Daily News - Friday 3 October 2014
One in four on Newstart Allowance has significant disability
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian
One in four unemployed people on the Newstart Allowance has a significant disability, according to new data from the Department of Human Services.
There were 173,060 Newstart Allowance recipients with a disability at March 2014, and 24.9 per cent were receiving support from a Disability Employment Service or had a “partial capacity to work”.
More than 133,000 Newstart recipients were assessed as having a work capacity of less than 29 hours a week (at December 2013).
ACOSS welcomes ‘common sense’ of the Senate to reject harsh budget measures
ACOSS, media release
The Australian Council of Social Service today welcomed the Australian Senate's rejection of radical social security budget measures that would cut the incomes of people living in poverty and its support of better targeting of payments to those who need them.
"We applaud the good sense of Senators who have listened to the many community voices raised against harsh budget cuts affecting people already living in poverty including young people, sole parents and pensioners. These measures deprive the very people that our safety net system is meant to protect," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
Govt making welfare cuts 'attractive'
Rashida Yosufzai, AAP
The Abbott government is hoping it can make its controversial budget welfare cuts more attractive by sending them to the Senate in a different form.
IT has repackaged stalled legislation into four new bills - a move it considers will maximise chances of getting its changes past hostile Senate crossbenchers.
Labor is claiming a victory for itself and the people by forcing the government into what it labelled a "humiliating backdown".
"This is your victory over Minister Andrews and Tony Abbott," Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told parliament on Thursday.
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews preferred a more pragmatic explanation, saying repackaging the bills may be more attractive to Senate crossbenchers.
Welfare recipients worried about budget savings
Ashley Hall, PM, ABC
The Government and Opposition are each claiming a victory of sorts today after the Parliament passed some of the Coalition's planned cuts to welfare benefits.
Labor supported the cuts after the Government split its legislation to remove some of its more controversial savings measures.
The Opposition says it's forced the Government to back down. The Government insists there's been no back down because its other measures will eventually win support.
Welfare groups and disabled people say it's unclear that there'll be any winners.
This Isn't Working: Single Mothers and Welfare
Anwen Crawford, Meanjin
There is a temptation to lay blame for Australia’s welfare erosion entirely at the feet of the Coalition, which ignores the fact that the Labor Party has been equally culpable in reversing the policies it set in place. It was the Whitlam government that introduced a Single Mothers’ Pension in 1973, and the single mothers I interviewed for this essay have felt particularly betrayed by the Labor Party and the country’s first female—supposedly feminist—prime minister. ‘I mean, Julia Gillard: I wrote to her and I said, “You are just destroying the Labor Party and the Labor Party’s values,”’ says Katrina Rae. ‘I was horrified with what she did.’
Anti Poverty Week kicks off
Kayleigh Bruce, Whyalla News
(Apologies for broken link in yesterday's Daily News)
Poverty and severe hardship affect more than a million Australians and around the world, more than a billion people are desperately poor.
Many local families feel the pressure of financial strains and through circumstances, people can find themselves in severe financial suffering.
To help reduce this poverty and hardship, Centacare Country SA is holding a free party in the park event to promote ways to increase financial wellbeing through savvy financial choices.
Shadow Minister to visit Bendigo during Anti-Poverty Week
Kieran Iles, Bendigo Advertiser
Shadow Minister for Families and Payments Jenny Macklin will visit Bendigo this month to gain an insight into the region’s hidden poverty problem.
Ms Macklin’s visit comes in response to a series of reports in the Bendigo media, including the Advertiser, highlighting the struggles of the community’s hidden poor.
Her October 13 visit will coincide with national Anti-Poverty Week.
Not all vocational training providers are stacking up
Alan Montague, The Conversation
According to a recent news report, childcare centres have been blacklisting accredited training organisations they perceive to be “dodgy”. Evidence emerged that graduates from these “dodgy” providers were being turned away from childcare centres due to their presence on informal “blacklists”.
Private registered training organisations offer Certificate III/IV and diploma qualifications in childcare as the government has decreed that these qualifications are essential to work in the industry. But childcare managers reported that many registered training organisations use the well-known “tick and flick” method to make fast money without developing an effective training program.
Exploring mental health and the brain
White Paper, ABC
The ABC’s Mental As initiative, running alongside Mental Health Week on October 5-12, is an invitation to take action, start talking and to help fund the next wave of breakthrough solutions.
In support, we have dedicated this issue of White Paper to articles that explore mental health and the brain. We look at the issues that affect our farmers, soldiers, mothers, senior citizens, and the most vulnerable among us. Our journalists track the history of mental illness and predict the future of diagnosis and treatment, combining thorough research with raw personal stories from RN’s guests.
The best advice I ever got was from Douglas Adams
The Lady Jack, ABC Open
Well, where do I begin? It's been a wild and whacky ride to the end of the emotional universe.
My sister is a junkie, but before that, she was just a bit bonkers.
As her younger sister, and in a working family, the hours between 3:30pm and 5:30pm were fraught with mystery and danger. I never knew what to expect and I walked on eggshells. I later learned that this is 'anxiety'.
Debbie Jones, ABC Open
In 2002 I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I was prescribed anti depressant medication and once I became used to the medication I started to notice a change. I was no longer angry and irritated all the time. I was sleeping better and felt like I had control over my life again.
I had been in an unhappy marriage for many years but felt like I wanted to give it another go. My husband was a very jealous, controlling person who, unbeknownst to me at that time, had suffered from sexual abuse as a young boy.
More personal stories about mental health at: Speak Yout Mind.
Coming up: Changing Minds - The Inside Story
This series goes inside one of Australia's busiest Mental Health Units to uncover the realities of 21st century psychiatric treatment, as we meet the patients and staff who are challenging the stigma and taboos that exist around mental illness.
Housing Outcomes Poor Even with NFP Support:Report
Pro Bono News
Australians who are among the most socially and economically disadvantaged have poorer housing outcomes, even with support from homelessness agencies, a Government report has found.
This is one of the main findings of a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) which also praised the work of Specialist Homelessness Services.
The report, Housing outcomes for groups vulnerable to homelessness: 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2013, looks at people who are vulnerable to homelessness- those experiencing domestic and family violence, young people presenting alone, people with problematic drug and alcohol use and those with a current mental health issue.
Indigenous Australians are pushing for change under the NDIS
Liv Casben, PM, ABC
As the Government continues to expand trials of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, one community is determined not to be left behind.
Indigenous Australians have held their first conference on Aboriginal people with disabilities in the New South Wales city of Newcastle.
Indigenous advocates say the NDIS has great potential but there's still plenty of work to be done to make it accessible for Aboriginal Australia.
Affirmative action in buying: are bureaucrats brave enough?
Stephen Easton, The Mandarin
Public servants could have a profound impact on indigenous employment and welfare — but too few even know about the procurement rules that can make it happen.
An asylum seeker who has been detained on Nauru for a year has described conditions there as "God's own hell".
The 24-year-old Iranian woman, who does not want to be named for fear of recriminations, said a video featuring Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison had caused the unrest.
Our values define us not our race or religion
Tim Soutphommasane, The Age
It is said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Today we have many reasons to be watchful. All of us are rightly disturbed by the prospect of terrorist acts on Australian soil. Counter-terror raids in Sydney and Brisbane, and the shooting of teenager Numan Haider in Melbourne, have heightened community concern.
Yet we must also be vigilant on more than one front. We must be united in countering terror. We must not allow fear and suspicion to triumph.
Unfortunately, there are elements that would like to see nothing more than social division. Nothing would please ISIL extremists more than to see Muslim Australians being alienated or ostracised. Were this to happen, ISIL's job becomes easier – it would help them recruit disaffected Muslims to their heinous cause.
Reframing Issues in the Digital Age: Using Social Media Strategically
Julie Sweetland and Rob Shore, Nonprofit Quarterly
One of a social advocate’s most critical acts is to frame an issue. In framing, a communicator uses language, metaphor, and other means to bring the community into the issue in a particular way. So, for instance, tobacco control advocates reframed tobacco from a “personal vice” narrative, in which the public discourse centered around individual choice and behavior, to a “defective product” narrative, in which the role of corporate malfeasance and the need for protective regulations became clear. Reframing an issue is hard work, as frames are socially shared and persist over time; but it is worth it, because public opinion and policy preferences are frame dependent. The stories nonprofit communicators tell have the power to make the public more or less supportive of positive changes—for instance, in the way we support human health and well-being, distribute society’s resources, and redress long-standing injustices.
A key finding for Westpac’s 2013 Community Confidence Index was the increased use of social media by For Purpose (Not for Profit) organisations.
The Index found that For Purpose organisations are becoming more marketing savvy and have embraced social media as a marketing tool.
For Purpose organisations need innovative practices to spread key messages to potential supporters, while managing costs and reaching as wide an audience as possible – social media therefore plays an important role in their multi-channel mix. The Social Sector understands this.
The first Synod of Bishops of Pope Francis' pontificate, which opens here in the Vatican on Sunday, will model a more open and vibrant discussion on family matters that reflects the practical realities of men and women around the world today. That’s the view of Cardinal Walter Kasper, who was asked by the Pope to open the discussion through a speech to the world’s cardinals at a consistory last February. Entitled ‘the Gospel of Life,’ that speech caused controversy by raising the possibility of changes to pastoral practice, including allowing some people in second marriages to be able to receive Holy Communion.
Catholics looking to global thinktank for touch of reality
Kristina Keneally, The Canberra Times
In the mid 1990s my husband and I lived together before we were married. In the interest of family peace we kept our living arrangement secret from my devoutly Catholic grandparents who would not have approved.
I wonder what my grandparents, who died a few years ago, would have thought about Pope Francis' decision last month to marry 20 couples, many of whom had been "living in sin". One couple even had children before marriage. Unthinkable for Catholics of my grandparents' generation.
Today, many Catholics in Australia and elsewhere reject Catholic teaching in their family life: they have sex outside of marriage, use artificial contraception and get divorced.