Before the election there was talk about National doing a Mission Australia Howard Government deal with a large NGO whereby they would be subcontracted to run (decide, manage etc) the contracts in the sector. This was very unpopular in Australia because it gave a lot of power to a large religion based NGO which was closely aligned to the Howard government.
The Community and voluntary sector here should still be wary about this possibility as it would be an attractive cost cutting option for the government. In those pre-election rumours the Salvation Army was mentioned as a possible organisation to lead a Mission Australia deal. Not casting any aspertions on the SA and its work, but interesting that it has one of the rare invitations to the summit.
I heard that. DPA, the Salvation Army and one other group got invitations. That is not the community and voluntary sector. Tina Reid represents lots of groups through the Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations (and a huge sector workforce paid and unpaid) and there are other umbrella organisations like ANGOA.
And much as I am pleased that DPA at least got an invitation - yah, disabled people exist - in other PA threads there has been comment that they are perhaps not the most collegial of organisations. I await feedback.
Changing the subject slightly - Wellington people can go to hear Grant Robertson on Thursday 26 Feb from 5.30 at the Southern Cross bar in Abel Smith Street at Drinking Liberally.
And Back Benches tonight (Wed) starts filming at the BackBenchers pub at 8pm for a job summit extra long special with Sue Bradford, Trevor Mallard, Charles Finney and Phil O'Reilly. I wonder if they will mention the community and voluntary sector, the Pacific community and any other groups which have been excluded from the jobs summit.
A few years ago when they were fashionable and there were city council staff to run them, we had a community 20 year vision planning thing for our suburb.
It was expected that the trend to working from home would accelerate, and fewer people would go into the city every day. It was noted that there were local shops, sometimes empty, that could be developed as co-operative type rooms for the purposes suggested above, or other community activities.
Other trends we anticipated were that there would be local businesses set up to service the home based enterprises such as gardening or cooking and maybe this could be done on a bartering basis. All local so transport costs wouldn't be major, and all built a sense of community.
All seemed a bit idealistic then, but there is already a bit of this happening with the transition towns movement.
Would it be possible to extend this conversation to organisations in the community and voluntary sector?
There are many NGOs like the one for which I'm a board member, which are experiencing rapidly decreasing income from philanthropic and charitable trusts (government and private sector), membership sourced fundraising, and are also expecting government service provision contracts to become scarcer (we don't get government grants just to exist).
These NGOs are mainly run by and for volunteers with a very small paid workforce - but are still small businesses. Each paid worker directly or indirectly supports a large voluntary workforce. The support needs of the membership are likely to grow as the economic crisis deepens and adds to their general stress. So we do not want to cut down on staff or close regional offices.
Survival suggestions welcomed.
Sorry - 'strikes' not 'strokes' I hope the bill isn't bringing back flogging of prisoners.
In other words, had a three strikes law been in force when those 78 people killed someone else, their victims would be alive today - or at least their deaths would have been from some other cause.
David ,this is the flaw in your argument. There are a whole lot of other reasons whereby the victims might have been alive today, other than the three strokes law.
For a start -
The perpetrators might have had better educational, employment, emotional and family circumstances so they never started on a life of crime.
Once they were in jail they could have had better interventions, educational and rehab opportunites, and more support once they were released.
They could have been through restorative justice programmes which help all parties heal.
The whole three strikes approach is so ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff when, if you want to be logical or evidence-based about it, there are a lot more untried or only partially tried approaches at the top of the cliff.
Listening to the lived experience of those who have been in prison regularly can be the best way to inform the rest of us. People don't generally make rational decisions to commit crime while considering all the possible consequences. More likely their lives are already likely to be chaotic and impulsive and tough, and probably have been since they were children.
Programmes like Incredible Years (run by MSD) are now starting to work with young children already displaying problematic behaviours and their families with some very good results. But we need more input at this level.
I've mentioned this before but the book 'Stuart: a life backwards', a biography of a young man who is a chronic criminal is fascinating and certainly challenges prejudices.
Joe - I'll think a bit more about this but two reactions.
First, take away the intellectual impairment aspect, and how would you prevent this happening to any vulnerable person? Ideas could include good life skills and budgeting education at school, supervised work placements while at school etc. Students with ID should be getting this at school too.
Secondly, to the ID. There are ways of supporting people in the community that probably haven't been utilised much here yet that don't rely on paid people or family members to be the only friends and carers. The Circle of Support idea that is being tried by some families, based on the Canadian Plan programme, creates a circle of friends and supporters around a person in a semi-formal process.
I have long proposed a model that creates a support circle of professionals and friends around a disabled person from diagnosis and eases the person (and parents) through all those transition points such as starting, changing or leaving school, and starting employment or independent living. Membership of the support group could change as the person's needs change, eg you might have a preschool educational support worker at the beginning and a person with employment support expertise when they are an adult.
Otherwise employment and life awareness is the sort of the thing that People First advocates with ID are well-aware of and teach other people in their training programmes. But these are only available in a few places at the moment.
It all comes back to the social model of disability. People have a variety of impairments - intellectual, sensory, mental health, ASD, physical - but it is society (attitudes, structures, laws, even pay rates etc) that disables. A movement can unite against the disabling society even though within that community there is a huge variety of people and experiences.
It is a similar process to how people unite against racism and sexism or homophobia - you don't have to agree on everything, but by working together on what commonality there is, creates change that benefits everyone.