Family Safety Pack

The Australian Government has developed a family safety pack with information on Australia’s laws regarding domestic and family violence, sexual assault and forced marriage.

The pack aims to reduce violence against women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, by ensuring they understand their rights and where to get support if needed. It also aims to strengthen support for women coming to Australia on a Partner Visa, by providing information on the family violence visa provisions and available support.

The pack includes four factsheets on the following topics:

The pack also includes a low literacy storyboard.

The pack is a key initiative of the Second Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. Under the Second Action Plan, the Australian Government is committed to understanding and addressing violence against women from CALD backgrounds and improving support available to CALD women.

The pack is available in 22 community languages. For translations please go to

Funding ‘debacle’ for thousands of community workers results in Senate inquiry

The Senate has supported an inquiry into the shambolic DSS grants process


Some positive news for not-for-profit organisations and community workers this week, with the Senate launching an inquiry into the Department of Social Service’s (DSS) ‘shambolic’ grants program.

Following $271m of funding cuts to the community sector last year, the process to apply for the remaining DSS funding left hundreds of community organisations uncertain about their ongoing funding past February this year, and thousands of community sector jobs in limbo.

The Senate inquiry will look at a broad range of issues, including a review of the ongoing delays to funding announcements, dreadfully timed cuts to essential services, and drawn-out contract negotiations for hundreds of community services.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, who led the call for the inquiry, said in a statement:

“The grants application process introduced by the Government is a debacle that has left seismic shockwaves through community services . . . There is a great deal of uncertainty and confusion about the grants process with community organisations nation-wide . . . This undermines the ability of the community sector to support their clients and to deliver services to the community.”

“The inquiry will thoroughly examine the Government’s decision making process and the way they have gone about delivering these significant and harmful cuts. The inquiry will examine the impact of these cuts on the service quality, efficiency and sustainability of the sector, as well as the ability of organisations to properly advocate on behalf of their clients.”

The Senate inquiry is welcoming written submissions, giving organisations that employ thousands of community workers an opportunity to raise their concerns about the grants process and its impact on services and employees.

Submissions are due by March 20 – we’ll keep you posted as to the outcome of the inquiry in the coming months.

Green Army Program

The Green Army Program is a Federal Government initiative to allow access to young people aged between 17-24 years to participate in a paid allowance project lasting up to 26 weeks. It is a stepping stone for young people looking to gain paid experience and learn valuable skills to hopefully assist in moving forward with employment. The successful participants will be provided with the following for the project:

Provided with PPE and uniform

  • Transport each day to and from the project site from a centralised meeting point
  • Be paid an allowance, amounts vary depending on age (17-24 years old)
  • Participate in training and learning as part of the project conducted through online learning with TAFE Western and hands on experience with the project
  • Receive a Certificate of Completion from TAFE Western
  • Provided with appropriate tools to be used on project site

Below is the link to the seek advertisement for the position that the interested participant will need to complete to be eligible for the project


Spinal Cord Injuries Australia | Campaign

2014-06-20 08_22_20-Spinal Cord Injuries AustraliaSpinal Cord Injuries Australia is seeking your support to take a few minutes to download and send four pre-written letters (available on the SCIA website) to four Federal ministers.

This campaign is to lobby the Federal Government to increase the number of items that are Goods and Services Tax (GST) exempt to help reduce the extra unavoidable cost that people with disability have.

You can help by following the instructions that include inserting your name and address in four letters before sending via email. Go to:

All people with disability will have the opportunity to benefit from a successful GST Exemption Campaign, which will have even greater benefit if the GST percentage gets increased.

Call for Submissions | National Review of Existing Mental Health Programmes and Services

The Australian Government has asked the National Mental Health Commission to review how effectively Australia responds to the needs of people living with mental health problems and those who support them. The Review will examine existing mental health services and programmes across the government, private and non-government sectors. You can find the Terms of Reference here.

This call for submissions will inform our Interim Report to be completed by 30 June 2014.

We want YOU to help us identify exactly what needs to be done differently, by providing us (in this questionnaire):

  1. Specific examples of good practice from your own experience
  2. Specific examples from your own experience of what is not working
  3. Practical, specific changes that you believe need to happen for practice, behaviour, and outcomes to improve.

Give Us Your Views

Click here to respond

The survey is open until 11.59pm AEST on 14 April 2014.