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Social Policy and Advocacy 2020



The Victorian Branch is committed to engaging with critical policy, advocacy and social justice issues that impact Victorian member social workers and their clients.

We invite our members to contribute to the development of submissions and to participate in a range of policy and advocacy actions throughout the year.

If you'd keen to get involved, don't hesitate to contact Anneka at the Victorian Branch by email or phone on (03) 9320 1000.

Current and Upcoming Actions

23 November 2020

Victorian Member Consultation: Improving the Response of the Justice System to Sexual Offences
Wednesday 2 December, 5:30-6:30pm via Zoom
More information and registrations here

The AASW is currently preparing a submission in response to the Victorian Law Reform Commission's Issues Papers A-H Improving the Response of the Justice System to Sexual Offences (October 2020).

To ensure we’re advocating with the most recent experience and knowledge from our members, we’re holding a consultation session with interested members who who work or have worked within the area of sexual assault/sexual offences.

In this 60-minute group consultation, we’ll be generating discussion around specific areas identified in the Question List which will inform the response to the Terms of Reference.

This session will be facilitated by a member of our Social Policy Team and our BMC, and will feed into the submission which will be prepared collaboratively by the Branch and our National Social Policy and Advocacy Team.

We warmly welcome the participation of Victorian members.

Please register and we'll send you the zoom link.

If you are unable to participate in this particular consultation there are several options to contribute:

We are happy to call you for a one-on-one conversation, please email Anneka and we'll be in touch; or

You are welcome to contribute, either in a personal or professional capacity, by responding to the Victorian Law Reform Commission directly.



10 November 2020



Join Us and Walk Against Family Violence 2020

The AASW Victorian Branch has proudly joined the Walk Against Family Violence for several years now. Normally we rally at Federation Square and we take a walk around central Melbourne.

This year, whilst we cannot come together, we are asking our members to join us walking, but in their own time and place, on Wednesday 25 November. This also means all members throughout Victoria can get involved!


On the day, alone or with your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, while respecting social distancing requirements and wearing something ORANGE, take a Walk Against Family Violence!

This might be a short walk in your lunch break, or something more significant.

Record your kilometres (or take an educated guess!), download and print off our Printable Sign and write in your distance, and then snap a photo.

Post it to social media with the #WAFV2020 and add your photo to the AASW Victorian Branch Facebook Page on the day.

Let’s see how many kilometres we can collectively achieve to help show our support for victim-survivors and to send a strong message across Victoria that family violence is never okay.

If you have any questions, drop Anneka a line via email or call on (03) 9320 1000.



28 September 2020



Member Campaign - Seeking Local Council Support for Raise the Rate

Victorian local council elections will be held in October 2020. All councils will have elections except Casey City Council, South Gippsland Shire Council and Whittlesea City Council. Voters in each council will receive a ballot pack in early October.

Now is the time as Victorian social workers to write to your local government council candidates to encourage them to support the need to advocate once on council for the rate of Jobseeker payments to be maintained. We can share the direct benefits that the increased amount of this income support this year has had for people that we work with and services addressing need in their communities.

By increasing the spending power of those on low incomes, extra funds have circulated through local businesses. It has also reduced the strain on Council community services assisting the growing number of people experiencing hardship, particularly homelessness.

We have developed a template letter, available below to download, to make it easier for our members to take action. We encourage you to take a few moments to send this letter to your local candidates.

We'd love to hear from you if you do get involved! Drop us a line at aaswvic@aasw.asn.au

Got a question? Get in touch via email or phone Anneka on (03) 9320 1000.

Find details of candidates in your area here

Download the Template Letter Here

26 August 2020

Raise the Rate National Day of Action

The Victorian Branch is a proud supporter of the ACOSS Raise the Rate for Good Campaign.

Some of our Branch Management Committee (Melissa, Jaryd, Kate and Aaron) are pictured above participating in the social media campaign today (Wednesday 26 August) on the National Day of Action for this campaign.

Right now the government is deciding the long-term level of support for the 1.6 million people currently without paid work and the millions more facing uncertain futures.

Now is our chance to send a clear message to our elected representatives that we cannot go back to the old Newstart rate of $40 per day that left people without enough to cover the basics like food, housing, and healthcare.

Find out more about the campaign and how you can join us in taking action on this critical issue here



August 2020

Victorian Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan 2020-2023 Consultation

The Victorian Branch is encouraging members to contribute their professional perspective and experience to inform the development of the Victorian Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan 2020-2023.

Ten key priority themes have been identified. Feedback is via a brief online survey. Opportunities to provide more specific, detailed feedback also available. Consultation closes 31 August 2020. Please share among your networks.

More information and survey accessible here



July 2020

Victorian Mental Health System - Workforce Survey

Victorian social workers are urged to contribute to a critical survey as part of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System.

The survey is open to all frontline mental health workers, including lived experience workforces who provide mental health treatment, care and support within Victoria's mental health services. Volunteers are also encouraged to participate.

The survey may take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete depending on your role, and the survey can be completed in more than one sitting. The survey closes at 5pm Monday, 10 August 2020. Please share among your networks.

Take the survey here



May 2020 Ongoing

Victorian Inquiry Concerning Young People Absent or Missing from Residential Care


We're seeking member input to support the development of a member-informed submission to the Victorian Inquiry Concerning Young People Absent or Missing from Residential Care.

We would love to hear from members who currently or have previously worked this space.

If you are keen to share your experience and to help advocate for change, email Anneka at the Victorian Branch.

View the Terms of Reference here.

Recent Submissions

August 2020

Victorian LGBTIQ Strategy

Following consultation with Victorian members, the Victorian Branch made a submission to inform the VIctorian LGBTIQ Strategy on 17 August 2020.

As soon as our submission is made public, we will post it here.

View the discussion paper presented by Equality Victoria which outlines the history of progress for LGBTIQ people in Victoria, as well as the current challenges and opportunities.



July 2020

Monitoring the Family Violence Reforms (Victoria)

The AASW Victorian Branch made a submission to this inquiry on 20 July 2020.

It is anticipated that submissions will be made public in September 2020 on the Family Violence Implementation Reform Monitor website here.

View the original Call for Submissions and Key Questions here.



May 2020

Inquiry into Responses to Historical Forced Adoptions in Victoria

The AASW Victorian Branch made a submission to this inquiry on 1 May 2020.

View the AASW's Submission to the Inquiry into Responses to Historical Forced Adoptions in Victoria here.

View the Terms of Reference here.



March 2020

Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria

The AASW Victorian Branch made a submission to this enquiry on 16 March 2020.

View the AASW's Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria here.

View the Terms of Reference here.

Recent Events

Sunday 6 April 2020
Palm Sunday - Walk for Justice for Refugees
Melbourne
Due to the restrictions imposed to address Covid-19, this event was cancelled.



Thursday 5 March 2020
International Women's Day Rally and March
Melbourne



Sunday 2 February 2020
Midsumma Pride March
Melbourne

Contact the Victorian Branch

Ravi Bodanam
Victorian Branch Services Coordinator
(Monday to Friday)

T: 03 9320 1000
E: aaswvic@aasw.asn.au
Ravi.bodanam@aasw.asn.au

Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne

PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville Vic 3050

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AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers