News & Events

2018 Masterclass and scholarships open

2017 Masterclass Program participantsAfter a great year in 2017, FSSI is pleased to open its applications for the 2018 Masterclass, Sector Scholarships (Cert IV) and Student Scholarships (Cert III).

Whether you are at the executive level, directly delivering support services, or wishing to enter the social service sector, there is a course here for you.

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Proud to support the ‘yes’ campaign

Everyone deserves equal rights, including the right to marry who they choose.

The Future Social Service Institute is committed to a “strong, vibrant, diverse” community and with this in mind, we are proud to support the ‘yes’ campaign for marriage equality in Australia.

We work towards an Australia where every person is included and supported. This means all relationships should be treated equally, no matter how people identify, or who they love.

VCOSS and RMIT are also both proud supporters of the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign.

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31 August 2017

Learning from the UK for a stronger NDIS

Lessons Australia can learn from the UK as it rolls out the landmark National Disability Insurance Scheme have been brought to the fore this month by international visiting Fellow Dr Shereen Hussein.

Visiting Melbourne in a fellowship hosted by the Future Social Service Institute (FSSI) and RMIT University, Dr Hussein, from King’s College London, has discussed the UK’s experience of moving to a market-based model of care.

A series of lectures and presentations, as well as media interviews and briefings  have been part of the two-week visit.

Drawing on experiences and studies not only from the UK, but across Europe, Dr Hussein has highlighted several key issues for Australia to consider.

These include the importance of safeguards to ensure people with disability receive quality care in a market environment, growing and training the workforce to keep up with a huge increase in projected demand, and ensuring there are minimum training and qualification standards in place for people providing services.

Other issues relevant for Australia include ensuring integrated services are available for regional and remote and culturally diverse communities, and considering the role of the State and not-for-profit operators in a market system.

Australia’s Federal Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services Jenny Macklin requested a briefing with Dr Hussein to learn more from the UK experience.

“We had a great discussion of some of the issues the UK and other countries have faced, and the lessons Australia can draw from these to ensure the quality, safety and availability of its services for people with disability,” Dr Hussein said.

“The UK has found it is so important for government to take steps to grow its workforce and ensure services remain high-quality, and available to all those who need them.

“Minimum required qualifications must be considered, as must the needs of people living in remote areas, or people with specific cultural needs. It’s also important to ensure people’s whole wellbeing is catered for in a market-based system and that services are integrated across a range of areas, including employment, health and wellbeing.”

FSSI Acting Director David Hayward said it was invaluable for Australia to hear lessons from the UK as it embarks on rolling out the NDIS.

“Australia is more isolated than we sometimes realise, which makes it especially important to hear of the experiences from other countries that have been down a similar path with a market-based disability services system,” Prof. Hayward said.

“The Future Social Service Institute and RMIT have been delighted to bring Dr Hussein to Australia to share her expertise. The studies and insights Dr Hussein has been able to share from the UK, Northern Ireland, Scandinavian and other EU countries have been invaluable for people here in Australia closely involved in rolling out the NDIS.

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity to take a step back and think about some of the key issues we need to make sure we get right in Australia, if we are to deliver a high-quality system and a well-trained, highly valued NDIS workforce.”

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Dr Shereen Hussein announced as the Institute’s first International Visiting Fellowship

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Dr Shereen Hussein

Dr Shereen Hussein BSc, MSc (LSHTM), PhD (LSE), Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London will join the Institute as an international visiting fellow from 22 August to 1 September.

Dr Hussein is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her main research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long term care. Current and recent projects include migrant workers and global care; transnational social work; diversity, structure and wage differentials in the long term care sector; national evaluations of new models of working; and the interactions between organisational and personal factors on job satisfaction, burnout and retention.

The Institute is providing a range of opportunities for social service sector  staff and representatives to meet with Dr Hussein. Click here to see what’s on. You can also follow @DrShereeHussein on Twitter and read more about her research and work here.

The Future Social Service Institute acknowledges the RMIT Philanthropic Fund and the International Visiting Fellowship in making Dr Shereen Hussein’s visit possible.


Adapting and thriving in the new social service environment
Executive Masterclass Program 2017green dividing line

image of thriving green plantOur Executive Masterclass Program started on Friday 19 May. Held over four 1/2 day sessions, this program will support executives and senior managers in not-for-profit community sector organisations adapt to the changing environment and learn new skills to benefit their organisations.

The remaining sessions are 14 July and 4 August.


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Funding boost announced

Minister Foley making funding announcement
Victoria’s Housing, Disability and Ageing Minister, Martin Foley

Building on seed funding provided in June 2016, the Victorian Government has announced an additional investment of $2.1m to support the Institute to:

OFFER two Industry Research Fellow and two PhD Scholarships aimed at the social and community sector.

INVESTIGATE the contemporary experiences of social service users and develop best practice standards and innovative means of delivery.

PROMOTE social support as a valuable and rewarding career.

EMPOWER not-for-profits to reorient to a global market.

The funding was announced by Victoria’s Housing, Disability and Ageing Minister, Martin Foley on 20 October 2016 during the launch of Keeping our Sector Strong, a $26 million investment in disability workforce by the Victorian Government.