4 March 2020

Chris receives Social Policy award

Each year WACOSS is invited to the prize-giving ceremony for the School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work, and Speech Pathology at Curtin University.

Last month Dr Jennie Gray, Deputy CEO presented Thomas Wray with the award for Highest Mark in Working in Human Service Organisations, and Chris Chambers for the Highest Mark in Social Policy Advocacy and Practice.

Chris completed a student placement at WACOSS throughout 2019. In addition to assisting with various projects, Chris helped research and develop excerpts for the annual State Budget Submission.

Congratulations Thomas and Chris!

Pictured above is Dr Jennie Gray presenting the award to Chris Chambers. 

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WACOSS contribution to the Emergence and Impact of Microgrids and Associated Technologies

WACOSS recently participated in the Inquiry into the Emergence and Impact of Microgrids and Associated Technologies in Western Australia.

The final report, Taking Charge: Western Australia’s transition to a distributed energy future, has been released by the Economics and Industry Standing Committee and cites our submission throughout.

We highlighted that although residential rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) have been embraced by West Australians, there are affordability and equity of access issues for many - solar is often out of reach for people on low incomes. 

We recommended targeted concessions to protect people on low incomes, and for people receiving a pension or allowance from the Government to be exempt from future utility price increases.

In addition, we suggested a range of ways Government could address energy poverty, including free energy audits, energy and appliance usage education; assistance for low-income households to access high-return energy efficient appliances; and assistance for owner-occupiers to invest in energy efficient home improvements.

Save the Date - Emerging Issues Forum

Save the date for the Emerging Issues Forum: Monday 6 April

The annual Forum provides analysis to inform the service and strategic planning needs of the executives and Boards of community service providers into the future. It is an environmental scan, focusing on the future of the changing social, economic, and political contexts, and offers the community service sector the most current and relevant information on trends that are constantly changing, so that we can address the most pressing needs of people facing disadvantage, to enable them the opportunity to succeed and prosper.

Members will receive an email invite in the coming days.

Days left to nominate a star of the sector!

Nominations for the Community Service Excellence Awards will close at 5pm Friday 6 March. Don't miss out on nominating an individual or organisation for their outstanding work.

Jump onto and nominate a small, medium, large, Aboriginal Community-Controlled, or regional organisation doing amazing work for communities in Western Australia.

Individuals can be nominated for the Above and Beyond, or Excellence in Leadership award. Winners in these categories will be automatically nominated for the West Australian of the Year Awards.

Don't miss out, nominate today!

Sign the petition to support sustainable community services in WA

Advocacy on the State ERO issue continues, and support for the Your Help WA campaign is encouraged. Sign the petition, share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Federal ERO update

Across Australia, the Councils of Social Service network are advocating for federally-funded contracts. The Australian Services Union are coordinating national advocacy days with ASU delegates and service representatives on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 March, and including COSS representatives. The advocacy will be followed by a rally, and further action is planned across other states and territories.

In a joint ACOSS, WACOSS, and Anglicare WA media release last week, Anglicare WA CEO Mark Glasson, whose organisation will be impacted if the supplementation ends, said:

“The supplementary funding was critical in enabling us to manage the increasing costs of supporting families navigating relationship breakdown and child custody arrangements. If it’s scrapped and funding returns to pre-2012 levels, the result will be significantly longer wait times and less availability of these integral services for families already experiencing the strain of separation and family violence."

CEO of WACOSS, Louise Giolitto said:

“Community service workers deserve fair pay for their important work."

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said:

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, we’re calling on both the Federal and State Governments to commit to provide to Equal Remuneration Order Supplementation funding, to provide fair pay in the feminised community service sector.”

WACOSS conference program coming soon!

Stay tuned for speaker announcements over the coming weeks, and the full program will be released on Monday 23 March.

Follow the Facebook Event Page for the latest updates and information.

Earlybird registrations won't last, be sure to register before Wednesday 1 April (no joke!) for a saving of nearly $100.

Finance Essentials for NFPs - Tom Price and Onslow

Community service sector CEOs, managers, board members, and finance staff are invited to join Finance Essentials for NFPs workshops in Onslow (30 March) and Tom Price (31 March).

Join Jodi Porteous from Northwest Accountancy to help your organisation understand finance essentials. WACOSS members pay just $24, and non-members can attend for $30.

This capacity-building opportunity wouldn't be possible without the support from the Pilbara Development Commission and Lotterywest.

Celebrating International Women's Day

This year, International Women's Day is on Sunday 8 March 2020. WACOSS is holding a members event, in partnership with ANSON, to acknowledge and celebrate women’s leadership across the not-for-profit sector, and the Honourable Simone McGurk MLA, Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services, along with Christina Matthews, WACA CEO, will be guest speakers at the event.

To support International Women's Day, organisations and individuals are invited to get involved and share resources, change your email signature block, back the campaign on social media, and share your message of support for #GenerationEquality

Important FaCS updates for the community services sector

In light of our work on the ERO sustainability of funding, Funding and Contracting Services' latest bulletin outlines information around the ERO and the difference between a contract extension and an ‘extension beyond term’, as well as free sector workshops.

WACOSS Boardroom and hot desk available for hire

Members of WACOSS can take advantage of a new membership benefit, FREE short-term hire of the Board Room, and hot desk space, at the WACOSS Office in West Leederville. The Board Room can accommodate up to 20 people, and includes wifi access, television, AV and videoconferencing facilities, a computer, whiteboard, Clickshare wireless projection (project your laptop screen onto the monitor), and a conferencing phone. Non-members are welcome to hire the Board Room for a fee. The Hot Desks are a great option for members visiting from regional and remote WA looking for a central space to work in between meetings, or on a short-term basis.

Long-term solutions to food insecurity on table in Perth


Thursday 27 February The National Tribune

Western Australia’s Food Relief Leadership Roundtable was held last week to help deliver a coordinated and collaborative approach to managing food insecurity and better nutrition outcomes for vulnerable Western Australians. Premier Mark McGowan and Community Services Minister Simone McGurk joined WACOSS and representatives from the community services, food relief, government and commercial sectors at the roundtable in West Perth.

Karratha council forges ahead with plan to improve liveability


Thursday 25 February ABC Pilbara Online

The City of Karratha will press ahead with a bold and unusual move to increase housing stock by stimulating the city's property market. Rents in Karratha have skyrocketed in the past six months, and they could go even higher with an expected resources boom. An online petition wanting to stop the city's investment program was presented to council. The WACOSS cost-of-living report found the Pilbara to be one of the two most expensive regions in WA for working families, median rents in Karratha have risen from $550 to $800 in the past six months and are continuing to rise, prompting council to investigate five of the 15 proposals it received from builders for joint building ventures.

One in eight adults living below the poverty line in Australia


Friday 21 February 6PR Radio Perth 

Oliver Peterson says research by ACOSS shows one in eight Australians are living in poverty and one in six children are now living in poverty. Chris Twomey says he is not shocked with the figures as numbers are growing up over the last decade. He notes the poverty line at the moment is $460 per week for a single adult. He explains that someone who is living on Newstart allowance is getting $117 or less than that. Twomey also says that addressing Newstart and Youth Allowance will make a big difference for people in poverty and for single parents. He notes eight of ten people living on Newstart are regularly skipping meals, and that there are less entry-level jobs.
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