Message from the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas
It has been fantastic to meet with so many people with disability and visit a range of disability organisations right across Australia in the past fortnight, following the Australian Government’s recent budget, which included a $1 billion investment to kick start a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The feedback has been very positive and I look forward to continuing to work with Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin to deliver this important reform for people with disability, their families and carers.
Minister Macklin and I recently announced that VidKids Alliance has been selected to deliver a service that puts children with hearing or vision impairment living in regional, rural and remote Australia in touch with specialists in the city.
The Australian Government’s $4.9 million Remote Hearing and Vision Services for Children initiative will harness the National Broadband Network (NBN) to provide video and online access to allied health and education professionals for families and children in regional and remote communities.
We were able to make this announcement by using the new technology – with Minister Macklin in Brisbane while I was in Adelaide. We were also able to participate in a therapy session with an orthoptist and child despite them being thousands of kilometres apart.
We know getting therapists into regional and remote parts of Australia is already a major challenge. As we move towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme, we need modern solutions to address our workforce challenges. The NBN presents a wonderful opportunity to revolutionise the way we deliver disability services.
The VidKids Alliance comprises Vision Australia and First Voice, who work in partnership with the Shepherd Centre, the Hear and Say Centre, Cora Barclay Centre, Telethon Speech and Hearing and the Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing Victoria.
An early learning and care centre for children with autism in Adelaide will receive a $2.1 million boost from the Australian Government to improve its ability to provide early learning programs and specific support services.
I met with staff and local families at the Daphne Street Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre in Prospect earlier this month to deliver this great news that will enable them to provide much needed extra space and facilities
It’s now less than 100 days until our Paralympians begin competing in London.
We wish our athletes the very best as they prepare for this significant sporting event and look forward to cheering them on.
Nominations open for National Disability Awards
Do you know an inspirational person or organisation who has made an outstanding contribution to improving the lives of people with disability? This is your chance to ensure they get the recognition they deserve.
Nominations for the National Disability Awards 2012 are now open.
There are nine award categories that celebrate and honour the ways in which people contribute to improving the lives of people with disability, their families and carers, and bring about change in community attitudes.
This could include individuals, organisations and businesses who have improved access, inclusion and opportunities for people with disability in areas such as education, health, employment and the community.
Perhaps you know an organisation that has broken down barriers within the workplace or an individual who has worked tirelessly to increase awareness and acceptance of the rights of people with disability.
Do you know a school or college which has improved education opportunities so that people with disability have access to high quality, inclusive educational programs? Or someone who has influenced government reform to bring about changes to services for people with disability?
These are just some of the diverse Award categories in which you can nominate those committed to making a difference for people with disability.
For more information on each Award category, and to submit your nomination visit www.idpwd.com.au or free call 1800 440 385.
Nominations close 5pm AEST Friday 20 July 2012.
The National Disability Awards are part of the Australian Government’s celebration of International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), which occurs on 3 December each year.
Corporate Governance Training for Australian Disability Enterprises Chief Executive Officers and Board Members in June
FaHCSIA has engaged the Australian Catholic University to deliver a number of half day facilitated Corporate Governance training forums for Australian Disability Enterprises Chief Executive Officers and Board Members throughout June.
The Department identifies Corporate Governance as a critical organisational success factor, where strong governance assures successful outcomes for the service delivery of FaHCSIA’s programs. As service providers, Corporate Governance is an essential component for setting sound and effective long-term strategic direction. It underpins your organisation’s financial management; ongoing viability; business direction; and performance management.
The Department has emailed all organisations asking them to nominate a maximum of three attendees including the Chief Executive Officers and Board Members.
The forums have been scheduled throughout June 2012 at various venues in capital cities and major regional centres.
The focus of these sessions is specifically for Company Directors and Committee Members of organisations supported by disability service support and advocacy programs administered by FaHCSIA.
The purpose of these sessions is to provide you with the opportunity to learn from some of the most respected authorities on corporate governance, have the opportunity to ask specific questions relating to your situation, and network with peers facing similar issues.
In addition, after attending the sessions, Directors would receive credit towards the Unit ‘Corporate Governance’, which is one of four Units towards the Graduate Certificate in Management of Not For Profit Organisations – please see further information provided at the Training Session.
For further information please email email@example.com
Disability Services Census 2012
The Disability Services Census for 2012 will take place between 1 July 2012 and 20 July 2012.
To reduce the administrative burden on services, FaHCSIA will again source most of the required information from the FaHCSIA Online Funding Management System (FOFMS).
However, services will also need to provide some additional information for the Census. Australian Disability Enterprises, advocacy, print disability, disability information and captioning services and certain respite services will be sent an email on 1 July 2012 with an attached Service Outlet Form. The form must be completed and electronically submitted by Friday 20 July 2012.
The email will be sent to the Activity Organisation general email address, as recorded on FOFMS. If services have changed their general email address, they should contact their Service/Contract Manager to request FOFMS be updated with the correct address as soon as possible.
Information on all Australian Disability Enterprises clients who received funding during the 2011-12 financial year is also obtained from FOFMS.
There are particular client information items that are required for the Census. These items are accessed through the Clients tab on FOFMS and must be checked and updated where necessary.
Specifically, you should ensure that the following fields in the Clients tab have been checked and updated where necessary:
Country of Birth
Primary Disability Type
Other Significant Disability Type (if applicable), and
each of the nine support needs under Frequency of Help/Supervision.
If there is no data in these fields, you will need to complete them, especially for consumers new to your service in 2011-12. Service providers can update this information until 20 July, as client information must be completed on FOFMS by COB Friday 20 July 2012.
Please remember that FOFMS will shut down from 5:00pm Tuesday 26 June until 1 July 2012 for End of Financial Year processing.
The FOFMS Task Card and 2012 Data Guide containing detailed instructions and definitions for the Disability Services Census 2012 will be available in the FOFMS Portal, under the Literature screen tab.
The Data Guide is also available on the FaHCSIA website.
Should you require further information about the Census, you can email the Disability Services Census Helpdesk or call 1800 550 244.
Life after work for supported employees
The Transition to Retirement Evaluation Report was released on 18 May 2012.
This report presents the findings of an independent evaluation of FaHCSIA’s small-scale pilot, which was based on the premise that older workers and their carers should be supported to make an informed choice about how and when retirement takes place. The pilot explored the ability of Australian Disability Enterprises to prepare employees for retirement and the willingness of mainstream community groups and services to support this process.
The report has identified that person-centred individualised planning to identify retirement issues and possible options for retirement is crucial, along with activities that enable potential retirees to try out and experience what life might be like when they stop work.
To read more about the findings, the report can be found on the FaHCSIA website.
ADEs in action
Ollie’s Lollies packs a sweet punch for supported employees
Ollie’s Lollies, a small Australian Disability Enterprise outlet in Ballarat employing 15 supported employees, has been successfully operating since 2008.
Ollie’s Lollies was established as an extension of McCallum Industries food packing operations. Ollie’s Lollies buy bulk product from producers such as Cadbury and Allseps and repackages, markets and distributes confectionery under the Ollie’s Lollies trade name.
The business is well known in the Ballarat region as a provider of quality confectionery and an employer of people with disability.
From left: Ollie’s Lollies supported employees Eileen Spencer and Paul Houlihan packaging bags of lollies for resale.
Parent organisation McCallum Industries operates three distinct business units: Ollie’s Lollies, McCallum Contract Packing and Assembly and McCallum Industrial Rag and Cleaning Cloth. Overall, the organisation employs 10 support staff and 94 supported employees.
Manager at McCallum Industries, Trevor Miller, says the organisation offers a broad range of jobs where supported employees can choose to work in different Business Units. He says Ollie’s Lollies offers the opportunity to work with modern packing equipment as well as direct customer service and community promotion.
‘Ollie’s Lollies recently changed its packing methods from hand packing to machine packing. This means we can now produce large volumes of confectionery ourselves as well as pack other food items on a contract basis for external customers. Using the latest packing equipment ensures the finished product is of excellent quality and is well presented,’ Trevor says.
Trevor says that the working environment at Ollie’s Lollies is quite relaxed, but when the pressure is on everyone works hard together to get the job done.
‘Recently Ollie’s Lollies was approached by a large local employer looking for something different to give to their staff as a thankyou gift. The budget was very tight but the customer wanted something a little different. The staff of Ollie’s Lollies designed a gift hamper which included only local products, sourced from customers of Ollie’s Lollies. Staff and employees put together 160 gift hampers which were enthusiastically received by the customer. It was an example of local people working together for a great outcome.
‘Our employees and staff are proud to work here. Having demand from customers keeps the business viable and allows for growth. With growth comes new opportunities, new jobs and more job security,’ Trevor says.
Ollie’s Lollies is located 1820 Sturt Street, Ballarat Victoria. Please visit the Ollie’s Lollies website for more information.
FOFMS end of financial year close down and payments - 2012
The FOFMS system will be unavailable for transactions from 5pm Tuesday 26 June to 9am Monday 2 July 2012 for the End of Financial Year processing for 2011-2012.
All transactions will need to be finalised before 5pm on 26 June. From this time you will have 'Read Only'* access until 2 July 2012 when FOFMS will be available for normal processing.
Disability Employment Assistance payments including Case Based Funding and Supplementary payments due between 22 June and 30 June 2012 will be brought forward and processed on 22 June 2012. Non-automated payments such as Intake fee for new clients, Work Based Personal Assistance and Australian Apprenticeship payments can be processed up to 5pm on Tuesday 26 June 2012.
*'Read Only' access means display of information only, you will be unable to process any transactions such as adding new clients and cases, returning cases from suspension and suspending or exiting cases.
If you have any questions regarding the closedown of FOFMS or brought forward payments please email the CBF Helpdesk
or call on 1800 034 887.
Calendar of Important Dates
National Disability Awards 2012 open for nominations
Foundation Day – WA
FaHCSIA offices closed: Queens birthday
National Carers Week
Deafblind Awareness Week
EOFY FOFMS closed for transactions
9am FOFMS available
National Disability Awards 2012 nominations close
Fragile X Awareness Day
30 Jul-5 Aug
Cerebral Palsy Awareness Week
Brisbane FAHCSIA office closed: Public Holiday – Royal Queensland Show (Brisbane only)
Hearing Awareness Week
Buzz Day – Diabetes Australia