Submission to the Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria Date:
22 March 2017 Summary:
Whilst Melbourne City Mission is not a specialist youth justice provider, youth justice ‘touches’ many aspects of our work. Melbourne City Mission has experience working with young people with past or current youth justice involvement, or risk factors for justice involvement, through programs such as our Frontyard Integrated Youth Services
, Cradle to Kinder
, The Hester Hornbrook Academy
independent school and Youth Foyers
. Our submission response to the Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria draws the Committee’s attention to specific areas of Melbourne City Mission’s practice which intersect with youth justice, and the lived experience of young people we support and members of our staff who are engaged in and with ‘the system’.
Submission to The Australian Human Rights Commission National Consultation Shaping our Future: discussions on disability rights Date:
17 March 2017 Summary:
This inquiry presented an opportunity for people with a disability engaged with Melbourne City Mission’s programs to share their experiences and have their stories put on the public record. Our intention with this submission was to collect first-person accounts of the people we support who wished to express their opinions and insights on the themes of education, employment, housing and the NDIS and feed these directly to the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Mr. Alistair McEwin.
Submission to the Residential Tenancies Act Review Options Paper Date:
22 February 2017 Summary:
Newly released research has revealed that one in three Victorians is a renter, with 83 per cent having no long-term security
. With this comes a range of complexities that must
be acknowledged to make fair and adequate policy decisions that don’t precipitate vulnerable households into homelessness. With this in mind, Melbourne City Mission focuses on areas of concern in response to the preferences set out in the RTA Review Options Paper
, advocating for the people we support who are often tenants dealing with housing stress, are living in low-income households, and who deal with vulnerabilities that increase their risk of falling into homelessness.
Title: Submission to the Ombudsman Investigation into Expulsions at Victorian Government Schools
Date: 23 December 2016
Summary: Figures from the Department of Education and Training show that the number of students being expelled has risen over 25 per cent in the past year. In our submission to the Ombudsman, we share Melbourne City Mission’s perspectives as a flexible learning and education support provider working with students who have multiple and complex disadvantage and concurrent high support needs, many of whom have experienced school exclusion. The case studies and insights presented in this submission come directly from the students who attend our Academy classrooms and the educators and wellbeing staff who work alongside them. This submission aims to capture on-the-ground realities, from a student and teacher perspective, of what gets in the way of education and students’ ability to learn within the classroom and wider school context.
Title: Submission to Commission for Children and Young People Permanency Amendments Inquiry
Date: 23 November 2016
Summary: In March 2016, the State Government introduced changes to Child Protection legislation. The changes – known as the Permanency Amendments – tighten the window for family reunification. The purpose of the amendments is to improve stability for vulnerable children. This is an incredibly complex area, requiring a delicate balancing of sometimes competing rights. Melbourne City Mission’s Cradle to Kinder team is on the frontline of navigating these changes with families. In this submission to the Commission for Children and Young People, Melbourne City Mission provides evidence on how the changes are being experienced thus far.
Title: Submission to the State Disability Plan 2017-2020 Discussion Paper
Date: 13 July 2016
Summary: People with disabilities encounter personal and systemic barriers to social and economic participation. While the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will effect significant transformation, there will still be a role for local, State and Commonwealth governments to ensure access and inclusion for people with disabilities. In our submission to the State Disability Plan 2017-20, we share our perspectives on how the Victorian Government can effect change in the areas of Active Citizenship, Rights and Equality, Economic Participation, and Making the Most of the NDIS.
Title: Submission to the Rents, bonds and other charges Issues Paper (Residential Tenancies Act Review)
Date: 22 April 2016
Summary: Some of Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens are navigating a private rental market that is unaffordable and characterised by processes and practices that heighten and exploit vulnerability. In this submission, Melbourne City Mission advocates for measures that address access, equity and affordability at the point of entry and across the duration of a tenancy. The submission analyses the impact of practices such as rental bidding, unsustainable rent increases (above CPI and/or more than once per calendar year), overcharged bonds and unofficial holding of bond money, and advocates for greater protections via the regulatory system.
Title: Submission to Senate Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality
Date: 31 March 2016
Summary: In this submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee, Melbourne City Mission highlights the role of gender inequality in all spheres of life in contributing to the prevalence of domestic violence. The Commonwealth Government has a key role to play in the prevention of violence against women, through policies and programs that enable women’s equal social, civic and economic participation. This submission highlights the need for more accessible childcare, an employment services system that can meet the needs of women with multiple and complex barriers to participation, and gender equity measures in a range of other associated policy areas.
Title: Submission to the Victorian Gender Equality Strategy
Date: 18 March 2016
Summary: Gender inequality affects all women in all areas of their lives. However, it is clear that different groups of women fare less well than others. This submission examines the intersection of gender inequality, social inequalities and spatial inequalities, and identifies strategies to address inequality among the most diverse and disadvantaged groups of women. The submission draws on Melbourne City Mission’s experience working with women in our employment services, homelessness services, child care services, and disability services.
Title: Submission to the Security of Tenure Issues Paper (Residential Tenancies Act Review)
Date: 24 December 2015
Summary: In this submission, Melbourne City Mission’s focus is on the private rental aspects of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) review. Due to a lack of supply of social housing, many of our clients seek housing via the private rental market. A lack of security of tenure is a significant issue for many of our clients in private rental, which can contribute to an ongoing cycle of homelessness for the people we support. Melbourne City Mission’s submission flags concerns around legal protections, sustainable rent, and adequate property maintenance. This submission also highlights Melbourne City Mission’s support for the formation of a Quality Rental Standards framework for the private rental market.
Title: What’s Important to YOUth – Final Report from Melbourne City Mission Youth Consultations
Date: 29 October 2015
Summary: Between September and October 2015, more than 2000 young people took part in What's Important To Youth?, a series of consultations across Victoria to help inform the Victorian Government's new whole-of-government youth policy framework. As part of the policy design, the Office for Youth commissioned Melbourne City Mission to proactively engage young people whose voices are not typically heard in policy consultations. A total of 192 young people from our programs and services participated – representing nearly 10 per cent of the total number of young Victorians engaged in the policy consultation across the State. This abridged report provides a snapshot of the key issues highlighted by diverse groups of young people who are working to forge pathways to social and economic inclusion and participation against a backdrop of significant personal challenges and structural barriers.
Title: Submission to the Review of the Program for Students with Disabilities
Date: 12 October 2015
Summary: Students with disabilities have a legal right to education and training ‘on the same basis’ as students without disability. For many students with disabilities, being able to participate on the same basis as their peers requires adjustments. Funding is critically important, as it determines the level of adjustment that can be made. Presently, Victorian students with disabilities have limited access to targeted additional support through special purpose funding streams, such as the Program for Students with Disabilities. This submission notes that whilst there is an expectation that non-eligible students will have their needs met through general school budgets and other non-PSD programs, parents frequently report that this is not the case. Melbourne City Mission highlights the ways in which the ‘safety net’ is failing, and identifies barriers to accessing PSD funding.