Daily News - Thursday 3 July 2014

Posted 3 July 2014 8:26am

Consultation on Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission Replacement Arrangements
Department of Social Services

The Department is delivering on the Government’s commitment by streamlining processes for civil society organisations and removing red tape. This includes the repeal of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) to allow organisations within the sector to self-manage and focus more on their work within the community.

An Options Paper will explain the ACNC replacement arrangements and provide options on how key functions will be transitioned to the Australian Taxation Office and Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The paper and submission template for written submissions will be available on the Department’s website in early July.


Stronger Relationships Trial
Department of Social Services

The Australian Government believes happy and strong relationships are essential for individual, family and community wellbeing.

Applications are now open for service providers to apply online.


Childcare may be expensive, but it’s worth it in the long run
Susan Kreig, The Conversation

With the Productivity Commission Report into Early Learning and Childcare due this month and ABS data on the subject released last week, the cost of childcare is in the spotlight again. However, highlighting the dominance of cost, rather than considering its overall benefits to individual children, families and Australian society, is missing the point.


Jumbled mess: spending up 300 per cent for no return
Judith Sloan, The Australian ($)

Here's a quiz: what’s something on which the government can increase real spending by more than 300 per cent and get virtually nothing in return?

The answer is childcare.

... It’s hard to escape the conclusion that government childcare policy has been nothing short of disastrous, especially under Labor. The Rudd-Gillard governments were keen to favour formal, not-for-profit centres; to enable childcare workers to increase their pay and to join unions; and to impose a national quality framework regardless of evidence or cost. All that extra spending has been effectively snaffled by the providers.


Debunking the ‘cost of children’ argument
Sherry Bawa and Michael Dockery, The Conversation

Highly publicised estimates of the cost of raising a family in Australia suggest that parents must make hefty financial sacrifices to meet the needs of their children. In a recent paper, we challenge the theoretical and empirical basis for these claims. What does the ‘cost of children’ really mean and how does it relate to affordability?


UK - Mental illness treatment needs massive investment. The case is overwhelming
Richard Layard, The Guardian

What is the greatest source of misery in our society – poverty, unemployment or mental illness? As surveys show, the answer is mental illness. Yet under a third of people with these problems are in treatment. If you break a bone, you receive care automatically, but if your spirit is broken, you do not.


UK - Young men in crisis may not be crying out for help. But it's desperately needed
Owen Jones, the Guardian

Boys don't cry, or at least they're not supposed to. Yes, the old, unreconstructed machismo that was once all too synonymous with being a man has been partly driven back; men are more likely to open up and talk about their feelings. But discussing anxiety, depression and mental distress is still seen as weak or unmanly; the pressure to "man up" and "stop being such a woman" remains pervasive. And let's be frank: these expectations are killing all too many men.


Government takes fight to intellectually disabled
Josh Bornstein, The Age

According to the promotional material for Australian Disability Enterprises, they are places where people with disability are given "the opportunity to have a real job, with real wages, in a real business".

Giving people with a disability the dignity that comes with work is a worthy aspiration, but the truth is that thousands of disabled workers at these enterprises around Australia are not getting real wages for what they do. In fact, many with an intellectual disability - some who earn less than $1 a day - have been the victims of unlawful under payments in breach of anti-discrimination laws.


Disabling rorters? More like punishing scapegoats
Stella Young, The Drum, ABC

The McClure review's interim report recommends moving people from the DSP onto a "working age payment" and only grant the pension to those with permanent disabilities. The thing is, disability is just not that simple.

I have what would certainly be assessed as a permanent disability. I'm a full-time wheelchair user. And yet, given the right circumstances, I am able to work. By "the right circumstances" I mean I need an accessible workplace (where I can not just get into the building but also use the bathrooms), a workplace that is close to a train station (the only form of public transport I can reliably use). And I need an employer who isn't going to decide not to employ me before I've even arrived at the interview. None of those factors are about my ability to work, but rather circumstances that will allow me to.


I have never accepted the concept of 'lifters' and 'leaners'
Graeme Innes, The Guardian

I have never accepted the concept of "lifters" and "leaners", a Ming dynasty phrase which has lately gained currency. It's such a facile concept, and we all move from one role to the other dozens of times a day.

When I walk down the street with Maureen – and which ever street that is I couldn't be happier – I'm a leaner. I'm gaining guidance from her by holding her arm. But when that guidance stops, and at the end of a long hard day for her, I put my arm around her in a supportive cuddle – I become a lifter.

I prefer a more positive, and less judgemental society, where everyone's contribution is accepted and valued. I want entrances where everyone, not just people who use steps, can come in. I communicate with Auslan, so everyone, not just hearing people, can understand. This makes for a more inclusive, and more sustainable society.


Outgoing disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes fires parting shots at Abbott government
Dan Harrison, Sydney Morning Herald

Outgoing disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes has fired a barrage of parting shots at the Abbott government, declaring it may be time for him to move on because he has ''no stomach to advocate for the rights of bigots''.

Mr Innes' remarks, made during an address to the National Press Club, are a direct rebuke to Attorney-General George Brandis, who while speaking on the Coalition's proposed changes to race hate laws earlier this year, said: ''people do have a right to be bigots, you know.''


Hang on, youths already earn and learn
Greg Jericho, The Drum, ABC

Conservative politicians and media love getting tough on the unemployed, and even better if it is youth unemployed. But the reality is youth unemployment is driven by total unemployment. And far from needing to be encouraged to earn or learn, the youth of Australia have been doing both in greater numbers for the past 25 years.


Work before welfare?
DPS News

Roland Manderson, Anglicare Australia acting executive director, warned that the recommendations of the interim report on welfare, headed by former Mission Australia chief, Patrick McClure, would push people further into hardship.

“Almost everyone who accesses welfare will tell you the system is too complex. And almost everyone with the capacity to work would like a job,” Mr Manderson said.

“The underlying issue here is that pensions and allowances are simply too low. The harsh poverty endured by those on Newstart, for example, creates more problems for us all. Unless the McClure panel argues for real increases in income support, its recommendations will simply push people further into hardship,” he added.


More questions than answers in ‘Welfare Review’

The report acknowledges that there are currently significant barriers to employment for many people with a disability. It also says that employers need to do more to create job opportunities for people with disabilities and mentions a smattering of programs and employers that do so already. However it does not meaningfully address the pertinent question of where the hundreds of thousands of jobs for people currently on the DSP are going to come from.


Dear Tony Abbott: Hurting the most vulnerable is not welfare reform, but cruelty
Maree O'Halloran, Sydney Morning Herald

The federal government review of Australia's welfare system could be an opportunity to plan for a strong, resilient social security and services system. It proposes the most sweeping reform of the welfare system since the Social Security Act was enacted in 1947. The report, prepared by former Mission Australia chief executive Patrick McClure, rightly focuses on simplification, strengthening individual, family and community capacity, and on engaging with employers to increase opportunities for participation.

However, the continuing process of the review needs to be conducted in good faith by the government. It is critical, for example, that the reform does not end up cutting income support for people. Unfortunately, the McClure report has to be examined in the light of this year's federal budget and the introduction of major bills that reduce income support for the most vulnerable.


Payday lenders taken to court over interest rates 'of up to 160pc'
Liz Hobday, ABC

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is taking legal action against two payday lenders, alleging the companies ripped off borrowers by charging interest rates of up to 160 per cent.

The corporate watchdog alleges Teleloans and another company, Finance and Loans Direct, were set up so they could work together to offer high-cost loans and dodge the rules.


Support Short for Regional Social Enterprise
Pro Bono News

Tailored support and a fresh government approach is needed if Australia is to unlock the potential of social enterprise in rural and regional areas, writes Celia Hodson, Chief Executive Officer at the School for Social Entrepreneurs.


The Paying-It-Forward Payoff
Gretchen Gavett, Harvard Business Review

You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. But if you scratch my back, am I any more likely to scratch someone else’s?

Most of us are familiar with direct reciprocity – the idea that people respond to kind actions directed toward them with other kind actions. But generalized reciprocity — “you help me and I help someone else” can be a bit trickier to measure. New research, however, shows that it might be possible for companies to encourage such generosity among employees.


Social Advocacy & Politics: Thought Leadership in the Social Age
Alan Rosenblatt, Social Media Today

Social media is where public thinking happens. So if you want to be a thought leader, you must lead on social media. Lead not only on social media, but like the tree falling in the woods, if you want to be heard you’ve got to fall among thinking people. If you are trying to influence the press, the press is on social media. If you are trying to lead scholarly discussions, scholars are already discussing their research on social media. If you want to lead the thinking about public policy, policymakers are all on social media, listening and thinking, even if they haven’t quite grasped how to engage.

... It is via indirect channels that you truly become a thought leader. When people share your posts with their networks, when they seek you out for answers to their questions and when they start talking about your ideas without even mentioning you, that is what thought leadership has become. When the press retweet you; when experts and policymakers follow you and incorporate your ideas into their work; when these things happen to you, you are a thought leader.


Pope Francis the Most Influential on Twitter

Despite the account’s massive following, the @BarackObama tweets are on average only retweeted 1,442 times. By this standard, Pope Francis @Pontifex is by far the most influential tweep with more than 10,000 retweets for every tweet he sends on his Spanish account and 6,462 retweets on average on his English account. Venezuela’s President @NicolasMadurois in second position, receiving on average 2,065 retweets per tweet on his Spanish account.


10 charities with inspirational Twitter header images
David Moth, Econsultancy

There appears to be a trend among charitable organisations and NGOs to use the header as a way of promoting various causes and campaigns, which leads to the images becoming clogged up with text and phone numbers.

Personally I’m dubious that many people are going to spend time reading an appeal within the header image, so it’s perhaps better to opt for an impactful visual instead. A picture is worth 1,000 words after all.

So with that in mind, here are 10 examples of charities and NGOs with inspirational header images...


Moneyball Philanthropy? Not Always
Caroline Fiennes and Ehren Reed, Forbes

Some charities are better than others, so we should find the good ones. On that we can all agree. We should support the charities that will be most effective in addressing the world’s pressing problems. And understanding that effectiveness requires measurement. But a reliance on quantitative analysis, which is helpful in understanding some charities, could prevent us from finding ones that are doing important, system-changing work.

... There’s frequently a trade-off. The more certainty a donor wants about results, the smaller they will be. If she’ll accept more uncertainty, by operating further away from beneficiaries and engaging more with the system around them, the ultimate effect may be greater. In other words, if donors limit their risk, they may simultaneously limit their return.

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