Daily News - Friday 11 July 2014
Funding Reforms Hit Most Vulnerable
Julie Edwards, Pro Bono News
It was abundantly clear from the recent Federal Budget that the country’s most marginalised groups were the ones disadvantaged the most. Its impact on young jobseekers, indigenous Australians, low income earners and people with disabilities will, more than ever, allow our Government to grow the number of vulnerable people and then largely abandon them to their own devices.
Australia, which has always cherished our belief in the fair go, is heading further down the path of individual responsibility, indifference to suffering and a focus on ‘us against them’.
DSS Grants Services Map
Department of Social Services
To assist organisations to see where services fit within the new programmes, the Department has developed the DSS Grants Services Map which illustrates the types of services available for funding in the current application process.
New QUT service helps mediate family break-ups
QUT, media release
Family break-ups can be messy. Resolving disputes is often emotional, costly and despite good intentions the child's best interests get forgotten in the fight. A new QUT Family Mediation Service, being trialed in Brisbane by QUT Health Clinics, offers a solution to the costly court battles and parental quarrels.
Divorce: escape from a toxic marriage
Mary Garden, On Line Opinion
According to the anti-divorcers, divorce does immense damage to children and society.The pet idea of Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews is a $20 million pilot project introduced this month where couples can get a $200 counselling voucher to encourage them to stay together. But do pro-marriage politicians like Andrews and Prime Minister Tony Abbott ever consider the harm caused when people stay together in difficult or toxic marriages? Where there is violence?
Second Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children
Department of Social Services
The Second Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan) was launched on Friday 27 June by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.
'Scathing' SA inquest ignites push for national domestic violence strategy
Karen Ashford, SBS
South Australia's Coroner has delivered a scathing assessment of the state police's failure to protect a woman who was publicly murdered by her husband.
Zahra Abrahimzadeh was stabbed to death by her husband Ziaolleh at a community event, despite a restraining order against him.
The Coroner was so disappointed with police that he directed his inquest recommendations not to the Police Commissioner, but the Premier.
Battered Disney princesses shows domestic violence can happen to anyone
Candice Chung, Daily Life
While Disney character transformations have slowly become the bread and butter of the internet, once in a while, an artist still manages to give a clever spin to the meme that makes you think twice about an issue.
The most recent example is artist Saint Hoax, who created a Disney Princess-inspired campaign titled "Happy Never After" to highlight the brutal truth of domestic violence.
More job losses as SA unemployment rises
Caroline Winter, PM, ABC
South Australia is officially the nation's jobless capital. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped from 6.9 per cent in June to 7.4, the highest in Australia.
Qld - Unemployment rate either fantastic or disasterous
Amy Remeikis, Brisbane Times
In a changing world, there is still one thing Queensland can count on.
Completely different readings of the Australian Bureau of Statistics monthly unemployment figures.
Unemployment: looking beyond supply and demand
Ian Goodwin-Smith & Claire Hutchinson, Flinders University & Anglicare Australia
This dominant supply and demand narrative, which implies that some unemployed people are undeserving, lazy and too particular about the work they are prepared to do, has been challenged by researchers and welfare advocacy groups who note that such rhetoric ignores the effects of cycles of disadvantage and the importance of community and family connections.
Coalition jobs plan disempowering, says Anglicare Australia
Rosie Lewis, The Australian
Launching the research in Canberra today, Anglicare executive director Roland Manderson said the government’s idea that the unemployed should move to where there are gaps in the workforce was “disempowering” and “unconstructive”.
“It’s a problem if the public debate hinges on an assumption that people can just try harder and get work, that’s not true,” he said. “What is true is that people can get work and develop really great work but you need to put that investment in at the front end.
Unemployment On Welfare Reform Agenda
Pro Bono News
Welfare Not for Profit Anglicare Australia will present new research on the needs of long-term unemployed to the first Roundtable on the Interim Report on Welfare Reform at the Department of Social Services in Canberra on Friday.
Anglicare Australia will join other major welfare Not for Profits including UnitingCare, the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul in the first of two roundtable discussions on the Federal Government’s interim review into Australia’s welfare system.
Plea for cash to ease job losses
Matthew Denholm, The Australian ($)
Members of a taskforce set up to deal with the loss of 400 mining jobs from Tasmania’s west coast are pleading for the Abbott government to get involved, believing federal cash is vital.
The West Coast Economic Working Group was set up by the state Liberal government yesterday to find ways to create jobs in the region, after this week’s announced closure of the Mt Lyell copper and Henty gold mines.
Fresh concern over Government program linking welfare to NT school attendance
Stephanie Smail, ABC
The Federal Government is facing fresh criticism over its controversial program that links welfare payments to school attendance.
The policy is part of the plan to get kids to school in the Northern Territory, where truancy rates are high in some communities.
Five minutes with Richard Layard: “Mental illness is the biggest single cause of misery in our society”
British Politics and Policy, LSE
n Thrive you show that 1 out of every 6 adults in Britain suffers from a mental health disorder, yet only 1 in 3 people suffering will receive treatment. You have called this “one of the great injustices of our time”. How did we get to this situation?
The fundamental reason is that until recent decades there really weren’t any treatments for depression or anxiety disorders which could be shown to make a difference. The first advances were in drug treatments but these had quite small effects on the danger of relapse. The biggest and most important advance has been in psychological treatments, both because they have much longer lasting effects and because they’re what most patients want. One reason for the under-treatment was that people just didn’t want to take the drugs with the side effects they entailed. What they wanted was to be helped to get control over their own mental life, and that’s what the psychological therapies enable people to do.
UK - Safety net: how charities are reaching the digitally excluded
Caroline Roberts, The Guardian
While charities rush to talk to their audiences on Snapchat, through apps and on Twitter, the good old-fashioned letter is making a comeback at Diabetes UK.
Outreach workers have been surprised by the number of younger people in its target groups who are offline. As a result, the charity is piloting a back-to-basics strategy.
After skewering the Government's attempts to kill off the carbon tax in the Senate, Clive Palmer has walked out of an interview with the ABC's 7.30 program when questioning turned to his legal battle with a former Chinese business partner.
Green getting easier for Clive
Sid Maher, The Australian ($)
Yesterday, Palmer, with former Liberal leader John Hewson, helped The Australia Institute, an environmentally conscious think tank, launch a report on the [Australian Renewable Energy Agency] that challenges arguments it is driving up electricity prices and argues it can play an important part in keeping electricity prices down.
This is a view flatly contracted by modelling for the Business Council of Australia released yesterday.
In recent weeks, there has been much talk about the role played by Ben Oquist, a former chief of staff to Greens leaders Bob Brown and Christine Milne who is now the strategy director at the Australia Institute.
Ben Oquist – the former Greens Svengali behind the Palmer party’s carbon tax backflip
David Crowe, The Australian ($)
Behind the carbon tax stand-off is a former Greens adviser, Ben Oquist, who has found a way to extract some unlikely gains for environmentalists from the political confusion.
Oquist, the former chief of staff to Greens leaders Bob Brown and Christine Milne, helped engineer events yesterday that led Clive Palmer to keep the carbon tax despite a public vow to repeal it.
Oquist still green, but a pragmatist
Tony Wright, Sydney Morning Herald
Mr Oquist knows the Senate inside out, how to draft legislation, how to lever amendments into the centre of major political agendas, and how to ensure small parties play a large part in big debates.
And as a pragmatist, he is clearly steering Mr Palmer towards chiselling as much out of the end of the carbon tax - which he helped create - as possible.
Tony Abbott's harsh treatment of asylum seekers is the same old story
Waleed Aly, The Age
Occasionally you have to pause to take stock of just how bizarre Australia’s asylum seeker debate has become. In summary, it works like this: the Coalition implements a policy that is mostly Labor’s while pretending it is doing something so uniquely tough that no one else could possibly be so courageous. Labor, meanwhile, objects because that’s what oppositions do, while trying delicately to avoid criticising the very thing it has unleashed. The mainstream public responds, in poll after poll, with a mix of approval and bloodlust. Some call for even harsher measures though it is difficult to imagine what that would mean. Operation Sovereign Slaughter, perhaps?
Letters: Jesuit Social Services stands with asylum-seekers who seek protection
Julie Edwards, chief executive, Jesuit Social Services, The Australian
Any attempt to hand over asylum-seekers to Sri Lankan authorities would be shameful and in breach of Australia’s obligations under international law.
While the High Court has, for the moment, barred the return of 153 asylum-seekers, reports that 41 asylum-seekers who were returned to Sri Lanka in the past few days have been handed over to that country’s authorities have created headlines around the world. Despite international condemnation, the federal government remains committed to this appalling course of action.
Letters: Jesuits fail to apply intellectual rigour on asylum-seekers
Barry Noonan, The Australian
I have always admired the work of the Jesuits for bringing comfort to the sick, poor and imprisoned, for their evangelism, and in education for producing some of the finest minds in the country.
But their support for the 41 “asylum-seekers” recently returned to Sri Lanka, and for the 153 now the subject of High Court deliberation, as shown in the letter by the chief executive of the Jesuit Social Services (10/7), indicates that arm of the Jesuits has taken a position without applying the intellectual rigour for which the order is renowned.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan on anti-Catholic bias in America
Catholic New York
When I used to teach a course on American Catholic history to university students, or, when I give a conference on the topic now, there will always be an early question, “We know there used to be hatred of the Catholic Church in America, but didn’t all that end in 1960 when John F. Kennedy was elected?”
No! In fact, historians now posit that Kennedy’s election was yet further proof of the abiding, deep suspicion of the Church found in American history ...
Pope Francis meets US televangelists, and the first-ever 'papal high-five' follows
Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Religion News Service
What does it take to produce the first-ever papal high-five? A meeting with American televangelists, apparently.
The gesture came during a three-hour meeting of Pope Francis and Texas televangelists Kenneth Copeland and James Robison, just weeks after the pontiff met with televangelist Joel Osteen and other religious leaders. At the June 24 meeting, Robison said he was so moved by Pope Francis' message of the Gospel that he asked the translator to ask Francis for a high-five. The pope obliged, raised his arm and the two men smacked hands.