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- Friday, 8th December 2017 -
A new PeakCare Board has been formed for 2018. At PeakCare’s Annual General Meeting held on 6 December 2017, Voting Delegates of our Member organisations re-elected Ms Sally Kelynack (UnitingCare Queensland) to serve a further two-year term and newly elected Ms Janet Wight (Youth Advocacy Centre) and Mr Darren Young (Mission Australia).  Ms Wight and Mr Young both previously served as co-opted (non-voting) Members on the Board during 2017.

They now join sitting Members - Ms Cara Benoit (yourtown), Mr Kieran Smith (Act for Kids), Ms Leith Sterling (The Benevolent Society) and Ms Kathryn Woods (Creche and Kindergarten Association) – who were elected to the Board in 2016.

PeakCare congratulates Ms Kelynack, Ms Wight and Mr Young on their election to the Board and sincerely thanks all candidates for their interest and offers of service to PeakCare. As noted by a number of speakers at the Annual General Meeting, there was again this year a greater number of candidates than vacancies on the Board. This speaks volumes about the commitment and generosity of this year’s candidates and those from previous years who have voluntarily offered their time, experience, wisdom and skills in supporting the work of PeakCare.

PeakCare also thanks all who served on the Board during all or parts of 2017. In addition to the previously mentioned Board Members who were elected in 2016, this includes Ms Shelley Wall, Mr Andy Harman and Mr Brad Swan.

To access and read PeakCare’s Annual Report for 2016-2017, click here.
Among other highlights, the President's Report notes that PeakCare lodged over 13 written submissions - more than one a month - to various entities, co-hosted numerous practice symposiums and workshops, introduction of the Hope and Healing by Design workshops throughout Queensland and the Over 1,000 Voices residential care staff survey, released an updated version of the Roundtables Roadtrip Report 2016, and established the "Ice Bank" as a prelude to the "Just Ice?" Symposium held in August.

Back to the ‘Just Ice?’ Symposium Video Series

PeakCare has now returned to releasing videos of presentations delivered during the ‘Just Ice?’ Symposium held in August 2017, having deferred their release for a while to make room for our State Election 2017 Video Series. Today, PeakCare is pleased to release Men’s use of violence in domestic and family relationships and its intersection with addiction, a presentation delivered by Dr Andrew Frost, Senior Lecturer, Domestic and Family Violence Practice, Central Queensland University.

Changes to child care fee assistance in 2018

From 2nd July 2018, the new single payment Child Care Subsidy will replace the current Child Care Rebate and Child Care Benefit. Families earning less than $185,710 will have no cap on the amount of child care they can claim, while those earning over $185,710 and under $350,000 will benefit from an increase in the current cap of $7,613 to $10,000 per child, per year. The level of Child Care Subsidy that can be accessed will depend on combined family income, the activity level of both parents (based on the parent who does the least amount of activity) and the type of child care the family uses. The government also has an online tool to help families estimate what their subsidy might be.

Reminder - free back to school health checks for primary school children

Queensland University of Technology Health Clinics will be running free back-to-school health checks for primary school aged children before the new school term on 16th-18th January 2018, including foot checks, nutrition advice, vision checks and developmental assessments. Registration is essential as places are limited. Call 3138 9777 to register or view the flyer for more details.

Queensland Young Achiever Award nominations closing soon

The Queensland Young Achiever Awards acknowledges, encourages and promotes the positive achievements of all young Queenslanders up to and including 29 years of age in one of eight categories. Award nominations close Friday, 15th December. Categories include the Regional Award, Leadership Award, Aboriginal Achievement Award, Community Volunteer Award, and more.  Category winners will receive $2,000, plus the Queensland Young Achiever of the Year will be taking home an additional $2,000. To nominate, visit the Young Achiever Awards website.

Small grants funding available

The Myer Foundation Poverty and Disadvantage Small Grants Program supports strategies to benefit Australian communities, including alleviating the negative effects of poverty and disadvantage, innovations in addressing poverty and disadvantage, and strengthening the capacity of communities to deal with poverty and disadvantage. Grants of up to $10,000 are available for organisations registered as tax concession charities, or any organisations where the nature of the project addressing poverty and disadvantage is charitable. Applications are open until Sunday, 31st December. To apply, visit the Myer Foundation website.
It pains PeakCare to announce that the winner of our embarrassing Trivia with a Twist competition for 2017 was a motley crew of people from Kummara, Infinity and Mercy Community Services. The Queensland Family and Child Commission came second and the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak grabbed third spot. Yourtown excelled in demonstrating the most consistent performance by coming dead last yet again.
Even after retiring early from the competition, QCOSS’ Mark Henley still managed to stupefy all teams (which wasn’t all that difficult a things to do). We will never know whether or not Mark would have been able to stupefy himself if he had been there. Fortunately, there was a short period of dignified behaviour during the contest when Lindsay Wegener delivered a moving tribute to Detective Superintendent Cheryl Scanlon who, for the first time in the long history of this event was unable to attend due to a prior commitment concerning some other little competition being run by the government on the Gold Coast next year.
There were yet again, thanks to our many generous donors, vast numbers of people – mostly un-deserving – who left with some excellent raffle prizes! Dean Keep from Life Without Barriers waltzed away with the most prizes and you can see his beaming face - and the beaming faces of all the lucky prize winners and people who attended this mostly spectacular event - in the photo galleries published on our Facebook page.
Double-happy winners were Chris from YourTown, Chelsea from Pracademics, Kim from Uniting Care, and Tom from Qld Police. Also winning big on the raffles were Lindsay Wegener and Michael Hogan – who both came away from the night with more prizes than pride! Well done to all the other winners and a huge thank you to all our generous donors: Australia Zoo, Blue Room Cinebar, Bombay Bliss, Chroma Hair Studio, Dendy Portside, Encompass Family and Community, Five Star Cinemas, Little Greek Taverna, Panda Pearls Australia, Paten Park Native Nursery, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Regal Twin Arthouse Cinema, Surf Connect, Taj Mahal Restaurant, Jenny Wegener, and Wheel of Brisbane. To truly see and hear something spectacular, watch the clips of the Harris Fields State School Cultural Choir’s performance!

Words of wisdom and hope in child protection reform at PeakCare's AGM - Part One

PeakCare’s 2017 Annual General Meeting was uplifted by words of wisdom offered by guest speaker, The Hon. Shannon Fentiman MP and an expert panel comprising of Michael Hogan, Director General, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services; Cheryl Vardon, Principal Commissioner, Queensland Family and Child Commission; Natalie Siegel-Brown, Public Guardian; Natalie Lewis, CEO, Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak; Lucas Moore, State Coordinator, CREATE Foundation; and Susie Edwards, Coordinator, Family Inclusion Network, Southeast Queensland. Read more and stay tuned for Part Two in next week's eNews!

If you have contributions you'd like to donate to the Ice Bank, or know of a program, group or organisation that should be In the spotlight, please contact Lorraine Dupree.

Increasing income support to address child poverty in Australia

A briefing paper from Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) outlines findings from their Poverty in Australia 2016 report and calls on the Commonwealth government to take decisive action to address child poverty by increasing income support and welfare payments for families, especially unemployed single parents. Reducing poverty leads to better health, education and employment outcomes for children, even if they have equal access to health and education. The paper states that of the three million people living in poverty, 731,000 are children, with single parent families suffering the most. Citing The Salvation Army's 2017 survey of 1,495 children across 638 households, findings include more than half (54%) reported experiencing severe deprivation and went without five or more essential day-to-day items, including items related to education, social participation and basic nutrition. For households with children aged 17 or younger, one in five could not afford prescription medicines or medical treatment; nearly one third could not afford a yearly dental check-up for their child; half could not afford up to date school items; 56% did not have the money to participate in school activities; nearly two in five could not afford fresh fruit or vegetables every day; and nearly one in four could not afford three meals a day for their child.

More research needed into child protection workers facing occupational violence

Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) released a short article on child protection workers facing occupational violence, concluding that the voice of frontline child protection workers is largely missing from discussions of challenges within the child protection system and more research is needed to understand the frequency and types of violence involved and the full extent of impacts on workers and children. Among the sparse literature, the article cites an Australian study into those working with children across many sectors, in which 91% of respondents had experienced intimidating behaviour and 72% had been threatened with violence. The CFCA paper Caring for our frontline child protection workforce explores some of the organisational strategies that can support the wellbeing of frontline workers, including the need to foster a positive psychosocial safety climate so that workers are adequately supported when faced with incidents of occupational violence.

Study finds mainstream schools discourage inclusion of students with disability

A national study by researchers from the University of Melbourne and Curtin and Macquarie Universities, involving 745 Australian students with disability and 166 school staff across government, Catholic and independent schools, found that 70% of students with disability have experienced restrictive practices and incidents minimising enrolment and inclusive participation in mainstream schools. The study refers to this unofficial but common discrimination as 'gatekeeping” and asserts this occurs at a highly significant level across all jurisdictions and school types. Many families are advised that their child “will do better if segregated” and “will not keep up with others” in mainstream settings. Families also reported regular restrictions and suspensions disrupt family life and everyday activities. The researchers argue there is a chronic misunderstanding of the meaning of inclusion, with the current model operating on the basis of the student fitting the system, rather than the system adapting to ensure equitable access. Some schools were also noted as particularly inclusive, demonstrating the potential of positive leadership and mutual respect. 

Report finds strong support for multiculturalism and immigration among Australians

The Scanlon Foundation has released the 2017 Mapping Social Cohesion report which demonstates strong support for multiculturalism and immigration. It is produced by Monash University researchers and is the largest survey of its kind tracking Australian attitudes on issues including immigration, multiculturalism, discrimination and political trust. Australian attitudes have remained stably positive over the decade from 2007, with agreement that ‘multiculturalism has been good for Australia’ in the range of 83-86%.

No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming
Brisbane - Monday, 26th February 2018
Presented by Compass Seminars

No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming: How to Make Behaving Positively Possible for People with ASD will be delivered by Scandinavian psychologist, Bo Hejlskov Elvén, who will show how to identify and adapt to the challenging behaviours exhibited by people with autism and other developmental disabilities using the successful Low Arousal Approach. Find out more and register at our website.

1st Asia Pacific Safe & Together Model Conference
Melbourne - Wednesday, 7th to Thursday, 8th February 2018

The Safe & Together Institute (USA) and the Berry Street Childhood Institute will be holding the 1st Asia Pacific Safe & Together Model Conference. The Safe & Together Model is an internationally respected approach for working with families impacted by domestic violence perpetrator behaviour. Join David Mandel, the Executive Director of the Safe & Together Institute and creator of the Safe & Together Model, and other change leaders from across Australia, for this conference, and learn about intervening with perpetrators as parents, partnering with adult survivors and promoting safer and more stable homes for children. Find out more.

Working with Men Conference
Sydney - Tuesday, 13th to Wednesday, 14th February 2018

The Working with Men to End Family Violence Conference 2018 aims to work towards ensuring the safety of women and children and, ultimately, ending family violence. This is Australia’s only conference focused on working with men. The conference will explore ways to enhance primary prevention, optimise men’s behaviour change programs, improve work with Indigenous men and communities, and increase collaboration, coordination and integration in the service system to improve outcomes. A must-attend for all who work with men or with those affected by men’s violence. Find out more.

NDS QLD State Conference 2018
Brisbane - Monday, 5th to Tuesday, 6th March 2018

The National Disability Services Queensland State Conference, Finding the Way Forward, will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in 2018. The conference offers the opportunity to listen and participate in discussions on workforce, adaptive practice, marketing, social innovation and financial benchmarking. The conference is also currently offering Masterclasses at no extra cost to the registration fee. Early bird registrations are now open.

No More Harm National Conference 2018
Melbourne - Thursday, 12th April 2018 to Friday, 13th April 2018

The No More Harm National Conference 2018 at Pullman Melbourne on the Park will consider how to address bullying, harassment and discrimination and other behaviours and attitudes that are harmful to others in the workplace, school yard, social situation, interpersonal relationship or sporting activity with a view to finding solutions. This conference is an ideal platform to exchange ideas and learn more from other professionals, researchers and practitioners that work with individuals, groups and organisations with bullying, harassing or discriminating behaviour challenges and outcomes. The conference is currently accepting online abstract submissions until Monday, 18th December and registrations to attend.

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.

Support and Advocacy Worker, Safer Lives Mobile Service - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a Support and Advocacy Worker to join the Safer Lives Mobile Service. This position is part of an after-hours domestic violence crisis response to individuals who have been referred to Safer Lives as victims of domestic violence. This position is casual, under the SCHADS Award – Level 2. Find out more details and how to apply. Applications close 5pm Monday, 18th December.

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