In this issue:                                                                    August, 2013

HACC Call to Parties
Standing up to race-based discrimination
Collaborative aged care service delivery to CALD communities
Early years - National Quality Standard
Workplace diversity
Access and equity in government services
Aboriginal health plan released
Safer design training change of date
Hoarding and squalor publications for service providers
Communication access
Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2013
Community Safety Month
Victorian Women’s Honour Roll
Wurreker Awards
Victorian Indigenous Art Awards
Women's luncheon
Walk to School month – November
Events

HACC Call to Parties

Following input from councils, the MAV has submitted a Call to Parties regarding the Home and Community Care (HACC) program to the major parties in the lead up to the federal election. Given the potential implications of federal aged care reforms to the HACC program in Victoria, the MAV is seeking acknowledgement of the role of local government as a partner in planning services for older people, a federal commitment to funding which meets the real cost of providing services, and an assurance that a national competitive tendering process will not be applied in Victoria.

The paper indicates that each council will make an assessment of the adequacy of the design and funding of the proposed national system in determining their role into the future. The MAV position will be discussed with State Health Minister, David Davis during August. We will publish responses received from political parties on our website and will pursue commitments with the incoming Australian Government after 7 September.

The MAV encourages councils to seek opportunities to raise the HACC Call to Parties with their local federal candidates.

Standing up to race-based discrimination

Promoting diversity and preventing race-based discrimination go hand-in-hand. The MAV and VicHealth have a strong history of working in partnership to support diversity and address discrimination. Standing up to Race-Based Discrimination, Local Government Continuing to Build Inclusive Communities is a new VicHealth-funded MAV resource which focuses on supporting local government’s broad and diverse role of working for and within local communities. The resource builds on the achievements of councils in shaping cohesive and diverse communities, and promoting fairness and justice for all residents. Print copies have been mailed to all council CEOs. For further information contact Con Pagonis on 9667 5544.

Collaborative aged care service delivery to CALD communities

The MAV, in partnership with the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) and the Department of Health, is convening two professional development opportunities for council and community sector aged care service providers. The sessions will offer updates on the policy environment, new resources to support service delivery to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) clients, and examples of good collaborative practice between HACC-funded council and community-based service providers.

The free half-day sessions will be offered on Tuesday 10 September at Ballarat Town Hall and Wednesday 11 September at the MAV offices in Melbourne.

Early years - National Quality Standard

The most recent ACECQA snapshot of the progress and findings of the ratings and assessment process for the National Quality Standard (NQS) has been released.

It shows that on 30 June Victoria had:

  • 3 744 approved services, comprising 3 538 centre-based care services and 206 family day care services
  • 15 325 supervisor certificates issued
  • 762 approved services with a quality rating including:
    • 1 approved service with a quality rating of Significant Improvement Required
    • 196 approved services with a quality rating of Working Towards NQS
    • 387 approved services with a quality rating of Meeting NQS
    • 178 approved services with a quality rating of Exceeding NQS
    • 82 approved services with waivers

So far Victoria has the highest number of services with a quality rating of Exceeding NQS.

Workplace diversity

The MAV partnered with the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN) to present the annual VLGMIN Forum which was held on 6 August, and attended by over 120 representatives of councils and other stakeholder organisations. This year’s forum deliberated on issues arising from research findings that show people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are under-represented in the local government workforce. It provided a valuable opportunity to increase the knowledge and skills of local government around our workforce profile and planning, the benefits of a culturally diverse workforce, equal opportunity employment and human rights perspectives, and current good practice.

The Federal Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, has launched Connections: An employer’s guide to working with migrants and refugees. The new publication and related fact sheets provide information for local councils and other organisations about how to best engage with migrant and refugee employees and support them in the workplace.

Access and equity in government services

The MAV facilitated content contributed by twelve Victorian councils to the recently released Access and Equity in Government Services Report 2010-2012.

The national report, compiled by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) highlights access and equity initiatives across Australian, state, territory and local government that respond to culturally and linguistically diverse communities. It provides a national snapshot of the responsiveness of government services to Australia's diverse population. The report also identifies key community issues distilled from annual community consultations facilitated by the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia, and summarises the future directions for Australian multicultural access and equity policy.

Aboriginal health plan released

The Australian Government has developed the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan - an evidence-based policy framework to guide policies and programs to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health over the next decade until 2023.

It adopts a strengths-based approach to ensure policies and programs improve health, social and emotional wellbeing, and resilience and promote positive health behaviours. It emphasises the centrality of culture in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the rights of individuals to a safe, healthy and empowered life.

The Plan also builds on existing strategies and planning approaches to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, and has been developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their representatives.

Safer design training change of date

The date of the safer design training has been changed from 29 August to 13 September. This practical workshop examines several precincts within the Shepparton CBD, exploring issues and opportunities to improve the safety and functionality of these public places.

This event is suitable to local government officers, and planning and development professionals responsible for the planning, design, management or use of public places. This includes statutory and strategic planners, community safety officers, place managers, urban designers, landscape architects, property developers, land surveyors, transport planners and traffic engineers.

The event will be held at the Greater Shepparton City Council boardroom, 90 Welsford Street, Shepparton on Friday 13 September from 9.45 am to 4 pm. Registration and morning tea commence at 9.30 am.

Please register with PLANET Professional Development Program or contact PLANET on 03 9452 5236.

For further information contact the Urban Design Unit, DTPLG on 03 9094 8405.

Hoarding and squalor publications for service providers

The Department of Health is aware of the complexity involved for councils and service providers when responding to situations involving hoarding behaviour and squalid living environments. Two hoarding and squalor publications have been developed for service providers, drawing on a breadth of expertise and input from a representative stakeholder group.

For further information contact Alison Beckett.

Communication access

One in 500 Victorians have complex communication needs; either they cannot speak, or have speech impediments which are difficult to understand.

In order to communicate effectively and participate fully in their local communities, people with communication difficulties need businesses to understand that communication is a two way process and invest the necessary resources to ensure that staff are suitably trained in a range of communication techniques and technology.

Scope Victoria, through its Communication Resource Centre has led the development of a symbol to represent communication access. In order to display the symbol, businesses must meet specific criteria for communication access.

For further information contact Scope’s Communication Resource Centre on 9843 2000.

Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2013

Administered through the Victoria Multicultural Commission (VMC), the Multicultural Awards for Excellence are now open. Councils that have developed an innovative project or policy that increases awareness and understanding of multicultural affairs within your municipality are encouraged to nominate for an award. Nominations close on Friday 13 September. For further information phone the VMC on 9651 0647.

Community Safety Month

Community Safety Month is scheduled and promoted by the Victorian Safe Communities Network (VSCN) with the support of a planning committee comprised of representatives of law enforcement, emergency management, the MAV, local government community safety officers and other key agencies with a safety agenda.

A well-established concept, Community Safety Month identifies October as a specific time to deliver programs and messages that promote safety. Local government and safety-focused agencies are already active advocates for safety across the whole year. However, this designated month allows safety initiatives to leverage off broader safety promotion and generates momentum and profile for safety through coordinated messages.

Recently a letter promoting Community Safety Month was sent to all Mayors and CEOs and will be followed shortly by an invitation to the launch event which will be held at the Royal Melbourne Show on 1 October.

Victorian Women’s Honour Roll

Nominations are now open for the Women’s Honour Roll - celebrating achievements of Victorian women in a wide range of fields including science, social justice, community services, disability, aged care, arts and media, law and health. Online applications close Friday 27 September.

Wurreker Awards

Since 2004 the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI) has hosted the Wurreker Awards.

The Awards celebrate the achievements of Koorie people in the vocational training sector.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of celebrating the efforts of individuals and organisations who have delivered excellent education and training to Koories.

Awards are open to councils who can demonstrate innovation in the development and/or delivery of training and employment initiatives targeted at Koories in their municipality.

Victorian Indigenous Art Awards

The Victorian Indigenous Art Awards are designed to showcase and raise the profile of Victoria's Aboriginal and Torres Strait artists and art from south-eastern Australia. The Awards aim to increase the economic opportunities for artists and present an incredible collection. The total prize pool is valued at over $50 000 including the $30 000 Deadly Art Award. Entries close on 30 August.

Women's luncheon

The Long Walk Women's Luncheon on 11 October at Docklands is a celebration of the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. All are welcome to mark the contribution of Indigenous women to society, and raise money for The Long Walk - which builds awareness for the need of Indigenous issues to be front-and-centre on the national agenda.

Walk to School month – November

A reminder that councils are being offered the opportunity to build relationships with primary schools with a grant of $5 000 (or up to $10 000) to encourage awareness and participation of VicHealth’s Walk to School initiative in November. Arrangements need to be finalised by mid-September and more information is available on the VicHealth website. Over 30 councils have submitted their willingness to participate to date.

Upcoming MAV events...

28 August

Local laws and preventing violence against women training session

4 September

Governance as leadership conference

6 September

Modernising LG service delivery workshop

 

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