In this issue:                                                                     May-June 2016

Preventing Violence Against Women Grants Program
2017 centenary of LG Maternal and Child Health
Alliance for Gambling Reform update
MAV Multicultural Policy Development Conference 2016
NDIS Transition support
MAV early years update
Child Safe Standards
Home and Community Care transition update
MAV joins Recruit Smarter: a better way to do business
Safe Haven Enterprise Visa update

Syrian and Iraqi refugee intake update
News in brief

Preventing Violence Against Women Grants Program

The MAV is inviting councils to submit an online application for new funding through the Local Government Preventing Violence Against Women (LG PVAW) Grants program.

The State Government funded grants program is managed by the MAV. The program aims to increase the leadership capacity and capability of Victorian councils to engage and lead community action for the prevention of violence against women, and embed principles of gender equality.

Councils can apply for a share of the $345,000 funding pool to implement new initiatives, or build on and expand existing programs, which must commence no later than September 2016 and be completed by mid-April 2017.

Applications close on 29 July.

2017 centenary of LG Maternal and Child Health

Next year marks the centenary of Maternal and Child Health services in Victoria.

In June 1917, due to the disquiet regarding unacceptably high infant mortality rates, the first baby health centre opened in Richmond. The community need fulfilled by this centre quickly led to the opening of two more centres in Carlton and Melbourne. Within a few months, Richmond City Council was funding the salaries of the two nurses employed in the baby health centres. This movement spread rapidly and by 1950 state and local government were contributing to 398 baby health centres and 15 mobile circuits.

To mark the 100 year anniversary, the MAV is proposing to celebrate with all councils in June 2017.

As the key event, an invitation is being sent to the Premier to officially open the centenary celebration with the MAV and the City of Yarra.

The MAV expects there will be many local activities to celebrate this centenary throughout the year organised by both by councils and the nursing profession, and we plan to establish a list of celebrations on the MAV website.

An official invitation to the event at Yarra will be sent closer to the date. For further information, contact Kim Howland on 9667 5563.

Alliance for Gambling Reform update

This month the Alliance for Gambling Reform (AGR) launched a newsletter, which includes an ‘in the news’ article outlining what the AGR and supporters have been up to recently.

The Alliance is supported by the MAV, more than 20 councils, and 40 other organisations and bodies. The Alliance has a strategic plan for its Pokies Play You campaign which focuses on harm reduction, harm minimisation and community control.

For further information, contact Tony Mohr.

MAV Multicultural Policy Development Conference 2016

On 31 August the MAV will hold its second biennial conference to enhance sector capacity to address cultural diversity issues.

Hosted by the City of Greater Dandenong, Kris Honey will bring her extensive intergovernmental experience to facilitate an interactive day of two panel discussions and six break-out sessions.

It will feature keynote speaker Mariam Issa; storyteller, author, community advocate and founder of Resilient Aspiring Women.

The program also includes policy and practice examples from a range of metropolitan and regional councils, and focuses on shifts from multiculturalism to ‘interculturalism’ and inclusion; diversity and intersectionality; social cohesion; the importance of language; identity and belonging; and sector and governmental leadership on cultural diversity planning.

The conference hopes to attract close to 180 councillors and council staff, and showcase Dandenong through activities such as an Afghan Tea Cycle, lunch provided by local food vendors in Harmony Square, and an optional Nocturnal Lane Ways tour and restaurant dinner. Registrations opening soon – save the date!

NDIS Transition support

The State Government is committed to continuing support for the rollout of the NDIS and to streamlining the interface between NDIS support and mainstream services.

The MAV has received funding for 18-months to support this transition, and we will participate in three recently-established government committees.

We will be focusing on the aspects of the NDIS and intersection with the roles of local government in service provision, social and civic inclusion, and planning and economic development.

We will send further information to councils as necessary.

MAV early years update

The MAV continues to build strong relationships with the Department of Health and Human Services in relation to early years.

We recently attended a meeting of child protection managers to inform them about local government and the importance of working closely with maternal and child health services when planning for vulnerable children, including those moving into Out of Home Care (OoHC).

The work that has gone into the implementation of the Out of Home Care Agreement now includes information sharing protocols for councils, along with details of OoHC council contacts in the child protection manual, exclusively for child protection staff.

Child Safe Standards

The MAV Child Safe Standards Working group has met recently. A survey has been sent to all councils via the MAV Risk Managers Group to ascertain council awareness and readiness for complying with the Standards.

The MAV has included a copy of the City of Melbourne Framework on our members-only website. The next meeting of the working group is planned for late June, once survey reponses are back.

Home and Community Care transition update

With only 17 days until the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and My Aged Care (MAC) are implemented in Victoria, it is acknowledged that staff in local government HACC agencies are experiencing a very challenging period.

It is expected that agencies will receive the CHSP service agreements during the next week. The service agreements have to be signed by providers and returned prior to grant funding being released and access to the provider portal on MAC.

The delay in distribution of service agreements has caused angst for many councils, who require them to be signed before their council’s budget is adopted.

The government is aware of the gravity of the situation and is working hard to ensure agreements are sent out as soon as possible. Service agreements will be addressed to CEOs and the nominated key contact of organisations, so it is recommended that aged & disability managers check regularly to see if their council has received it.

MAV joins Recruit Smarter: a better way to do business

The MAV has joined a State Government pilot project called Recruit Smarter that will create a fairer playing field for those applying for work by removing personal details from job applications including a candidate’s name, gender, and age.

The aim of the pilot is to remove unconscious bias from the employment process and increase diversity in workplaces. It is being implemented in partnership with government agencies and the private sector – including the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Treasury and Finance, WorkSafe, Victoria Police, Australia Post, Westpac, the Transport Accident Commission, and VicRoads.

The State will also allocate $200,000 to NGOs and the private sector to provide training to address hiring biases.

The MAV has committed to working with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship on its Recruit Smarter reference group, and will keep councils informed of any opportunities to participate in pilots as the initiative progresses. For further information, contact Geoff Pawsey.

Safe Haven Enterprise Visa update

Victorian residents can apply for and be granted a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV), but cannot begin meeting its work or study requirements until the state and federal governments finalise negotiations for an implementation plan (on hold during the caretaker period).

Applicants do not indicate any specific local government areas or postcodes when they apply, but commit an intention to work or study in a regional area for 3.5 years of the five-year visa. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will ask for evidence of this at the end of the visa period.

As of May, only 20 SHEVs have been granted nationally, largely due to the challenges people are facing in completing their applications without legal advice. Anecdotally, there is a six-month wait for legal advice, and temporary protection visa applicants are facing similar difficulties. Councils are advised to refer interested residents to legal aid or asylum seeker resource centres.

Syrian and Iraqi refugee intake update

The MAV has been advised by the Department of Social Services that as of early May, 187 of the 12,000 expected Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria have arrived nationally. In addition, 4,850 places from the Commonwealth Government’s ‘base-level’ of 13,750 are earmarked to be allocated by 30 June. Humanitarian Settlement Service (HSS) providers have recently been advised of settlement locations and numbers for the 12,000 places, which will support their settlement planning.

While earlier estimates had Victoria settling around 4,000 refugees, advice from the Department is that they are planning for the settlement of closer to 3,000 refugees, mainly in greater Melbourne but with some planned for Geelong and Shepparton. All figures are indicative only; housing allocation is decided on a case by case basis and most arrivals are arranged by the refugee’s family. Updates will be provided as part of the usual HSS planning mechanisms, such as the local area coordination meetings.

News in brief

  • Resilient Melbourne has finalised Australia’s first city resilience strategy and its launch in May coincided with the announcement of 37 additional cities around the world joining the 100 Resilient Cities network.
  • Residents from new and emerging communities have the opportunity to be part of two free leadership programs; in Mildura from August to October, and a Women's Program in Melbourne from October to November. They provide an opportunity for potential and current leaders to build their leadership skills and capacity to contribute to community development. The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship initiative is delivered by Leadership Victoria with the support of the MAV. The Mildura program is supported by local stakeholders including Mildura Rural City Council, La Trobe University, the Department of Justice and Regulation and ANZ. Apply now as a participant, mentor or program contributor (such as a guest speaker).
Upcoming MAV events...

12-13 July

MAV Environment Conference

10-11 August

MAV Technology National Conference

9 September

Writing for the web workshop


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