Daily News - Friday 20 September 2013

Posted 20 September 2013 8:30am

Welfare bashing won’t work, Vinnies chief tells Tony Abbott
Bridie Jabour, The Guardian

Tony Abbott has been warned not to base his social welfare policy on “giving some therapeutic satisfaction to those who want to put the boot into people on welfare” by reinstating work for the dole.

St Vincent de Paul Society National Council chief executive Dr John Falzon is hoping to meet the social services minister, Kevin Andrews, and the human services minister, Marise Payne, in the coming weeks to warn them off returning to the work for the dole scheme.

Official figures show largest drop in quarterly employment for 13 years

Official figures show Australia has recorded its largest quarterly fall in employment in 13 years.

Labour-force figures from the Bureau of Statistics show 26,500 jobs disappeared in the three months to August.

The biggest decline was in the retail sector, where 36,600 positions vanished. The figures mean there has been no growth in retail employment in the past three years.

Disability care sector needs thousands of workers
Elise Worthington, ABC

State and Federal Governments are working to more than double the disability sector workforce ahead of the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

A draft report by PricewaterhouseCoopers obtained by the ABC shows more than 80,000 extra workers will be needed across the country.

No Pay Rise For Low Pay Care Jobs
Eva Cox, New Matilda

Tony Abbott wants to cut subsidised pay rises for aged care and child care workers. If he does, underpaid workers will continue to leave the industry or live in poverty.

Rates of abused and neglected children on the rise in Australia: report
Freya Petersen and staff, ABC

Reports of chronic shortages of child protection workers in New South Wales have focused attention on the plight of abused and neglected children across Australia.

According to figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), rates of substantiated child abuse and neglect have risen across the nation.

Punting on houses simply bonkers
Adam Creighton, The Australian

As for the so-called "housing shortage", about one in 10 Australian houses and apartments are vacant when every census is taken, and the number of homeless people has not increased commensurately with the hype about a shortage.

Australians developed an unhealthy obsession with housing in the 1980s which they are yet to shake. In the long run we can't become more prosperous by buying each other's houses at ever higher prices, however wealthy individuals might "feel".

A massive crash in house prices would cause significant economic damage, but in the longer term would serve as very salutary lesson for all.

Four thousand people homeless on the Gold Coast each night
Nicole Gundi, ABC

Around 4000 people are homeless on the Gold Coast.

But the statistics show that homelessness is getting worse.

That's according to Ruth Knight who's been working with homeless people for more than 20 years.

Victoria - Asylum seekers sleeping rough, and terrified
Goya Dmytryshchak, Maribyrnong Weekly

Boat people in Melbourne’s west have been pushed into homelessness and are sleeping on bare boards in unfurnished houses, according to a volunteer group helping asylum seekers on bridging visas.

Ann Morrow, from the Hobsons Bay Refugee Network (HBRN), said ‘irregular maritime arrivals’ living on 89 per cent of Australia’s lowest dole payment – as little as $56 a day for a couple – were also living in a climate of fear.

When disability discrimination is legal
Alecia Simmonds, Daily Life

If Vincent van Gogh, Ludwig van Beethoven, Helen Keller or Frida Kahlo were alive today and in a moment of wild-eyed madness decided to permanently migrate to Australia, would we accept them?

I suppose you could argue that they’re highly skilled and their social contributions are quite possibly monumental. But judging by the requirements of Australian migration law the odds are against them. Why? Because they all had disabilities: Van Gogh suffered depression, Beethoven was deaf, Keller was blind and Kahlo had polio.

Concern over disability changes

A South Australian MP and disability advocate fears Prime Minister Tony Abbott's decision to combine disability care into the social services portfolio, could jeopardise delivery to remote communities.


MP Kelly Vincent from South Australia's Dignity for Disability party is concerned the National Disability Insurance Scheme trial, which began in July, will lose priority if it is combined with general social issues

Open the gates for stories about disability
Robert Hoge, Ramp Up, ABC

... it seems there's an almost unspoken fear of some authors who do not have a disability, engaging with it in fiction for fear of stepping on someone's prosthetic toes. The perceived barriers to entry are so high that some authors may be scared off engaging with disability in the stories they choose to tell.

Addressing harms from pokies: insights from new reports
Amanda Biggs, FlagPost

Some recent reports are reminders that addressing problem gambling harms associated with electronic gaming machines or pokies remains challenging, but progress is possible. The first report evaluates the decision to ban Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) from pokies venues in Victoria. The second quantifies the harms of pokies gambling in Victoria, prior to the removal of ATMs, while the third summarises lessons learnt from pre-commitment trials in South Australia.

Salvos win $750k from Crown
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

The first donation by Crown casino's new philanthropic arm will be $750,000 over five years to the Salvation Army to fight poverty and homelessness in Melbourne.

The donation from Crown Resorts Foundation, approved by the casino's board this week, will fund a new Night Watch program for the Salvos' Melbourne street teams. Crown Resorts chairman James Packer told The Australian this would significantly boost the company's community work.

... In addition to its work with the Salvos, Crown last month donated $40,000 to Father Bob's Foundation.

Evangelicals largely believe prayer can cure mental illness, survey finds
Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

Nearly half of evangelical Christians believe mental illness can be overcome by Bible study and prayer instead of medical intervention, according to a survey.

Lifeway Research found that 35% of Americans and 48% of those who identified themselves as evangelicals believed that people with serious mental disorders can overcome their illnesses with "Bible study and prayer alone".

Racism Influences Health Outcomes - Study
Pro Bono News

An international review led by the University of Melbourne has found children and young people experience poor mental health, depression and anxiety following experiences of racism.

Conference - Imagining Social Equity
28 February - 1 March 2014, Melbourne

While social equity as a concept may be difficult to pin down, it provides a starting point for researchers from different disciplines to examine what they perceive as unjust or unfair social practices and to come up with options to redress them. This inaugural conference offers policymakers, non-governmental organisations and researchers from different disciplines the opportunity to work together to explore what social equity means and to investigate ways of ameliorating disadvantage.

Learning the limits of small l-liberalism
Waleed Aly, The Age

This is the downside of liberalism, where society is boiled down to individuals and the choices they make. This promises equality of a sort, because it prevents, say, an individual from a despised minority from having to conform to the majority's prejudice. But this also means society's most powerful people are freed from the claims of its least powerful.

Intellectual Gold: How Australian Think Tanks Turned The Electoral Tide In Favor Of Tony Abbott
Alejandro Chafuen, Forbes

A small but determined group of think tanks, business leaders and freedom champions have been doing their part to preserve freedom in Australia. The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), founded in 1976, has quickly earned its place as an essential institution of Australian society.

The Herald Sun salutes our everyday heroes
Sophie Aubrey, Herald Sun

In a world filled with bleak news, it's good to know the good side of humanity is alive and kicking.

The awards ceremony for Victoria's Pride of Australia winners yesterday proved it.

This was a celebration of great people in life, those who inspire others to rise up from the mediocre, those who give their time for other people and those who, when it really mattered, did something incredible.

UK - Authentic audiences give smaller charities an advantage on social media
Anne McCrossan, The Guardian

The 2013 Charity Social Index suggests small might be the new big for charities. Two years ago when we did the first UK Charity Social 100 Index, the results were fascinating. Even then – when many charities had not fully embraced social media – it was clear there was a great deal of activity already going on. Looking at that picture two years on, we can see exactly how phenomenal the growth of social and digital media has been.

Church needs new balance between mission and moral teaching, says Pope Francis
Catholic Herald (UK)

The Church must “find a new balance” between insisting on its moral teaching and proclaiming the Gospel “in a missionary style”, otherwise “even the moral edifice of the Church is likely to fall like a house of cards”, Pope Francis has said in a major new interview.

A Big Heart Open to God: The exclusive interview with Pope Francis
Antonio Spadaro, America

“When it comes to social issues, it is one thing to have a meeting to study the problem of drugs in a slum neighborhood and quite another thing to go there, live there and understand the problem from the inside and study it. There is a brilliant letter by Father Arrupe to the Centers for Social Research and Action on poverty, in which he says clearly that one cannot speak of poverty if one does not experience poverty, with a direct connection to the places in which there is poverty.

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