Latest News

January 9, 2018

Workforce Planning

Wednesday 14 February 2018 9.30am to 4pm, Illawarra Forum, 106B Industrial Road, Oak Flats Members $180, Non Members $280 Workforce challenges are a high priority for disability and aged care services. How do you get the right staff for the right job and retain them in the future? Move beyond band aid solutions for recruitment and retention with Workforce Planning. At the end of the training you will: • Identify the benefits of Workforce Planning for your organisation • Understand the process and resources needed for successful Workforce Planning • Learn how to integrate Workforce Planning into your organisations strategic and business planning • Develop skills to design and implement a Workforce Plan Click here for the full flyer.    

Learn More
January 9, 2018

Recruitment Strategies in the Aged and Disability sector

Increased competition for care workers in the aged and disability sector has led employers to look for creative strategies to hire the right person for the job. Traditional methods of recruitment are no longer returning the results needed. Here are some approaches for broadening your recruitment strategies to access a more comprehensive talent pool. University students – Both the aged and disability services are experiencing an aging workforce and are looking for a diverse workforce to match their client’s needs. Part time and casual employment suits many university student timetables. Students studying nursing, social work and psychology may have an interest in working in the industry prior to graduation but don’t limit yourself to those areas as many other students may have the skills and attributes you are looking for. Click here to access the UOW 2018 Employer Guide. For more comprehensive information, please click here. High School Students – […]

Learn More
January 8, 2018

Working with Interpreters

Working effectively with interpreters is essential in delivering culturally responsive services to people from non-English speaking backgrounds. The Illawarra Forum has developed a simple fact sheet to assist community service professionals to effectively use interpreters with their clients. The fact sheet includes tips about when and how to use an interpreter, as well as some of the interpreting services available in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region. Click here to view the Working with Interpreters Fact Sheet.

Learn More
December 12, 2017

Wellness and Reablement Self Audit

Illawarra Forum have developed a Wellness and Reablement (W&R) Self-Audit for CHSP services. This short questionnaire allows you to do a quick stocktake on where you are now in your W&R practice, and where you may want to look at changing your procedures. To do the questionnaire please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/W3V2MQ5 We will also be using the data from these surveys to plan for future training, professional development and organisational support for 2018.

Learn More
December 12, 2017

AGM 2017

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 7 December at Warrigal, Shell Cove. We welcomed a new Board Member, Alice Lans, and the special resolution regarding our name change passed unanimously (we will keep you informed of the changes in the new year). At the conclusion of the official business, attendees were fortunate to hear inspiring words from our Guest Speaker Karen Willis OAM, the Executive Officer, Rape & Domestic Violence Service Australia. The R&DVSA are doing remarkable work for their clients while showing incredible fortitude to stand against the impacts of privatisation and commodification of services. Copies of our Annual Report were also made available to attendees.
Learn More
December 11, 2017

Transport Disability Incentives and Subsidies Review Submission

The Illawarra Forum is pleased to have provided Transport for NSW with a submission regarding the recent Transport Disability Incentives and Subsidies Review 2017. Our submission reinforced our view that transport across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions remains a significant issue that is characterised by availability, affordability and geographical variety. Transport, specifically for people with a disability and for persons requiring wheelchair accessible travel, is often further restricted by physical access, reduced service availability, reliability and affordability. Whilst the Illawarra Forum supports recent amendments to Point-to-Point travel, and welcome increased choice and availability of differing modes of transport for people with disability, we urge Transport for NSW to provide continued leadership and commitment to safeguards, nationally accredited driver training and a transparent complaints process that ensures consumers of accessible travel are safe and protected. For further information on the submission, please contact Karen Kirk-Torresan at kkirktorresan@communityindustrygroup.org.au.  

Learn More
November 27, 2017

Annual General Meeting

The Illawarra Forum will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 7 December 2017, 9.30am at Warrigal Shell Cove, 50 Harbour Boulevard, Shell Cove. Our Guest Speaker is Karen Willis OAM. Karen is the Executive Officer, Rape and Domestic Violence Service Australia (R&DVSA), and has worked in the field of violence against women for over 30 years. She is a fearless advocate for women’s rights and particularly for those who have experienced sexual, domestic or family violence. Karen and her organisation strive to provide the highest standard of compassionate professional assistance to women affected by violence to aid their recovery. Recently, the R&DVSA withdrew their services for the 1800 Respect trauma counselling service after negotiations broke down with Medibank Health Solutions over the issue of handing over existing confidential client files. Light refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome to attend. To rsvp click here.

Learn More
November 27, 2017

Aboriginal My Aged Care Session

Claire Bishop of NSW Health together with Sheree Rankmore from the Illawarra Forum provided a Koori My Aged Care (MAC) information session at the Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation in Wollongong in November. The morning provided local elders with practical information with regard to how to best access MAC, the role that various agencies play in referring persons onto MAC, the assessment process, and what services are available once a MAC package is allocated. The elders were joined by service providers from across the region that provide culturally appropriate aged care services. The session further highlighted the confusion for consumers in accessing services and the lack of Home Care Packages available. Illawarra Forum will continue to lobby for the simplification of processes for consumers, and the increase of more packages for the region.

Learn More
November 27, 2017

Submission – Redesign of Dementia Consumer Supports

The Illawarra Forum recently sent a submission to the Federal Department of Health (DoH) on their discussion paper for the redesign of dementia consumer supports. Consultations with service providers, carers and people living with dementia were held across the region in order to form our response. The paper outlined how DoH was proposing to support people with dementia with a focus on improving dementia literacy within the community and medical professionals, improving service accessibility, and supports to encourage reablement and independence for people newly diagnosed. Illawarra Forum strongly argued that the allocated $12m per annum was insufficient, and that investment in people to provide face to face supports, not just phone lines, websites and social marketing campaigns, was imperative to make a real impact. In addition we argued that regional and rural areas and marginalised groups required significantly more support than metropolitan areas as supports and medical specialists are scarce; [...]
Learn More
October 31, 2017

Translation Interpreting Services

Translating Interpreting Services NDIS participants can now access fee-free interpreting through Translating Interpreting Services (TIS) National to implement funded supports in their NDIS plan. This includes all activities that are associated with the implementation of funded supports delivered by NDIS registered service providers. Individuals from non-English speaking backgrounds are just as likely to be living with a disability when compared to the mainstream population, yet are far less likely to engage with disability specific services. The NDIA is working to address the numerous access barriers to the NDIS for people from NESB; providing fee-free interpreting services is a significant change that will improve outcomes for individuals in our community. The Illawarra Forum’s Multicultural Policy and Project Officer, Mikaela Belling, is able to provide individualized support to your organisation to register with TIS National, receive training on interpreter use, or develop internal procedures to guide staff in the effective use of [...]
Learn More
October 31, 2017

Transport Disability Incentives and Subsidies Review

Transport Disability Incentives and Subsidies Review 2017 Transport for NSW Transport Disability Incentives and Subsidies Review 2017 is now open for public consultation. The purpose of the review is to make recommendations on the future operation of the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme and the incentives provided to Wheelchair Accessible Taxi operators and drivers to provide services to customers with a disability. The public consultation provides for written submissions to be received by Transport for NSW up until 30 November 2017. You can read more about the review and discussion paper here. The Illawarra Forum will be providing a submission, and is holding a consultation session with community and industry on Wednesday 15 November 2017. Please register your attendance by booking here. Alternatively, if you are unable to attend the session but would like to provide comments for consideration by the Illawarra Forum, please contact Karen Kirk-Torresan at kkirktorresan@communityindustrygroup.org.au.
Learn More
October 17, 2017

A WayAhead Found

A WayAhead Found Illawarra Shoalhaven Partners in Recovery (ISPIR) and the Illawarra Forum have officially released the findings of an Illawarra/Shoalhaven Service Mapping and Communication Project. The project aimed to find out how people with enduring mental health conditions find and access services in the local area and what the most reliable source of information is in order to direct consumers, clients and carers towards this. Illawarra Forum surveyed a range of consumers both in person and online to discover how they access information and the types of contact methods they look for when seeking out a new service. We also engaged with carers and professionals across the sector. As a result, ISPIR and Illawarra Forum will now be promoting the WayAhead Directory, a service directory specifically focussed on mental health services, that can be used by community service organisations and the general public when trying to find support for [...]
Learn More
October 17, 2017

Highlights on Mental Health

Highlights on Mental Health Illawarra Forum were pleased to support the Highlights on Mental Health fundraising lunch held last Friday at Centro CBD as part of Mental Health Month. The audience were treated to a fantastic range of speakers including David Burroughs who challenged the audience to reframe their understanding of mental health, and the importance of everyone being proactive in the workplace to support each other. The most recent findings from the University of Wollongong were showcased including their work on repurposing other drugs. Angry Anderson also told his story, highlighting how early childhood trauma and experiences affected his mental health journey. Illawarra Forum was proud to provide a silent auction item of a Mental Health First Aid training session for the highest bidder to support understanding and action within the workplace which raised over $1000. All proceeds from the day went to Highlights for Mental Health. If you [...]
Learn More
October 17, 2017

NDS provides NDIS Special Briefing in Kiama

NDS provides NDIS Special Briefing in Kiama National Disability Services (NDS) delivered an engaging and insightful seminar on the current NDIS climate on Monday 9 October at the Sebel Harbourside in Kiama, hosted by Illawarra Forum. NDS provided local disability service providers and their board members with evidence based information regarding NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework, pricing and workforce development. The speakers provided useful and practical presentations surrounding the complexities and opportunities facing disability service providers as NDIS implementation continues across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions. For more information please contact Karen Kirk-Torresan, Policy & Project Officer Disability Services, Illawarra Forum on kkirktorresan@communityindustrygroup.org.au.
Learn More
October 3, 2017

Human Services Agreement Update and NSW Benchmarking Tool

Human Services Agreement Update and NSW Benchmarking Tool From 1 August 2017, all government agencies are required to use the new NSW Human Services Agreement, which is a standard contract, when procuring human services from NGOs and for-profit organisations. Agencies will also use the Agreement as existing contracts expire. This means that any organisation that has, or will tender for, a contract with any NSW agency will be subject to this contract. If you have not yet read the agreement, you may find it here. Illawarra Forum Members have raised numerous concerns with both the process, and the final document including the limited consultation process which did not provide feedback on original submissions, and which resulted in the delivery of a final document with limited opportunity for comment. The Illawarra Forum has pursued the matter directly with NCOSS – as co-chair of the Social Innovation Council and with the Dept [...]
Learn More
October 3, 2017

Recruitment Project Aged Care

The Community Services and Health Sector is the largest employer in the lllawarra and Shoalhaven. In the aged care sector alone there are 200-500 new workers needed every year in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. The Illawarra Forum is responding to members concerns about the challenges of recruiting and retaining new staff by running a pilot recruitment project. This project is in the scoping phase and we are looking for employers who are interested in tapping into new potential employees. Please contact Sarah Gadd on sgadd@communityindustrygroup.org.au or phone 42564333 by 11 October 2017 for more information.
Learn More
September 19, 2017

Have your say: NGO Benchmarking Tool Copy

Time is running out to participate in stage one of the NGO benchmarking model before it closes on 1 October 2017. It is important that as many NGOs as possible trial the tool and give feedback. You can register here to complete the online self-assessment. The NGO Benchmarking Model is a self-assessment tool that NGOs self-assess against ten capabilities to determine how customer-centric their organisation is in relation to other providers. According to the Department, participation in stage one means your organisation will: Benefit from the insights gained through the self-assessment process - they’ve heard from NGOs that they are using this information to guide their strategic plans and professional development programs. Access the resource library – it includes resources on customer-centric service delivery, governance, outcomes measurement etc. Be eligible to attend free training in October 2017 focussed on commissioning for outcomes, outcomes measurement or design thinking. Provide feedback on how your organisation, and [...]
Learn More
September 19, 2017

Local Partnership Projects

Local Partnership Projects The Tenant Participation Resource Service is launching a new project to assist organisations supporting social housing tenants and applicants on the social housing waiting list. Local Partnership Projects provides resourcing and support to community groups and organisations for small initiatives that address the needs of this target group; supporting them to become engaged in their communities; and increasing their skills and resources to participate in community life. Projects could include community engagement events, skills training or providing volunteering opportunities. Applying for funding through the Local Partnerships Projects is a very simple 3 step process. Simply submit a project idea on our 2 page form then complete your project and then tell us how it went. Feel free to contact TPRS to discuss possible projects or for more information click here.
Learn More
September 18, 2017

Active Ageing Conference

Active Ageing Conference, Melbourne Our Policy and Project Officer – Regional Issues, Amadis Lacheta, recently attended the Active Ageing Conference in Melbourne, which had a strong focus on Wellness & Reablement (W&R). The conference provided inspiration and best practice case studies to better support the uptake of W&R with service providers across Australia. Throughout the day various presentations were conducted on the importance of open communication to tease out a client’s aspirations and strengths, how better questions can both inform the goals and care plans for elderly people to facilitate their best quality of life, and also improve the culture of service providers to adopt a more enabling approach. Other presenters focused on person-centred measurement tools that complement the NASF (National Assessment & Screening Form), a comparison of how well W&R have been integrated into policy and practice in New Zealand, Denmark, the UK and Australia, the importance of resistance training [...]
Learn More
September 6, 2017

Industry Breakfast – Energy & Water Affordability

Thank you to everyone who attended our Industry Breakfast on Tuesday 5th September at The Woolshed, Yallah. Participants enjoyed hearing from Helen Ford, General Manager of Governance, Awareness & Policy, Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW speak about the critical issue of energy and water affordability.
Learn More
August 29, 2017

Governance training with Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group

Sarah Wilson and Sarah Gadd spent a great morning last week with the Board of the Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group, helping them to refresh their knowledge of governance, and look at future improvements. It was a real pleasure to work with such a knowledgeable, committed and passionate group. If you would like Illawarra Forum to run a session for your Board on Governance, Risk Management or Finances please get in touch.

Learn More
July 26, 2017

Targeted Earlier Intervention Consultative Committee

Thank you to all of the services and the board members who attended our Targeted Earlier Intervention Program (TEIP) information events in the Illawarra and the Shoalhaven. It was great to hear from you, answer your questions and assist in addressing any concerns and information gaps. The Targeted Earlier Intervention Consultative Committee (TEICC) are continuing to work on the District Planning Framework that includes the planning principles, people, places and outcomes. The next step is to consult with services regarding the draft framework and embark on local planning with services funded under the TEIP.  This is an exciting time in the process when services get plan collaboratively on how to achieve the kind of communities wanted in the future. These place based planning sessions are due to commence in August.  FaCs will be informing services of dates and locations over the coming weeks.

Learn More
July 26, 2017

NAIDOC Awards

Several Illawarra Forum staff members attended the annual Illawarra NAIDOC Awards held on Saturday 22 July 2017. This inspiring event is an opportunity for communities, businesses and organisations to celebrate the contribution and achievements of Aboriginal communities in Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven Local Government Areas. Congratulations to all the Award winners: Young Achiever (Female)- Berrima Blakeney Young Achiever (Male)- Mark Hudson Worker of the Year- Kirili Saunders Volunteer of the Year- John Keith Williams Elder of the Year (Female)- Aunty Bev Armer Elder of the Year (Male) Uncle Ivan Ardler Organisation of the Year- Cullunghutti Child and Family Centre Outstanding Contribution to Reconciliation- Djirang Dance Ensemble We would also like to congratulate all nominees, including Joni Braham, a previous Illawarra Forum employee, who was nominated for the Outstanding Contribution to Reconciliation Award.

Learn More
Skip to content