22 January 2020

Supporting Communities Forum 2020-2021

The Supporting Communities Forum Membership for the next two years has been announced, with several changes to the Chairpersons, and Community Sector Members.

Louise Giolitto, CEO, WACOSS is extremely pleased to have been accepted to continue her tenure on the Forum.

WACOSS would like to congratulate Co-Chairpersons, Ms Michelle Scott, Director, McCusker Centre for Citizenship, who will be continuing as Independent Chairperson, and welcome Ms Jodi Cant, Director General from the Department of Finance, to the Forum.

Welcome also to Ms Kate George, Aboriginal Leader, who will take on the role of Deputy Chairperson.

WACOSS would like to acknowledge Helen Creed for her enormous contribution as Deputy Chairperson, and her invaluable work throughout the past two years. Helen is a valued member and will be missed by all. 

The four topics the Forum will address in 2020-2021 include:

  • Child Wellbeing Strategy
  • Implementation of the 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020 - 2030
  • Further Development and Implementation of the Community Services Outcome Measurement Framework
  • Digital Inclusion

The first Supporting Communities Forum meeting will take place on 24 February 2020.

The Terms of Reference for the Forum are available here.

Supporting Communities Forum Membership 2020-2021
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Cost of Living Report shows living costs outpacing income growth

In late December the Cost of Living Report was launched, with new modelling showing that single parent families and people currently experiencing unemployment have been hit particularly hard by higher living costs in the past financial year. Across the board, rent, food, utilities and transport have increased, and while households with two sets of wages are better able to absorb the increase in costs, people relying on income support, such as Newstart, are the most impacted by the increases. Read more in the report. 

Members invited to bring promotional banners to New Year Sector Breakfast

Any members who would like to display their banners around the venue at the breakfast are invited to drop the banner at the WACOSS office (Level 2, 3 Loftus Street, West Leederville) by 5pm Tuesday 28 January. Alternatively you can bring your banner along to the venue before 8:00am Thursday 30 January.

Due to unprecedented demand, the New Year Sector Breakfast is completely sold out. If you have registered but can no longer attend, please email to cancel your tickets, so that people on the (very long!) waitlist can be offered a ticket. 

Those who are attending will have the privilege of hearing from guest speaker, The Honourable Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia, who will talk to the State Government's priorities for the coming year. 

Two new members join the WACOSS Board

Following his recent re-election at the Annual General Meeting in October 2019, Juan Larranaga has sadly had to resign his role as Vice President and his position on the WACOSS Board. 

We would like to thank Juan for the dedication, commitment and values that he brought to the WACOSS Board. He will be greatly missed, and we wish him all the very best in his new role.
We would like to welcome two new Board Members in Jude Sorenson, State Manager WA of World Vision, and Vicki-Tree Stephens, CEO of the Youth Involvement Council in the Pilbara. Jude has been invited to join the Board as an Ordinary Board Member, and Vicki-Tree has been invited as an Additional Board Member, in an ex-officio capacity (without voting rights). We welcome them both to the team, and look forward to the additional experience they will both bring to WACOSS. 

Do you want to be part of the Finding Ground Conference?

Do you have an idea to share, or do you work or volunteer for a program or organisation that would like to showcase its strengths and outcomes? We are looking for Abstracts that generate thought-provoking discussion and critical analysis. You may choose to submit an abstract for a Presentation, Workshop, Poster, or Pitch. All of the details are here. Don't miss out, Abstract submissions close on Monday 3 February.

WACOSS Children’s Policy Advisory Council

The Children’s Policy Advisory Council (CPAC) brings together WACOSS Member Organisations in order to ensure that a cohesive, whole of sector response is continued to be developed around children’s policy in Western Australia. Input and insights from attendees at the quarterly consultative forums are used to directly shape WACOSS policy positions, strategies for collaboration, and advocacy aimed at improving outcomes for children in Western Australia.

The State Budget Submission 2020-21 highlighted the need for children and young people in to be safe and secure within our communities, encouraged, and supported to thrive. To achieve this, some of the recommendations for State Government included a Whole of Government Child Wellbeing Strategy, and ensuring services for Aboriginal children and families are designed and delivered by Aboriginal Organisations. If you provide children and family services in WA and have an Executive or Senior Manager representative who would like to join CPAC in 2020 please contact to express your interest. The first meeting will take place on Thursday 6 February 2020. Video-conference access is available to support regional/remote participation.


Coalition of Peaks and Closing the Gap Consultations

WACOSS was recently part of a community consultation in Hedland, facilitated by Traditional Owners, Coalition of Peaks (a representative body comprising around 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled peak organisations), and the Western Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council. The consultation has resulted in a Community Engagement Snapshot, which is a summary of what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities said about a new national agreement on Closing the Gap.

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 could be a great option for members visiting from the regions looking for a central space to work in between meetings, or on a short-term basis. 

Stretched community services look for Christmas miracle


Friday 20 December The West Australian

With the festive season upon us, it would be easy to say all the McGowan Government’s Christmases have come at once, with this week’s mid-year budget review exceeding all forecasts to reveal a projected $2.6 billion surplus. Yet rather than show some seasonal generosity, the Premier seems to have seen fit to pick and choose who will be the beneficiaries of his Government’s goodwill and good fiscal management. And it’s not what you would think.


The Big Freeze


Sunday 22 December The Sunday Times

It is the news that many West Australian families have been waiting more than a decade to hear - no more rises in their power bills and other household fees and charges. The Sunday Times reveals that the May State Budget is likely to include freezes for power bills and other utilities. Since 2009, power bills have skyrocketed 110 per cent, leaving thousands of WA families struggling to keep the lights on.


WA community services call for help as Christmas crunch nears


Friday 6 December WAToday

Western Australia’s community service organisations are in crisis and demanding the state government do more to support vulnerable people. More than 400 WA organisations have banded together to launch the #YourHelpWA campaign and called for a 20 per cent increase in funding to the community services sector.


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