In this issue:                                                                     March, 2013

MAV Human Services Directors Forum
Multicultural Arts Information Session
Maternal and Child Health
Universal access to early childhood education
Updated guideline on disability access
Unity Through Partnerships Grant applications close soon
AMES and councils working together
How to use CIV in Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Planning
Improving oral health – Local government action guide

MAV Human Services Directors Forum

The next MAV Human Services Directors Forum is being held on Wednesday 24 April from 12.30 pm (including lunch) to 3.30 pm at Rydges Hotel. The focus is on joint work commencing with the State to have input into the development of their Early Childhood Strategy and discussion of the role of local government. We are also seeking feedback regarding the challenges in services provision to vulnerable children and families, and implications for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) review.

Dr Sonia Sharp, Deputy Secretary at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) will again be presenting, and Dr Ro Saxon of HDG Consulting Group is facilitating the session on the MCH review.

Family and Children’s Services Managers are also welcome to attend.

The registration link and flyer were circulated to all Human Services Directors by email on 5 March. For further information contact Clare Hargreaves.

Multicultural Arts Information Session

On 23 April the MAV is convening an information session on how councils can more effectively engage culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) artists and communities in their municipal festivals, citizenship ceremonies, arts and culture programs. The session will provide insight into the workings of Multicultural Arts Victoria’s Emerge Cultural Network program - an innovative community cultural development platform which provides pathways into the arts for newly arrived refugee and CALD communities across Victoria.

Maternal and Child Health

The MAV, in partnership with the DEECD, are progressing with the Maternal and Child Health Service Review.

The MAV has provided significant input to planning the consultation process. Workshops have been planned with consultants HDG Consulting and all councils will be invited to participate in the consultation process led by the MAV commencing this month.

The MAV pilot ‘Patchwork’ multi-agency collaboration project is also being launched on 18 March.

For further information contact Clare Hargreaves or Joanne Fittock.

Universal access to early childhood education

The Victorian Government’s 2011 Annual Report on the National Partnership on Early Childhood Education has now been released. In addition to documenting Universal Access progress, the report identifies that local government remains the largest cluster manager provider in Victoria. There are now only 164 services yet to apply for 15 hours of kindergarten funding, and of these only 52 are in council-owned facilities. The MAV is continuing to work with these councils and is also happy to work with any councils who identify implementation barriers.

We will be hosting a number of forums in 2013 which will include topics relevant to 15 hours implementation. We will provide councils with details of the first forum after discussions with the MAV Early Years Strategy Group on 19 March.

The significant role played by councils in achieving the high rate of take-up of universal access across Victoria was acknowledged by Minister Wendy Lovell at a recent meeting with the MAV, and she conveyed her sincere thanks to councils.

For further information contact Jan Barrett.

Updated guideline on disability access

The Australian Human Rights Commission engaged a consultant to review the operation of the Guideline on the Access to Premises Standard after its first year of operation, to identify any parts that could be made clearer and more useful. The review has been completed and the Australian Human Rights Commission has released a number of revised documents including:

Unity Through Partnerships Grant applications close soon

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC) is looking to fund festivals and events that bring together two or more of Victoria's diverse ethnic, cultural and religious communities. Grants of up to $100 000 are available for festivals and events that will occur from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. Applications close at 4 pm on Friday 5 April. Guidelines outlining the objectives and parameters of the program and online applications are available on the OMAC website.

While councils cannot apply in their own right, they can partner with a community group or not-for-profit organisation. Councils may take on a mentoring or capacity-building role in the partnership agreement. For more information please contact OMAC’s grants team on 9651 2931.

AMES and councils working together

The Adult Migrant Education Service (AMES) CEO recently presented to the MAV’s Human Services Committee on current and potential areas of collaboration with councils. She said AMES and councils already work collaboratively in a number of areas to provide services for newly arrived refugees and migrants in local council areas. Current activities include:

  • participation in a range of local networks including Local Area Coordination (LAC) groups, Local Settlement Planning Committees and other multicultural and settlement network meetings
  • referrals to local services including Maternal Child Health, Aged and Disability and Youth Services
  • specific collaboration on new groups arriving in a local government area – for example an increase in the number of clients on 866 Visas (clients being released from Detention Centres) or clients on Bridging Visas
  • presentations, information and training for council staff on settlement issues including services for specific client groups (e.g. clients on BVE visas), settlement patterns in local government areas and training for council staff on working with clients from refugee backgrounds, and
  • councils providing access to facilities.

Proposals for possible future collaboration were also explored at the meeting. For further information contact Ramesh Kumar at AMES on 9926 4604.

How to use CIV in Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Planning

Community Indicators Victoria (CIV) is offering a workshop, How to use CIV in Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Planning, on Tuesday 26 March.

This half-day training is designed specifically for people who are responsible for preparing Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans. Whether you have used the CIV portal from time to time or are yet to discover how CIV may strengthen your evidence base, this training aims to build the capacity of participants to:

  • learn more about the CIV framework of community wellbeing
  • understand the role of community indicators for planning
  • search for data relevant to their identified health and wellbeing priorities
  • create maps that show relationships between two indicators (transport access and limitations)
  • visually communicate wellbeing indicators at the area level
  • generate an Automated Community Wellbeing Report
  • understand how CIV data can be included in MPHWP’s.

Improving oral health – Local government action guide

Oral health is important for overall health and wellbeing. All Victorians should be able to enjoy good oral health that allows them to eat and socialise without pain, discomfort or embarrassment.

Tooth decay is Victoria’s most prevalent health problem, with more than half of all children and almost all adults affected. Despite a reduction in rates of tooth decay in children over the last thirty years, it remains five times more prevalent than asthma and continues to be a health problem, particularly for the disadvantaged.

The Department of Health and Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) have developed a local government action guide for improving oral health and preventing oral disease in the community. This guide outlines a range of evidence-informed actions that councils can consider when preparing their Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans, Municipal Early Years Plans and other strategies.

Upcoming MAV events...

27 March

Aboriginal employment workshop

23 April

Engaging culturally diverse communities session

24 April

Human Services Directors Forum


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