Posts tagged community sector
Navigating the path to financial security: Restoring safety for family violence victim/survivors

A new model of service delivery developed by WEstjustice in partnership with McAuley Community Services for Women is improving the financial security of family violence victim/survivors. In this post Stephanie Tonkin of WEstjustice discusses the extraordinary results being achieved through the Restoring Financial Safety project and recommendations for future policy action.

Read More
"Yes, Virginia, there is a thing called Society": Social policy and the voluntary sector 2017

The start of 2017 has been marked by growing tensions between socially disparate forces eager to disentangle from the decades-long pervasiveness of neoliberalism, and the political forces that conspire to maintain the status quo. Social Policy Whisperer Professor Paul Smyth outlines the growing global policy momentum towards 'inclusive growth' and 'shared prosperity', and examines implications for how Australia's voluntary sector might engage in an anything-but-orderly transition.

Read More
Can we have a pro-community welfare state without the big society bullshit?

In this blog Simon Duffy explores the question of how to narrow the gap between public services (the official welfare state) and the community. He asks whether it is possible for use to develop a pro-community welfare state, one which works in harmony with its citizens, not against them.

Read More
Stemming the revolving door phenomenon: the importance of strategic advocacy in the community legal sector

The community legal sector is well positioned to identify need for systemic change, to act upon that need and to generate policy improvements with significant public impact. Jacki Holland of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand discusses how, by engaging in strategic legal advocacy, community lawyers can venture beyond traditional case by case approaches to tackle systemic and common legal problems through novel means generating broad community benefit. 

Read More
Adapting to change and staying true to your purpose: exploring organisational identity in the community sector

At the Jesuit Social Services annual fundraising dinner on Saturday 19 March, CEO Julie Edwards talked about the organisation staying true to its purpose in a changing service environment. This edited version of Julie’s speech continues our dialogue on the future of social services and the community sector, and will interest anyone contemplating the role and resilience of not-for-profit organisations in civil society.

Read More
Social Policy Whisperer: if merging charities is the answer, what is the problem?

In a major development for the not for profit sector in Australia, three of its heavyweights David Crosbie (CCA), Tim Costello (World Vision) and Paul Ronalds (Save the Children) have been prominent in a concerted call for ‘charities’ to ‘merge or close’. The agenda is to be further progressed through several CCA forums. Clearly not the usual suspects (New Public Managers/ Competition Policy Economists), their views warrant our serious attention. What do they see as the problem? Why are mergers the solution?

Read More
Once upon a Time, there were Regional Not-for-Profit community service providers Part One

The not-for-profit sector has been under increasing pressure to adopt market-based approaches in the development and delivery of human services. This perspective has been reiterated consistently through various reviews and re-commissioning processes, placing the sector in the precarious position of choosing to provide services or advocacy. It has also seen an encouragement of for-profit providers in the sector, the subject of last weeks’ Power to Persuade Symposium.  

This blog, from David Tennant, Chief Executive Officer, Goulburn Valley Family Care Inc., is part one of a two part blog on what this means for the sector. This blog will discuss the development of the marketization of community services, recent cuts and focus on productivity, and whether market-based mechanisms really can address the needs of vulnerable communities. This next part of the blog will discuss how the sector is faring in this context, and what this means for regional not-for-profit services providers

Read More
The view from the community

Last week the National Reform Summit brought together leading figures from the community, politics, business and media to examine the big policy issues facing Australia today. Addressing the summit, Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service, made the case for reaching out across traditional divides in our community to “reignite participatory democracy”.

Read More
Social Policy Whisperer: Renewing the Voluntary Sector in Australia-Part One

Today's post is the first instalment of a presentation by Paul Smyth at the Dunstan Foundation's Addressing Homelessness Conference (@DonDunston). With the conference subtitled Valuing the Homelessness Sector:  Humanity, Productivity and Building Futures, Paul's lecture explored the value in the community sector. Tomorrow's post explores how to start re-valuing it. 

Read More
Oragnisations unite to fight budget cuts to vital health services

A coalition of 17 peak and non-government organisations from the health and community sectors is calling on the Australian Government to scrap plans to cut nearly $800 million in funding to key health initiatives over the next four financial years. The foreshadowed cuts would drastically reduce the capacity of non-government organisations and peak bodies to deliver services across the country and to provide advice and support for reform in health.

Read More
Hope for the best Plan for the worst? INGOs an the uncertainty of overseas development assistance

Austerity measures implemented across the OECD have led to substantial cuts to overseas aid and development budgets. In this post, Dr David Lansley discusses the opportunity this presents for international NGOs (INGOs) to rethink how they do development, by providing evidence of what works, contributing to national policies, and seeking innovative ways of combining public and private sector investment.

Read More
Social Policy Whisperer: A Slap across the face for the voluntary sector?

Few issues could be of more importance to Power to Persuade readers than the current crisis in Australia’s voluntary welfare sector. Its epicentre is Victoria in the wake of the early implementations of the Shergold report but its reach is bound to be national as other state and federal governments look to the social service marketization template being proffered in the Competition Policy Review. I offered my academic take on this development in ‘The Lady Vanishes Australia’s Disappearing Voluntary Sector’ and wont revisit that here. However the paper led to a range of engagements and discussions with people from the sector and it is that experience which I would like to share.

Read More