New FSSI Director announced
VCOSS and RMIT are delighted to announce the appointment of Micaela Cronin as the new Director of the Future Social Service Institute.
Micaela is an outstanding contributor to her field, having begun her career as a family violence social worker, she has held leadership and service delivery roles across a broad range of fields, both in Australia and internationally.
She comes to the FSSI Director’s role from Hagar International, where she has been the global CEO for three years based in Asia, building service delivery and strategic partnerships across the Asia Pacific region to tackle human trafficking and human rights abuses.
Micaela is a past CEO of MacKillop Family Services and has extensive leadership and governance experience including being President of both the Victorian Council of Social Services, and the Australia Council of Social Services. Micaela is also an alumnus of RMIT and a past President of its Student Representative Committee.
‘I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with RMIT, the sector and government to generate and shape the work force we need for the future – building on the foundations of the great work that has been done in Victoria by so many people on the front lines of caring for our community,’ Micaela says.
‘This is an important moment in time, and we need to take advantage of the political commitment and sector engagement we have to address the challenge strategically.
Micaela will commence full time in the role on April 15. Across the coming months she will be working with the FSSI team, VCOSS and RMIT to develop the Institute’s 2019 work program, while she completes her role at Hagar International.
In April 2019 Micaela will join the board of Hagar International and continue her leadership role in this important work fighting human trafficking.
Disabling Justice – Why the system fails people with disability and mental illness
Join us for a forum to discuss the barriers in the criminal justice system for Victorians with a disability or mental illness.
The panel, moderated by Public Advocate Colleen Pearce, will feature:
- Director, Centre for Innovative Justice, RMIT University, Mr. Rob Hulls, on therapeutic justice
- Ombudsman Victoria, Ms Deborah Glass OBE, on her recent report, Investigation into the imprisonment of a woman found unfit to stand trial
- Disability rights campaigner, Mr Justen Thomas, speaking on his experience and learnings as a person with a disability in the criminal justice system.
Begin your new career in 2019
Interested in working in aged care or supporting those with a disability?
FSSI’s Certificate III in Individual Support provides the entry-level qualification you require for a career in the disability or aged care sectors.
Apply for a FSSI scholarships, which will cover all your student services and amenities fees plus first aid qualifications and a police check and ensure you have no out-of-pocket expenses when undertaking the certificate.
This course, which runs part-time over 12 months, will enable you to work in roles including: disability support, personal care, community access, and in-home support. It can also be a stepping stone to a career in fields such as occupational therapy or speech pathology.
Class of 2018 overcomes adversity
Jubilant staff and students of FSSI’s 2018 Certificate courses
Homelessness, hearing impairment, and cultural differences were just some of the barriers overcome by Future Social Service Institute (FSSI) students who successfully completed certificate courses in aged care and disability this year.
A graduation ceremony on Monday evening celebrated the achievements of the students who completed FSSI’s Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability and Ageing) or the Certificate IV Disability.
FSSI Teacher Michelle McCann said she could see the impact of the course on the students. ‘It’s lovely to see the change in their confidence – a lot of them have got jobs already so they are really happy.’
Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) CEO Emma King, who presented the students with their certificates, told them, ‘it’s such a huge achievement.
‘You now have the opportunity to work in the areas that are in the boom sectors in the economy.’
The event was filled with great stories of challenges overcome by students, like Anne Donovan, 55, who was born with 90 per cent hearing loss, and enrolled as the first step towards a career change.
‘I wanted to work with like-minded people who were caring and passionate about making world a better, fairer, kinder place. The kind of work where you get to experience the best of humanity,’ Anne said.
‘I found the course at RMIT inspiring. Intellectually stimulating with a strong practical focus on the safe use of equipment and the care of our clients.’
The work placements were ‘an eyeopener – they taught me so much’, Anne said.
Having settled on the area she was keen to pursue, Anne learned she would need a further qualification. RMIT, VCOSS and FSSI then offered her a scholarship to complete that training course next year, which will enable Anne to secure her ‘dream job’.
Yasmin, a 21-year-old Liberian woman, said the Certificate III was ‘very challenging and helpful…The experience in a placement has helped me to have a better understanding in the aged care and disability sector.
‘Thanks to my teachers and their support, I was able to successfully complete the course and get a job in the disability sector. I would like to thank FSSI, RMIT and VCOSS for making this possible and giving us this opportunity.’
FSSI Director Prof David Hayward said the course’s high success rate of over 80 per cent was impressive and the course was continuing to evolve.
David said he anticipated more the course recruiting more students with different abilities.
‘We may have people with acquired brain injuries, people who have cerebral palsy… I am hoping we may one day have teachers who are nursing home residents. The idea is that one day you will learn through the classroom —not just through what you are reading or what your teachers are telling you.’
Click here for more information on FSSI’s courses.
Passing the baton
Knowing that the organisation he helped found is changing the lives of disadvantaged students is Professor David Hayward proudest achievement, as he retires from his role of Director of the Future Social Service Institute.
‘Our retention rate is up about 85 per cent in a very heavily disadvantaged cohort by and large with incredible diversity. We have students from various parts of the world, from China, Africa, Australia,’ David says.
‘They’re going to get a job, because there’s job shortages everywhere in the social services sector, and then they’re going to have a career because that is where the growth is for the next 50 years. And that’s a wonderful story.’
David, who is also retiring from his role of Senior Advisor, Public Policy and the Social Economy at RMIT University, came up with the idea for an institute that would focus on preparing the future workforce for the social services sector after reading the Victorian Government’s budget papers.
‘I stumbled across a graph that looked at the projected growth in the workforce over the next five years,’ he says.
‘To my amazement, the fastest growing segment, by a massive margin, was health care and social assistance. Yet Labor’s election manifesto in the 2014 election, which had job growth as their priority, treated it as a welfare issue.
‘They hadn’t thought about careers, employment, industries, the economy, productivity. It was thought of in terms of cost and consumption and welfare,’ he says.
Already heavily involved with the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS), David suggested to the VCOSS Board that it was time to move the sector from the welfare chapter to the economy chapter. Once the funding was secured, and the partnership between VCOSS and RMIT was set, David took on the role of Acting Director of FSSI.
At that time, he was on the University Council and Chaired RMIT’s Academic Board – its most powerful academic committee – which put him in a sound position to smooth the way for the innovative entity.
‘The support from the highest level of the university for what we’re doing has been truly magnificent. There is no other university in the country where a Vice-Chancellor and the council has shown such a commitment to social innovation.’
David says he is very pleased with the transformation of an idea into an institute that has grown to the point it was able to train 250 students in 2018 with a staff of 26, including researchers and teachers who co-design the curriculum with the participants.
‘It brings some incredible challenges and such marvellous innovation that you can’t help but be impressed,’ David says.
‘I’ve just had the most fantastic meeting with one of the most remarkably talented teachers we’ve got about how we might be able to include somebody with an acquired brain injury in our teaching workforce next year.
‘We have had a resident of a nursing home coming in to help co-design a curriculum for a better certificate qualification. This has led to us thinking about that resident , who has a social work qualification and lives in a nursing home, becoming part of the teaching workforce.
‘Who better to be teaching students about aged care than aged care residents; but who thinks about that? Well, we do.’
VCOSS CEO Emma King says David will be missed for his ‘phenomenal’ contribution to VCOSS and for his great ideas that have assisted the social services sector overall to grow and prosper.
‘He is constantly putting our sector out there.’
Prof David Hayward will formally retire on December 31 but you may still spot him around campus next year in an advisory role. The name of the new director will be announced shortly.
Jobs for life
FSSI Director, Professor David Hayward, chats to VCOSS’s CEO, Emma King, about the future of jobs in the social services sector in this episode of RMITIn3.
Intersecting needs and rights: Participants, workers and carers in marketised support
A SYMPOSIUM HOSTED BY THE SOCIAL SUPPORT AND PRECARIOUS WORK RESEARCH DISCUSSION GROUP (SS&PW)
In contested spaces of marketised service delivery in social care, the need to develop and engage in discussions on stakeholder rights has emerged as a critical issue. How can the rights of each stakeholder be realised in a way that recognises and accommodates the diverse needs and interests and vulnerabilities of other stakeholders within such a landscape? This symposium for PhD and Early Career Researchers working in the fields of disability and mental health support and aged care is aimed at developing a more robust and innovative conversation about points of intersection for people who require care and support, and those who provide care and support in a paid and unpaid capacity.
Wed 5 December 2018
9am – 2pm (registration from 8.30am)
445 Swanston St
Bldg 80, Level 10, Rooms 17&18
Free event but registration required (Morning tea and lunch provided)
PhD Scholars triple treat at NDIS Mental Health conference
FSSI’s three PhD scholars delivered a triple treat at the National NDIS and Mental Health Conference on Oct 31-Nov 1, 2018, presenting preliminary findings from their research and showcasing their co-design methods and practice with experts by experience co-presenters.
No excuses: Preventing and responding to violence and abuse in disability care
Join FSSI and the Office of the Public Advocate (Victoria) for a panel forum discussing safeguarding arrangements to uphold NDIS participants’ rights and protection from violence and abuse.
Colleen Pearce – Panel moderator
Victorian Public Advocate
Alastair McEwin – Panel guest
Disability Discrimination Commissioner from the Australian Human Rights Commission
Jane Rosengrave – Panel guest
Aboriginal self-advocate, a survivor of institutional abuse at Pleasant Creek, Victoria.
Places limited to 100.
Mon 12 November 2018
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Building 98, Level 2
102-104 Victoria Street
Cash injection to train Victoria’s disability workforce
People with disability will help design newly-funded training courses for Victoria’s booming NDIS workforce.
The Victorian Government has announced $1 million to help Victorians upskill or retrain to work in the fast-growing disability sector.
FSSI will use this funding to design and deliver new disability-focused training.
Victoria’s Social Economy and Jobs of the Future
Australia’s social economy is tipped to create 250,000 new jobs in the next five years – 60,000 in Victoria alone. That’s double that of the next fastest growing jobs segment.
Two new reports, launched by the Victorian Council of Social Service and FSSI, outline the huge window of opportunity that exists in Victoria’s social service sector.
Disability on the Runway a Runaway Success!
FSSI was proud to sponsor the fabulous ‘Access to Fashion – Disability on the Runway’ show as part of Melbourne Fashion Week in September 2018.
Access to Fashion was all about showcasing people with disability on the runway, challenging the pervasive issue of disability exclusion in the fashion industry. As it turned out on the day, it did that and so much more!
Read more and check out some images from the day.
Victoria’s Social Economy and Jobs of the Future
Dual report launch
The window of opportunity is open for Victoria to put itself ahead of the game in building a world-class community service sector and meet rapidly growing workforce demand for decades to come.
Part of the state’s fastest growing jobs sector, it holds the key to our social economy and future jobs. Join VCOSS, RMIT and the Future Social Service Institute for the launch of two reports outlining the breadth of this social opportunity and economic growth.
11am, Thursday September 6
RMIT, Building 98, Level 2
102-104 Victoria St
Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference
FSSI values having the voices of people with disability at the table.
We are delighted to be sponsoring the Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference: Doing Disability Differently 2018, making discounted tickets available for people with disability. Contact DARU on firstname.lastname@example.org for the discount ticket code today.
The conference will be held on Friday 14 September in Melbourne. It’s always a jam-packed, fantastic day, so don’t miss it, get your tickets now.
Access to Fashion
FSSI is very pleased to be sponsoring Access to Fashion, a runway show featuring models with disability, organised by writer, speaker, appearance advocate and clothes lover Carly Findlay. Part of Melbourne Fashion Week, Access to Fashion aims to promote, share and connect the fashion industry in an inclusive setting that celebrates the true diversity of its consumers.
The event is already SOLD OUT! It will be held on Saturday, September 1 at the Library at the Dock, in Melbourne’s Docklands. Follow us on Twitter for more news and photos.
Free ‘Leadership Intensives’ places on offer across Victoria
Following FSSI’s highly successful Executive Masterclass program, Family Safety Victoria is now offering a limited number of fully-funded places for executive and senior managers working in family violence and related sectors, for a Leadership Intensives series rolling out acrossVictoria.
Benalla, Traralgon, Ararat, Bendigo, Melbourne – we’re coming to you!
Social economy jobs boom
RMIT profiled FSSI and some of its work on its RMIT News site recently. Read about just some of what we’ve been up to!
Out-of-date training, poor conditions and low pay are holding Australia back from delivering the high-quality disability services people deserve, FSSI Director David Hayward has told a federal inquiry.
Presenting to the Joint Standing Committee inquiry into the market-readiness of NDIS services, Professor Hayward said while Australia is moving forward with the NDIS, recognition of the importance of its workforce is lagging way behind.
FSSI tastes the ‘Good Life’ at VCOSS Summit
FSSI was proud to be part of the VCOSS ‘Good Life‘ Summit this year.
The Summit brought together people from right across Victoria’s community sector, focusing on how to deliver a ‘good life’ to everyone across the state.
“An amazing experience…” Executive Masterclass
Congratulations to the latest graduates of the FSSI Executive Masterclass.
This year’s program followed the highly successful formula of participants co-designing course content. Hot topics included social innovation, measuring social outcomes, influencing government and inspiring leadership.
Read more about our Masters’ experience.
VCOSS Budget Breakfast with the Treasurer
FSSI Director David Hayward was part of the guest panel at VCOSS’ Budget Breakfast with Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas, advocating strongly for the social service workforce to be better recognised for the valuable contribution it makes to the community and the economy. You can view VCOSS’ recording of the Treasurer’s address here, with David Hayward and the guest panel joining VCOSS CEO Emma King on stage at the
Who cares? Who pays? – Free event
Thu 10 May 2018
1:00pm – 3:00pm
RMIT University Storey Hall
Victoria’s local government provided Home and Community Care service has been in operation for over 40 years. Ongoing policy reforms have left the sector with an increasingly uncertain future, despite the growing need for such services.
The workforce, both formal and informal, is overwhelmingly made up of women. As a result policy failure in this space has significant implications for the gender pay gap, women’s employment participation and the capacity for both men and women to balance work and family life.
This workshop will outline some of the history of the current HACC system, the potential impacts of major policy reform and the implications for the broader Victorian workforce.
- Professor Sara Charlesworth, RMIT University – keynote
- Ronda Held, CEO, Council on the Ageing (Victoria)
- Lisa Darmanin, Executive President of the Australian Services Union (Vic and Tas Branch)
- Merle Mitchell, advocate and community worker
- Nicole Marshall, local government councillor.
What is your NDIS experience? Let the Victorian Government know what matters most to you about your work. Take part in this survey to influence government policy and shape the conditions you work in.
Congratulations to our Certificate IV in Disability graduates
On Friday 6 April, we celebrated the achievements of an amazing bunch of community sector workers for completing the Certificate IV in Disability with the Future Social Service Institute’s scholarship program.
Students used job specific training and education to build on their existing skills and knowledge, focusing on the provision of services to people who have a disability.
These graduates are now ready to forge a career in the social service workforce—congratulations!
FSSI Director Professor David Hayward to star in a VCOSS video series helping to demystify the budget process for community sector organisations.
You can view the videos on the VCOSS website.
Cert III and Cert IV Scholarships
We are committed to designing world-best education programs for the social service sector and helping to train the ‘workforce of the future’.
One way we’re doing this is through offering full scholarships to:
- high school leavers/graduates who want to work in the social services sector
- employers looking to upskill their employees in preparation for the NDIS.
Applications for 2018 scholarships are now open.
PhD Scholarship: Applications now open
Applications are invited from suitably qualified applicants for a PhD scholarship to undertake a higher degree by research through Professor Sara Charlesworth and Dr Fiona Macdonald at the Centre for People, Organisation and Work at RMIT University.
The Work of Social Care research program, which Prof Charlesworth and Dr Macdonald lead, is located in the Centre for People, Organisation and Work in the College of Business. The successful applicant would join the PhD program within the School of Management. The scholar will also be one of a team of PhD scholars supported by the Future Social Service Institute.
Applications close Friday 8 June.
New qualifications, a diverse range of workers and increased pay are just some of the measures needed for an NDIS workforce that’s ‘market-ready’ (i.e. ready to meet the needs of people with disability). Read our submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS here.
A Moving Celebration
FSSI thought it was time for a ‘Moving Celebration’ this month, to mark the move to our excellent new offices at RMIT. Gathering together many of the great people whom we’ve worked with so far from across RMIT, VCOSS, the community sector and Victorian Government, it was a great chance to reflect on what we’ve achieved so far and what is yet to come. And there was a quiz! Check out some pics from the evening here.
Future of Work Submission
Our recent submission to the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers Inquiry, Building Australia’s future social service workforce, hit home on a few key points. Namely that the social service workforce is the workforce of the future, and that to foster it to meet the rapidly growing demand it faces, Australia needs serious policy shifts that bring it better training, better pay, greater diversity and greater recognition. You can read the full submission here.
FSSI on the move
FSSI is on the move in more ways than one in 2018. After a fabulous 18 months sharing offices with one of our co-founders, VCOSS, we have moved offices to a new home in the heart of our other co-founder, RMIT University.
The move brings us together with several exciting organisations in the new Melbourne Innovation Districts, a hub where researchers, students, business and community organisations can connect and collaborate, driving innovative ideas to keep our society thriving.
FSSI Director David Hayward says it is an exciting move, with the district perfect for FSSI to keep working toward its vision of a strong Victoria supported by an innovative social service sector.
Our 2017 Cert III graduates
FSSI’s inaugural Cert III Scholarship students gathered together in December to mark their achievements and reflect on the opportunities they now have before them in Australia’s fastest growing jobs sector, the social service workforce.
Our students are now equipped to take on a range of rewarding roles. Many spoke of how the course had opened up new pathways for them, helped them change careers, or reinforced their dream of working to support people to live full and rewarding lives.
2018 Masterclass and scholarships open
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.
Proud to support the ‘yes’ campaign
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.
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.
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.”
Dr Shereen Hussein – International Visiting Fellow
Dr Shereen Hussein BSc, MSc (LSHTM), PhD (LSE), Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London will join FSSI 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.
Executive Masterclass 2017
Our 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.
Funding boost announced
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.