neighbourhoods, with success being measured by popular vote.
The ABS will continue to release analytical articles based on Census data, which will be added to Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census. The latest of these is on "Where and how do Australia's older people live?" and "Year 12 achievement and continuing education". Articles using Census data are also common in the quarterly release Australian Social Trends.
Also of interest to councils is the report, Perspectives on Regional Australia: Housing Arrangements - Home Ownership in Local Government Areas, which uncovered that Golden Plains Shire Council has the highest home ownership rate of all councils in Australia.
Smart Steps: for councils
Victoria Walks is launching Smart Steps: for councils – a range of resources and events to help councils create more walkable urban environments and promote walking as part of everyday life.
A seminar, Getting Communities on Their Feet, will be held in Melbourne on 26 September and bring together leading experts to outline best practice planning for walkable environments and present projects that are translating policy into action.
Victoria Walks has also launched an online information toolkit for councils on walking policy, planning, infrastructure and promotion. The toolkit is designed to make it easy to find the best and most relevant walking-related information, in any area of local government activity. It includes case studies from around Australia of successful projects that promote walking and better public spaces, the new Guide to Walking Strategies, and the soon to be released Guide to Measuring Walking.
The seminar and resources will be of interest to anyone involved in transport or land use planning, urban design or promotion of physical activity.
AMSI intern program
Some councils are accessing high-end analytical expertise to address short-term research needs through AMSI Intern, a not-for-profit joint venture working across most Australian universities. Based at the University of Melbourne, the intern program provides a solution to a research challenge or problem facing councils.
Using innovative methodology, technology and cross-disciplinary approaches, PhD students tackle real-world problems. Interns introduce a new skill set into the workplace with the added specialist knowledge of an academic supervisor.
AMSI places students from all disciplines including engineering, social and biological sciences, business and economics, and mathematics and statistics.
Read about Bass Coast Shire Council and Melbourne City Council's experiences with the internship program.
Save the date: MAV-DEECD early years conference
The MAV and DEECD will hold a joint early years conference in Melbourne on Tuesday 19 November. Details are currently being finalised and a registration link will be sent to councils shortly.
Community Safety Month 2013
Each year throughout Australia, the month of October is designated as Community Safety Month. The objective of Community Safety Month is to promote and advocate for community responsibility for safety. The recurrent theme of Community Safety Month is Working Together for a Safer Community. This message underscores the need for people and communities to actively address the circumstances of their own safety. It also recognises local safety initiatives and the many volunteer-based agencies that make a difference to safety at a community level.
This year the launch of community safety month will be held at the MFB Burnley Complex from 10.15 am on 1 October. RSVP by Friday 27 September to firstname.lastname@example.org
Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria report
Did you know that 1.5 million Victorians have arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions – more people than any other National Health Priority Area such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease? And as leading causes of pain and disability, musculoskeletal conditions impose an enormous $55.1 billion burden on the Australian community.
An Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria report examining the social and economic impact of these often overlooked conditions was recently launched by Victorian Minister for Health and Ageing, David Davis. The report, A Problem Worth Solving: The rising cost of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia, was based on analysis by Deloitte Access Economics.