Category: GPVstatements

GPV/KCV calls for support for the petition to have the HECS system fixed

Independent Member for Kooyong, Dr Monique Ryan has sponsored a petition for all citizens to sign in support of all our young people.

Some facts from last year:
Over a million Australians saw their HECS debt grow faster than it was being repaid
The government received more money from HECS debts than it did from its main fossil fuel tax.

The petition calls on Minister Clare to change the way HECS debts are indexed – as was recommended by the Australian Universities Accord, released last month.SIGN THE PETITION VIA THE LINK OR QR CODE BELOW
https://www.change.org/p/make-our-hecs-debts-easier-to-pay-off

Fundraisers are for extras, not essentials! Fully funded public schools NOW

Public schools in Victoria are massively under-resourced.
Parents, it’s time to take action!

  1. Sign up to the For Every Child campaign at foreverychild.au
  2. Follow/like Parents Victoria and For Every Child on Facebook and Threads, and share our posts with your networks
  3. Contact Federal & State Education Ministers and your local MP (more details on our website)
  4. Call talkback radio (we’ll help you with some talking points)
  5. Get your school and Parent Club involved. Encourage friends, family and colleagues to get active too.

Government funding for public schools – The facts
The Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) is an estimate of how much public funding a school needs to meet its students’ educational needs.
Public schools only receive 86% of the SRS, while private schools receive 103% of the SRS.
Private schools were over-funded by $147 million in 2023 and the cumulative over-funding from 2022 to 2029 is estimated at about $734 million.
Government funding increases have heavily favoured private schools over public schools since 2009.
Public schools are massively under-funded despite enrolling over 80% of disadvantaged students
84% of Indigenous students in Victoria attend public schools. Money matters in education, especially for disadvantaged students.

Properly resourcing public schools is the best way to ensure that:
Children, no matter their background or circumstances, can have their needs met.
Teaching professionals have the resources and tools needed to deliver a high quality education.
This assists to attract and retain teacher workforce.
Schools don’t have to rely on parent volunteers to fundraise.
Schools don’t have to use parent payments to fill the funding gaps.

www.parentsvictoria.au

Millions of Australians set to get boost in welfare payments from Centrelink

Those on the age pension, disability support pension and carer payment will pocket an extra $19.60 for singles and $29.40 for couples combined each fortnight, come 20 March.

The maximum rate of the pension will go up to $1,116.30 for singles and $1,682.80 for couples each fortnight, when including the pension and energy supplements.

People on rent assistance, JobSeeker, single parenting payments and ABSTUDY will also receive an uptick in their payments.

An extra 77,000 parents are on a higher payment rate after eligibility was expanded to cover parents with a youngest child under 14 instead of eight in the last budget.

The single parenting payment will go up by $17.50 a fortnight.
Single JobSeeker recipients with no kids, and people over 22 on ABSTUDY, will get an extra $13.50 per fortnight.

Each member of a couple will get an additional $12.30 per fortnight.

Income and assets limits for the payments will also be increased in line with indexation on 20 March.

Indexation is an important measure to ensure welfare recipients have more money in their pockets, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said.
“Our number one priority is addressing inflation and cost of living pressures,” she said.

“Pension recipients are some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, many having worked all their lives contributing to our society or caring for a loved one.”

The complete list of payments increasing on 20 March 2024, including income and asset limits, can be found on the  Department of Social Services website

KCV Podcast 29 – Issues with Education for Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care

In this podcast we speak with Victoria’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Liana Buchanan, about the Commission’s ‘Let Us Learn’ inquiry report, tabled in the Victorian parliament in November 2023.

The report shows that the education engagement and outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care trail significantly behind those of their peers.

Liana explains why the Commission conducted the report and outlines its reaction to the findings. She also discusses some of the Commission’s most pressing recommendations resulting from the inquiry.

Let Us Learn report by Vic CCYP on education of children in OOHC

Let Us Learn report

A systematic enquiry into the educational experience of children and young people in out of home care conducted by the Vic. Commissioner for Children and Young People

The latest, and arguably one of the most important, reports released by the Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People was tabled in parliament this morning 16/11/23. It addresses the education of children and young people in care.

The investigation exposes some shameful data and shares some disturbing stories offered by children and young people. Listen to the children’s accounts of their experiences and then, as a Victorian citizen, worry!  Worry about the way we are inequitably educating Victoria’s most precious resource – all of it’s children and young people.

Some recommendations are both critical and urgent: such as:

Recommendation 7: Increase carer payments

That the Victorian Government increase the care allowance payments for kinship and foster carers.

Recommendation 8: Ensure equitable financial support for kinship and foster carers

That DFFH strengthen the care allowance assessment and payment process to ensure assessments are conducted thoroughly and in a timely way, and that equitable financial support is provided to kinship and foster carers.

Recommendation 9: Remove voluntary contributions and other education expenses for carers

That DE ensure that carers of students in out-of-home care are not requested to pay voluntary financial contributions and education-related expenses, including camps and excursions.

Recommendation 10: Provide carers with information and assistance to access flexible education-related funding

That DFFH:

  • ensure all carers and the children and young people in their care, particularly those in kinship care and in residential care settings, are provided with information about flexible funding available to cover education and extra-curricular activities
  • further streamline the process for seeking this funding.

Recommendation 11: Provide all students in out-of-home care with a free Victorian Student Travel Pass

That the Victorian Government provide all student aged children and young people in out-of-home care with a Victorian Student Travel Pass free of charge.

Summary of Yoorrook Justice Commission Report into Victoria’s Child Protection and Criminal Justice Systems

The second report of the Yoorrook Justice Commission focuses on the past and ongoing systemic injustice experienced by First Nations communities within Victoria’s child protection and criminal justice systems.

Structure of the report

The report is divided into seven parts:

Part A includes the Letter of Transmission, Chairperson’s foreword, and a brief introduction to the report’s methodology and terminology.

Part B includes an Executive Summary, list of recommendations and key facts.

Part C examines the historical foundations of the child protection and criminal justice systems. It explains how current injustices, including systemic racism and human and cultural rights violations created by these systems, are not just historical, but continue to persist today with critical impacts on First Peoples families and communities.

It then goes on to discuss matters for Treaty in relation to child protection and criminal justice. In particular, Yoorrook finds that the transformation necessary to end the harms that the child protection and criminal justice systems continue to inflict on First Peoples can only be addressed through self-determination involving the transfer of power, authority and resources to First Peoples via the treaty process.

Part C concludes by examining consistent themes in evidence to Yoorrook that span both the child protection and criminal justice systems, including accountability and transparency, cultural competence and responsivity, and compliance with cultural and human rights obligations. Whole of government recommendations to address these issues are made.

Part D examines critical issues in the child protection system. It begins with a short overview of some of the key policies, laws and human and cultural rights that are engaged by this system. It then examines the pathway into, through and beyond child protection with chapters on early help, child removal, out-of-home care, permanency and reunification. Findings on critical issues and recommendations for urgent action are made in each chapter.

Part E adopts a similar approach to the criminal justice system. Following a brief overview, each of the major parts of that system are considered: Victoria Police; the bail system; youth justice; courts, sentencing and classification of offences; and Victorian Prisons. Key systemic injustices are identified, findings made, and recommendations for urgent action put forward.

Part F considers other issues that have arisen during this stage of Yoorrook’s work, including legislative barriers to Yoorrook properly fulfilling its truth-telling mandate. Yoorrook outlines legal problems which mean that Yoorrook cannot guarantee that confidential information shared by First Peoples and others will be kept confidential once Yoorrook finishes its work. It also discusses barriers to members of the Stolen Generation and others who have been or are currently subject to child protection orders telling their truth. Recommendations to resolve these issues are made.

Part G contains appendices to the report, including a list of witnesses and a glossary. Further information relating to the child protection and criminal justice systems is also provided.

Click here to view/download the full summary of the Yoorrook report here.

Raising the age of criminal responsibility to 12 – A statement from GPV/KCV

Thursday, 27 April 2023

GPV/KCV welcomes the decision made by the Victorian Cabinet on Monday to lift the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12. As GPV/KCV has campaigned for this issue for some time, we are disappointed with the mystifying decision to wait another few years before lifting the age limit to 14.

However, equally mystifying and disappointing are the views being expressed suggesting that lifting the age of criminal responsibility will mean children are not held accountable. These views come from a narrow band of thinking about the most effective ways to hold children responsible for their actions. As a society we need to do so without creating a lifelong tag for children as criminals that may prevent them from becoming the citizens in adulthood we all would want.

It can only be hoped that in the interim the courts continue to do what they can to make use of the doli incapax provisions in law which describe the inability of children under the minimum age of criminal responsibility to form criminal intent. If a child is aged over 10 years but under 14, there is a common law presumption of doli incapax.

Anne McLeish OAM, Director GPV/KCV

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