Daily News - Monday 4 August 2014

Posted 4 August 2014 8:14am

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews' relationship counselling drive off to slow start
Judith Ireland, Sydney Morning Herald

Kevin Andrews' love revolution is a slow burner.

Almost all the free relationship counselling vouchers under the Social Services Minister's scheme to introduce more harmony in Australians' love lives are still up for grabs.


Statistics don’t lie: de facto couples living in sin more likely to separate, says Families Minister Kevin Andrews
Samantha Maiden, The Sunday Telegraph

For better or worse, Families Minister Kevin Andrews has urged de facto couples to get married if they want to boost their chances of a long-term relationships and protect their children.

With the number of couples living together before marriage leaping from one in five couples in 1979 to almost four in five in 2012, Mr Andrews said the simple fact was that de facto couples are more likely to separate.

And those who suffered most from relationship breakdowns were children.


Out of the shadows: the rise of domestic violence in Australia
Terry Goldsworthy and Matthew Raj, The Conversation

Once a hidden crime, domestic violence has in recent years emerged as a mainstream criminal justice issue in Australia. Cases such as Queensland man Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder of his wife Allison and the death of Luke Batty in Victoria at the hands of his father have attracted unprecedented media attention and put the spectre of domestic violence firmly back in the spotlight.

But how prevalent is domestic violence and what is the cost to Australian society?


Life's tough when you are homeless and have a dog
Tim Barlass, The Border Mail

Life's tough when you are living on the streets.

It's tougher trying to find a bed for the night when you have a dog in tow. Most hostels don't welcome canine sleepovers.

But for Alex Anderson, it's a tale with a happy ending.


US - A charity asked its staff if they give to homeless people on the street. Here's what they said
Dylan Matthews, Vox

GiveDirectly, a charity that focuses on providing direct cash assistance to poor people in developing countries, decided to ask its team (or at least those members who were from or had spent time in the United States) if they do the same thing on the home front: do they stop to help homeless people soliciting money in their own cities?


Rising education fees, tighter welfare and growing youth unemployment means tough road ahead for current HSC students
Ian Walker, The Sunday Telegraph

A "tripple-whammy" of rising education fees, tighter welfare and growing youth unemployment has seen year 12 students desperately seeking professional help for post-HSC life.

Experts warn that new university and TAFE students will no longer have the luxury of trial and error in their post-school choices and will pay a greater financial penalty for any mistakes.


Hey Joe, this isn't working
John Elder, The Age

Rebecca Bennett, 22, already calls and emails 10 businesses a fortnight, or 20 a month, fulfilling a requirement to make these "job contacts'' to qualify for her Newstart allowance of $519 a fortnight. In a year Rebecca contacts the same businesses again and again, asking if they have "anything at all.''

In recalling how she's heard the words "no'' and "sorry'' so many times, Rebecca sounds a little dazed, as if she's walked into a wall - which is precisely the case. She is one of those "downcast kids'' who came asking for a cleaning job at Netgain, but was "told I wasn't suitable''.


Welfare recipients aren't bludgers, and they deserve respect from Joe Hockey
Anthony Albanese, The Guardian

The search for a scapegoat, according to former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.

As we learn more about the political narrative of the Abbott government, I worry that Tony Abbott’s zeal to appear tough is causing him to hunt those with the least power to defend themselves – pensioners and the unemployed.


Tidy parks but no jobs from work-for-the-dole scheme
Terry Sweetman, The Sunday Mail

Work for the dole is routinely justified as improving the skills, prospects, habits and esteem of the unemployed, even though there is absolutely no evidence (as distinct from gut feelings) to support it.

What it does do is make a self-satisfied and selfish core of people somehow feel better about themselves. It makes them feel better that their taxes aren’t supporting some mythical horde of idlers and layabouts they think as dole bludgers.


Unemployment crackdown: one size doesn't fit all
Simon Cowen, The Drum

Determining who gets income management based on race is wrong, but so too is applying blanket policies to everyone.

Structured income management is a long term tool aimed at addressing personal dysfunction and barriers to employment. However, a significant proportion of unemployment isn't the result of structural barriers, it is dependent on how the economy is performing, while another portion is simply the result of the natural friction of people moving between jobs.

Those people don't need long-term solutions, just a short-term safety net.


Billionaire mining magnate's radical welfare plan
Tom Iggulden, Lateline, ABC

Well, he is the billionaire mining magnate with a plan for some of Australia's most economically marginalised citizens.

Andrew Twiggy Forrest report to the Federal Government on overhauling Indigenous welfare has been unveiled.

The Prime Minister has praised Mr Forrest's proposals as visionary, but has made it clear that they are politically unfeasible.


JSA "providers more skilled at identifying profitable contracts than delivering outcomes," says Forrest Review
The Forrest Review, Creating Parity

Successive governments have adopted a supply-driven approach to the delivery of employment services. This means they concentrate on addressing job seeker disadvantage and hope there is an employer with a job located where the job seeker lives. The evidence and overwhelming feedback from employers shows that this approach has comprehensively failed to deliver the intended outcomes because it has not been responsive to the needs of employers—that is, it has not been demand-driven.

Jobs are created by employers as a result of the market determining the needs for goods and services. To use anything other than a demand-driven approach that responds to employers’ needs is completely unsustainable. The current national employment services system, Job Services Australia (JSA), may be compared to an army of providers more skilled at identifying profitable contracts than delivering outcomes. This is entirely alien to the business-to-business environment where contractors and providers put their own capital and time at risk in order to secure and perform on contracts.


Forrest review includes some sound proposals, but radical social security changes should be rejected
ACOSS, media release

The Australian Council of Social Service today responded to the Andrew Forrest review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes by welcoming the emphasis on early learning and demand led employment but cautioning against radical measures that fly in the face of available evidence and would cause more harm than good.

"The report's focus on early childhood investment is a positive step, including the proposal for comprehensive case management for children 0-3 years who are identified as being vulnerable. This emphasis reflects the substantial evidence base highlighting the importance of early childhood intervention, education and care in determining long-term educational and employment outcomes," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.


Federal WA Aboriginal MP Ken Wyatt calls for Andrew Forrest’s report on indigenous employment to be taken seriously
AAP and Peter Law

If Australia is ever going to close the gap on indigenous disadvantage, the Forrest review must be taken seriously, said an Aboriginal MP.

Ken Wyatt told the Garma indigenous festival in Arnhem Land that he was sick and tired of seeing government report after report that resulted in no changes for indigenous communities.

He said recommendations shouldn’t be cherry-picked from Andrew Forrest’s report, released last week.


Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest needs Tony Abbott's support for his policy to work
Elizabeth Knight, The Age

Andrew Forrest, who has amassed a $3.6 billion fortune over the past ten years, making him one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs, admits he doesn’t have the formal qualifications on social policy that are typically used to produce a report like his Creating Parity welfare paper.

There are plenty of interest groups that will agree with that assessment.

His radical views on the income management of welfare recipients – which would have them lose control of much of their discretionary spending and include a ban on buying alcohol – have spooked even Tony Abbott, who commissioned Forrest’s report.


Body art is growing more popular, though few employers are keen
The Economist

In the North Star tattoo parlour in downtown Manhattan, Brittany shows off her ink: a Banksy-inspired tableau covering both feet. Now a student at New York University, she hopes to be a lawyer one day. “That’s why I got the tattoo on my feet,” she says. “It’s easy to hide.”

Once the preserve of prisoners, sailors and circus freaks, tattoos have become a benign rite of passage for many Americans. One in five adults has one, and two in five thirty-somethings. These days women with tattoos outnumber men. But what happens when these people look for work? Alas, not everyone is as savvy as Brittany.


'No one should die penniless and alone': the victims of Britain's harsh welfare sanctions
Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian

David Clapson was found dead last year after his benefits were stopped on the grounds that he wasn't taking the search for work seriously. He had an empty stomach, and just £3.44 to his name. Now thousands of other claimants are being left in similarly dire straits by tough new welfare sanctions


Abbott’s paid parental leave looks like dead plan walking
Michelle Grattan, The Conversation

The travails of Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme are symptomatic of the government’s wider problems.

The Prime Minister says he won’t abandon the plan, adding that he doesn’t break promises. That’s really what he said a few days ago. But the prospect of his being able to deliver it in its current (already revised) shape is not high. The PPL scheme is not part of the budget, but a lot of the budget is now in the same limbo land.


Budget cuts hit lowest-income earners hardest, says Treasury
Tom Allard and Peter Martin

The federal government delivered its May budget fully aware its spending cuts would hit poorer households much harder than wealthier ones, a Fairfax Media freedom of information request has revealed.

Treasury numbers released to Fairfax Media back private modelling showing the cuts were sharply inequitable, a contention repeatedly downplayed by the government.


Long lens strategy to secure budget
David Crowe, The Australian ($)

Voters will be warned of a crushing load on the nation’s finan­ces in a new report aimed at sharpening debate on spending cuts as Joe Hockey steps up ­efforts this week to pass his budget reforms.

The Abbott government will bring forward the Treasury analysis of the strain on the budget as it struggles to defeat objections to $40 billion in savings on pensions, welfare, health and education.


Graeme Innes: advocacy and attitudes can change lives

Graeme Innes will deliver the keynote address at the Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference on Monday 4 August. Graeme is the former Disability Discrimination Commissioner and is now Chair of the Attitude Foundation which works to change attitudes to people with disabilities.

Recently we spoke with him about what he has learnt in his years as an advocate and what he sees as the biggest challenges and opportunities for people with a disability in Australia today.


The storytelling secrets charities can learn from Gandalf
Laura Boulton, The Guardian

Talk to any charity fundraising or communications professional about what's needed to engage with supporters online and they'll say "good content". But what exactly is "good content"?

Good content is about storytelling. Storytelling is not exactly new - people have been telling stories since time began, passing them down from generation to generation. However, about 70 years ago this process changed. Television altered the way stories were delivered - instead of people taking an active role in storytelling, they became passive consumers.


How to Tell a Great Story
Carolyn O'Hara, HBR

We tell stories to our coworkers and peers all the time — to persuade someone to support our project, to explain to an employee how he might improve, or to inspire a team that is facing challenges. It’s an essential skill, but what makes a compelling story in a business context? And how can you improve your ability to tell stories that persuade?


Taming the monster: can the third sector distinguish its unique contribution?
James Rees, The Power to Persuade

In response to a recent speech by Tony Nicholson, several weeks ago Associate Professor Helen Dickinson (@drhdickinson) argued that ‘we need to be clear about the specific strengths and skills of the sector’ in any discussion about its future and funding. In a followup post, Dr James Rees (@JamesRees_tsrc) from the Third Sector Research Centre examines why and in what ways third sector organisations offer something distinctive. This is the first of three blog posts from James which tackle this issue.


The Neo-Conservative Imagination: An Interview with Patrick Deneen
Artur Rosman. Ethika Politika

What is more striking to me is the way that many Catholics of the stripe we are discussing are strenuous in their insistence that, on the one hand, the public square should not be stripped of religion and morality, but that the Market should have a wardrobe like that of Lady Godiva. This view lies behind the crude but revealing criticisms on the Right of Pope Francis’s occasional but pointed criticisms of an amoral Market, with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Larry Kudlow and Judge Andrew Napolitano insisting that the Pontiff stick to doctrine and cease discussing economics—as if the Catholic Church has had nothing to say about economics for, say, the last century if not longer.

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