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- Friday, 1st March 2019 -

A Human Rights Act was passed by State Parliament on 27th February 2019. PeakCare commends the Palaszczuk Government and congratulates the Human Rights Act for Queensland Campaign organisers and the many organisations and individuals who have been staunchly advocating for this legislation. A quick scan through PeakCare’s eNews archives reveals that the need for this legislation has featured as the lead story in seven editions of eNews over the past four years and many, many more additional eNews articles and posts on our Facebook page. Plus it has been the subject of a PeakCare filmed interview of Aimee McVeigh, the Human Rights Act for Queensland Campaign Coordinator and a filmed panel discussion.

The history of child protection in this country is littered with gross violations of human rights, both of children and parents, for which governments have regularly apologised. There has been, to name just a few, the apology to the Stolen Generations, the apology to Forgotten Australians and Child Migrants, the apology to all impacted by Forced Adoptions and most recently, the Prime Minister’s apology to the victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. All represented, in essence, remorse expressed about the trampling of basic human rights.

The Human Rights Act, when implemented, will establish the foundations for actively recognising and demonstrating respect for the human rights and entitlements held by both children and parents. This may not entirely eliminate the need for more apologies in the future, but it will go a long way towards reducing the likelihood of them being required. The impact of the Human Rights Act on child protection policies, programs and practice within and across both the government and non-government sectors must not be under-estimated. It’s now time for PeakCare’s Members to consider this fully.

George Pell’s conviction – the yet to be realised repercussions

George Pell being found guilty of sexual offences against two choirboys has, as might be fully expected, created a massive media and public response. Most obviously and again very understandably, this response has been about justice having been served and the vindication of those who have suffered abuse at the hands of those in positions of power and authority. The seemingly flippant description of Pell’s crimes as "no more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case" by his lawyer has added to the public indignation and repulsion. It was heartening however that Judge Peter Kidd quickly dismissed this appraisal and asserted that his crimes were in fact “a serious example of this kind of offending”. The description provided by Pell’s lawyer suggests that there is still much to be learned by some about child sexual abuse and the misuse of power.

Beyond the immediate responses to the news of George Pell’s conviction, it may be expected that the repercussions of this event are far from over – especially when considered in the light of the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and, even more recently, Queensland’s Human Rights Act. Some of these repercussions may be expected, but some may not be anticipated and may raise difficult questions to be confronted by both governments and non-government organisations, and this will not be confined to those affiliated with the Catholic Church or other faith-based institutions.

Watch out for next week’s edition of eNews when PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener will post some of his thoughts about the possible repercussions. In the meantime, share your thoughts with us by posting your comments here.


Are you ready for the National Redress Scheme?

Following the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse a National Redress Scheme (NRS) has been established. Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland will host a Practice Paper on the NRS presented by knowmore legal service, a free national legal service funded to assist survivors of institutional child sexual abuse to ensure they have access to redress. This session will provide detailed information about the NRS, including the three components of the scheme available to survivors, the impact of prior payments, the assessment framework used to assess the amount a survivor will receive and the legal options available to survivors, including at common law.  This is an important event, so ensure you don't miss out! Tickets are free for CPPAQ Members and $40 for non-Members. Find out more and register.

New fund for Queensland disaster relief

The Queensland Disaster Resilience Fund has been established by the Queensland government to support Queenslander communities anticipating and affected by natural disasters. The first round of funding is now open and will be administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA). Applications for the first round of funding close 18th April. Apply online.

Change of name for FCQ

Foster Care Queensland (FCQ) has officially changed names to Queensland Foster and Kinship Care (QFKC). The change of name reflects the critical role of kinship care in child protection. Agencies are encouraged to start using QFKC's new name. QFKC has also changed locations to 7/10 Depot Street, Banyo Qld 4014.

AEC ruling sets precedent for issues-based advocacy by charities

An Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) ruling has set a legal precedent protecting the rights of charities to engage in issues-based advocacy. The AEC ruled that the political organisation GetUp was not an associated entity of a political party, and noted that the charity's campaigns were primarily issues-based and not centered around the interests of any one political party. The ruling noted there was "little guidance to be taken from case law" on the definition of 'associated entity' under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The ruling potentially makes it easier for community organisations to campaign on issues by providing a legal precedent affirming their political neutrality, even if 'small parts' of their activities could be seen as supporting a particular party.

National Social Housing Survey results released

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released the results of the 2018 National Social Housing Survey, which looks at tenant satisfaction with social housing and how this has changed over time, and differences between states and territories. The results show most tenants were satisfied with services from their housing provider, but that variation in structural condition of dwellings resulted in different levels of satisfaction. Queensland had the highest satisfaction rate (85%). For every 20 Australians living in social housing, more were female than male (11:9). View the report.

Queensland Women's Week commences tomorrow

Women’s financial disadvantage and economic insecurity has significant and generational effects as women continue to be the primary carers of children. The theme for Queensland Women’s Week (2nd to 10th March) is Invest in women. Invest in the future. It recognises that improving women’s and girls’ financial literacy and capability improves their economic security which has benefits for the entire community. Economic security is a key pillar of the government's Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016-21 which provides a framework to achieve gender equality. The 2018 Women's Economic Security Report Card showed a 17.3% gender pay gap, with the largest gap occurring in the finance and insurance services industry. Women comprised almost 95% of single parents receiving Parenting Payment, having principal care of a child or children under the age of eight years, and 70% of those receiving a Carer Payment. 

For Women, By Women is one inspiring example of hearing the strength, resilience and leadership of women. The project captures stories told by women originally from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Iran shared during the Community Leadership Program by Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland Ltd (ECCQ) in early 2018. 

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence: Bullying. No Way! Take action every day on Friday, 15th March gives schools the chance to take action and empower young people to be part of the solution when addressing bullying in their school community. There is no single definition or type of bullying, which means everyone needs to watch how to keep themselves and others safe. Understand more about bullying, learn what works to prevent bullying, and check if your school is a NDA school that stands united against bullying and violence across the nation. Order your school's free information cards and view the rest of the resources supporting this year's theme. Student-led action is key for preventing bullying and violence. The National Day of Action has identified 10 action areas in which students can take the lead in eradicating bullying and violence in their schools. 

The BIG Week 2019 - are YOU ready?

Have you watched this short and snappy video about Queensland’s BIG Week? It should be watched by all our readers. After watching the video, make sure you download, print and distribute this flyer and book the dates into your diary.

Being Child Wise to be Child Safe

Child Wise is a social enterprise of Save the Children Australia. Established in 1991, Child Wise has over 28 years of experience in child abuse prevention and response. Child Wise originated as a leading voice on child rights in the Asia Pacific region and is a founding member of End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT), a global network of organisations and individuals working to eliminate the abuse, trafficking and sexual exploitation of children and young people. Read more

If you know of a program, group or organisation that should be In the Spotlight, contact Lorraine Dupree.

Development of an Aboriginal-led evaluation and review mechanism to hold government accountable in Aboriginal affairs

The Victorian State Government has released a discussion guide about establishing an Aboriginal-led evaluation and review mechanism. The purpose of an Aboriginal-led evaluation and review mechanism is to keep government accountable to the community in Aboriginal affairs, by tracking government’s progress against various commitments and agreements made. This includes evaluating and reviewing: government’s efforts to achieve goals, objectives and measures and government action to enable Aboriginal self-determination. Are there lessons that can be learned from this Victorian initiative by Queensland? Read more

Tough Conversations in Child Protection
Brisbane - Tuesday, 12th March
Presented by Parentshop

This essential one-day course for child protection professionals and family workers helps to quickly assess and prepare for tough conversations in situations where clarity-of-message can make all the difference for vulnerable families. The course teaches a method to: identify and clearly articulate the strengths and deficits in parents’ caring capacity so that parents have a clear future work plan; comprehensively gather information for holding a factual tough conversation so that as many facts (as can be reasonably gathered) can be brought to bear in conversations with parents; defuse antagonism during a tough conversation while holding a firm line; and identify the important ‘dashboard’ markers for parents so that everyone has clarity about what is expected within a given timeframe. Find out more and register.

First Up: client response training for administration staff
Brisbane - Wednesday, 13th March
Presented by Encompass Family and Community

Administration workers are often the first persons with whom a client or potential client of your agency will have contact. When that initial contact is by an upset, highly anxious or angry client, it is not easy to find the right response. This workshop equips and supports administration workers in their role of providing ‘first-up’ responses to clients and members of the public who present in person at reception or over the phone. The workshop considers how to interact calmly and safely with people who are presenting in a state of crisis or affected by alcohol or drugs, including how to convey empathy while encouraging the client to contain their anger or upset or behaviour. This is a workshop for all admin workers who may be ‘first-up’ in responding helpfully in difficult situations or helping to de-escalate potential crises. Find out more and register

Brisbane - Monday, 18th to Tuesday, 19th March
Presented by Compass Seminars

An exploration of the ways the immune system, epigenetics, affect regulation, and attachment intersect in mental health. Mind-Brain-Gene describes the feedback loops between the multiple systems contributing to the emergence of the mind and the experience of the self. It explains how our mental operating networks "self-organise", drawing from and modifying our memory systems to establish and maintain mental health. Synthesising research in psychoneuroimmunology and epigenetics with interpersonal neurobiology and research on integrated psychotherapeutic approaches, John Arden explores how insecure attachment, deprivation, child abuse, and trauma contribute to anxiety disorders and depression to produce epigenetic affects. Find out more and register.

Practice Paper - Are you ready for the National Redress Scheme?
Brisbane - Wednesday, 20th March
Presented by Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland

Following the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse a National Redress Scheme (NRS) has been established. This Practice Paper will be presented by knowmore legal service, a free national legal service funded to assist survivors of institutional child sexual abuse to ensure they have access to redress. This session will provide detailed information about the NRS, including the three components of the scheme available to survivors, the impact of prior payments, the assessment framework used to assess the amount a survivor will receive and the legal options available to survivors, including at common law. Tickets are free for CPPAQ Members and $40 for non-Members. Find out more and register.


Special benefit screening - Backtrack Boys
Brisbane - Sunday, 24th March
Presented by ANTaR Qld

Join friends and colleagues for a special fundraiser screening of the Backtrack Boys - a movie benefit night to support the education, policy and advocacy work of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation in Queensland (ANTaR Qld). Backtrack Boys is a powerful documentary concerning Youth Justice reform in the Armidale District. The screening will be held at All Hallows School Theatre, Dodge Lane, Fortitude Valley. View the flyer for more details or book online.

Brisbane - Monday, 24th to Friday, 28th June
Presented by QATSICPP, PeakCare and CAFWAA

The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP), PeakCare Queensland, and the Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia (CAFWAA) are partnering to bring to Brisbane a National Child Protection Conference. This conference will gather together policy-makers, researchers, service administrators and practitioners from government and non-government mainstream and community-controlled organisations from across the country to explore what’s hot in the world of child protection. This important conference will provide opportunities to showcase innovation as well as to explore and debate contentious issues currently confronting all Australian States and Territories. Find out more and stay tuned!

Churchill Fellowship information sessions
Mt Isa - Monday, 4th March (followed by other locations around Queensland)

A Churchill Fellowship offers Australian citizens the opportunity to travel overseas to research issues of interest. The high international regard for Churchill Fellowships provides a pathway for Churchill Fellows to access expertise from around the world that is not typically available to everyone, expanding your knowledge and experience for the benefit of Australian society. The Churchill Trust is on the road throughout February and March to deliver a National Roadshow of Information Sessions about the 2019 Churchill Fellowship opportunity. In Queensland, free information sessions will be held in Mt Isa (4th March), Brisbane (5th March), Noosa (12th March), Cairns (13th March), and Townsville (14th March). The sessions will provide the opportunity to listen to some extraordinary Churchill Fellows share their Fellowship experiences, impart insights on their fascinating projects and how the program helped them achieve their goals. Applications to the Fellowships are now open.

Creating Child Safe Organisations
Brisbane - Tuesday, 5th March

Supported by practical, real-life examples of how to implement a best practice approach to child safety based on the National Child Safety Principles, this is an essential 1-day training workshop by Child Wise that covers: how to build a child safe culture that promotes the empowerment of children and young people in your organisation; how to strengthen screening, recruitment and selection processes in your organisation; how to implement procedures that encourage an effective response to concerns, allegations or incidences of child abuse, and more. Find out more and register.

National Youth Homelessness Conference
Melbourne - Monday, 18th to Tuesday, 19th March

The first national conference focussed on youth to be held in Australia in over 20 years will take place this year. The National Youth Homelessness Conference will look at what has happened in policy and practice to address youth homelessness over the past decade, initiatives that have worked and what future reforms are required in light of developing an agenda to put to government. Despite government initiatives to reduce homelessness, the number of people experiencing homelessness, particularly young people, has increased disproportionately to population growth in the last 10 years. Find out more and register.


5th Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference
Gold Coast - Monday, 13th to Wednesday, 15th May

This annual conference by the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association offers a two day educational program of speakers and a half day of workshops. The aim of the conference is to broaden the understanding of the range of addictions, comorbidity, pain management, harm reduction, mental health and wellbeing and to look at solutions in regard to prevention, treatment and recovery through evidence based research, programs and practical models. The conference is inclusive of varying populations, the professional, peer support workers and the role of the family. Find out more and register.

Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum
Mackay - Wednesday, 15th to Thursday, 16th May

The Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research. The Forum aims to share knowledge and highlight new approaches on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people impacted by domestic and family violence. By attending this Forum, you can expect to gain understanding about the different service delivery approaches required when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. The Forum will introduce new and different approaches based on research and evidence to inform practice when responding to this type of violence. Find out more and register.

Child Aware Approaches Conference 2019
Brisbane - Thursday, 16th to Friday, 17th May

The 6th Child Aware Approaches Conference will advance the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022, and the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Conference will focus on five key themes: improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, improving access to prevention and early intervention, improving placement stability, keeping children and young people safe from abuse, and strengthening focus on wellbeing Beyond 2020. The participation of young people will be a key feature of the Conference.

Trauma Aware Schooling Conference 2019
Brisbane - Thursday, 20th to Friday, 21st June

The inaugural Trauma Aware Schooling Conference will discuss, learn about and respond to the issues of complex childhood trauma and the need for trauma aware practice in schools. A school student’s experience of complex trauma  (e.g. physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, serious neglect, violence, etc.) can have a serious impact on school behaviours, attendance, engagement and (therefore) educational and life outcomes. Worrying behaviours can also have a significant impact on the well-being, efficacy, and retention of teachers and other educators. To address this, government departments and many non-government agencies are increasingly encompassing what is now referred to as trauma-informed practice when supporting or working with children and adolescents. To minimise concerns at school that can lead to student disengagement or disciplinary exclusion, there is a growing call for a collaborative, cross-agency, trauma-informed approach to service provision – which includes the schooling system. Find out more and register.

Visit the Events page on our website for other opportunities in the sector. You can also email your professional development opportunities so that we may promote them through future editions of eNews.

© 2019 PeakCare Queensland Inc. All rights reserved.

PeakCare Queensland
PO Box 159
Paddington Qld 4064

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