March eNews


The Institute Bulletin
Edition #2 March 2019

Welcome to The Institute Bulletin.

The FSSI office is a hive of activity with our research, evaluation and teaching programs well underway.

The first group of students to benefit from our new Certificate III curriculum will begin classes next month. This year's first two Leadership Intensives for the Family Violence Sector, funded by Family Safety Victoria, are also only days away from their first workshops in Melbourne.

Our close collaboration with the Office of the Public Advocate led to us hosting an extremely popular event this month, which discussed the inequities faced by those with a disability in the justice system, and called on individuals to do their part to promote a greater investment in prevention. 

Next week, we will be hosting, in collaboration with Family Safety Victoria, a Leadership Forum. Again, this event has rapidly booked out, showing just how great the demand is for our work in this space.

Behind the scenes our evaluations and research are bringing new insights into the delivery of social services and in this bulletin we have a preview of the work of one of our three PhD scholars, Amaya Alvarez, into the impact of the NDIS on carers. 

In light of our increasing capacity, we are looking for a casual evaluation specialist and a full-time communications professional. Do spread the word.

Paul Ramcharan
Acting Director

PhD research update: Carers struggle with NDIS


It was when struggling to navigate the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as a carer for her adult daughter that Amaya Alvarez decided to apply for a PhD scholarship to research the scheme’s impact on mental health carers.

‘When systems of social support change, the implications for families and people providing support can be quite profound,’ she says.

Amaya’s daughter, who is now in her 20s, first experienced mental illness in her early teens.

‘She is still struggling and working on recovery and it ebbs and flows and it requires me being present, not necessarily always doing really assertive management, sometimes just keeping the rhythm of the day and being there in the background. But always vigilant.

Read more....


Evaluators needed


FSSI is receiving an increasing number of requests for evaluation work from community sector organisations. As a result, we are looking for people with evaluation experience to join our team, initially on a casual basis, as we continue to build our capacity in this area. 

For details, or to express your interest in this role, please email our Acting Director, A/Prof. Paul Ramcharan.


Only two more sleeps before applications close for FSSI's new Communications Officer.

Click here for details and to download the position description for this full-time role.

Student says FSSI course was ‘life-changing’

Former Certificate III student Tasha has given FSSI a huge rap in the 26/2/19 edition of the Whittlesea Leader.

Prisons '21st Century prisons'

Forum participants: Justen Thomas, Paul Ramcharan, Deborah Glass, Colleen Pearce and Rob Hulls.
Victorian prisons have become 21st Century asylums, according to the Director of the Centre for Innovative Justice, and former Attorney-General, Rob Hulls.

Mr Hulls was speaking at a forum on disability and justice hosted by the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) and the Future Social Service Institute (FSSI), which heard that Victorians with a mental illness or other disability were vastly over represented in the justice system.

Public Advocate Colleen Pearce told the audience that 40 per cent of Victorian prisoners have a mental health condition. Additionally, 3 per cent of prisoners have a registered intellectual disability compared to 1 per cent in the community, and rates of Acquired Brain Injury are up to 20 times higher. This, amongst other evidence, called into question the fairness and effectiveness of the Australian justice system.


Watch the event video

It's a sell out

Places have filled and excitement is building for next week’s one-day leadership forum, which will showcase innovative leadership and practice in responding to family violence from across the sector.

International keynote speaker Barbara MacQuarrie, Community Director of the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children at The University of Western Ontario, will talk about Canada’s response to family violence, including Project VEGA.

The forum is being held by Family Safety Victoria’s Centre for Workforce Excellence, in partnership with the Future Social Service Institute.


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