Childcare dreaming: a vision for early childhood care

Childcare policy is always fraught, because so many people want it to be better, but everyone has their own ideas about what is needed. Yarrow Andrew, who worked for 15 years in long day childcare as an educator, before beginning a research career investigating early childhood education gives us some ideas about how to reform the sector.

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Islamophobia: The elephant in the research

Research on marginalised communities has a history of being weaponised against those very communities, marginalising them even further. This weaponisation, and the fear of it, can silence discussion on important social issues. Here, Sandra Elhelw Wright reflects on how this plays out in the context of research on domestic violence in Australian Muslim communities. 

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Whatever happened to a Law and Order State election?

Sensationalising youth crimes for political gain has been a mantra for politicians. Case in point, the recently conducted elections in Victoria where politicians of all stripes ensured gang violence was an election issue. But given that it is an election year for New South Wales, the lack of political and media voice surrounding law and order is deafening. Today’s blog contributor Dr. Elaine Fishwick (@elbowlass) tackles this issue (or lack thereof) locating it in larger worldwide trends and unravelling the present ‘policy moment’ we find ourselves in. Elaine is an academic scholar researching issues relating to human rights, social justice, access to justice, criminology, youth justice and public policy. 

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Urgent action is needed to address financial exclusion

As the 2019 New South Wales State election is fast approaching (March 23, 2019), a policy think tank on financial inclusion has proposed an election platform paper with specific state level concerns and possibilities. Jenni Beetson-Mortimer (@BeetsonJenni) who heads up this coalition – NSW Financial Inclusion Network,  is our blog contributor today. Jenni is the CEO of Northern Rivers Community Gateway, a registered not-for-profit which provides welfare and community capacity building programs for disadvantaged individuals and communities across NSW and extending to the Far North Coast, New England and Mid North Coast of the state. Located at the forefront of service provision, Jenni bring her experiences, knowledges and collaborative scholarship to persuade NSW policy makers to act on the issue of financial inclusion.

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Banking Royal Commission and the silencing of Indigenous Australian voices

The release of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry earlier this month has not had the intended effect of allaying mistrust in the financial services sector in Australia. Despite the enormity of the report, nearly 1,000 pages with 24 entities and companies referred to civil and criminal proceedings, there is a consensus that the major financial corporations involved in the misconduct remain unscathed. In today’s post, Dr. Jonathon Louth examines the silences in this report, especially as it impacts the lives of Indigenous peoples living in rural and remote Australia. Based on his recent research with Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, he recommends expanding community and cultural literacies in the financial sector as one of the counter measures to tackle systematic dispossession and marginalisation of  vulnerable populations. This piece was originally published in The Conversation on 6 February 2019

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Young at ‘Art’: How community arts programs can promote thriving in young people

The recent release of the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2019 indicates that within the “community services” budget, federal spending on youth justice will be $842.4 million while the child protection services budget will reach $5.8 billion this year. What appears to be missing is significant funding on positive, community-based developmental programs for youth. In today’s post, social worker and professional dancer Anjelika Thwaites reports on the findings of her Honours thesis for Victoria University (and co-supervised by Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand) into the many benefits of investing in arts-based programs for young people.

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