Archives for March 2014

Gender Equality Indicators

The campaign against changes to reporting Gender Equality Indicators in the Workplace Gender Equality Act will be launched at Parliament House in Canberra at 12 noon on Tuesday 18 March – this letter sets out the concerns of a coalition of business, non-government, representative and industry associations representing women working across all sectors.

View letter here – Item 6 Social Policy – March 2014 Letter_Sen Abetz WGEA

View Media Release here – WGEA – Media Release – Gender Reporting – 18 March 2014

View The Breifing paper on the Exposure Drafts for the Workplace Gender Equality Agency Act 2012 here – WGEA – Briefing Paper Gender Reporting – March 2014

Media Release – 25 March 2014 – Senator Abetz and Senator Cash – Minimum Standard for Gender Equality view here – March 2014 Joint Release – Minimum Standard for Gender Equality (2)

Media Release – 26 March 2014 – The Coalition of business, non-government, representative and industry associations representing the interests of working women has welcomed the decision to leave untouched the gender reporting matters pertaining to the Workplace Gender Equality Act in its Repeal Package – March 2014 MRCoalition

Womens Agenda – 26 March 2014 – Women’s groups vindicated as gender reporting stays – http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/women-s-groups-vindicated-as-gender-reporting-stays/201403253786

Labor Begins New Social Policy Reform Process

Jenny Macklin – Media Release – 3rd March

Today Federal Labor is announcing the start of a major social policy reform process.

Federal Labor plans to start rethinking the way governments support Australians as our economy, our workplaces and our families change.

Federal Labor will bring together some of Australia’s leading social policy experts, economists, academics, business and union leaders to consider how we can reform our social support system, to ensure we can meet the needs of modern Australia.

Over the coming months, I will lead a series of roundtable discussions and policy workshops with distinguished Australians, to start developing the policy solutions that are needed to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

This will form a critical part of Labor’s broader policy reform work in opposition, and will help shape the policies of the next Labor Government.

This is a process that only Labor can drive, because only Labor understands the importance of smart, long-term social policy reform. Only Labor understands that as our society and economy changes, we need to change the way we invest in our people.

Australia’s rapidly changing economy provides opportunities as well as challenges. New skills and new ideas will drive the jobs and growth of the future, and Labor wants all Australians to benefit. This is what inclusive growth is all about – supporting people throughout their lives to take advantage of the changes in our new economy.

For a large number of Australians, secure employment, stable family relationships and home ownership are increasingly difficult to obtain. There are now large numbers of Australians who move in and out of the workforce, or who combine work, education and caring responsibilities through different times in their lives.

Our current social support system will not adequately address these issues in the future. We need to rethink how we support people into work, including people who continue to face barriers to participating in the workforce: women with children, people with disability, Indigenous Australians, young people and older Australians.

We need to rethink how our social supports system provides for people when they fall on hard times because of sickness or disability or the loss of a job, or are experiencing significant transition in their lives.

And we need new thinking on tackling poverty, because we should never accept the pockets of extreme hardship that still exist in our country.

For more than a century, Labor has led the way in delivering the social investments that make our country fairer, smarter and stronger.

We are proud of the good work we did in government – making sure more people were in good jobs with fair conditions; introducing the first national paid parental leave scheme; investing more in early childhood education and care; reforming the pension system; investing to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage, and introducing the National Disability  Insurance Scheme.

But social policy reform doesn’t have a finish line. There are many policy challenges that lie ahead – and Labor will continue to lead the way.

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Dorothy Hoddinott is an inspiring educator with long links to NFAW

– listen to this interview with her broadcast on ABC RN on 2 March. You can donate to support refugee girls at Dorothy’s school by going to the Donate site and scrolling down to the Holroyd High Fund for Refugee Girls.

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Sunday 2 March 2014 12:30PM

A report by the Grattan Institute, released last week, sets out a blueprint to turn around the performance of low performing schools in Australia.

Holroyd High School is one of the schools the Institute examines for having the right ingredients for success: strong leadership that raises expectations; effective teaching with teachers learning from each other; development and measurement of student learning; development of a positive school culture; and engagement of parents and the community.

Holroyd’s success is impressive given almost half its students have been in Australia for fewer than three years, two-thirds are refugees, more than eighty per cent speak little or no English and some are living in community detention without parents.

“Some of our mid-teen arrivals have never been to school.” says Dorothy Hoddinott “and we work very, very hard with them”.

Nationally, the average rate of school leavers entering university is thirty per cent, and yet despite a background disadvantage, forty per cent of Holroyd students go on to university study.

“It’s not just a culture of expectations, we don’t believe in a sense of entitlement in our school … we build the idea that you are a member of society and you put back into society”.

Dorothy Hoddinott talks about her teaching career and nearly two decades at Holroyd.