Daily News - Wednesday 24 September 2014

Posted 23 September 2014 10:42pm

Disability advocates fear peak body funding changes could affect representation
Norman Hermant, ABC

Disability advocates are concerned people with disabilities will not be adequately represented under changes to the sector proposed by the Federal Government.

Under a Department of Social Services overhaul, peak bodies that represent people with disabilities have been told to re-apply for their Commonwealth funding.


Geelong - No cash left for Saturday care as council axes disability services
Nicole Mills, Geelong Advertiser

Geelong city council will stop providing disability services on Saturdays as it continues to struggle with the National Disability Insurance Scheme funding model.

The council’s community services general manager, Jenny McMahon, said it had no money left in the budget to offer services, including respite, on Saturdays.

She said existing clients would be covered in the short term while the council tried to find another provider.


Homeless stats are on the rise in Sutherland Shire, with boarding houses, caravan parks filling up
Jim Gainsford, St George and Sutherland Leader

The number of homeless people sleeping rough in Sutherland Shire is rising.

And rough sleeping within the National Park also remains a concern, a report to the Sutherland Shire's community and strategy committee says.


Kevin Andrews stands by claim that NZ makes people wait for the dole

The social services minister, Kevin Andrews, is standing his ground over accusations that he fabricated facts about New Zealand’s welfare system.

Labor says the minister’s claims that Kiwis applying for benefits have to wait one month before they can get welfare are untrue.

The opposition families spokeswoman, Jenny Macklin, says Andrews has misled the public in order to sell the Coalition’s plans to force unemployed under-30s to wait six months before they can get benefits.

Andrews stood by his claim when quizzed about it in parliament on Tuesday.


Pensions up, but little cheer for many as Newstart payments fall further behind
ACOSS and National Welfare Rights Network

A new analysis of social security payments reveals that the single Newstart Allowance paid to over half a million Australians continued to fall in value when compared with both the minimum wage and the pension. Two leading national community welfare groups today warned that the declining relative value of some payments means increased poverty and social division.

In a joint statement today Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and Maree O'Halloran, President of the National Welfare Rights Network (NWRN) said that: "Addressing the $170 a week gap between pensions and allowances is the most critical task that the Government's Welfare Review Taskforce must address.


‘Poor people don’t plan long-term. We’ll just get our hearts broken’
Linda Tirado, The Observer

In the autumn of 2013 I was in my first term of school in a decade. I had two jobs; my husband, Tom, was working full-time; and we were raising our two small girls. It was the first time in years that we felt like maybe things were looking like they’d be OK for a while.

After a gruelling shift at work, I was unwinding online when I saw a question from someone on a forum I frequented: Why do poor people do things that seem so self-destructive? I thought I could at least explain what I’d seen and how I’d reacted to the pressures of being poor. I wrote my answer to the question, hit post, and didn’t think more about it for at least a few days. This is what it said ...


Melbourne academic Helen Herrman elected World Psychiatric Association president
Andie Noonan, ABC

The first Australian to be elected president of the World Psychiatric Association says she wants to put a focus on women's mental health issues.

Melbourne University Professor of Psychiatry Helen Herrman was elected at the association's three-year World Psychiatric Congress in Madrid on September 16.

Professor Herrman, who has researched mental health in marginalised groups for more than 20 years, said she would pursue inclusive care for women and young people during her time in the position.


What I wish people knew about depression
Therese Borchard, National Catholic Reporter

"Soul Seeing" editor Mike Leach asked me to write on what I wish people knew about depression in light of Robin Williams' suicide. Here is what I wish for.

I wish people knew that the soul of someone who dies of suicide is as perfect as the moment God created it, that depression is an involuntary shadow that hides their true identity.

I wish people would offer those who struggle with depression the same compassion they offer to friends with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, breast cancer or any other socially acceptable illness, that they would question those discriminations and judgments reserved for disorders that fall under the umbrella of "mental illness."


A new approach to national child protection data: implementation of the Child Protection National Minimum Data Set

Over the past few years, the AIHW, with dedicated national resources made available through the Australian Government, has worked with all jurisdictions to implement a new Child Protection National Minimum Data Set (CP NMDS) for reporting on child protection. This working paper describes the development and implementation of the CP NMDS and highlights key new analyses able to be reported for the first time at the national level. It also outlines the need for ongoing development work.


15 per cent of under 15s are living in poverty in Illawarra and South Coast
Antony Field, Illawarra Mercury

New figures showing that three in 20 children under the age of 15 are living in poverty in the Illawarra and South Coast are no surprise to Southern Youth and Family Services.

SYFS chief executive officer Narelle Clay said they constantly raised the issue of poverty.

‘‘Poverty and homelessness are linked,’’ Ms Clay said.

‘‘We’ve said for a very long time income measures need to be increased to address poverty for young people.’’


UK - New study calls for better awareness of drug problems in older people
Wired Gov

The issue of drug misuse in older people is being systematically ignored according to a report published by the Big Lottery Fund today. The scoping study indicates that while the number of older people with drug problems in the UK is on the rise they fail to get the same attention as young people.

The report produced by the Substance Misuse and Ageing Research Team at the University of Bedfordshire, shows that while most indicators of drug use are decreasing in young people, both illicit drug use* and medication addiction is a growing problem for older people across the UK. This is likely to be largely due to the ageing of the ‘baby-boomer’ generation – those born during the period of increased birth-rates following World War II, who were exposed to relatively high levels and liberal attitudes to drug use in their formative years.


Minority youth and social transformation in Australia: identities, belonging and cultural capital
Andrew Jakubowicz, Jock Collins, Carol Reid & Wafa Chafic, Social Inclusion

Increasingly minority youth, especially from Muslim backgrounds, have been seen in Australian public policy and the media as potentially disruptive and transgressive. In some European societies similar young people have been portrayed as living in parallel and disconnected social spaces, self-segregated from interaction with the wider community. Yet Australian ethnic minority youth do not fulfill either of these stereotypes. Rather, despite their often regular experiences of racism or discrimination, they continue to assert a strong identification with and belonging to Australian society, albeit the society that marginalizes and denigrates their cultural capital. In particular it is the neighbourhood and the locality that provides the bridge between their home cultures and the broader world, contributing to a range of positive aspirations and fluid identities.


Manus security firm, G4S, responsible for February violence, says law centre
Melissa Davey, The Guardian

Australia’s former security contractor at the Manus Island detention centre was directly responsible for violence that broke out in February and in which Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati was killed, a formal complaint lodged by the Human Rights Law Centre on Tuesday claims.


ACOSS Policy Forum 2014 - Inclusive Growth
Tuesday 11 November 2014, Melbourne

ACOSS will hold our annual Policy Forum in Melbourne, at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Trust on 11 November 2014. The theme for this year’s forum is inclusive growth, and the event will provide an opportunity for the community sector to engage on the issues facing our community as we grapple to support the economy, and respond to shrinking revenues in a way that ensures that there is not growing inequity and those at the margins do not get left behind.


How Should the CDF Treat U.S. Nuns? 'Just Say "Thank You"'
Mary Ann Walsh, America

About 18 months ago a Vatican official told me he had asked a U.S. philanthropist for advice on how to deal with controversy with American nuns. The philanthropist advised: "Just say 'thank you.'"

The conversation came to mind as I read comments Sept. 18 in The New York Times by Vice President Biden in which he said he advised Pope Francis to lighten up and not be be so hard on the nuns.


Pope creates Vatican commission to study marriage process
Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has created a new Vatican commission to study a reform of the Catholic church's processes and laws surrounding the sacrament of marriage, appointing a wide range of male cardinals, bishops and theologians to the new group, the Vatican announced Saturday.

While the Vatican statement does not specifically relate creation of the new group to an upcoming global meeting of bishops on issues of family life, the group seems likely to study many issues surrounding that meeting, including the Catholic teaching of indissolubility of marriage and the process for couples to obtain annulments.


Synod not about remarriage says Bagnasco

The leader of Italy's bishops on Monday said media reports had fuelled "grossly misleading" public perceptions that next month's special synod on the family was all about divorced and remarried people being admitted to the sacraments.
"(It is) grossly misleading, as it seems to be induced by public opinion, to reduce the work of the Synod of Bishops to that of discussing the sacramental practices surrounding divorce and remarriage", said Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episopal Conference (CEI).

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