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Community and Place News
APRIL 2020
WALGA
Issue 3

Kaya/Hello,

Community and Place News is produced by WALGA's Community Team, part of the broader WALGA Strategy, Policy and Planning Team. WALGA's Community Team covers a broad portfolio of issues including Native Title and Aboriginal communities, access and inclusion, multicultural communities, public health, mental health, environmental health, sport and recreation, culture and the arts, social infrastructure, youth and early years, community safety and tourism.

WALGA acknowledges the many traditional owners of the land on which we work throughout Western Australia. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

In this issue...

Funding opportunities, resources, upcoming events and contacts:

New WALGA Webpages: COVID-19 Information and Resources for Local Governments
The homepage of the WALGA website has been revised to provide Local Governments with easy, direct access to information relating to impacts upon their operations arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new pages link to State Government Emergency Declarations, information on WALGA's ongoing advocacy on behalf of the sector, and other information to support members.
 
In addition, there are Tools and Templates to assist Local Governments and a Sector Resource Hub to share resources and answer common questions.

Many Local Governments are responding with innovative methods of service delivery to ensure that local communities, especially vulnerable cohorts, are supported during this difficult time. WALGA has developed a specific webpage called Councils in the Community to share individual Council initiatives that are supporting local communities and providing services in new ways.  A more detailed list of community related initiatives is available here
View WALGA's new homepage here
State Emergency Welfare Plan Activated
The State Emergency Coordinator, Police Commissioner, Chris Dawson has activated the State Emergency Welfare Plan.
Under this plan, the Department of Communities takes the primary responsibility for coordinating the provision across the State of "welfare services" (as defined in the Emergency Management Act 2005). Welfare services for people affected by an emergency can include the provision of accommodation, food, clothing, and financial assistance, and may extend to other critical support services.

With the activation of the plan, the Director General of the Department of Communities, Michelle Andrews becomes the State Welfare Coordinator.
 
A State Welfare Emergency Committee is being established, which will be chaired by Michelle and oversee the delivery of these services across the State. In addition, a State Welfare Incident Control Centre is being established to sit alongside and support the State Health Incident Control Centre.

The Director General of the Department of Communities, Michelle Andrews, Acting Commissioner of Mental Health, Jenny McGrath and Chair of WACOSS, Deb Zanella addressed Local Governments on Wednesday, 8 April. To view a recording of the webinar, click here. An outline of the plan architecture and key provisions can be found here.
 
Local Governments are encouraged to consider their existing plans and committees in support of the State welfare efforts.
 
Under the Emergency Management Act 2005, Local Governments are required to establish and convene a Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC). This committee is established to support the Local Government fulfill their legislated responsibilities under the Act. The LEMC assists in the development of Local Emergency Management Arrangements, including a recovery plan. Many Local Governments have developed welfare plans as part of their arrangements.
 
WALGA will continue to liaise with the Department of Communities to understand what resources and support will be forthcoming with regards to the relevant considerations for ongoing support during COVID-19. 
For more information, email WALGA's Community Team
$159 Million COVID-19 Relief Fund
The State Government and Lotterywest have announced a $159 million COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide support to organisations that are helping people experiencing hardship.
An initial $59 million will be available for crisis and emergency relief support for eligible not for-profit and community organisations to assist with costs related to increased demand for food, clothing, shelter and other critical needs.
 
Funding will also support new equipment and resources to update processes that are required to adapt to rapidly changing needs.
 
This funding will also provide urgent financial relief for not-for-profit sports, arts and community organisations experiencing hardship as a result of cancelled events. It will compensate for cancellation costs, lost revenue and incurred or committed operational costs associated with the cancelled event.
 
Lotterywest will now allocate all profits previously assigned to the grants budget, anticipated to be about $100 million, directly into the newly created fund to assist the Western Australian community to recover.
To apply or for more information, visit the Lotterywest website.
COVID-19 Taskforces Coordinated by Department of Communities
The Department of Communities has established a Community Sector Partnership Team with a number of 'taskforces' working underneath to address COVID-19. 
The Community Sector Partnership Team aligns with the Communities Incident Management Team, the Mental Health Commission and the Premier’s Pandemic Unit.

The taskforces have been established to combine the efforts of community sector service partners and the State so that joint service delivery is targeted where it is needed the most. WALGA is represented on most of these taskforces where possible. 

The taskforces include:
  • Aboriginal People and ACCOs
  • Alcohol & Other Drug Services
  • Children in Care
  • FDV
  • Homelessness
  • Mental Health
  • People with Disability
  • Remote Communities
  • Seniors
  • Youth
.
For more information, email the Sector Support COVID-19 Team
ERConnect: Online Directory of Emergency Relief Services
ERConnect is a free online directory containing emergency relief service providers managed by the DropIN team at the Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS).
It contains real time search results of emergency relief services, with phone numbers, operating hours and directions on the services available.
 
Users can search for food relief, financial counsellors, and emergency accommodation, among other services, and get a list of services that can provide assistance in the location that is convenient.
For more information and to access services, visit ERConnect.
COVID-19 Emergency Volunteering 
Volunteering WA has launched a new emergency volunteering website calling on people to help deliver essential services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Local Governments and any other organisation are encouraged to register if they require volunteers in relation to this emergency. There are a number of ways Volunteering WA can assist including:
  • providing access to people who have registered their interest in volunteering
  • providing a tailored service to manage your volunteers
  • providing support and advice
  • providing access to training, resources and best practice in volunteer management, and
  • providing online software to assist in managing your volunteers.
Individuals who are interested in volunteering are encouraged to sign up here.
For more information, contact Volunteering WA.
Mental Health Support for COVID-19
The COVID-19 outbreak may generate a range of impacts on community and individual mental health and well-being.
This may include preoccupation with specific details related to COVID-19, in addition to increased anxiety, stress or worry within individual families and communities. The impact of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being may also extend to those who experience quarantine or self-isolation.
 
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has prepared a resource to support mental and psycho-social well-being during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Commonwealth government has provided an initial $74 million to support the mental health and well-being of all Australians. The government’s digital mental health portal, Head to Health, will provide information and guidance on how to maintain good mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic and in self-isolation. A new national communications campaign will also be delivered in conjunction with the National Mental Health Commission.

$10 million will be provided to create a dedicated Coronavirus well-being support line, delivered by Beyond Blue, to help people experiencing concern due to a Coronavirus diagnosis, or experiencing stress or anxiety due to employment changes, business closure, financial difficulties, family pressures or other challenges.

The Life in Mind Team at Everymind has worked with the suicide prevention and mental health sectors, and in collaboration with the National Mental Health Commission to provide a comprehensive list of resources to support those affected.
 
The Mental Health Commission (WA) is working closely with other government agencies including with peak organisations and the mental health, alcohol and drug community services sector to provide a consolidated and consistent approach across the sector. The Mental Health Commission has released general support information and further information is intended to be developed. The Think Mental Health campaign provides tools to support mental health and well-being. Strong Spirit Strong Mind includes information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples about Coronavirus and where to get help.

The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH), the peak body for community mental health in Western Australia, is committed to supporting its members, the community mental health sector, the State government, the people they work with, people with lived experience, and the broader community to stay safe, well and connected.
Community Mental Health and COVID-19 Grants
The Metropolitan Suicide Prevention Coordinator network is offering seed funding of between $500 and $2000 to develop accessible activities, training and appropriate messaging to promote engagement, resilience, mental health and well-being in metropolitan Perth.
All proposals must demonstrate compliance with current and relevant Federal and State COVID-19 guidelines.
 
All funded activities must occur between Wednesday, 1 April and Wednesday, 30 September. The application guidelines and application form are available here.
For more information, contact the Suicide Prevention Coordinator.
Translated COVID-19 Resources
A number of Department of Health publications are now available translated into various languages on the Department of Health website.
Fact sheets, guidelines and other publications cover a variety of topics including hygiene, self-isolation and quarantine, FAQs, social distancing and identifying symptoms.

Local Governments are encouraged to make these resources available to their multicultural community members.
The materials are available on the Department of Health website.
Family and Domestic Violence Support During COVID-19
Research has found that there is often a spike in violence against women during major crises and disasters – which have many similar features to the current situation with the devastating spread of COVID-19.
The Commonwealth Government has committed $150 million to respond to family and domestic violence during COVID-19 crisis.
  • $20 million to increase support for national helplines (including 1800RESPECT) and national campaigns.
  • States and Territories will submit requests for funding (Action Plan) for new projects for the remaining $130 million.
On a National level, Our Watch, will continue to advance gender equality and prevent violence against women during this crisis. The National counselling service 1800RESPECT will also continue, with counsellors available 24/7 on phone and web chat. 

The WA State Government has enacted legislative amendments to the Sentencing Act 1995, the Sentence Administration Act 2003, the Bail Act 1982 and the Restraining Orders Act 1997 to enable the justice system to better respond to the challenges facing victims of family violence during the COVID-19 crisis.  

WA's leading family violence services intend to stay open during this pandemic and victims should still reach out to them for assistance. This includes: 
.
COVID-19 Resources for Aboriginal People and Remote Communities
A number of resources have been developed:
Support for Aboriginal people is available from the following organisations: .
The WA Local Government Reconciliation Network Google Group
The WA Local Government Reconciliation Network Google Group brings together WA Local Government Officers working in reconciliation and Aboriginal projects, including experienced Aboriginal community development officers who can provide advice and guidance on Aboriginal engagement.
The main purpose of the Google Group is to share peer-to-peer advice and learnings, offer support and encouragement, explore opportunities for partnership and collaboration between Local Governments, and coordinate meetings and events.

Membership of the Google Group is open to all Local Government staff, employees of State, Commonwealth and not-for-profit departments, and organisations with shared interests upon receipt of approval from the secretariat of the WA Local Government Reconciliation Network.

Members email the group address and their message is directed to all members registered in the Google Group.

To join, visit Google Group and send a join request.
For more information, email WALGA Policy Officer Community, Susie Moir.
Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package
The Australian Government has announced a new Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package, aimed at supporting services to remain open to ensure quality early childhood education and care continues to be available to essential workers and disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families.
Under the plan, the Government will pay 50% of the sector’s fee revenue up to the existing hourly rate cap, based on a point in time before parents started withdrawing their children in large numbers, but only so long as services remain open and do not charge families for care. The funding will apply from Monday, 6 April based on the number of children who were in care during the fortnight leading into Monday, 2 March, whether or not they are attending services.

For more information click here. This information is also currently available in 63 translated languages.
For more information or to access the translated languages information, email the Department of Home Affairs WA Community Engagement Team
Linkwest and COVID-19: Support for Community Resource Centres
Linkwest is the peak body for Neighbourhood and Community Resource Centres across WA.
Since early March, Linkwest have been providing information to the network of 150 place-based community led organisations about the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Linkwest have been providing advice on HR/IR, grants, contingency planning, relevant policies and procedures, and essential information for community members such as emergency relief and financial counselling links and support. Linkwest have been collating examples of great initiatives by the Centres to meet the new needs of their local communities. The network keeps up-to-date with inspiration and ideas via the Linkwest Facebook Page and there is a closed teleweb for sharing ideas.

Linkwest provides at least twice weekly communications across the network and is offering weekly upskilling sessions via video conferencing to its members. Linkwest is also running weekly Corona Convos with guest speakers on how to adapt operationally and meet local need.
For more information, click here.
Playgroup WA and COVID-19
Playgroup WA has 420 member playgroups across WA ranging from large incorporated associations with over 100 families and small groups with less than six families.
Collectively they represent over 9000 families and 950 weekly sessions. These groups are present in all Local Governments apart from remote Aboriginal communities.

Local Governments are the biggest provider of playgroup venues with more than 60% of sessions. Playgroup membership includes insurance for contents, public liability and accidents. Playgroup WA will continue to provide insurance cover for all previously registered playgroups regardless of membership fess paid whilst the COVID-19 situation continues.

Local Government venue arrangements fall in to two broad categories. Approximately 100 playgroups have lease arrangements where they have a varying range of responsibilities for maintenance, cleaning and utilities. Some these have peppercorn rents and some pay an annual fee. Lease arrangements in urban areas are often connected with larger playgroups, however many small regional and remote playgroups also have lease arrangements. The remaining playgroups are booking sessions in multi use facilities and pay term or annual booking charges.

Local Governments are encouraged to contact Playground WA if they require assistance with mediating issues with playgroups. 
For more information, contact Playgroup WA Chief Executive Officer, David Zarb on 0435 024 779.
Landmarks to Shine Yellow as a Beacon of Hope
The City of Bunbury will light up yellow as a beacon of hope, positivity and connection for our community in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and is asking Local Governments around the State to do the same.
Landmarks across regional WA will light up yellow from Wednesday, 1 April to Thursday, 30 April. At present, participating Local Governments include City of Bunbury, Shire of Harvey, City of Busselton, Shire of Nannup, Shire of Dardanup and City of Kalgoorlie Boulder. 

The City of Bunbury is encouraging other Local Governments with lighting capabilities to take part.
For more information, contact Community Partnerships Officer Youth & Activation, Danika Wellington on 9792 7129.
Resilient Australia Awards
The Resilient Australia Awards highlight initiatives that build resilience and make communities safer, more connected and better prepared for disasters and emergencies.
Managed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, and proudly sponsored by the Australian Government in conjunction with the States and Territories, the awards are open to all Australians including individuals, not-for-profit organisations, small and large businesses, all levels of government, schools, education institutions, research bodies and emergency service agencies.

Local Governments are encouraged to apply.

Submissions close at 11:59pm AEST on Monday, 18 May
Further information including submission guidelines are available on the Australian Institute for Disaster Recovery website.
Changing Places Design Specifications 2020
Changing Places provide suitable facilities for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets.
A Changing Places facility allows people with high support needs to fully participate in the community.

The 'Changing Places Design Specifications 2020' replace 'The Information Guide and Technical Standard June 2017'.

The Changing Places Design Specifications 2020 include updated designs and new features based on feedback from the facilities currently in operation. Four new case studies presented in the Specifications illustrate how Changing Places can make a real difference to the lives of the people who need them, their families, friends and carers.
For more information, click here
Partner with Unique UWA Internship Program
95% of host organisations recommend the McCusker Centre for Citizenship’s award-winning internship program.
The Centre offers University of WA students 100-hour community service internships designed to foster caring, connected and socially-engaged citizens. Since the program began in 2016, more than 1000 students have been offered internships and have contributed 106,200 hours to the community.

In December 2019, the Centre signed a partnership agreement with WALGA and Local Government Professionals WA to offer students more internships in Local Government. Read about student intern and host supervisor experiences in the Local Government Internships Booklet
To discuss hosting an intern, please contact Internships Coordinator, Sam Andrews on 6488 7553.
Funding Opportunities
WA Grants Directory

Australian Government GrantConnect

Lotterywest COVID-19 Relief Fund

Australian Council for the Arts - Resilience Fund

Sports Recovery Grants
Resources
.
Upcoming Events and Training
Webinar: Meaningful Community Engagement in Economic Development
Wednesday, 15 April

Webinar: Workplace Health Starts at the Top: How to Capture Senior Management Support
Tuesday, 12 May

Webinar: Mild Cognitive Impairment and Falls Prevention in Older Adults
Tuesday, 23 June
Contact the WALGA Community Team
Contact the WALGA Community Team:
Policy Manager, Kirstie Davis, 9213 2044
Senior Policy Officer, Marissa MacDonald, 9213 2074
Policy Officer, Susie Moir, 9213 2058
Policy Officer, Bec Waddington, 9213 2055

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WALGA
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
Email: info@walga.asn.au
www.walga.asn.au
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