This issue of Brotherhood Update ranges across policy areas from financial security, employment and energy to a National Disability Agreement and services for families and children.
See also details of an upcoming seminar about welfare to work in the United Kingdom and Australia, co-hosted by the Research and Policy Centre, Brotherhood of St Laurence, and the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne.
RESEARCH Understanding financial insecurity
Despite sustained economic growth, many households are doing it tough in Australia. The financial circumstances of people with low and uncertain incomes in Melbourne and how they cope with risk in the short and longer term were examined in our qualitative Spinning the Plates study. Data collection methods included interviews and fortnightly surveys.
Read the short report by Dina Bowman and Marcus Banks, Hard times: Australian households and financial insecurity
You may also be interested in our earlier report focusing on insurance:
Marcus Banks and Dina Bowman 2017, Juggling risks: insurance in households struggling with financial insecurity
MEDIA Addressing energy costs for low-income renters
The worrying impact of rising electricity and gas prices on low-income renters was discussed by the Brotherhood’s Damian Sullivan on Radio National’s Life Matters. He spoke about energy efficiency standards for cheaper rental properties, as well as a guaranteed fair price for low-income consumers. He also referred to two pilots involving collaboration between the Brotherhood and Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning: Home Energy Assist, which helps low-income households afford upgrades such as efficient hot water systems, and Energy Broker, which will help people find better energy deals.
Access the interview: Low income renters and energy affordability
A national agreement between Commonwealth, state and territory governments is essential to ensure that obligations to all Australians with disability are recognised and met. In its submission to the Productivity Commission’s National Disability Agreement Review, the Brotherhood has argued that while the NDIS has elevated the focus on disability, there is still a long way to go to achieve services that are accessible to all people with disability.
ARTICLE Talking about better employment services for mature age jobseeker
The limitations of current publicly funded employment services for mature age jobseekers are highlighted in Dina Bowman’s article in the Conversation.
POLICY Towards stronger outcomes for children and families
A national strategy to achieve stronger outcomes for children and families should rest on a strong system of progressive universalism. While services such as child and maternal health should be funded for everyone, some children, families and communities require different and greater support to reach the same high level of outcomes enjoyed by other families. This is one of the key messages of the Brotherhood’s recent policy submission.
Behind the research
Dr Matthew Curry is our new Henderson Fellow, holding a joint appointment at the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Institute and the Brotherhood’s Research and Policy Centre. He has worked as a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute investigating the intergenerational effects of parental joblessness in Australia and in the United States. A native of California, he came to Australia in 2016 after completing his PhD in sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where his dissertation investigated the effects of university education on individual labour market outcomes in the United States before and during the global financial crisis. Matthew’s research interests include social stratification and mobility, and the causes and consequences of inequalities in education and the
What’s on at the Brotherhood
SPECIAL SEMINAR Welfare to work in UK and Australia: sanctions, supports and conditionality*
Tuesday 25 September
9 am to 1 pm
University of Melbourne
- Dr Sharon Wright, University of Glasgow
- Dr Elise Klein, University of Melbourne
- Dr Danielle Thornton, Brotherhood of St Laurence
- Owen Bennett, President, Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union
- David Tennant, CEO, Shepparton Family Care.
*Register for this free event
Thursdays, 12 noon to 1 pm
Father Tucker’s room, Brotherhood of St Laurence
- 27 September Dr Yvette Maker, University of Melbourne
- 4 October Professor Peter Whiteford, ANU
Watch the Events page on our website for details of these seminars.
ANTI-POVERTY WEEK 14–20 October
Professor Shelley Mallett is a key speaker at The poverty problem: whose fault is it anyway?, Community Information and Support Victoria’s conference, 17–18 October 2018
To be notified about future events, email Jane Douglas firstname.lastname@example.org
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia