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26 December 2017
A new report reveals that 2,177 Australians died in drug-related instances in 2016. That number represents a significant increase over 15 years; there were 1,231 drug-related deaths in 2002.
Recent research published in The Lancet has determined that there is no safe level of use of alcohol, pointing to the need to evaluate risk and usage.
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) has published research on the links between incarceration of women and the reality of intimate partner violence (IPV) that many of them experience before and after incarceration.
A joint report, from the Refugee Council of Australia, and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, discusses the plight of ‘around 900 people who are still stuck on Nauru six years later, including an estimated 109 children’.
The Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC) has held an inquiry into service provision ‘to remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ was billed as ‘a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to look at how Queensland policy and services can improve outcomes for communities’.
The Australian Centre for Child Protection, at the University of South Australia, reported to the Australian children’s commissioners and guardians last month. The report provides an analysis and evaluation of a range of child protection practice frameworks.
The Australian Institute of Criminology has released research this month examining ‘offender and offence characteristics associated with the onset of child sexual abuse in adolescence and adulthood [via] a sample of males adjudicated for sexual offences.
The Australian Bureau of Statistic data about the 2016 Census, released in March showed that the homeless count has risen 4.6% in the past five years, from 105,000 to 116,000 people.
The Salvation Army’s seventh annual national Economic and Social Impact Survey (2018 ESIS) spoke to 1,267 welfare clients, who represented 1,470 children. ESIS reveals there has been a 13% increase in the level of deprivation experienced by children, compared to last year’s findings, with more than two thirds of those children experiencing severe deprivation and growing up in households with significant hardship and disadvantage
The World Health Organisation estimates that ‘10% of older people globally are victims of abuse’. Defined as ‘a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person,’ elder abuse is seen as a serious problem in Victoria, with the state’s Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations (released in March 2016) increasing the focus.
Amnesty International has released a report examining the past five years or so where ‘more than 800 refugees and people seeking asylum have been immured in Australian-run detention centres on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG)’.
Estimates vary, but approximately 400,000 Australians have been reported to have been on the ‘public dental waiting lists, some waiting up to five years to access treatment’.
New research in the Northern Territory notes ‘two significant characteristics that add to the complexity of delivering mental health and suicide prevention services in the Northern Territory. The first is the wide geographic spread of a comparatively small population, relative to other states and territories. The second is the significant trauma and disadvantage experienced by a large proportion of the NT’s Aboriginal population…
The Salvation Army’s Grant Herring has written a piece for Tasmania’s Mercury, exploring the dilemma in the Australian approach to dealing with people convicted of criminal actions.
In the NSHS 2016 cited above, 2,990 (27%) of social housing tenants surveyed
lived in households with children (6,544, or 73%, lived in households without children).
Newly released 2016 research examines life for ‘working age’ (aged 15-64) social housing tenants, canvassing subjects such as ‘satisfaction with their housing provider, use of community and support services, labour force participation, proximity to facilities and services [and] benefits of living in social housing’.
Housing tenure, body mass index and health in Australia have been linked by researchers Bruce Tranter and Dr Jed Donoghue through ‘a national survey of Australian adults [which] shows higher levels of obesity among public housing tenants and home owners with a mortgage, compared to outright home owners’.
A position paper released by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), reported earlier this month, confirms that alcohol consumption ‘is known to increase the risk of several cancers, including head and neck, esophageal, liver, colorectal and female breast cancers’.
The Kirby Institute has found ‘a widening gap in HIV infection rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people… [rates of] gonorrhoea rising in young people’. In good news, there is also a reduction in numbers of people ‘living with hepatitis C with severe liver disease’.
Captain Jason Davies-Kildea’s doctoral thesis is entitled The Salvation Army and the Social Gospel: Reconciling evangelical intent and social concern. The paper includes a survey of the attitudes of Salvation Army officers and examines differing views on what ‘the Army’ is, what purpose it serves, and for whom it exists.
The federal governments’ Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a paper on health care in Australia, entitled Health expenditure Australia 2015–16. Health expenditure is ‘defined as expenditure on health goods and services, including investment in equipment and facilities.’
Earlier this month, UNSW released a ‘new set of budget standards for low-paid and unemployed families that are relevant to contemporary Australian conditions’. Entitled New minimum income for healthy living budget standards for low-paid and unemployed Australians, the project was funded by the Australian Research Council ‘with additional cash and in-kind support provided by Catholic Social Services, Australia; United Voice (National Office); and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)’.
The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) has released its annual statistical report 2016: Chapter 6, entitled Self-harm and suicidal behaviour of young people aged 14–15 years old.
Research has examined issues of community care, health and quality of life ‘in the face of the economic and demographic pressures associated with an ageing population’.
The Australian National University has examined ‘trends in spending on social security cash transfers and services in Australia since 1980’, and in ‘the proportion of the population receiving different social security payments’. It has also compared Australian social security spending with other OECD countries.
New research asks if alcohol and drugs ‘can be called a “cause” of family violence?’ The article discusses ‘why problem framing is so important in public policy, and explores the framing of policy actors talking about alcohol and drugs in Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence’.
With respect to its poverty alleviation work, The Salvation Army notes a newly released discussion paper, submitted to the Victorian Government in May 2017, which explores the rising costs of electricity and gas. The paper notes that ‘competition was introduced into retail electricity markets in Victoria’ in the belief that ‘competitive markets will generally best serve the interests of consumers and the wider community [by] creating incentives for businesses to reduce costs, improve services for consumers and innovate.
The federal government’s Australian Institute of Health and welfare has released a report that shows, in 2015-16, some 796 alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just over 206,600 treatment episodes to an estimated 134,000 clients.
The ‘Illicit Drug Data Report’ (IDDR) reveals record national numbers of arrests and seizures of cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens.
In 2015–16, police agencies made a record 115,421 national illicit drug seizures, weighing a total of 21 tonnes, with a record 154,538 national illicit drug arrests. For the first time, the IDDR includes data from the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, gathered through the chemical analysis of sewerage water.
Shelter SA, the peak body for housing in South Australia, has shared its vision ‘for every citizen in our state to have access to an affordable, safe place to call home’ in the context of a year-long examination of the operation of ‘for-profit rooming houses in South Australia’. The examination assessed ‘available research and data’ and consulted ‘residents, landlords and service providers in the sector’.
A discussion paper from the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), entitled Welfare reform: beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’, presents two essays.
The Salvation Army’s sixth annual national Economic and Social Impact survey has taken a snapshot of the lives of 1,380 Australian clients and, by association, the lives of 1,495 children and young people.
The Black Dog Institute and Mission Australia has released a report presenting ‘five years of mental health data collected from young people
A qualitative study has compared the lot of affluent and impoverished citizens in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, to examine the impact that ‘welfare austerity is having on the status, rights and identity of notionally equal citizens’:
Research examining cases of hospitalised assault against women in 2013–14 reveals that ‘rates of assault among women were highest for those aged between 15–19 and 50–54’.
Almost 52,000 Australian households are at risk of defaulting on their mortgages in the next 12 months, and 25% of home owners are under home loan stress, according to research from Digital Finance Analytics (DFA). The situation is worst in Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland.
This research from the Lowy Institute for International Policy evaluates Australia’s policy of ‘removing failed asylum seekers in Australia and draws lessons from similar policy areas and reforms in the United Kingdom and Canada’.
This research by the Parliamentary Library provides ‘current statistics on immigration detainees in Australia (onshore) since 1989/90’ and an overview ‘of the historical and political context surrounding mandatory immigration detention and details of Australian Government immigration detention policy responses between 1976 and 2013’.
The ninth ‘Closing the Gap’ report card regarding inequity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians shows that ‘changes are underway and successes are being achieved; however, progress overall nationally, is too slow’.
Specific areas of concern include health, education and employment.
A new, two-year study shows that ‘at least one in three young people in detention in Western Australia suffers from foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)’ (resulting from an unborn child's exposure to alcohol during pregnancy). FASD can ‘cause brain damage, delayed development and behavioural and learning problems… learning difficulties, memory problems, difficulties with social relationships and impulsiveness… but is often not diagnosed at birth and only recognised later in life.’
Research examines the motivating factors behind the choice ‘to become a foster carer, and the strategies that can assist in supporting and retaining carers for out-of-home care’. The three-year project identifies the most effective strategies to attract, support and retain successful foster care families.
For the first time, using ABS data, researchers have identified the extent of financial abuse in Australia. ‘We established that disability, health status and financial stress were significantly associated with economic abuse, especially for women… Our research revealed that 15.7% of women and 7.1% of men had experienced economic abuse in their lifetimes’
The Australia Institute has published research on the ‘Economic Aspects of Paid Domestic Violence Leave provisions’ in Australia, finding from ‘the actual experience of several Australian employers [that] these provisions, in practice, are not frequently utilised’.
The newly released 13th annual Demographia ‘International Housing Affordability Survey’ has listed several Australian locations as being among the least affordable, with Sydney second only to Hong Kong.
Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC) has released its fifth annual report, the Specialist homelessness services 2015–16 web report.
What long-term damage needs to be addressed in people’s lives once a community begins to recover physically from a tragedy? The Beyond Bushfires: Community Resilience and Recovery study, a six-year study by ‘the University of Melbourne in partnership with community members and a range of community, academic, government, emergency, and health agencies’, involved more than 1,000 participants.
Salvationist Dr Wilma Gallet* has shared her doctoral thesis from the University of Melbourne with Salvationists and Salvation Army staff. The thesis, entitled Christian mission or an unholy alliance?: The changing role of church-related organisations in welfare-to-work service delivery, examines the impact of government contracts on the mission of church-related organisations who engage in welfare-to-work service delivery.
New Roy Morgan research being released by the Salvos shows the real level of suffering many families across the nation expect to have this Christmas – and the research reveals the significant levels of hardship for many individuals.
The 2016 annual report of the Australia Southern Territory is now online. 'These are testing times for The Salvation Army,' notes the territorial social programme director (page 15). 'There are challenges and opportunities presented by long-term inequity, welfare reform processes, an increasing sophistication of statistical analyses, and troubling research into the nature and causation of poverty.
ANROWS * has released a report entitled A preventable burden - Measuring and addressing the prevalence and health impacts of intimate partner violence in Australian women: key findings and future directions. The report notes the serious health outcomes of ‘exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) … for Australian women and their children’ and measures ‘the combined impact of living with illness and injury (non-fatal burden) and dying prematurely (fatal burden) on a population’.
New research from AIHW* has been released revealing that ‘children and young people who have been abused or neglected are at greater risk of engaging in criminal activity and entering the youth justice system’.
The inaugural Community Council of Australia report, The Australia We Want, shows how the nation, states and territories perform ‘against values and goals prioritised by leaders from across the charities sector’, drawing on statistics from the OECD, ABS and the AIHW.
UNSW Australia has released research into ‘the prevalence of child abuse in Australia, prepared for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’.
Jobs Australia, the peak body for non-profit employment service providers, has published a report questioning the efficacy of the ‘Work for the Dole’ Community Development Programs (CWPs) operating in isolated Australian communities.
A federal government statistic released this month shows that Work for the Dole participants are finding it more difficult to gain full-time employment, with only 11.7% of them ‘find full-time work three months after the program’.
The longtitudinal Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey (HILDA), which commenced in 2001, shows information on many aspects of how Australians are living in the 21st century.
Research confirms that low-income Australians die some six years earlier than their wealthy, or wealthier, compatriots.
It has been demonstrated that ‘people at the bottom of the social hierarchy tend to have worse health than those in the middle, who in turn have poorer health than those at the top’. The observation of ‘the social gradient in health’ applies to Australia as to other countries, and is evidenced in a class- and wealth-based sliding scale of health outcomes, including ‘depression, diabetes, heart disease and cancer’.
Gender inequalities for women in Australia and other countries have a cumulate impact on their well-being, with researchers declaring women aged over 55 ‘lack economic security, employment and secure housing’ and constitute ‘a neglected area in terms of research, policy development and service delivery’.
A new paper, Subsidised affordable rental housing: lessons from Australia and overseas, evaluates ‘the effectiveness of the National Rental Affordability Scheme in comparison with comparable international programs, and [calls for] the design and funding of a new scheme to deliver the supply of affordable rental housing’.
The regular taking of a census takes steps to try to include homeless Australians; as Curtin University’s Curtin Law school associate professor Eileen Webb notes, ‘although the ABS is trying to identify as many people experiencing homelessness as possible, the figures are likely to underestimate the true extent of the issue [and] a gap will remain between what providers know is happening “on the ground” and the statistics garnered through the census and channelled through to government’.
A paper seeks to map nationally (and provide meta-evaluation of key features of effective) ‘safe at home’ programs ‘that enhance safety and prevent homelessness for women and their children who have experienced domestic and family violence’.
A paper looks at the newly launched National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and presents a history of disability welfare.
More than 50 public health organisations signed on to ‘Australia’s Health Tracker’ at a national forum on 5 July (‘Australia’s Health Tracker, Australia’s Adult Health Tracker and Australia’s Children and Young People Health Tracker are report cards that provide a comprehensive assessment of the health of Australians in relation to chronic diseases and their risk factors’).
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS), conducted from September 2014 to June 2015, had a sample of 11,178 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were living in private dwellings across Australia.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a new report showing that, although waiting list numbers remain high, ‘there were 6,000 fewer households on housing assistance waiting lists in 2015 (200,000 households as at 30 June 2015) than there were the previous year’.
In the past three years ‘the number of child protection notifications, investigations, and substantiations for child maltreatment have increased by 11% for non-Indigenous children and 15% for Indigenous children’.
Curtin University’s senior lecturer in social policy Mark Liddiard has explored the viability of a universal basic income in Australia, examining various models (for example, in 2017, Finland ‘will become the first country in the world to introduce a universal basic income, a bold policy idea that gives every citizen a basic obligation-free living wage to meet their living costs’).
AIHW* reports the number of children receiving child protection services continues to increase, and most of these children are repeat clients. Almost 152,000 children received child protection services in 2014–15; a 6% rise from the 143,000 children receiving child protection services in 2013-14. It represents one in 35 Australian children aged from 0 to 17. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were seven times likelier than non-Indigenous children to be receiving child protection services (146.4 per 1,000 children compared with 20.5 for non-Indigenous children).
A world-first Australian study has shown that preventing young people from becoming homeless by strengthening and integrating school and youth services at a community level could save an estimated $626 million annually, across the youth justice and health services systems alone. The Cost of Youth Homelessness in Australia (CYHA) released on 28 April 2016 reported that ‘the cost to society, just from increased interactions with the health and criminal justice systems for young homeless people, exceeds the total annual cost of all homelessness services across Australia for people of all ages’.
A new report from the Australian Centre for Health Research (ACHR) examines the support infrastructure for ageing Australians, stating that while some ‘70% of Australians would prefer to die at home, only 14% actually do’. The ABS reports that approximately 420 Australians die every day (153 500 people annually) or around 420 per day.
The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has announced four new research projects, drawing on staff from six university partners, that will present their findings in 2017.
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre has announced a project exploring the correlation between alcohol and anxiety, especially around ‘the transition to early adulthood’. ‘Anxiety and alcohol use disorders are among the most prevalent and debilitating of mental health disorders, and commonly co-occur,’
New research has evaluated the care of 2.083 young Australians, aged between 8-17, between 1 February 2015 and 30 June 2015. The data was weighed against eight ‘national standards for Out-of-Home Care’ indicators for the first time.
Newly released results from a national two year study (2012-2013) show that one in five children surveyed ‘reported having gone to school or bed hungry’, one in five have been bullied, and one in six schoolchildren miss school ‘at least once a week’.
The Home and Away: Child and Youth Homelessness report has surveyed almost 19,000 young people (aged 15 to 19) and found that ‘one in seven had left home at some point over the past three years’ and that ‘over a quarter of teens did so more than 10 times’.
Newly released research shows that one in two working Australians live ‘from payday to payday while having unrealistic expectations about their living needs in retirement’. This statistic is based on NAB (National Australia Bank) research, which surveyed more than 2,000 Australians.
ANROWS (Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety), a national research organisation specific to Family Domestic Violence, is working with the University of Melbourne to produce ‘the world’s first family violence index’.
Research published late last year provides ‘an overview of the prevalence of domestic and family violence, the effects of domestic and family violence on children (including the co-occurrence of domestic and family violence with child abuse), the intergenerational transmission of violence and the implications of these for preventing domestic and family violence’.
The ABC has reported that Australia’s housing market is the second least-affordable in the world after Hong Kong, with the ‘typical Australian house’ costing ‘5.6 times the median household income. Only Hong Kong (19) is less affordable; with New Zealand (5.2) and the UK (5.1) close behind Australia.’
The Australia Southern Territory of The Salvation Army has launched its annual report, detailing the movement's mission imperatives and successes, its financials, and its logistics throughout 2015.
An inaugural national research conference on ‘family and sexual violence against women and their children’ is scheduled to be held in Melbourne from 23-25 February next year.
A groundbreaking piece of research from the Australian Institute of Criminology (allied with Scarlet Alliance) has captured ‘the work and migration experiences of migrant sex workers in Australia’. The survey of migrant and non-migrant sex workers throughout reveals ‘the demographic profile, work conditions and access to services of migrant sex workers’ and contrasts this data with Australian-born sex workers.
The 2014-2015 annual report from The Salvation Army Westcare Child and Adolescent Services is now available online. Westcare aided 264 young people between July 2014 and January 2015. In the same period it had six new households accredited and the Hugh Williamson Foundation (a supporter of Westcare for 13 years, helping more than 300 people) supported 13 staff members and 11 young people in completing further education and training.
A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia earlier this year showed ‘a major spike in alcohol-related ambulance call-outs in a decade in Victoria, with almost 13,000 in 2013-14 – an average of 45 a day – compared with 4000 in 2004-05,’ The Age reported.
The federal government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released its 12th biennial welfare report, Australia's Welfare 2015.
The federal senate’s Finance and Public Administration References Committee has released a report entitled ‘Domestic violence in Australia’. The report acknowledges ‘the cost of domestic and family violence is great in terms of lives lost, the effects on children, physical and mental health, employment, risk of homelessness and financial security.
Salvation Army Housing and Salvation Army Housing Victoria CEO Mark Dall has welcomed the release of the AIHW’s latest research: See Checking up on Australia's health.
New research shows that 95% of reported FDV (including physical and sexual assaults, and threats) in Australia is perpetrated by males, against both males and females.
The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) has released new research detailing wealth inequality and income inequality across Australia.
The Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault has examined factors associated with child sexual abuse perpetration and prevention strategies. Key components include: ‘identifying the risk factors and facilitators associated with various forms of perpetration; mapping current prevention, early intervention and therapeutic responses; assessing key points of prevention and intervention in light of the identified risk factors and facilitators of child sexual abuse’.
The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2015 is the eighth in a series of reports that provide a comprehensive statistical picture of a range of topics considered important for improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people.
New research shows that only 1% of the more than 40,000 children currently receiving ‘kinship care, foster care, and residential care in Australia’ will undertake tertiary education when they turn 18.
An ABC health report renewed concerns against the imbibing of alcohol with prescription drugs, including the taking of paracetamol (which can damage the liver), sedatives, pain killers and anxiety medications.
The fourth consecutive national report by The Salvation Army explores the deprivation and disadvantage experienced by those who access Salvation Army Emergency Relief (ER) services.
A new exploratory study, for ‘the first time, [examines] primary schools and their day-to-day experiences of dealing with student homelessness’.
A new paper ‘summarises a recent Parliamentary Library publication on domestic violence [and] provides an overview of the prevalence, risk factors and cost of domestic violence in Australia’.
The McClure report into welfare reform, undertaken ‘to identify how to make Australia’s welfare system fairer, more effective, coherent and sustainable and encourage people to work’, is set to ‘simplify’ the welfare system.
A paper from the Australian Institute of Family Studies examines the growing trend of Australians to live in single-person households, noting that ‘one in four Australian households is a lone-person household, and rates have increased sharply since the 1970s’.
New research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics provides data about families including ‘couples living in de facto and registered marriages, step and blended families, one parent families and visiting arrangements of children with parents who live elsewhere’, the better to ‘understand how families are changing and how to provide support to them’.
An interim ‘Cost of youth homelessness’ report captures the struggle of homeless youth throughout Australia.
The Army’s fourth annual national ESIS (Economic and Social Impact Survey) is to be conducted in February 2015; the survey has become a key plank in supporting the organisation’s Red Shield Appeal and advocating to governments on behalf of clients. Information will hit Salvation Army Emergency Relief services soon.
A paper has highlighted the benefits of studying child development through longitudinal studies that ‘provide strong evidence of the way in which life-long effects of early experiences impact on the later achievements, social adjustments, mental health, physical health and longevity of individuals’.
Study subjects of the ‘Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)’ are now entering adolescence.
The Victoria Social Programme and Policy Unit (VSPPU) now has online its ‘Reforming society’ discussion papers.
While the senate has ordered the federal government to table two national reports on mental health –the preliminary report that was completed during February 2014 and the interim report that was completed in June 2014 – by 1 December 2014, an order not yet realised, a report on mental health in the workplace has shown that mental ill-health costs Australian businesses ‘in the vicinity of $11 billion every year, largely due to absenteeism and reduced productivity’.
The scope and weight of the Australia Southern Territory’s efforts to share the good news of an abundant life has been captured in the newly released 2014 annual report.
The Salvation Army’s fourth annual ESIS (2015) – a research project identifying the Economic and Social Impact of deprivation on surveyed Salvation Army clients – will take place from 9-20 February through all Doorways centres
Last month the nation’s welfare peak body, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), launched research to show that one in seven Australians now live ‘below the internationally accepted poverty line’, meaning that ‘2.5 million people or 13.9% of all Australians are living in poverty’.
Tasmania was the site of the country’s largest percentage of poor families; women are ‘significantly more likely to experience poverty than men’; children and older people ‘face higher risks of poverty compared to other age groups’ and single parents are ‘at high risk’.
Beyondblue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance have launched the ‘Heads Up’ campaign to push the vital issue of ‘mental health in the workplace’. The campaign is funded by the Department of Health and its website ‘features information, tools and resources to help businesses create a healthier workplace’.
New research evaluates ‘the evidence for harm minimisation measures in gambling venues’ as pertaining to ‘the use of electronic gambling machines (EGMs) in Australia and New Zealand’.
Curtin University is researching the reasons why people ‘choose not to volunteer and how Australia can build a sustainable volunteer sector’. The three-year study will involve national and international researchers.
Provision of social service support for disadvantaged young people is of great value and there is a demonstrable need to extend that support beyond the age of 18, according to a report launched by Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove.
Three Million Australians, or almost 20% of Australian adults, live ‘pay to pay’, revealed a survey released by the National Australia Bank (NAB) last month.
The Salvation Army’s national report on the use of case management, rendered in the context of its expertise as a major provider of Emergency Relief (ER) services in Australia, is now available.
The University of Sydney’s Menzies Centre for Health Policy released an analysis of the health and related provisions in the Australian Government’s 2014-15 Budget in late September.
Last month the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) released its first global report on suicide, to ‘increase awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts, to make suicide prevention a higher priority on the global public health agenda, and to encourage and support countries to develop or strengthen comprehensive suicide prevention strategies’.
The 17th annual comprehensive report on child protection (2012-2013) by Child Protection Australia includes first-time ‘unique counts of children receiving child protection services in each jurisdiction...
A new paper examines the likely futures of children after they leave out-of-home care and finds that young people ‘leaving care or who have left care are over-represented in the statistics on homelessness, early school leaving and contact with the criminal justice system. They are also more likely to have children at an early age and are at greater risk of having their own child taken into care.’
Canvassing ‘health determinants, and social issues such as low birth weight, access to health services, poverty, domestic violence, suicide and housing issues’ which are ‘many Aboriginal people’s daily lived experiences’, this paper examines ‘valuable cultural lessons into the values, beliefs and protocols of an Aboriginal community’.
In this research, Sarah Wendt of the University of South Australia tackles the commonplace question asked in the face of family and domestic violence, ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’
The 2013-14 public report form submitted by The Trustee for The Salvation Army Victoria Property Trust to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency revealed that the Australia Southern Territory has 5,487 employees. There are a total of 575 female managers for the organisation, and 296 male managers. In non-manager positions, the territory has 3,152 female employees, and 1,364 male employees.
What’s the state of play with alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs in Australia? The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare survey shows that while drinking alcohol and smoking are shown to be in overall decline, the misuse of pharmaceuticals has increased.
Homeless sleeping on Melbourne’s streets is on the rise, as reported by Melbourne City Council late last month.
The BBC has reported research from the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine that charts a demonstrable correlation between economic hardships and loss of life through suicide.
Last month the ‘global housing watch’ of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) revealed that Australia is the third ‘least affordable place in the world to buy a house’ after Belgium and Canada. This presents a significant issue for disadvantaged members of the community looking to secure safe housing.
Predicting the usefulness of ‘standing desks’, the ABC has cited research suggesting long hours spent sitting at desks results in ‘chronic kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer and heart disease’.
On 30 June 2014 the University of Canberra released research from its national centre for social and economic modelling (NATSEM) on the exclusion of young people in Australian society.
Research from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) has revealed that more indigenous children are being removed from their families than at any time since settlement.
Last month the World Health Organisation reported that alcohol kills 3.3 million people worldwide each year. Report link provided.
On 30 May The Salvation Army crisis services’ access health program in St Kilda, in partnership with Onemda Koori Health Unit, hosted the launch of the research report ‘Talking up strong – voices of our mob’.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released a paper projecting that Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population will increase ‘by over a third ...
Researchers from the Melbourne Institute for Applied Economic and Social Research have published a report to evaluate the impact of an ‘intensive intervention designed to end long-term homelessness’.
Radio National program host Philip Adams and philosopher Simon Critchley discuss the role of theology in public life.
An international global drug study throughout November-December 2014 involved more than 100,000 people, whom researchers say spent an aggregate of ‘7.5 years sharing their drug experiences with us’.
In an April 2016 survey, newly released, the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne found that ‘more than 2,100 Australian adults were asked about their perceptions on a range of aspects of the quality of life of children and teenagers today compared to when the adults themselves were growing up’.
The parliament of Australia has published online information about youth unemployment. ‘Young people are thought to be disproportionately impacted by unemployment’.
The Australian Drug Foundation has found that some 90% of parents ‘would be more likely to choose a sports club or code for their child if it manages alcohol responsibly’.
A report has been made on social housing to the Victoria Government this month, from Community Housing Federation of Victoria, the Victorian Council of Social Services, the Council to Homeless Persons, the Victorian Public Tenants Association, the Tenants Union of Victoria, Domestic Violence Victoria and Justice Connect Homeless Law
Support from parents and peers has been linked to youth achieving employment in a long-term study that demonstrates ‘just how important parents and peers are in relation to young people's aspirations’ and that ‘the aspirations of 15-year-olds are somewhat unrealistic’ in the short term.
In 2013 a record number of Aboriginal high school students completed their studies in Victoria. The Age reported that the ‘Victorian Aboriginal Education Association held a special graduation ceremony on Friday to draw attention to the results, in which 384 Koori students completed either VCE, VCAL or VET qualifications in 2013 - up from 257 students in 2010.
The Tasmania Division’s development and research manager Nell Kuilenburg reports that the Aboriginal child material developed as part of the $200,000 Child Aware Grant received in 2012/13 will be showcased at the next Child Aware Conference in Melbourne this month. (The national training program is located in 18 locations and has delivered 100 free kits to rural and remote and Indigenous services).
The National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund has researched alcohol and illicit drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in metropolitan environments to ‘contribute to police service knowledge of substance use by indigenous people and to provide a framework for good practice policing of the issues associated with alcohol and drug misuse’.
With media attention fixed on alcohol-related assaults, academics have also referenced the issue to the body of evidence pertaining to Family and Domestic Violence (FDV). A new op-ed piece links ‘heavy or binge drinking and physical violence against a female partner’ and cites evidence that women experience a heightened risk of partner violence on days that men have been drinking’.
Oxfam reports that almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned ‘by just one percent of the population, and seven out of 10 people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years’. Oxfam cites the World Economic Forum’s identification of economic inequality ‘as a major risk to human progress, impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale’.
Last month the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) released its Human trafficking and slavery offenders in Australia report.
As Christmas household budgets are stretched and The Salvation Army prepares for its annual Christmas campaign, a timely reminder comes. The stats, showing a high rate of home ownership, relatively low credit-card and student-loan debt, do not reflect the experiences of The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army encourages all e-connect readers to give generously as they are able at this time of the year.
A growing number of young Australians are becoming addicted to online use of technology. Studies show, a 30% increase in smartphone ownership among Australians aged 14 to 17 last year, and ‘five per cent of Tasmanian secondary school and university students were addicted to video games.
Dr Philip Tam, a Sydney-based psychiatrist specialising in treating internet and video game addiction, has cited a reluctance to acknowledge online addiction and subsequent problems as the biggest barrier to young people getting treatment.
During April and May 2012, The Salvation Army surveyed 1731 people seeking emergency relief and support to gain insight into the economic and social impact of current cost of living pressures. The majority of the survey sample was not engaged in employment (77% unemployed), 86% were in receipt of a government income support payment and 48% were caring for dependent children.
Australia was found to be the tenth happiest country in the world, according to the second United Nations world happiness report. The countries that pipped Australians to the post were: 9. Iceland, 8. Austria, 7. Finland, 6. Canada, 5. Sweden, 4. Netherlands, 3. Switzerland, 2. Norway and 1. Denmark.
A new paper has given counsel to ‘practitioners in domestic and family violence, sexual assault and settlement services’ for ‘improving responses to refugees with backgrounds of multiple trauma. The monograph was written by five practitioners ‘recognised for their expertise and experience working with refugees who have histories of trauma, including torture, sexual violence and domestic and family violence’.
VicHealth has put out a resource to raise awareness of preventable, widespread ‘exposure to workplace stressors [that] is related to a substantial fraction of common chronic diseases’ and features pilot projects geared to develop and test solutions to reduce job stress and prevent illness’.
A paper released late last month by the Grattan Institute contends that ‘government tax and welfare policies, by favouring homeowners and property investors over people who rent, are increasing the divide between Australians who own housing and those who do not’.
New research by NATSEM * shows that almost a quarter of Australian families now have a ‘female breadwinner’ (an increase from 22.3% of families in 2001 to 24.2% in 2011).
Acknowledging the ‘differences in understanding concepts of home and homelessness’, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is researching its estimation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homelessness.
An 18-month joint study* has examined homelessness in families and the impact on the people concerned as ‘citizens, rather than clients of services’. * The joint research was conducted by Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne) and Hanover Welfare Services (Hanover): ‘The research method was longitudinal and qualitative. It involved 152 in-depth interviews, over three waves, with the adults and some adolescent children in 57 families.
The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) released new research on the prevention of homelessness for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.
The Canberra Times reports new research stating that ‘one in five residents of Canberra's nursing homes is malnourished [and] symptoms of malnutrition are frequently confused for natural signs of ageing’.
Salvation Army territorial Hope for Life liaison officer Hennie Watts has spoken on an increase in self-harm among younger people in Swan Hill (Vic.) as part of her training and education responsibilities.
‘The issues of poverty loom large, and the statistics for women are horrific, but the reverse news of the power of women to contribute to the world when they have a chance is the “hope” side of the coin,’ says Major Marion Weymouth. ‘The power of the documentary Half the Sky is that it is so positive in its approach, alongside projecting the “dark side”.’
Almost 230,000 Australians accessed specialist homelessness services in 2011–12
Of these clients, 44% were already homeless when they began receiving support, and 14% of these clients were living without shelter. Fifty-six per cent were at risk of homelessness when
they began receiving support. Fifty-two per cent of all clients experienced homelessness at some time during the year.
The federal government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s research into the prevalence, causation and influence of homelessness, published late last year, reports that a ‘major cause of homelessness in Australia is domestic violence, with one-third of clients experiencing domestic or family violence. The majority of these clients were female (78%). Around one-fifth of those supported by agencies in relation to domestic and family violence were aged under 10.
Sarah and her colleagues know that a vital component of Salvation Army mission is reaching out to the young people of damaged, healing communities such as Healesville.
What happens when you lose people in your lives? When people you knew, people you loved, were burned to death? How do you deal with that?
e-connect: what is your initial response to the drugs survey? Debra Little: The importance of confirming the prevalence of usage is vital because it is a base on which to provide resources. The bigger questions are around why people use drugs. The survey may or may not take into account that taking drugs for some people may be a functional task. The fact is that we know a lot about people who access our drug treatment services and the services of other providers in Australia. We know next to nothing about the people who are still ‘functional’ and remain so until they fall over with their health or get caught.
Joining colleagues across the nation, some 40 staff members from five different services gathered at The Salvation Army’s Crossroads premises in Coburg (Vic.) to observe White Ribbon Day. Across Australia, 1.2 million women are living in or have lived in a violent relationship.
The Salvation Army welcomes the homelessness data review, but is still assisting too many homeless people.