FRSA eBulletin - 25 August 2016
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Following the 2 July 2016 election, 47 new members will join the ranks of parties, major and minor in both houses when Parliament resumes sitting in Canberra next week.
Whilst I am certain the previous Coalition Government’s intention in bringing about a double dissolution election was a less combative Upper House, the election results have not delivered on that expectation. The Election results have delivered a very diverse mix of cross benchers in the Senate.

There are 11 cross-benchers:
  • One Nation (four seats – including Senator Pauline Hanson)
  • Nick Xenophon Team (three seats – including Senator Nick Xenophon)
  • Liberal Democrats (David Leyonhjelm, one seat)
  • Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party (Derryn Hinch, one seat)
  • Jacqui Lambie Network (Jacqui Lambie, one seat)
  • Family First (Bob Day, one seat)
In the 150 member House of Representatives, the Coalition has a slight majority of 76. In the Senate, providing all 30 Coalition Senators vote for Government legislation - the Government needs the support of 9 non-government senators to pass legislation. There will no doubt be some late sitting nights in the Senate.

In terms of leverage from cross benchers, one of the key issues already emerging for one of the more vocal crossbenchers is the Family Court in Australia – being led by Senator Pauline Hanson. There are a number of voices questioning the Family Court system in Australia and I think it is useful to remind ourselves, and others, that the Family Law system in Australia is looked to as worldclass in comparison to other parts of the world. Whilst the majority of separating couples do tend to sort out their parenting and property disputes themselves, our sector can proudly own the fact that since the 2006 amendments to the Family Law Act, that Family Dispute Resolution has become more widely used by parents (10 per cent use of FDR in 2014 compared with 3 per cent in 2006) reducing demand on lawyers and the courts to become involved and providing an alternate dispute resolution process, outside of the very adversary experience of parents and children when lawyers and the court system is involved.
Parliament will sit for 6 weeks in the remainder of 2016. The Attorney-General, Senator, the Hon. George Brandis and the Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Christian Porter remain in our key portfolio areas. Canberra based Senator, the Hon. Zed Seselja, has been appointed Assistant Minister for Social Services and I am delighted he has accepted our invitation to speak at the National Conference in Canberra later this year. 

In this edition you will find information about:
FRSA National Conference 2016 Update
- New resource to assist victims of family violence
- Children's Contact Services - Information Directory
- Valuing Children Initiative (VCI) Benchmark Survey 2016
- Don't worry if you have not completed your Census!
- Changes to Express Plus Families mobile app
- Anti-Poverty Week
- Awards and Grants
- Events & Training Calendar highlights
- Webinars
- FRSA Jobs Board
- Celebrating milestones for FRC's and CforC's programmes

Best regards,
Jackie Brady

It has been a busy couple of weeks in the FRSA Office, with complete focus on thanking and getting in touch with those have have submitted abstracts, finalising the FRSA Conference Program and Speakers and updating the website to reflect this.

The Conference program will go live this Friday! 

We recommend you subscibe (if you havent already) to our
Conference Update - stay informed with all FRSA Conference information, regarding registration, accommodation details, special offers for delegates and more. 

For more information, please visit the
FRSA National Conference website here
A new online resource for judicial officers dealing with domestic and family violence related cases has been released by the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA). 

The first stage of the Commonwealth funded
National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book was launched 18 August, 2016 providing comprehensive guidance on issues relating to domestic and family violence for judicial officers in all jurisdictions. 

The development of the Bench Book implements is a response to a key recommendation of the joint Australian Law Reform Commission Report and the New South Wales Law Reform Commission report,
Family Violence - A National Legal Response

The first stage of the online Bench Book can be accessed

The second and final stage of the book will be launched by June 2017.
The Attorney-General’s Department has provided a grant to the Australian Children’s Contact Services Association (ACCSA) to develop an Online Children’s Contact Information Directory for Government funded and private providers.

It is intended that the Directory will build on existing information but will seek to provide more comprehensive information including the type and purpose of the service offered, staff numbers and qualifications, facility details, intake processes, complaints procedures and fee policies.

ACCSA will be contacting providers of Children's Contact Services directly to collect information and update details. 
Valuing Children Initiative (VCI) Benchmark Survey 2016

The Valuing Children Initiative (VCI) Benchmark Survey 2016 was released on 10 August, revealing that Australians ranked 'looking after the intrests of children' 9th, out of 10 options in order of importance.

Included in the snapshot of the released results, more than 50% said that issues like jobs and the economy were more important to them than the needs of children.

In the survey, when asked to describe children today the most commonly selected words were spoilt, fortunate, lazy and selfish.

Professor Fiona Stanley has endorsed the Valuing Children Initiative saying, ‘Never has there been a more important time for this Initiative than today.’

To read more about the survey results, please click 

Due to the series of hack attempts and website downtime, people will not be fined for not completing the Census past August 9. At this stage, the current deadline for all Census submissions is Friday, 23 September 2016.

For those who haven't submitted their Census detail, please visit the
ABS website for more information on how you can complete your Census for 2016. 

Despite all the media hype and
criticism about completing the Census online, it does provide a baseline statistical picture of the Australian population and can be most useful. 

You can also follow the Census
Facebook and Twitter pages for updates. 

Changes to Express Plus Families mobile app

Express Plus Families has been replaced with the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app - a new and improved version to help you and your clients complete your Centrelink business.

It is important for you and your clients to switch to the new app because documents stored in your 'Vault' will not be transferred when the current app expires on 26 September. 

This change only applies to Express Plus Families, Students, Seniors and Job seekers mobile apps. The Express Plus Medicare, Express Plus Child Support or Express Plus Lite mobile apps are not affected.

For more information,
please click here.

Anti-Poverty Week in 2016 starts on Sunday 16 October and ends on Saturday 22 October. The UN’s International Anti-Poverty Day is Saturday 17 October.

The Week focuses on poverty around the world, especially in the poorest countries but also in wealthier countries such as Australia.

Its main aims are to:
- strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship around the world and within Australia;
- encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems, including action by individuals, communities, organisations and governments.

As in previous years, Anti-Poverty Week will be promoted through a stand alone website and events calendar, please
click here to register.

Don't forget to register your Anti-Poverty Week event on the
FRSA Events & Training Calendar as well!

As part of Anti-Poverty Week, an Anti-Poverty Awards programme is held recognising young people aged 16-30 working towards tackling inequality and injustice within Australia or abroad.

Applications close 31 August 2016.

To submit an application, please visit the

Young Carer Bursary Programme

The Young Carer Bursary Programme assists eligible young carers aged 25 years and under to continue or return to study.

The Programme aims to relieve the financial pressure on young carers to undertake part-time work in addition to their educational and caring responsibilities.

The Programme is being delivered by Carers Australia.

The Government is providing $3.5 million over 3 years (2015 to 2017) to fund around 330 annual bursaries valued at $3,000 each. Bursaries will be awarded to eligible young carers in the greatest need who apply during the advertised application periods.

Applications for 2017 bursaries will be open from 2 August to 14 September 2016.

Click here to visit the website for more information.

NFPs can receive grant of up to $50,000

St.George Foundation is calling on community organisations focused on providing brighter futures for children to apply for grant funding of up to $50,000 each, with applications now open.

Grants will be awarded to smaller community organisations that work to provide a better futures for socially, economically or physically disadvantaged children.

Applications are open until 30 September 2016. To find out more about the process and to apply, visit


IKEA Australia is seeking inspiring proposal from local non-profit or charity organisations with a need for home furnishings product and expertise.

How it works?
1. If you are a non-profit or charitable organisation with an inspiring need for IKEA products and home furnishing expertise to makeover your premises then simply complete the application by the due date. 
2. You will have until midnight 27th November 2016 to submit your inspiring proposal to your local store (at each of our eight stores in QLD, NSW, ACT and VIC) 
3. Then the IKEA store team local to your project will select up to three of the most inspiring finalists for co-workers and customers to vote online. 
4. The organisation from each store with the highest number of online votes becomes the winner who receives the full $8,000 IKEA makeover - comprising of our products, home furnishing expertise and our co-worker volunteers to bring it all together. 
5. The two runners-up will both receive $1,000 IKEA gift cards.

Your organisation is a not-for-profit or registered charity whose primary focus is either: 
• The support and development of children; 
• Providing housing and shelter for people in need; 
• Rebuilding following Australian environmental emergencies such as floods, bushfires and cyclones. 
• You must hold and provide a certificate of currency for Public Liability Insurance to $10 million.

The Round 3 deadline for applications is midnight, 27th November 2016.

Click here to find out more. 

FRSA Events & Training Calendar provides holiday dates, information on national days, events and appreciation weeks, and locations of upcoming sector events and trainings.

Upcoming Events & Training for the next fortnight


Fathers Day
Sunday 4 September 2016
The best day to celebrate all fathers across the world and to show your appreciation for them.

R U OK? Day
Day is an annual day in September dedicated to remind people to ask family, friends and colleagues the question, “R U OK?”, in a meaningful way, because connecting regularly and meaningfully is one thing everyone can do to make a difference to anyone who might be struggling.


Workshop: Borderline personality disorder
Relationships Australia Victoria
6:30pm Tuesday 6 September 2016
1183 Toorak Road, Camberwell, VIC, 3124
This workshop is geared at understanding and responding to borderline personality disorder in the context of therapy. Participants will understand the symptoms, be given an overview of appropriate therapeutic responses, and understand when it is appropriate to make a referral.

Trauma-Informed Care and Practice
Blue Knot Foundation
9:00am - 4:30pm Friday 9 September 2016
Cnr Ainslie & Limestone Avenues, Canberra, ACT 2612
This one-day interactive professional development training provides attendees with the knowledge and skills to, better inform them about, and be sensitive to the possibility of past and present traumas in clients and staff, and the vulnerabilities which accompany them.

If you would like to add your event or training to the FRSA Events & Training board,
please get in touch.
Surviving Relationship Separation
7:00pm - 8:00pm Thursday 8 September
Relationship separation can have a devastating impact on the emotional and financial wellbeing of individuals, children and extended families. This free one hour webinar will provide an overview on strategies that can help you navigate the challenges ahead.

Register online here

Parenting Teenagers in the 21st Century
7:30pm - 8:30pm Thursday 15 September
Adolescence is a time of rapid and dramatic change. This webinar is designed to provide insights and practical advice on how to provide positive parenting throughout this developmental stage. 

Register online here.

How can child welfare and youth-serving organisations keep children safe?

Daryl Higgins, Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS)
1:30pm - 2:30pm AEST Thursday 15 September 
This webinar will describe evidence-based solutions to creating child-safe cultures in child and family welfare organisations.

Register online here.

Please click here to view the FRSA Events & Training Calendar.


FRSA Jobs Board offers a space for those to advertise job opportunities and positions within their services and the sector.

If you are interested in advertising your vacancy on our board, please get in

Did you know we also promote jobs on the FRSA Jobs Board via Twitter?
To view job opportunities advertised, search using the #FRSAJobsBoard hashtag.

Family Caseworker
CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay
Waitara, NSW
Applications close: 6 September 2016

Family Advisor
Relationships Australia NSW
Penrith, NSW
Applications close: 18 September 2016

To view more jobs, please visit the
FRSA Jobs Board here

FRSA Member Entitlement
As a Member of FRSA, all FRSA Member delegates will be provided login details via their listed delegate email, allowing them access to the FRSA Jobs Board where free posting and advertisement is available to the sector.

Celebrating milestones for Family Relationship Centres and Communities for Children programmes

On 1 July 2006, the first 15 Family Relationship Centres opened their doors in Australia. 65 centres down the track, FRSA will be marking the 10 year milestone at the National Conference later in the year.  We will also be looking to celebrate the 10 year milestone for the Communities for Children programme (which was actually last year).

To help prepare for celebrations, FRSA is calling out to all those in the sector who have photos, particular memories and stories that they would like to share about the development of Family Relationship Centres and CFC programmes over the years.
Please send them through to us
here or call Roslyn Mertin on (02) 6162 1811 who can interview you and take down some notes to craft a story capturing your memories. 

Thank you to Danae Pilgrim, Communities for Children Programme Coordinator in Burnie, Tasmania for sharing her memories, stories and images. 
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