NEW: Brotherhood Update: Research & policy from the Brotherhood of St Laurence

Brotherhood Update February 2017

Welcome to the first Brotherhood Update for 2017, which features items on refugee jobseekers, aged care, young people’s education and training, energy hardship and more.


What would enable refugees to thrive in the labour market?
The experiences of humanitarian migrants seeking meaningful work in Australia were highlighted at a recent research forum, From surviving to thriving? The event was hosted by the Brotherhood’s Research and Policy Centre in partnership with the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne and The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).


Taking a closer look at Middle Eastern migrants and employment
Claims that migrants from the Middle East are ‘piling onto the dole queue’ are misleading, as John van Kooy points out in a recent article in The Conversation.

What makes flexible learning options work for young people?
Flexible learning options (FLOs) can provide marginalised young people with alternative avenues to re-engage in education. Researchers investigated two key, though not defining, features of FLOS – unconditional acceptance and integrated wellbeing support.


Anti-discrimination laws protect the vulnerable
In relation to racial discrimination, the Brotherhood believes that the legislative balance must be tilted in favour of the most vulnerable, so as to in turn preserve mutual respect among all members of our diverse society.

Ensuring equitable access to aged care
While the Brotherhood welcomes the choice and control accorded to older adults in consumer directed care, our experience is that the current system works better for some consumers than others. Although some measures are included to remediate disadvantage, we believe these do not go far enough. Further action is required to address the barriers faced by older adults experiencing disadvantage in their access to aged care services.

Holes remain in proposed safety net for Victorians in energy hardship
Rising energy costs put pressure on the budgets of low-income households. While the idea of a safety net for energy consumers is welcome, the Brotherhood is concerned that the proposed framework proposed by Victoria’s Essential Services


Adjusting to Consumer Directed Care / Bonnie Simons, Helen Kimberley and Nicky McColl Jones

How is education valued in rural communities? Insights from Colac Otway Shire / George Myconos, Angela McKenna and Stephanie Yung
School retention and attainment rates in regional and rural Australia tend to be lower than in metropolitan areas. Our small study in Colac Otway Shire in western Victoria aimed to explore local assumptions that poorer educational outcomes are related to the ways that communities value or undervalue education.

Keys to effective training for unemployed young people
Young people face a labour market markedly different from the one experienced by their parents, with manufacturing now declining while service sectors are growing. Also, employers increasingly call for ‘employability’ skills and relevant experience, as well as formal qualifications.

Supporting transitions for young jobseekers: a resource for program development in south-east Melbourne by Chisholm and Holmesglen TAFEs / George Myconos
This scan of academic and grey literature was commissioned to inform the design and delivery of vocational and workplace training for young unemployed people in south-east Melbourne

MEDIA: Which comes first – ill health or financial stress?
The relationship between financial stress and ill-health is like the chicken and the egg, according to the RPC’s Dina Bowman, interviewed for a Radio Australia story.


Introducing: Amanda Pagan became the inaugural member of the Inclusive Communities team in the Research and Policy Centre in October 2016. She is currently undertaking an evaluation of Local Area Coordination under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, focusing on five municipalities in north-east Melbourne.

Link to Brotherhood update


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Posts are for information purposes and do not constitute endorsement by the Brotherhood of St Laurence