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- Wednesday, 11th September 2019 -

PeakCare commends the Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce and Micah Projects for co-hosting their incredibly thought-provoking forum on 4th September to discuss the learnings from Canada and Australia about institutional child abuse. The messages delivered by Mr Robert (Bob) Atkinson AO APM, Chair of the Taskforce and Dr Marie Wilson, former Commissioner on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, were both poignant and powerful.

It became quickly apparent that if we are to build the foundations for healing and reconciliation, truth must be regarded as the cornerstone. But this is not confined to truth about past injustices and atrocities. It is not only the truth that belongs to yesterday, but also the truths of today and the ‘new’ truths that we wish to create for tomorrow.

Elsewhere in this edition of eNews, you will notice the release of the Feedback Survey Report compiled following the National Child Protection Conference co-hosted by PeakCare, the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak and the Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia in late June. Consider as you read some of the comments submitted as feedback whether the ‘truths’ exposed by not only the Royal Commission of Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and other inquiries such as the Forde Inquiry, Carmody Inquiry and Bringing Them Home Inquiry to name just a few, have been fully appreciated and whether the legacy of the thousands of people who courageously told their life stories during the course of these inquiries has been truly honoured. If this were the case, we would not have received feedback dripping in racist overtones, nor would we have received comments suggesting that respecting human rights is somehow anomalous, rather than integral, to good child protection practice.

Congratulations to the Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce and Micah Projects for continuing to shine a light on the truth and, in the words of the speakers at the forum, “maintaining the momentum”.

National Child Protection Conference Feedback Report

A report on the National Child Protection Conference Feedback Survey Findings has now been released. This conference was co-hosted by PeakCare, the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) and the Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia (CAFWAA) in Brisbane on 24th and 25th June. Thank you to all who responded to the survey and for the mostly very constructive feedback that was submitted. This will be used to inform the planning of future events of this type.

As completed surveys commenced being received, it became quickly apparent that some feedback said little about the actual Conference and much more about the values and beliefs that some attendees brought with them to this event.   In previous editions of eNews, PeakCare has published snippets of this feedback and a strong response was received to our blog, Feedback about the National Child Protection Conference – on the one hand this, on the other hand….  with comments posted by Mr Michael Hogan, Director-General of the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women and several senior Departmental Officers and many senior executives of non-government organisations and other peak bodies including Life Without Barriers, Disability Law Queensland, Kyabra, UnitingCare, Mercy Community, Act for Kids, Youth Advocacy Centre,  QATSICPP, CREATE  Foundation and Queensland Alliance for Mental Health.

On 2nd August, PeakCare released this invitation to our Members and Supporters to gather for constructive dialogue about ways forward in addressing these contentious matters.  If you wish to join the many organisations that have positively responded to this invitation, email

Some have reminded PeakCare that the concerning comments were stated by only a few. In PeakCare’s view, a few is far too many.

If you have comments you wish to make about the Conference Feedback Survey Findings, enter them here  – anonymously if you prefer.

Queensland Kinship Care Forum

On 2nd September, PeakCare in association with the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATICPP), CREATE Foundation, Queensland Foster and Kinship Care (QFKC) and NSW Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) hosted a very well attended Queensland Kinship Care Forum. This was one of a series of similar forums conducted in various States and Territories throughout the country. Our sincere thanks are extended to the keynote speaker, Dr Lucy Peake, Chief Executive of Grandparents Plus, a national charity in England and Wales supporting both formal and informal kinship carers and Meredith Kiraly, Psychologist and Research Fellow in the Social Work Department at the University of Melbourne, whose specialty research area is kinship care. Our sincere appreciation is also extended to all who assisted in coordinating this event and presenting information during the panel-led discussion including Jo Roff (IFYS), Marijka Kelly (QFKC), Dion Tatow (QATSICPP), Dulcie Bronsch (UnitingCare Community), Rachael Donovan and CREATE Young Consultant, Hannah (CREATE Foundation) and Polly Auld (Department of Human Services). A big thank you to all who attended and enthusiastically participated in the forum with special mention made of the many Kinship Carers who were our VIP guests and whose voices added enormous richness to our dialogue. Expect to read more about the outcomes of this important forum in future editions of eNews.

Employee, contractor or volunteer? Updated guidelines now available

Not-for-profit Law’s updated employee, contractor or volunteer guide covers the differences between these  types of workers and how the differences can affect organisational obligations, as well as providing links to further resources and highlighting state-specific regulations. The guide outlines the type of work and benefits to which employees, contractors and volunteers are entitled, and highlights any exceptions that may apply. Access the guide. There is also an app designed to complement the National Volunteer Guide, to help volunteer-involving organisations understand the key legal obligations that not-for-profit organisations have towards volunteers. The key topics include recruitment, safety, unlawful workplace behaviour, managing performance and ending the volunteer relationship. Access the app.  

Removing the barriers to young people volunteering - issues paper released

Volunteering Queensland and the Queensland Family and Child Commission have released an issues paper on supporting young people to participate in volunteering in Queensland prompted by findings from the Growing up in Queensland project, which heard from over 7,000 young Queenslanders in 2018. The findings highlighted various issues including age restrictions on volunteer participation, even though young people valued volunteering as a way to gain useful skills to improve future employability and to give back to the community. The issues paper contains both young people's perspectives and organisational perspectives on the benefits and opportunities afforded by volunteering, as well as information about legal and policy concerns, and asks readers to reflect on policy, strategy and communication to support young volunteers. Read the issues paper.

Consultations for individuals and families now open

A number of consultations for individuals and families are currently receiving public submissions. 

The Australian Council on Children and the Media is seeking feedback on how useful the Australian National Classification System is to families, and how it could be improved. The survey can be accessed here.

The Australian Senate is inquiring into the adequacy of Newstart and related payments and alternative mechanisms to determine the level of income support payments in Australia, with public submissions invited until Friday, 13th September. The inquiry will consider what constitutes an acceptable standard of living in Australia, including the cost of safe and secure housing; the nature of work in Australia now and into the future; and the appropriateness of current income support arrangements in supporting those unemployed or looking for more work. Public submissions can be made here.

The Australian Senate is also inquiring into Centrelink's compliance program with public submissions accepted until Friday, 20th September. The inquiry will consider the ongoing impact of the Federal Government’s automated debt collection processes upon current and past income support recipients; data-matching techniques and inherent limitations and uncertainties; organisational capacity of Centrelink to issue debt notices; error rates involved, and more. Public submissions can be made here.

Tenth edition of AICD Not-For-Profit Governance and Performance Study now available

The Australian Institute of Company Directors' Not-for-Profit Governance and Performance Study is the largest of its kind in Australia. Now in its tenth year, the 2019 report highlights seven key findings, including that not-for-profit (NFP) directors are spending more time on their NFP board roles as workloads rise, that boards continue to focus on culture, financial performance and the diversification of income sources, that NFPs are effective but continue to be financially challenged, and that boards are increasingly focused on improving the board’s oversight of strategy formulation and execution. Access the report.

Drought grants available for Queensland communities

The Tackling Tough Times Together grant program helps communities access the resources they need to support one another through the ongoing effects of the drought. Grants are available for a broad range of grassroots, community-led initiatives that directly and clearly benefit local communities. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and assessed quarterly. Projects must demonstrate a focus on one of seven activity areas, from building community resilience to improving community health and social wellbeing. Projects can apply for funding between $20,000 and $150,000. Find out more and apply.


First sitting of Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (DRC) will hold its first public sitting in Brisbane on Monday, 16th September at 10 am. All Commissioners will be in attendance: the Chair of the Commission, the Hon Ronald Sackville AO QC, Ms Barbara Bennett PSM, Prof Rhonda Galbally AC, Ms Andrea Mason OAM, Mr Alastair McEwin AM and the Hon John Ryan AM. There will be no appearances, evidence or testimony given at the first sitting. However, the Commissioners will outline the work of the DRC, including its scope, key themes likely to direct the DRC’s initial inquiries, the next steps for the DRC in progressing its work, and how it will ensure people with disability can engage with the DRC. To register, visit the website.

Brisbane City Council Australia Day Awards now open for nominations

The Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor's Australia Day Awards is an annual event that recognises Brisbane's unsung heroes. Celebrate what's great about the Brisbane community by nominating someone who has made a significant difference to your life or to the lives of others in Brisbane, in any of the eight award categories, including Young Citizen of the Year, Community Event of the Year or Australia Day Achievement Award. Nominations close 5pm Monday, 4th November.

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference 2020 registrations now open

The Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association extends an invitation for you to join colleagues at the inaugural Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference being held at Mantra Legends Gold Coast on Monday, 30th to Tuesday, 31st March 2020. The conference provides a platform for professionals to connect and gain insight from industry experts, as well as develop a greater understanding of mental health in children and adolescents from ages 3-19 years. The two-day event will focus on early diagnosis and prevention, as well as treatment and recovery of mental health for children, young people and their families. Find out more and register.

Our thoughts are with you

PeakCare’s thoughts are with all who are being impacted by the bushfires burning within our State. Our gratitude and best wishes are also extended to all emergency services, government and non-government agencies, families, friends and community members who are looking out for and assisting those in need. 

Each week, PeakCare publishes a 'Thumbs Up' and/or a 'Thumbs Down' about matters that have come to our attention and draw either our commendation or condemnation. If there are matters that you think are worthy of one or other of these acknowledgements, email and we will consider publishing them.

Thumbs Up to Coffs Harbour City Council for requiring that Alice Springs councillor, Jacinta Price observe proper protocols in seeking permission from the Gumbaynggire Aboriginal People before entering their land to deliver speeches about fixing Aboriginal poverty. And a corresponding Thumbs Down to the commentary by Andrew Bolt (Courier Mail, 9th September) that this represented a breach of Ms Price’s freedom of speech. Perhaps we could all impolitely land on the doorstep of Mr Bolt’s home to let him know what we think of his views and, if he refuses us entry, complain that he is curtailing our freedom of speech.

Thumbs Down to the Federal Government for its intention to introduce drug testing of people receiving Newstart or the Youth Allowance in three trial sites – Logan City, Canterbury Bankstown and Mandurah. There is no evidence to support the introduction of this stigmatising and demeaning practice.

For the Record: effective case notes for child and youth work
Brisbane - Thursday, 19th September
Presented by Encompass Family and Community

Recording – particularly making case notes – is essential to effective child and youth work but can be difficult to do well. This highly interactive workshop examines the science and the art of recording in various contexts, with a focus on case notes. Learn how to write well-structured documents which achieve their purpose as tools to help protect and support children and young people. Participants will learn to apply the ‘rules’ for succinct but effective recording, including efficient and useful case notes, assessment notes and action plans, and well-supported practice decisions. Find out more and register.


Focused Psychological Strategies for Social Workers
Brisbane - Monday, 23rd to Tuesday, 24th September

Presented by Australian Association of Social Workers

This two-day workshop on mental health interventions specifically for social workers will provide context and overview of mental health interventions and therapeutic techniques, including how the mind-brain interaction works, emotional regulation, interpersonal therapy, motivational interviewing, CBT, mindfulness, communication skills, mind/body relaxation, conflict resolution, narrative therapy, and more. All sections will be framed by appropriate discussions and exercises. Find out more and register.


Child Safe Organisations
Mt Isa - Friday, 4th October
Presented by NAPCAN

The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) is again delivering two free child protection workshops around Queensland. The first of these workshops is Child Safe Organisations, a workshop that is critical to assist organisations to develop child friendly and safe practice embedded within organisational culture, moving beyond safety to demonstrate a commitment to children and young people's wellbeing. 
The second workshop, Mandatory Reporting & Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, is for everyone who works or volunteers with children and young people and their families and is subject to mandatory reporting requirements. Upcoming sessions will be held in Mt Isa on Friday, 4th October and Saturday, 5th October. Find out more and register for either workshop throughout Queensland.


Kingscliff - Thursday, 10th to Friday, 11th October

Presented by Compass Seminars

Relational trauma requires relational repair. Working with clients with relational trauma can impact on practitioners in many ways. Whilst stories of survival and resilience can inspire us, it is the daily (often unrecognised) exposure to traumatic material and clients coping behaviours which results in gradual and insidious changes in the internal states and world views of practitioners. Through reflective and experiential learning, this workshop aims to provide new knowledge and tools to help sustain and grow practice with our most vulnerable clients, and in a way that integrates individual, team and organisational levels of practice. Find out more and register.

1-2-3 Magic & Emotion Coaching
Brisbane - Tuesday, 15th October
Presented by Parentshop

This one-day training is based on two underlying perspectives on parenting: first, that children can be taught to respond more flexibly when they are frustrated or upset and second, that parents and carers can be taught easy-to-use skills they can use at particular parenting moments. This course equips professionals with the knowledge to teach parents the program over three sessions and/or how to teach the tenets of the program in a few one-to-one clinical sessions. Three recent research studies demonstrate the efficacy of the 123 Magic & Emotion Coaching program in significantly decreasing children’s behaviour problems. Find out more and register.


Reflections from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse 2019 Leneen Forde Address
Brisbane - Tuesday, 22nd October
Presented by Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland (CPPAQ)

The 2019 CPPAQ Leneen Forde Address will be delivered by Professor Helen Milroy, University of Western Australia, Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission, Honorary Research Fellow with Telethon Kids Institute, former Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and proud descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region. Her address will reflect the many learnings from the Royal Commission including the importance of bearing witness, keeping children safe, trauma informed approaches, and competency in mental health systems of care. Find out more and register.

Voices in Action Conference 2019
Melbourne - Thursday, 14th to Saturday, 16th November
Presented by CREATE Foundation

95% of previous attendees either agreed or strongly agreed that the ideas shared at the event would help improve the out-of-home care system. The 2019 Voices in Action Conference will provide an in-depth exploration of three key issues identified by children and young people with a care experience as fundamental to improving the out-of-home care system, with the wisdom of lived experience. The discussion will focus on: how to include young voices in decision making processes; how to support and improve outcomes for young people transitioning from care; and the need to improve complaints processes for children and young people. The conference format will feature a daily keynote address from inspirational thought leaders in the care system, followed by a series of interactive, workshop style sessions focused on applying the insights of young people, carers and professionals to some of the key issues facing our sector. Carers, professionals and sector leaders must attend for a fresh grassroots approach to garnering insight into what works in out-of-home care. The full program is now live, so be quick to secure your place at this game-changing conference and elevate the voices of children and young people in care. Find out more and register.

Parent Morning Tea
Brisbane - Monday, 16th September

Parents who have child protection experience are welcome to this free monthly morning tea hosted by Family Inclusion Network South East Queensland to chat with other parents about how they navigated the child protection, legal and out-of-home care systems and hear how they gained support, addressed their child protection concerns, and became more included in the lives of their children. The Morning Tea is for parents who: have / had children in care, or have / had an intervention with parental agreement, or been reunified with their children. For more details, contact Becky on 3013 6030 or Find out more and RSVP.


Blue Card Services information session
Brisbane - Wednesday, 2nd October

This is a general information session which provides an overview of an employer/business operator’s obligations under the blue card system and an opportunity to clarify any issues regarding the blue card application or assessment process. Find out more and register.


The role of the Board and your role on it
Brisbane - Friday, 4th October

Are you a member of a Board, Committee or Senior Management Team? This half-day workshop by Community Sector Development Specialists (CSDS) covers everything you need to know from the role and responsibilities of the Committee vs that of your Management Team, your individual legal duties and the tasks that all Committees should manage according to governance best practice for not-for-profits. Early bird rates available until Friday, 13th September. Find out more and register.

FECCA Conference 2019
Hobart - Wednesday, 9th to Friday, 11th October

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia’s (FECCA) biennial conference Purpose. Leadership. Progress. 40 years and beyond will be held in Hobart, Tasmania in 2019. This conference will provide opportunities to share knowledge and best practice, to highlight challenges and to explore possibilities with a network of organisations and individuals who share a common vision – a prosperous, creative and progressive multicultural Australia. Find out more and register.

State Volunteering Conference
Brisbane - Thursday, 10th to Friday, 11th October

Volunteering Queensland's State Volunteering Conference provides a great opportunity for your professional development to grow your knowledge as a leader. The conference will equip you with valuable strategies and good practices to maximise the contribution of your volunteers, enhance the impact of your volunteer program, and advance your cause. The conference is designed to unite, invigorate and challenge Queensland volunteering practitioners. Find out more and register.

Policy and Advocacy 2-Day Intensive
Townsville - Wednesday, 16th to Thursday, 17th October

This 2-Day Intensive workshop by For Purpose will provide for purpose professionals with the opportunity to work alongside like-minded individuals to develop the critical skills required to navigate the policy development process and make change happen. Participants will learn how to to develop tailored advocacy strategies for their organisations with innovative tactics to achieve your desired policy outcomes. The workshop has been developed for people working in the not-for-profit of for purpose sector. It is for anyone seeking to influence government, particularly people working in policy, advocacy, government relations and communication roles. Find out more and register.

2019 OPEN Symposium
Melbourne - Friday, 18th October

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare will hold the 2019 OPEN (Outcomes, Practice, Evidence Network): Voices that Matter Symposium at the Melbourne Arts Centre. As practitioners strive to build the evidence base and strengthen practice across child, youth and family services, it is vital that the voices that matter – the voices of children, young people and families – are prioritised. During the Symposium, attendees will have the chance to hear from colleagues, experts and international guest speakers on successful programs and partnerships, learnings and challenges, innovative tools, and new initiatives. Early bird tickets are available until Saturday, 14th September. Find out more and register.

Frontline Mental Health Conference
Townsville - Sunday, 20th October to Tuesday, 22nd October

This three-day conference held by the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association focuses on supporting the mental health care of Australian and New Zealand first responders, veterans, soldiers, NGO workers and volunteers. For frontline workers, it's time to put yourself first: find out how to seek help, manage your mental health and support colleagues in need. By breaking the stigma in seeking help, you can create great change for yourself and your fellow frontline workers. The Conference Committee has sourced some of Australia’s most influential experts in mental health, experienced in providing specialised service and support to workers regularly exposed to disaster, emergency, stress and trauma. Find out more and register.

Introduction to the Anti-Discrimination Act
Brisbane - Wednesday, 23rd October

The Anti Discrimination Commission is now known as the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC). The QHRC will be offering training sessions around Queensland's new Human Rights Act, including in Brisbane. The Introduction to Anti-Discrimination Act training course provides a basic introduction to the key elements of anti-discrimination law in Queensland. No previous knowledge is needed. Find out more about the training. Sessions are available in other cities throughout the state.

Transition to Adulthood Month Launch
Brisbane - Tuesday, 7th November

November is Transition to Adulthood (T2A) month. It is a month to highlight the needs of young people as they make the journey from the care system to adulthood, experiencing positive outcomes along the way. CREATE will be hosting the free Transition to Adulthood Month Launch at The Old Museum in Bowen Hills, Brisbane. The event will feature a presentation, speeches, performances, virtual reality tent, resource stalls, inflatables and much more. RSVP to the event and visit the CREATE website for more information on T2A and how you can get involved in supporting young people transitioning to success.

ACOSS National Conference 2019
Canberra - Tuesday, 26th to Wednesday, 27th November

Early bird tickets are now available for the ACOSS National Conference 2019: Harnessing Community through Effective Action. The Conference will focus on a number of cross-cutting themes, including: how can we harness the power of local community action to influence national policy debates? How should we speak about poverty and inequality to galvanise action, while empowering those who are excluded? How do we bridge the divide between urban and rural communities to deliver better policy outcomes for all? Register before Wednesday, 31st July to secure your place at a discounted rate! Find out more and register.

In conversation with Prof Leigh Goodmark
Brisbane - Wednesday, 4th December

Join ANROWS at the Banco Court for an evening with international domestic and family violence law expert Leigh Goodmark, interviewed by the ABC’s Paul Barclay. Professor Goodmark is Director of the Gender Violence Clinic at the University of Maryland’s Carey School of Law. She will be discussing her new book, Decriminalizing domestic violence: A balanced policy approach to intimate partner violence. Save the date and keep an eye on future issues of ANROWS Notepad for registration and more details.

National Social Role Valorisation Conference 2020
Brisbane - Friday, 27th to Saturday, 28th March 2020

The first ever Australian Social Role Valorisation Association (ASRVA) national conference will be held in Brisbane in 2020. The vision of ASRVA is that all people, including those that are marginalised and disenfranchised, are enabled to be perceived positively and have good lives. The foundation of social role valorisation (SRV) is a sense of social justice, leadership development, and working for change with individuals, services, systems and citizens. The ASRVA Conference will be reinforcing the spirit of a community of practice through a mixture of speakers, discussion and activities, and will be grounded, focussing on application, and using a range of activities and styles to better match varied learning preferences. View the date claimer, follow ASRVA on Facebook or contact to be kept updated on Conference news and be notified when registrations open.

Visit our Events page for further opportunities in the sector.

DV Specialist Workers (Casual, Rostered) - BDVS, Micah Projects

The Brisbane Domestic Violence Service (BDVS) as part of Micah Projects is seeking casual DV Specialist Workers for the roster pool. This position is an after-hours crisis response to domestic violence and is responsible for providing a crisis response to individuals who have been referred to Safer Lives as victims of domestic violence primarily by DV Connect and Queensland Police. In order to be considered for this position you must be able to work at short notice, overnights and weekdays. This is position is classified under the SCHADS Award at a Level 2. Find out more and apply

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PeakCare Queensland
PO Box 159
Paddington Qld 4064

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