Daily News - Tuesday 30 July 2013

Posted 30 July 2013 7:49am

DisabilityCare - First impressions of a brand new scheme
George Taleporos, Ramp Up, ABC

Three weeks after the launch, Dr George Taleporos reviews DisabilityCare Australia's glossy brochures and sexy website. He also speaks to one of its first participants and asks the Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, for her first impressions about the implementation of Australia's most significant reform to disability services in our history.

Hoarders need help, says expert
Amy Corderoy, The Age

Hoarding is on the rise as people become increasingly isolated and have more access to cheap goods, an expert in the disorder says.

Dehumanising sex workers: what’s ‘prostitute’ got to do with it?
Lizzie Smith, The Conversation

Identifying victims of violent crime as “prostitutes” has a distancing effect: it makes “normal” women feel safe.

When an addict is a star, not a junkie
Chris Middendorp, The Age

... when is someone struggling with drug dependency not a junkie? The recent death of popular Glee star Cory Monteith provides insight into how we judge drug users.

... Many people who become dependent on heroin, benzodiazepines or ice have experienced horrific abuse as children. It's not hard to imagine how drugs might function as an analgesic for emotional pain.

Medical science is establishing a sound evidence base for this. Last year, an important Australian study published in the Drug and Alcohol Review found that 80 per cent of people who were dependent on alcohol or other drugs had experienced significant trauma in their lives.

Gay rights and the glass ceiling
Snnis Altman, Inside Story

Few whites will today express overt hostility towards other races, but those who are black or Arab live every day with the reality of real and painful prejudice. It has become more difficult to express overt dislike about homosexuality, but this does not mean deeper hostilities have disappeared, only that it has become less acceptable to express them.

Pope calls for integration of gays
Emma Alberici, Lateline, ABC

Pope Francis has spoken out against the marginalisation of gay people and said they should be integrated into society but he stopped short of contradicting church teaching which considers homosexual acts to be sinful.

A life without stigma
Barbara Hocking, SANE Australia (via APO)

Stigma stops people asking for help and getting the treatment and support they need. It makes it more difficult to find somewhere decent to live, a job, a mortgage, or insurance. It can make it more difficult to get help to look after children, make friends, feel good about yourself, or even to feel that life is worth living. Stigma is a major barrier to recovery. If people with mental illness are to be included as equal members of our society, then stigma and its associated discrimination must be eliminated.

Boot camps won’t solve our youth unemployment problem
Veronica Sheen, The Conversation

... mandated boot camps for unemployed youth are a step away from a “gulag” approach to social problems. They are another dent in the social safety net. It moves us away from the post-war view that unemployment is a social risk emanating from structural economic changes to one in which it is seen as an outcome of individual deficits.

US - Status and Stress
Moises Velasquez-Manoff, New York Times

Although professionals may bemoan their long work hours and high-pressure careers, really, there’s stress, and then there’s Stress with a capital “S.” The former can be considered a manageable if unpleasant part of life; in the right amount, it may even strengthen one’s mettle. The latter kills.

US - Poverty is Poison
Matt Bruenig, Demos Policyshop

As Velasquez-Manoff details, poverty does not merely reduce the opportunities of kids to, for instance, go to a quality school, participate in costly enrichment activities, have access to networks, and develop cultural and social capital. It does certainly do all of those things, but more importantly, poverty-induced stress physically messes up kids, their brain development in particular.

US - Your Brain on Poverty & Restorative Justice Approaches
Elizabeth Stoker

By now you’ve likely heard about the new longitudinal study out of Philadelphia about the effects of fetal exposure to cocaine on development, cognition, intelligence, and so on. But the study’s author and chief scientist concluded, at the end of her 25 year tracking of various affected persons and controls, that poverty was a greater risk to a person’s capacities than fetal exposure to cocaine. This is the finding that has caused so much stir, likely because learning that poverty is a direct and distinct risk to a person’s development immediately initiates the question, ‘why can’t we just relieve poverty?’

UK - Can citizenship be a gift?
Simon Duffy

Central to my work over the last 23 years has been the idea of citizenship. One central idea has been that the organisation of the social care system (and many other public services) operates in a way that is hostile to citizenship: support is a gift coming from, and defined by, the professionals funded by the state.

It struck me, way back then, that it would be more consistent with our dignity and rights if such support was self-directed and based upon our right to support and clear entitlements. This perception led to both the development of Inclusion Glasgow and to the creation of self-directed support.

Coalition of Organisations Committed to the Safety and Wellbeing of Children
Kevin Andrews

Time and experience has taught governments – federal, state and territory – that “one size does not fit all.” Increased emphasis on local partnerships are preferable; what works in Melbourne might not work in Mackay; what works in Geelong might not work in Geraldton – but what we do know is those people on the ground in Geraldton, on the ground in Mackay, know what will work. Our emphasis must be to empower these people and to drive decision-making at this grass roots level.

Pregnant women sent to Manus despite the risks
Bianca Hall, The Age

Young children and pregnant women may be sent to Manus Island, the government has confirmed, despite it being warned eight months ago that pregnant women risked losing their babies, or their own lives, by taking anti-malaria medication.

Tribal tensions may tear 'solution' apart
Rory Callinan, The Age

Hidden down a dirt road near the asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island is a confronting symbol of the locals' waning tolerance towards the Australian government's refugee strategy.

Surrounded by clouds of flies and accompanied by a foul stench is the centre's open air and very makeshift rubbish dump.

PNG: Scenes From The Suburbs
Vlad Sokhin, The Global Mail

Asylum seekers shunted from Australia to Papua New Guinea will join a society struggling with the fallout of poverty, corruption, failing systems and rapid social change. But within Port Moresby's coastal villages and sprawling settlements, there is also strength, resilience and celebration of family and culture.

How We Justify Our Cruelty
Liz Conor, New Matilda

We assign to vulnerable, desperate people blame for circumstances they did not create. A string of causal factors drop out of the picture. Australians, for instance, were part of the forces invading Iraq and Afghanistan. We contributed to making many of the places people are fleeing uninhabitable, either by failing to act advisedly, or acting inadvisedly. What we are doing to asylum seekers is simply vindictive, and like so many pitiless policies, it says more about our own unsettled identities than the needs of asylum seekers.

Australia's 'stop the boats' policy is cynical and lawless
John Pilger, The Guardian

The policy in Canberra, known as "stop the boats", evokes the hysteria and cynicism of more than a century ago when the "yellow peril" was said to be about to fall down on Australia as if by the force of gravity.

Dr Tim Soutphommasane appointed as Race Discrimination Commissioner
Australian Human Rights Commission

The Australian Human Rights Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs, today welcomed the appointment of Dr Tim Soutphommasane as Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner.

beyondblue to lead redevelopment of mental health program for secondary schools
beyondblue, media release

beyondblue is pleased to announce it has been appointed by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing to lead the redevelopment and delivery of MindMatters through to mid-2016.

New report delves into $207m of philanthropic grants
Centre for Social Impact

Twelve of Australia’s leading philanthropic foundations distributed $207 million in grants to the Australian community between 2009 and 2011. New research released today examines for the first time how and where these funds were distributed by cause, sector and region.

Pope on homosexuals: 'Who am I to judge?'
John Allen, National Catholic Reporter

One way to tell that a pope is feeling good at the end of a long trip is when he comes back to the press compartment and does precisely what he said at the beginning of the journey he won’t, or can’t, do.

On the way to Rio de Janeiro on July 22, Pope Francis told reporters that “I don’t give interviews.” But at the end of his seven-day tour de force in Brazil, not only did the pope give an interview, it was a whopper.

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