2010 The Year for Change
In our last Update, we reported on the
launch of Paul Collier's candidature for the
South Australian Upper House as part of
9th March, Paul Collier died following a brain
someone who suffered spinal injuries in a motor accident
travelling to his
21st birthday party some 25 years earlier, this might be
But as we report below, Paul is unstoppable in death as in
life, for his name
will still appear on the ballot paper when South Australians
vote on Saturday
This is what
we said about 2010 as the Year for Change in our last
"Anne Manne is a Melbourne writer on feminism,
motherhood, child care, family policy and work, and has
just published a memoir of her childhood in Bendigo.
This is Life.
Scenes from a
explores a young girl's
emerging sense of love and care in
a fragile poverty-bound household following a tumultuous
Paul Collier is an Oxford-trained historian, now a
quadraplegic, caring for an ageing mother in Adelaide. In
for political representation
in next year's South Australian state election. What does D4D
"More than half of the disability dollars in the SA
budget are spent on
employee salaries, with a 33% increase in employees
earning more than $100K in 2009. With more than 4,500
staff we still hear that people with disabilities are still not
basic services and are not allowed to even
shower more than twice a week".
Both Anne and
Paul are in a hurry. Both have spent many
years following the care
trail and probing its dynamics. Anne's 2005 book
should we care for our children?
and her 2008 essay
Love and Money: the
family and the free market
resounding and unambiguous insights:
first is that those who care for loved ones, at home
reward, constitute a kind of shadow poverty-based care
second is more profound and more radical in its
neo-liberalism and left/feminist managerialism require this
care economy as a foundation for, and constituent component
their own worldview.
As Anne puts
it "In the neo-liberal era, the more you devolved care
others, the more you increased your competitive edge." Doing
meant taking yourself out of the world of work, recognition,
neo-liberal revolution, with its emphasis on employment
for all and
competitive striving in the marketplace, occurred
simultaneously with two
other significant social movements. The first was
the mentally ill and the severely disabled. Care in the
community is a
humane ideal, but it costs money and time. The second was the
revolution; women joined the workforce in growing numbers.
Existing ideas of
delivering care represent exhausted positions. The
is nostalgic: female self-sacrifice in the private realm,
supporting men in
the marketplace. Neo-liberals want women to work but
to alter the workplace to help them do so. Their answer is to
care into a profitable commodity and sell it in the market. The
are cheap-as-chips ABC Learning-style corporate care or a low-
largely female servant class for the affluent."
Anne and Paul, it is clear where this analysis leads: a
paradigm which places relationships and care at the centre,
with the market
and state harnessed to support these relationships rather
they are equally clear about the political method
required to achieve this
imagine another ad. It is next year's election campaign.
the face is not a sleek master of the universe such as
but a careworn one, the mother of a disabled child. She leads the
successful new Carers Party, now poised to hold the balance of power in the
Senate. She wants a New Deal for the care sector. The slogan is: "No one
giving or receiving care will live in poverty by 2015".
The time for
passive detachment is
It's time to start organising.
determined that people with
disabilities and carers will be public
players in shaping the next South
determined to lead our march on the national stage from the
shadows to the balance of power.
With Tasmanian and South Australian state elections due in
a Victorian state election in November, and a
federal election likely between
July and September, Anne is keen to hear from people wanting to
and make the difference."
This is how
ABC TV in South Australia reported Paul's death -
to view the footage.
in his death, will do more for people with disabilities
in this state
than the current government has done," says fellow candidate
courage in challenging the machine men who control our
Will 2010 be our
Year for Change?
CLICK HERE to
tell us your views.
civil society rests on essential pillars,
Fitzgerald Power but little glory in polluted
Tony Fitzgerald is a former Australian judge, who
presided over the Fitzgerald Inquiry into political
corruption in Queensland in the 1980s.
culture change in state politics that resulted
work, there is so much more work still to do.
such as individual freedom, non-discriminatory equality,
and the rule of law. As Chief Justice Earl Warren of the US
pointed out years ago, law ''presupposes the existence of a
broad area of
human conduct controlled only by ethical norms and not
subject to law at
That aphorism sits uneasily with the realities of
However, until official misconduct becomes egregious
enough to overcome
community cynicism and generate public outrage, few
troubled by, or even interested in, structural and systemic
flaws in our
political process and public administration...
inertia is also magnified by Australia's anachronistic,
political system, which is based on flawed assumptions that
synonymous with majority rule and that, because MPs are
parliamentary decisions express the popular will. The first
disregards the fundamental democratic prohibition on the
oppression of individuals and minorities. The second ignores
the realities of
modern party-political decision-making, with rigid party
that, with few exceptions, MPs vote as directed.
Voters are little more than observers of a substantially
rule-free contest who
are entitled, indeed compelled, to choose one or other of the
political parties to govern every few years.
The community is ill-served by this growing transfer of
power from the public
to the dominant political parties and the parties'
disinterest in ethical
constraints and resistance to oversight and accountability,
independent anti-corruption bodies. Without satisfactory
legal and ethical
fetters, the political process, like all human constructs,
can be, and is,
manipulated and exploited to advance personal and group
A political class has evolved which is interested in
little but the acquisition
and exercise of power. Careerists with little or no
experience outside politics
learn their craft in party administration, politicians'
offices and supporters'
organisations before party pre-selection and entry to
Decisions favouring special interests are common. "Media
insults and confuses the electorate, which is denied the
accurate information which is essential to the proper
These short-term political practices and tactics risk
problems. Public figures are role models and their standards
the community. Social capital and social cohesion built on
integrity and trust
are easily dissipated as the population increases,
larger and more diverse and economic disparities widen.
consider themselves powerless outsiders readily become
cynical, apathetic and disengaged and lose trust in
government, the integrity
of its process and decisions and even fundamental
Principled leadership is essential to preserve our confidence
in and support
for each other."
to read the full text of this article.
Still standing ...
Paul Collier's name will remain on
election ballot papers for the South
Australian poll on Saturday 20 March. His friends and
families are urging
South Australians to vote for him so they can carry on his
Dr Collier's votes will flow to D4D's number two
candidate, Kelly Vincent.
Political experts believe this could be
the first time a
person's name has appeared on a South Australian
ballot paper after their death.
CLICK HERE to view
ABC TV footage.
To assist Paul's campaign on Saturday,
NDIS Everything About Us
Erik Leipoldt acquired quadriplegia in
1978 - the
result of a diving accident. Since then he has been
disability advocacy at various levels and
leading a campaign by people with disabilities for a
critical assessment of the proposed National
Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Erik opposes
the NDIS proposal in its current form.
national no-fault disability insurance scheme (NDIS) has a lot of merit
principle. But the NDIS, as it has now been shaped and is
reflected in the
Productivity Commission's feasibility study towards it; in
Investment Group's (DIG) report; and in the conduct of the
itself, has become part of the problem for people with
This NDIS has real potential for a further disablement of
many people with
impairments. That is because of the values framework in which
NDIS is set,
and because of its processes to date, which make it clear
that NDIS is,
primarily, about getting people with disabilities off the
sheet as an economic liability. In its rhetoric NDIS places
the interests of
people with disabilities central. Analysis of its substance
reveals it puts
Good Lives Why Believe in Miracles?
Leipoldt is Convenor of
Towards Good Lives
for people with disabilities
in Australia. He outlines in this article the reasons he says NDIS appears
both appealing and disabling at the same time:
"So, here is the smoke, and the
- Tapping into real
desperation and frustration;
- Tapping into a
popular disability movement idea;
- Presenting the
problem as a "broken service" problem;
- The correct
rhetoric applied to disabling concepts;
- The appearance of
a grass-roots advocacy action;
- A well-planned
- Apparent wide
support at all levels;
presented by experts."
to read the full text of this article.
presented to us in ways where much of the rhetoric masks
actual substance and real purpose. It broadcasts the message
that all this
is for our interests, but when looking deeper, it is not so.
are, in effect, helping us to pull the wool over our own eyes. At
amendments of the inquiry's terms of reference,
suggested by us, can begin the long journey towards regaining
Trust that is essential in building a genuinely rich and
that is in our interests.
Please take action, write to the
Minister, Bill Shorten, to request a
the terms of reference now. April is too late. The
consultations will then start
under terms of reference that exclude issues that are most
vital to us. The
result will be decades of further market/medical model-driven
services, services that now take no responsibility for the
themselves say the system is in. But they want more money
to read the changes to the Productivity Commission's
of Reference proposed by
Towards Good Lives.
West Belconnen Health Co-op
opens its doors
On 20th January 2010, the West
Belconnen Health Co-op opened its
doors in Canberra, as a health service
owned by consumers and community
organisations, with a philosophy of
integrated, holistic person-centred care.
Westgate Health Co-op (formerly
Kingsville Health Services Co-op) has
been operating in the western suburbs of
since 1980. It is a co-op of
8,000 members employing GPs, dental
and allied health practitioners. Its surgery
waiting rooms display the message
"where the practice is owned by the
As Australia's governments
better models of health care organisation
and delivery, health co-ops are flourishing
around the world as structures able to
join consumer ownership and
empowerment with preventative, integrated health care.
register your interest in the co-op model in health and
development and extension throughout Australia.
There are 9
co-op hospitals in Australia. And 58 co-op pharmacies.
model will be explored in workshops at the
Health Care National Conference in Melbourne on 22-23 March
Just Stoelwinder Medicare choice?
Insights from the Netherlands
Just Stoelwinder was born in the Netherlands and grew up in
Western Australia where he trained as a specialist
physician. For 17 years he was the CEO of Melbourne's
Queen Victoria Medical Centre and the foundation CEO of
the Monash Medical Centre and Southern Health. He now
holds the Chair of Health Services Management, School of
Public Health and Preventive Medicine,
future design of the Australian health care system is
consideration. Because Australia has a good health care
system, one option
is to leave it as it is - just tweaking a bit at the
Some people argue that there are stress points in public
hospitals and argue
for a transfer of responsibilities from the
States/Territories to the
Commonwealth, or a shift of financial support from private
into the public hospital system. Others see the complexity
fragmentation of the system as a problem, especially for
those with chronic
disease, and argue for pooling of all government funds to be
administered by regional or State/Territory bureaucracies.
These options would take us in the direction of a
‘national health scheme’
with its bureaucracy and politics - the current problems of
health systems writ large. They do not deal with more
challenges facing health care, with its inevitable growth in
supply, and the intergenerational issues ahead. If such a
is to be contemplated, it is important to look at other
The Netherlands, which spends about the same per capita on
Australia, has just implemented major reforms that aim to
“durability, solidarity, choice, quality and efficiency” of
their health care
system. If these are also our aspirations, can we learn from
The essence of their reform is:
• to have full health insurance coverage for the population,
but in such a way
that individuals have a direct appreciation of the overall
cost of the health
care system by making identified premium payments;
• to create a competitive market between health insurers so
will have the choice to trade-off premium price, additional
• through a sophisticated risk equalisation arrangement, to
to reduce benefit outlays, including through chronic disease
In brief, the new Netherlands system:
• Is funded 50 per cent by an income related contribution
(7.2 per cent of
salaries and 5.1 per cent of other income to a maximum of
into a central fund, and a community rated nominal premium
competing health insurance funds for those aged over 18. The
contributes to the central fund for those aged 18 and under
low income earners an income related rebate to offset their
• Consumers choose their fund once per year. Significant
resources are provided to assist them in this choice.
• Funds receive a risk-adjusted payment from the central fund
member they enrol. This adjusts for chronic disease and
risk factors so that insurance funds are incentivised to
recruit all consumers
and engage in active purchasing of health services on their
Australia’s health care system could go in three broad
• Incremental evolution of our current system – it has
served us well,
this will remain complex and fragmented with inevitable
to solve the inherent problems of managing chronic
position us to deal with the consequences of an ageing
and the inevitable cost increases of health care
technology – all
burdens that will have to be resolved within the
• A move towards
a ‘national health scheme’
– this is
advocated by many
‘reformists’ who would like to see more funding for
public hospitals, less
support of private health insurance, and integration of
public care and
at the Federal, State/Territory or some new regional
The conceptual model for this approach is the National
Health Service (NHS)
in the United Kingdom. This might integrate the public
health care services
but would fail to link the private system, unless the
intention is to abolish
altogether. It would mean that operational and policy
issues would be
into the political/bureaucratic framework with a
dominance of special
in a process of adversarial politics – the dynamics that
State/Territory health care politics and policy on
issues such as
Emergency Department demand and problems of safety and
would be writ large in a further move in this policy
• A move to
a consumer choice model – such as has been
report, learning from the Netherlands experience.
The relative issues associated with these three
strategic directions are
in this table:
towards a ‘national health
public and private funding
Linkage of public
On public side
level with and
and some political at policy level
durability of the
to read the full text of this article.
scheme (Medicare Choice) could be implemented in
based on the principles outlined by Richard Scotton a decade
Scotton R. Managed competition: the policy context. Melbourne
Working Paper No. 15/99. 1999. Available
here and Managed
health care. Productivity Commission Workshop 2002. Available
The benefits of such a reform would be to link both public
financing and create incentives for prevention and chronic
management. It would give consumers choice and flexibility in
between price and benefits in the short term. It would give
them a direct
stake in the long-term durability of the system by making
explicit the growth
in its cost through the price of their chosen health
Care National Conference 22-23 March 2010
Melbourne 22-23 March 2010
Commonwealth reform initiatives: driving change
Organising and empowering health consumers
Medicare Select: opt-in health plans
Self-care and self-management in heath
Consumer-directed aged care
Consumer-centred innovation in mental health
Consumer-centred innovation in drug and alcohol rehabilitation
Consumer-centred funding arrangements
Chronic illness consolidated budgets
Capitation-based payment systems
Health brokers, care co-ordinators, health infomediaries
Community engagement in health reform
Partnerships between practitioners and consumers
CLICK HERE to register.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Street by Street,
Suburb by Suburb 21/22 April
This national conference on 21/22
aims to deepen the
community building and social
inclusion agenda across
for further information.
conference builds on the July
2009 National Conference on
Neighbourhoods, Real Communities
adopted a number of
national development and coordination of key community
Implementation and development strategies
for these initiatives will be
explored in detail. They include:
Street by Street
Circles of Support
Key Ring Supported Living Networks
Neighbourhood Cultural Exchange
to participate in the Community Building National Network.
There is no cost.
for information on the Community Building National Network.
Parental leave | child care | work and family
National Summit of Parents
Families and Carers
Awakening the Voice
of Families: Services Policy and Politics
Melbourne 24-25 May 2009
Call for Contributions
Papers and presentations are invited from parents,
siblings and carers;
support agencies; service providers; policy makers;
governments and community leaders on parents, families and
services, policy and politics in Australia.
Contributions are invited which address these themes in
the following three
Family experiences, case studies, innovation
proposals and reform
proposals in the areas of:
- Families and social
relationships, isolation and connections
- Supports for children, families and
- Person and family-centred
- Health care and families
- Disability, ageing and
- Families and schools
- Families and child care
- Indigenous families and
- Paid parental leave/ living
allowance for parents and carers
- Work and care: should policy
favour the paid workforce?
- Fatherhood, parenting and
- The new debate on
institutionalised care - from disability and mental health to child care and
- Payments to families or
payments to providers? - the voucher debate
- Families and schools
- How do governments form
policy in relation to families?
- Advocates, brokers and
agents for families
- Who are working families and
who speaks for us/them?
public voice of families - where is it?
- Ideology in 'family'
- The public invisibility of
stay-at-home parents and carers
- The diversity of family
forms and moral conservatism
- Funded advocacy
organisations and 'voice'
- Shaping the public agenda
- A parents/carers party?
Expressions of interest in presenting should be
9 April 2010 in
an email of no more than 300 words to:
Tel: 03 9824 4713
M: 0425 722 890
CLICK HERE for
Development Program for Families - June Intake
Applications are invited for participants in the
June intake in the Leadership Development
Program for Families.
The Program runs from 1st June 2010 to 31st
The Program was initially scheduled to begin
in February 2010, but coming on the heels of
the summer holiday season and with school
and other new year commencements occurring at that time, a
suits many families better. A restructuring of the cost has
undertaken to alleviate reliance upon trusts and funding
bodies over the slow
Applications must be received by 25th May.
This is a leadership development program for
families (parents/ siblings/
carers) with an emphasis on solving problems and finding and
Eligible participants must meet four criteria:
1. have a family member with challenges (disability,
mental illness, chronic
illness, aged frailty, addictions, etc);
2. are searching for living solutions for their
loved one in social support,
accommodation, meaningful paid or voluntary work, or
3. have experienced obstacles, frustration, and
powerlessness along the
4. want to play a leadership role in assisting other
families in developing
solutions, through both public policy change and social
Participants are required to
nominate two key challenges that they are facing
at the start of the program, and the whole group will
undertake a shared
search for solutions to these challenges as they move through
The program will consist of:
1. Three residential weekends for vision,
learning and skill development (July,
January and May);
2. One three day tour of arrangements/models;
3. Online learning program with a focus on key
case studies and models;
4. Shared group input into two nominated challenges facing the participants
over the course of the 12 months;
to telephone and online support and advice in seeking solutions
for two challenges over the 12 months; and
6.Occasional forums, dinners and meetings.
cost comprises a Participation Fee and Event Fees.
The Participation Fee
of $990 includes:
- resource materials and access to an online learning program;
- online networking connections throughout the program; and
- access to unlimited telephone support over 12 months in seeking solutions
to two nominated challenges.
The Event Fees includes:
- accommodation, meals and incidental costs
for each of the residential
weekends and tours, set for each weekend/ tour; and
- meals and incidental costs for occasional forums, dinners and meetings,
set for each event.
costs to and from the residential weekends, tours and other
events, are the participants' expense.
An online registration form is
CLICK HERE for
AGM Season 2009:
Credit Union Australia - Are you a member?
Australia (CUA) is
the country's largest credit union
with 400,000 members and
$7billion in assets.
Unfortunately, it is a credit union
in name only.
the loss of identity in our mutual sector more
transparent than in
CUA. It has no vision beyond growth by gobbling up small
credit unions. Its
board members collect a $60,000 annual directors fee for
having no vision
and no agenda.
It's board excludes would-be reformers by declaring
any board nomination it
doesn't like to be not a 'fit and proper person'. Vern Hughes
was the sole
nominee in 2009, but his nomination was vetoed. Barry Pound
nomination vetoed the previous year.
regulator of credit unions, APRA has it all wrong.
It has a heavy touch
in imposing onerous compliance costs on small co-ops, and has
touch in allowing rogue boards to get away with ripping out
We'd like to hear from readers
around Australia who are part of CUA's
400,000 members. We reckon 400 members could organise to push
the necessary constitutional and other changes.
400 members is 0.1% of the
membership. We want to hear from you.
to register if you are a
And if you know of other members, forward them this
registration form so we
can begin the task to winning back our credit union.
for more information on our campaign to reclaim our
Three roles available with
the Centre for Civil Society
Centre for Civil Society is experiencing huge growth
in the scope and
scale of its
activities. If you are looking for a volunteer role that
intellectually stimulating and
practically challenging, we want to hear from
three roles for which we are seeking to appoint
invited from all states and territories, for varying
assisting in the organisation of forums and
mentoring and support is available in writing news
and opinion pieces on various topics which fit the
Administrative Assistant -
assisting in various administrative, financial and
database management tasks
If you have
an interest in any of these roles, please send a CV and
names of 3 referees along with
a covering letter on your interest in the work
of the Centre to
Organising by Federal Electorate
in your electorate
(there is no cost).
On registering, participants will
connected to an online forum in their
electorate, and will receive
access to resources and guidelines for local
for more information.
March 22-23 2010:
Care: Policy, Innovation and Empowerment
Street by Street,
Suburb by Suburb
Community Building and Social Inclusion
Awakening the Voice
Services Policy and Politics
National Summit of Parents Families and Carers