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26 December 2017
The Salvation Army’s structured departure from the ‘Out of Home Care’ sector continues, with existing contracts generally being completed by July 2019.
On Monday, 23 July, 100 practitioners, managers, staff and representatives from diverse NGOS, faith-based organisations and governments met in Frankston to launch the ‘Youth2 Campaign’. https://youth201.businesscatalyst.com/
‘There is no crisis accommodation in the Frankston Peninsula region. When a young person presents to a housing service in the area with nowhere to go, they will most likely be told they can be referred to a youth refuge that is in another region, IF there happens to be a vacancy on that day. Some young people resort to using Tinder or other dating sites, putting themselves at risk, in the hope that they may have somewhere warm to sleep for a night…’
Dr Russell Rook, a UK-based social activist, consultant, parliamentary aide, and spokesperson for the Christian community in Israel, and a Salvationist, has met with politicians, clerics, NGOs and his fellow Salvos during lectures last month.
The Salvation Army’s national commander Commissioner Floyd Tidd has written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, asking him to reverse the de-funding of asylum seekers living in Australia.
The Salvation Army was one of many faith-based providers present earlier this month at a Victorian government forum on inclusive service provision, held at the University of Melbourne.
The Salvation Army joined community leaders from ACOSS (the Australian Council of Social Services), UnitingCare Australia, Vinnies Australia, Anglicare Australia, Oxfam, the Australia Institute and ACTCOSS (ACT Council of Social Service Inc.) to lobby the senate to oppose proposed company tax cuts for big business.
‘There may be a few people tonight who will be glad about what they are getting out of this year’s Budget, but they won’t be any of the people, unfortunately, who come to The Salvation Army for help,’ Salvation Army spokesperson Captain Jason Davies-Kildea said in response to Treasurer Scott Morrison’s 2018 Budget.
The Salvation Army acknowledged some positive initiatives in the 2018 federal Budget, but said it failed ‘to deliver on one of the biggest drivers of poverty and disadvantage in the country – the cost of housing. Every day, The Salvation Army sees thousands of Australians struggling to keep up with everyday living expenses, one in three of whom are paying more than two thirds of their income on rent.
The Salvation Army encourages you to put these dates in to your calendars and diaries, and to duly engage in conversation and action.
Each day, The Salvation Army makes a practical difference in the lives of Australians, primarily – as outlined in its 2017-2018 policy statements – in the areas of poverty and disadvantage, Family and Domestic Violence (FDV), homelessness and housing, alcohol and other drugs, employment, and aged care.
The Salvation Army has made a submission to the Australian Government about an electoral legislation amendment that ‘would change public perception of charity/not-for-profit organisations that engages in advocacy over social issues on behalf of homeless and disadvantaged people in the community’.
The Salvation Army has responded in support of the ‘Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry into the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2017’. ‘The Salvation Army supports the proposed changes to the Family Law Act, which will enhance the protection, safety, and wellbeing of families who have experienced family violence,’ the submission reads.
The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory’s 2017 annual report, released in late December 2017, affirms that it is ‘committed to supporting the most marginalised and disadvantaged members of the community [and helping] people affected by homelessness, crisis, family violence, emergencies, natural disasters, drug, alcohol and gambling addictions and a range of other issues’.
Salvation Army national commander Commissioner Floyd Tidd has cited the ABS prediction that by 2030 there will be more than 30 million Australians.
The Salvation Army has made a submission to the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Housing Affordability) Bill 2017, discussing issues including concerns with the bill, re poverty and housing stress, the inefficacy of proposed punitive measures and the ongoing inadequacy of the Newstart allowance.
As expressed in its national Policy Statement 2017-18, The Salvation Army has called on the Australian Government to: ‘increase the supply of safe housing and accommodation for women and their children escaping Family and Domestic Violence, including rapid re-housing, crisis and long-term housing;
The annual ‘International Anti-Poverty Week’ (APW) from 15-21 October has reminded Salvation Army workers and members of the movement’s historical belief in and practice of a preferential option to reach out to people who are impoverished, as they are particularly vulnerable to social and economic pressures and hardships. The international Anti-Poverty Week centres around the United Nations’ annual International Anti-Poverty Day on 17 October, which commenced in 1987.
A submission has been made to the Productivity Commission re reforms to the human services sector, and the notion of introducing competitive tendering and contestability to areas such as social housing
The Salvation Army has commented on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Ending Carbon Tax Compensation) Bill 2017, opposing the measure to remove the payments to income support recipients. ‘Low income earners and income support recipients are particularly susceptible to cost pressures that relate to housing , fuel and utility prices; all of which have risen substantially in recent years,’ The Salvation Army said.
A Salvation Army submission has opposed the federal government’s proposed mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients, citing: the lack of evidence that such testing is effective;
The Salvation Army has welcomed the news that the South Australian Government is committing to full indexation on its not for profit contracts for the next four years.
The Australian Government’s Productivity Commission will receive submissions about its 2 June 2017 draft report into ‘increased competition, contestability and informed user choice to the human services … to improve outcomes for users, and the community as a whole’ up until Friday, 14 July. It will then make its final report to the Australian Government in October 2017.
The Salvation Army has made a response to the 2017-2018 Victorian state budget. Of particular interest were the state government’s responses to the issues of family violence, justice, legal assistance, vulnerable people and children, education, Aboriginal affairs, Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD), mental health, and homelessness and housing.
Australia Southern territory social programme director Netty Horton has drawn attention to the human cost of the proposed punitive budget measures aimed at vulnerable Australians, saying that ‘people on welfare often have a range of complex needs that cannot be addressed through simplistic solutions.
The Australian Council of Social Service, of which The Salvation Army is a member, has joined with the St Vincent de Paul Society, the National Council for Single Mothers and their Children to report the Australian government’s violation of the UN ‘International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’, of which Australia is a signatory.
The Salvation Army’s national policy statements will be released soon to coincide with the Australian Government’s budget, on 9 May.
The statements call for awareness of and relief for those under-privileged Australians who are enduring homelessness, FDV, poverty, addictions and other crises.
The Salvation Army’s new national Moral and Social Issues Council (‘MASIC’) has been tasked with exploring ‘moral, social, ethical and related matters upon which The Salvation Army may be called to share an informed opinion both with the community at large and with its own people’, as tasked and as proactively pursued by MASIC's national chair, Professor Graeme Young AM.
The Salvation Army’s Victorian Social Programme and Policy Unit (VSPPU) has made its submission to the Victorian Government’s 2017-2018 budget.
The Salvation Army has made a national submission to the senate’s ‘Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2016’, which looks to make budget savings by reducing social service payments. In particular, the removal of the energy supplement would reduce the already scarce incomes of 2.2 million Australians, including pensioners, single parents, single-income families and jobseekers on Newstart.
The Salvation Army acknowledges the interim report of the Productivity Commission, which notes concerning social housing services that ‘community housing providers … outperform public providers on some indicators, including tenant satisfaction and property maintenance’ and that ‘of all of the social housing managed by governments, 20% are not in an acceptable condition and property underutilisation is high’.
Issues of gender, theology, mission, community, friendship and artistic expression are being explored at The Salvation Army’s annual ‘Thought Matters’ conference from 14-16 October at the Catherine Booth College in Ringwood (Vic.).
e-connect examines the links between climate and service delivery in Melbourne’s winter.
Melbourne Project 614’s youth services manager Hayley Troemml-Wilson calls for a ‘whole of community’ response to children and youth in crisis.
The Salvation Army, ‘Walk Free’ and ‘the heads of most of Australia's major religious groups’ have written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to request the introduction of anti-slavery legislation, to free an estimated 4,000 people living in some form of slavery in Australia.
Melbourne Project 614’s youth services manager Hayley Troemml-Wilson reminds us that ‘hurt people hurt people’.
e-connect talks to Hayley Troemml-Wilson, the Salvation Army employee who spoke at a Police Victoria youth summit, following Victoria’s premier and a criminology professor.
The Salvation Army notes a poll of more than 1,400 people by The Australia Institute late last month, which found that 63% of respondents ‘oppose the bipartisan policy that people seeking asylum who arrive in Australia by boat should never be allowed to settle in the country’
The annual reconciliation week (27 May–3 June) was honoured and observed by The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army has joined forces with other major service providers to urge all political parties ‘to make reducing homelessness a national priority’. In a joint letter to the four party leaders, The Salvation Army, Anglicare, Mission Australia, St Vincent de Paul, UnitingCare Australia and Wesley Mission ‘demanded a commitment to halving homelessness by 2025’.
On 1 June the re-unification of The Salvation Army’s administrative processes commenced, with national leaders Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd moving from Melbourne to Canberra in the interim period; the process will be concluded by January 2019.
TSA has broadly welcomed the release of the Victorian budget. Captain Jason Davies-Kildea said ‘it’s difficult to pick holes in a budget that’s pretty good.
Earlier this month The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory submitted a paper to a Royal Commission consultation paper addressing child sexual abuse and exploitation in Out-Of-Home Care (OOHC) settings.
The Salvation Army’s national policy statements have been published and distributed to the Australian Government prior to the annual budget next month and the federal election later this year.
The Salvation Army has welcomed the Victorian Government’s acceptance of the large scale change process recommended by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The Salvation Army is preparing national positions and statements on several areas, for releases timed to anticipate and inform the occasions of the release of the federal budget (10 May, 2016) and the federal election (the latest possible date to call the election is 14 January, 2017).
The new national command, The Salvation Army explains, ‘will enable the Salvos to operate on a national platform with government, business, and community organisations to make a greater difference in the lives of people in need’.
In June 2016, for the first time since January 1921, The Salvation Army will be led by a national commander (the newly united ‘Australia Territory’ will be fully integrated and operational by January 2019).
The Salvation Army’s Victoria Social Programme and Policy Unit (VSPPU) has published its Victoria state budget submission 2016-2017. Entitled Levelling the Playing Field, the submission makes several funding recommendations,
The Salvation Army has made a submission re the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Family Payments Structural Reform and Participation Measures) Bill (No.2) 2015. The submission states that The Salvation Army 'welcomes measures and incentives that would see parents enter or increase their engagement with paid employment [and] supports moves to help parents gain employment as a strong indicator for childhood inclusion in education and employment.
Responding to the senate’s Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, The Salvation Army acknowledged ‘fiscal responsibility as an essential attribute of good government and supports a fair and simpler social security system [but noted] any changes to social security legislation must not adversely impact the people who need it most’.
The Salvation Army is not surprised by research from the Tenants Union of Victoria, which ‘found a severe lack of affordable and appropriate housing available to low-income households’, but thanks the union for this latest piece of empirical evidence of the continuation of Australia’s housing crisis.
On Friday, 25 September, almost 40 Salvation Army managers, officers and staff members participated in a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) seminar at the Australia Southern Territory’s Melbourne headquarters, addressed by a representative of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
As The Salvation Army’s national secretary, Lieut-Colonel Kelvin Alley, prepares to lead the movement in Papua New Guinea next month, Lieut-Colonel Xuyen Samuel Pho will take on the Canberra liaison role as national secretary from 1 December.
Family and Domestic Violence services across Australia would welcome news of a partial re-investment in the sector by the federal government, following a pledge on 24 September to put $41 million into ‘improving services to those who are victims of domestic violence’.
The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory has been called to appear before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse in Adelaide.
e-connect talks to the incoming secretary for programme, Lieut-Colonel Kelvin Merrett, and outgoing secretary for programme and new chief secretary, Colonel Graeme Rigley.
A senate committee is due to report on Family and Domestic Violence in Australia, in August 2015. The committee’s frame of reference includes ‘the prevalence and impact of domestic violence in Australia as it affects all Australians…
The Salvation Army has made a submission to the federal government’s national ice taskforce, calling for: increased community education; additional support services for families; treatment service resourcing; AOD workforce organisational capacity building initiatives.
On 26 May, Ann Sathasivam* was an invited participant at a community group information session on forced marriage, at the Dandenong Ridges Hotel. The event, held by the federal attorney-general’s department, included approximately 50 people from Red Cross, a wide range of NGOs and interested organisations.
Netty Horton and territorial AOD (Alcohol and Other Drugs) unit director Kathryn Wright visited the federal department of health and ageing in Canberra and engaged in positive discussions. The department is considering obtaining case studies from the work of The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory in this field. Significant discussion centred around the issue of funding for AOD work, both treatment grant programs and substance misuse funding, which concludes at the end of June.
The Australian Institute of Criminology has examined the feasibility and logistics of monitoring human trafficking and slavery, as it affects Australia, and how best to monitor slavery. The hope is to ‘develop a conceptual framework and dataset that provides a more comprehensive description of human trafficking and slavery than is currently available; and determine if such a monitoring program is practical or whether other monitoring options should be considered’.
The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory’s Victoria Social Programme and Policy Unit (VSPPU) has made a submission to the Victorian Government’s 2015-2016 budget.
The Salvation Army, on behalf of the South Australia Division, has made a submission to Social Development Committee South Australian Parliament Domestic Inquiry into Domestic and Family Violence Submission to the South Australian Government re DFV.
The Salvation Army has hosted public NGO workshops in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne to explore how the US-based human trafficking organisation Polaris could aid a similar helpline in Australia. The Melbourne event attracted approximately 25 attendants.
Commissioner Floyd Tidd says we set our policies because of those in need. Our mission connects us with the most vulnerable and desperate people in communities all over Australia.
As White Ribbon Day approaches, The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory wishes to remind its staff that it provides FDV leave and support to employees
The Salvation Army has made a national submission to the Australian Senate, offering its perspective and recommendations for supporting vulnerable children and young people who require out of home care (OOHC).
The most recent campaign of The Salvation Army’s Freedom partnership to end modern slavery (see the Development section also) aims to educate Australian citizens and encourage the Australian government to prevent the ‘16-hour days without breaks, violence and threats and little or no pay’ that 54,000 domestic workers face, as they remain ‘vulnerable to severe exploitation and abuse equal to modern slavery’.
The Salvation Army has made a national submission to the Australian Senate’s enquiry ‘into the extent of income inequality in Australia’. The Salvation Army noted that income support recipients ‘live below the poverty line as income supports do not meet daily costs of living [and] have not increased in line with inflation, which only compounds issues of deprivation, entrenched poverty and the extent of income inequality among disadvantaged groups’.
The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce has made recommendations to address failures in the current system of guardianship and care of unaccompanied refugee and asylum-seeking children.
The Salvation Army, in preparation for the Victorian election in November 2014, has publicly cited key concerns re government policy and funding
Professor Peter Whiteford of the Australian National University has written that ‘the young unemployed’ and lone parents would have their incomes cut by a further 12-18% by the budget proposals.
The Salvation Army has submitted a national response to the McClure Welfare Reform interim report.
The annual national Homeless Persons Week (4-10 August) provides an opportunity to reflect on the nature and extent of homeless in Australia and the systemic poverty and inequity that sustains homelessness.
Coinciding with the first United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons, The Salvation Army launched the Freedom Partnership, equipping ‘Australians with the information and knowledge to identify slavery and slave-like practices which currently exist in the Australian community’; the better to help ‘bring to an end this exploitative system’.
On 14 July Ann Sathasivam joined the Australia Southern Territory’s policy team in Melbourne as the Melbourne-based community organisation coordinator of The Salvation Army’s ‘Freedom Partnership to End Modern Slavery’. It was a fond return to The Salvation Army’s employee ranks for Ann, having previously worked in the territory's education department.
Welcome Carolyn Russell and Ann Sathasivam, new staff, at the Salvation Army Southern Territory Social Programme. Read more about Carolyn here and Ann in the next Policy article.
The Salvation Army has received two-year funding from Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest’s ‘Walk Free end slavery’ campaign. This will enable The Salvation Army’s ‘Freedom Partnership to End Modern Slavery’.
‘Freedom Partnership – to End Modern Slavery’ is conducted an all-day anti-human trafficking training at The Salvation Army’s Melbourne headquarters (95-99 Railway Road, Blackburn) on Wednesday, 25 June. This is an opportunity for frontline practitioners and team leaders in all Salvation Army programs.
The Australia Southern territorial social programme department invited Salvation Army staff and volunteers to participate in a one-day program focusing on homelessness, on Monday, 30 June, at The Salvation Army’s Geelong Conference Centre (Vic.).
The Age reports that the federal government's commission of audit has targeted savings in the area of ‘family payments, child care, health care, education, unemployment and pension payments, aged care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme’, as well as ‘cuts to industry assistance and the public service and a radical shake-up of the way all governments tax and do business’.
The Salvation Army has welcomed the Victorian 2014-15 State Budget, with its extended funding to homelessness, out-of-home care, concessions and youth diversion programs. Concerns were raised, however, re 'the massive growth in prison infrastructure that has been a major feature of Victorian budgets over the past three years'.
An Out-Of-Home-Care system proposed by the Victorian Government will see an additional $38 million invested in caring for vulnerable children and young people in the sector, through the 2014/15 State Budget.
The Salvation Army has made a national submission to a federal senate inquiry into affordable housing, with a number of recommendations: targeted partnerships with the church sector to develop social
The Salvation Army has distributed a national series of pre-budget statements to all federal parliamentarians and senators prior to the federal budget.
The Salvation Army encourages you to celebrate this coming Saturday, 8 March, which is the annual international women’s day. The day serves to highlight areas of progress in how women and children are treated, and also considers issues that still need to be addressed throughout much of the world.
Divisional social programme secretaries met in Hobart (Tas.) last month for a conference to share information, network, and share ideas and strategies to address pressing challenges and opportunities.
We are rightly proud of the amazing work of the employees and officers in our social programs; they serve the people of Australia and form the human face of The Salvation Army.
I take this opportunity to add that the purpose and passion of The Salvation Army has to be holistic; all-encompassing. As William Booth put it, we are about a mission that is ‘the whole world redeeming’.
Ultimately, we have to be accountable for who we are under God. We anticipate that identifying core business will help our territory plan and budget.
Consider what our ministry would look like if we chose to allocate 70% of our resources towards core business; 20% towards emerging issues; and 10% towards unique entrepreneurial expressions. This is a simplification, and we are aware that there is huge diversity in demographic and community needs throughout the divisions, distinctive approaches in service provision, and variations in existing resourcing.
Another question being asked: What needs are actually being met effectively by others? We need to be open to pushing on by ourselves and combining our efforts and resources with others in consortia. Our readiness to enter into partnerships is evidenced by the joint-tenders we have submitted to the Victorian Government in the non-residential AOD reform process, which have already passed the first stage of the tender process and involved interviews with government officials
The prospect of difficult financial times in Australia, perhaps even recession, is one challenge that TSA AUS faces on behalf of its clients, its members and its staff and officers. We are confronted with hard and complex decisions.
More than 30 Salvation Army officers and staff gathered in Hobart, Tasmania for a divisional social programme secretaries conference. The event gave the territory the opportunity to discuss the progress and initiatives of many projects.
Last month the Australian Medical Association has called on the federal government to hold a national summit to discuss the traumas resulting from misuse of alcohol. The proposed summit would target for inclusion members of government, councils, police, health experts, teachers, victims and the alcohol industry itself.
The Salvation Army, the largest provider of homelessness services in Australia, has presented its national report on homelessness to federal ministers Kevin Andrews and Mitch Fifield.
n a national submission to the federal Treasury re the definition of charity, The Salvation Army listed its services as including: case management, child care homelessness shelters, chaplaincy (including prisons), court services, crisis accommodation centres, crisis counselling....
The Salvation Army’s annual national alcohol awareness campaign runs from 21-25 October and aims to highlight ‘the very real danger that alcohol presents and highlighting the extensive damage alcohol does in the Australian community’.
As White Ribbon Day approaches (25 November) The Salvation Army stands by its national election statements and recommendations concerning domestic and family violence in Australia.
The Salvation Army’s national federal election statements have been distributed to politicians of various parties in the lead up to the 7 September polling day.
The Salvation Army’s second national Economic and Social Impact Survey (ESIS) helped to point out the need for additional support to single parent families and other Salvation Army clients, and increasing public and governmental financial support of the annual Red Shield Appeal.
The Aboriginal communities of the Northern Territory do not always speak with one voice. For example, there is often a diversity of opinions among indigenous groups and elders about the benefits or otherwise of Government initiatives such as the Intervention, the basics card, etc. However, there appears to be a general resistance from indigenous people to the chief minister’s announcement, as the stolen generation is still a raw memory for many people.
The minister for mental health and ageing, the minster for indigenous health and the parliamentary secretary for mental health, Mark Butler, Warren Snowdon and Melissa Parke respectively, launched a federal strategy to reduce the rate of Indigenous suicide on 23 May.
The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory has made a submission concerning the exposure draft public housing tenant’s support bill 2013.
In its submission regarding the ‘drafting of the statutory definition’ of a charity, The Salvation Army recommended ‘the only disqualifying political purposes or activities are as follows: endorsing the election of a political party; or endorsing the election of a candidate for political office’.
What does The Salvation Army do, in terms of the misuse of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) drugs? Who do we work with? e-connect discovers that there is no simple answer; that The Salvation Army’s response is made to whomsoever; that the modus operandi is to put resources where they are most needed; that support is rendered to those most in need in a timely manner.
‘For over 130 The Salvation Army has learnt about the dynamics of power and abuse, and the courage and resilience that form the basis of positive change,’ said Commissioner Aylene Finger at a family violence forum held last month at the organisation’s territorial headquarters in Blackburn (Vic.), that drew some 60 participants.
e-connect examines the habit of forming a New Year’s Resolution or, for the conscientious, Resolutions, and encourages e-connectors to think big and follow through.
Dr Jeremy Sammut, a Research Fellow at The Centre for Independent Studies, contends that ‘without fundamental reform of child protection policy and practice, children will continue to be harmed in the name of family preservation’.