CRA LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER
The President of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA), Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj, has written to the Prime Minister congratulating him on his election win and urging concerted action to address the needs of vulnerable Australians. Among CRA’s calls: for the government to revisit its position in relation to the treatment of asylum seekers; to take the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’ seriously; to take decisive action in addressing the climate crisis; and to make the necessary budgetary commitment to address homelessness in Australia. ‘CRA believes in the inherent dignity of each human person and is an advocate for justice and compassion towards those whose life chances are limited. Our members have extensive experience in providing many services for those in need and look forward to working with you and your Government in addressing these,’ Sr Cavanagh says. The letter can be accessed here

POSITION VACANT: RESEARCH AND PROJECT OFFICER, JUSTICE AND PEACE OFFICE, ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY.
The Justice and Peace Office, an agency of the Archdiocese of Sydney, is seeking an experienced Research and Project Officer who will assist the Justice and Peace Office to undertake educational, collaborative and advisory projects. The role includes some weekend and evening work. Applicants should submit a covering letter outlining their suitability for the role by addressing the selection criteria listed above as well as a resume outlining your qualifications and experience.
You can download a full Position Description here. Applications to be sent in confidence to: Employment Services, Polding Centre, Level 5, 133 Liverpool Street, Sydney NSW 2000, or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For further enquiries about the position, visit here.

MEDIA RELEASE: Bishops renew call for fair wages for Australian families.
In its submission to the Fair Work Commission, the ACBC is arguing that the minimum wage be increased from $719.20 per week to $760.00 per week, making the minimum wage $20 per hour. The Catholic Church has made submissions on the minimum wage since 2003 with a focus on low-paid workers and their families, arguing for a decent standard of living for wage-dependent families. Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv, Chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, said the needs of workers struggling to earn a living wage should be a priority for all Australians. For more information, visit here.

REPORT: CUTTING THE SAFETY NET: The Impact of Cuts to Status Resolution Support Services
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) has released a report exposing a crisis of hunger, deteriorating health and homelessness as asylum seekers are cut off Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS). The Federal Government cut its budget for SRSS by 60% in two years, from $139.8 million to $56.2 million. More than 1200 men and women have been cut off torture and trauma services, subsidised medication, casework and income support of 89% of Newstart or approximately $250 per week to cover rent and food for single adults. Now families with children over six years old are being cut off, with 42% of recipients of SRSS under 25 years of age. The ASRC is calling on the government to stop cutting families off support immediately and to restore SRSS to all people seeking asylum within 100 days of the new government. To access the report, visit here.

REPORT: SKILLING THE AUSTRALIAN WORKFORCE FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automation are transforming the world of work. The National Centre for Vocational Education Research has explored the current digital skills demand and supply situation in Australia’s workforce. The research investigated the skills impact of digitalisation on two industry sectors—transport and logistics, and public safety and correctional services—as well as the wider workforce. The report recommends a national workplace digital skills framework to help identify digital skills gaps among Australian industries and workforces to enable the development of appropriate training programs. To access the report, visit here

REPORT: COMPOUND COSTS: HOW CLIMATE CHANGE IS DAMAGING AUSTRALIA’S ECONOMY
The Climate Council of Australia has released a new report highlighting the economic impact of climate change and the costs of not addressing the issues. Australia has always been a land of droughts and flooding rains. However, in the past, extreme weather events were cyclical around a stable average, allowing enough time for recovery between events. Now, climate change is driving a trend change, increasing both the frequency and severity of many extreme weather events. If climate change continues unabated, extreme weather and climate events will increasingly cause economic shocks that will cascade through the economy. To access the report, visit here.

POLICY: THE NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME: A QUICK GUIDE
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides support to people with disability, their families and carers. It is jointly governed and funded by the Australian, and state and territory governments. The NDIS commenced on 1 July 2013, beginning with a trial phase known as the NDIS Launch. Transition to the full scheme began in July 2016 as the NDIS started being progressively introduced across Australia. The NDIS is now available in all states and territories, with the remaining areas of Western Australia progressively expected to join by July 2020. This guide produced by the Social Policy team of the Parliamentary library is available here.

REPORT: YOUTH JUSTICE IN AUSTRALIA
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released a report that looks at young people who were under youth justice supervision in Australia during 2017–18 because of their involvement or alleged involvement in crime. It explores the key aspects of supervision, both in the community and in detention, as well as recent trends. Overall rates of supervision varied among the states and territories. Supervision fell over the 5 years from 2013–14 to 2017–18 for community-based supervision, but rose for detention. Indigenous over-representation also continued to rise. This report is accompanied by 8 fact sheets, profiling youth justice supervision in each state and territory. To access the full report, visit here.

REPORT: YOUTH SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS
The Mission Australia Youth Survey is Australia’s largest annual survey of youth of its kind. It provides a platform for young people aged 15 to 19 to share their aspirations and speak up about the issues that really concern them. In the most recent survey, young people identified mental health, alcohol and drugs and equity and discrimination as the three most important issues in Australia today. It is the first time in the survey’s 17-year history that each state and territory named mental health as the top issue in Australia. Mental health also relates to each of the other issues in the top four personal issues of concern for survey respondents. They were: coping with stress, school or study problems, and body image. Watch a video summary of the findings here. View an infographic or read the full report here.

REPORT: NATIONAL REPORT CARD ON YOUTH HOMELESSNESS
Youth Development Australia’s assessment of progress in relation to the National Youth Commission’s 10-point Roadmap for Youth Homelessness finds that there have been some positive initiatives and advances, but there are also areas of neglect and under-achievement. The number of young people seeking help from homelessness services in 2019 is significantly higher than for the period prior to 2008. Youth Development Australia say the failure to progress early intervention to stem the flow of young people into homelessness is one of the biggest policy failures. They also cite slowness and under-investment in implementing a secure system of leaving care support as another area of major under-development. Finally, they conclude that the needs of young people have not been factored into housing strategies and plans for increasing the supply of social and affordable housing. Read the report card here.

REPORT: YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT HOTSPOTS PERSIST
The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s analysis of Australia’s youth unemployment rates shows that they are far from uniform.
In the 20 regions with the highest youth unemployment rates, the risk of unemployment is well above the national average. The Queensland – Outback region youth unemployment rate is the highest in Australia at 25.7% and the Coffs Harbour – Grafton region in New South Wales has the second highest rate at 23.3%. While there has been some improvement, with a reduced number of regions experiencing very high youth unemployment, youth unemployment hotspots continue to occur more commonly in regional areas. Read the report here.

APP: RIGHTSAPP PROVIDES EASY ACCESS TO INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS
Rights App is a free quick reference guide to international human rights law. It contains the full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ten other major international human rights treaties and agreements, and the corresponding optional protocols. Developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission and LexisNexis®, RightsApp is the world’s first mobile application that allows users to quickly and easily search international human rights conventions and declarations by topic and right. In addition to containing the text of some of the world’s most important international human rights treaties and agreements, RightsApp also contains signatory information and relevant United Nations committees’ general comments. RightsApp can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

APP: ARC HELPS SURVIVORS TO TELL THEIR STORY
Women experiencing family violence have the opportunity to take control of their story with a free smartphone app called Arc that enables them to identify, document and record patterns of intimate partner behaviour that make them feel scared, unsafe, or intimidated. The app enables anyone experiencing family violence to track details of abusive behaviour by uploading photos, videos, audio and diary entries to create a record of what has happened, when it happened, and how it made them feel. Developed by Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria with funding from the Victorian Government’s Public Sector Innovation Fund and the Department of Social Services, Arc may be used to help victim survivors explain their story to a friend, family member or a support service, to provide key information to police, in court, or with legal or family violence practitioners. Find out more here and download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

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