Edition 7 - 13 August 2007


Welcome to the seventh edition of the Family Relationship Services Program (FRSP) Sector e-News. 

We have some interesting topics for you to read this month, which include the:

You are also invited to attend two sector Conferences of interest:

For more upcoming Conferences to be held in 2007-2008, go to the Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse website. 

For new subscribers, FRSP Sector e-News is an ideal opportunity for you to reach around 360 FRSP service providers and industry stakeholders to share service delivery news or to raise any issues you think the sector should be aware of. 

To contribute to the next edition or to provide feedback about articles in this edition, please email FRSPe-News@facsia.gov.au.


Robyn Fleming
Branch Manager
Family Relationship Services Branch

Hot topics

Three Year Funding Terms For All Family Relationship Services Program (FRSP) Providers

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock and the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough have recently approved funding to be available for three year terms for all FRSP service providers. This means that all successful applicants in the recently advertised 2007-2008 FRSP selection process will be funded to provide services for three years from July 2008.

To ensure all FRSP providers have funding certainty, the Attorney-General and Minister have also approved the extension of funding for FRSP providers that were successful in the previous 2006-2007 selection round by an additional year so that they too will be able to provide their services over three years.

In addition, it has been agreed that FRSP providers funded prior to the New Family Law Reforms whose funding agreements currently expire on 30 June 2008, can be offered a further three year funding term, subject to performance being maintained. New funding agreements that reflect the current program requirements will be offered to these providers.

The Department will be in contact with providers in the near future to advise how these new arrangements will be implemented.

The selection process for the next 25 Family Relationship Centres and other new services

The Australian Government is establishing a range of services aimed at enhancing family relationships and assisting separated families.

The Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Attorney-General’s Department are seeking proposals from Applicants to establish and deliver:

  • 25 Family Relationship Centres (including Indigenous and rural outreach)
  • 22 Early Intervention Services including Men and Family Relationship Services, Family Relationship Counselling and Family Relationship Education and Skills Training Services
  • 14 Children’s Contact Services, and
  • 14 Post Separation Cooperative Parenting services.

More information about this competitive selection process including details of proposed locations and selection documentation is available online through Attorney-General's Department website and Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website.

Hard copies of the selection documentation are available by telephoning 1800 246 009.

Applicants must lodge their application by 2.00pm AEST on Tuesday 2 October 2007 at:

Tender Box
Family Relationship Services Program
Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Module B Reception Tuggeranong Office Park
Athllon Drive

The outcome of the selection process will be announced by early 2008. The new Family Relationship Centres will open on 1 July 2008, with the exception of Broome, which will open on 1 October 2008. Children's Contact Services and Early Intervention Services will open from July 2008.  The Post Separation Cooperative Parenting Services will open from October 2008.

More information about the new Post Separation Cooperative Parenting Services is available.

Family Relationships Online Improvement Project - a reminder to provide your feedback

Through July and August, the Family Pathways Branch of the Attorney-General's Department has been seeking the views of stakeholders and the public about possible improvements to Family Relationships Online.

If you would like to provide feedback, you can complete a short online survey and suggest possible improvements or comments.

To access the online survey go to the Family Relationships Online website. Please provide your feedback by 17 August.

The consultation is part of a commitment by the Department to continuous improvement and feedback received will help shape future enhancements.

Child Support Scheme Training Sessions - Survey to assess stakeholder needs

The Child Support Agency expects to run stakeholder training for the new Child Support Scheme at the end of the year and into early 2008.

Please take just a few minutes to give us your thoughts on how CSA can assist you with training and support to best understand the new Child Support Scheme which is being introduced on 1 July 2008.

Your feedback will help us to develop the training so it's important that we hear from you. This survey will only take a couple of minutes to completeand will help us to create training to suit your needs.

Please complete the survey by 31 August.


Second Biennial Family Relationship Services Program Conference

The Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the
Attorney-General’s Department jointly hosted a Conference and pre-conference network meetings at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on 1-2 August.

The theme was ‘Building an innovative and integrated service delivery system – Celebrate, integrate, innovate, inform’.

The Conference provided a platform for Family Relationship Service Program (FRSP) providers and industry stakeholders to celebrate successes since 2005, share innovations, exchange information and knowledge, and strengthen service delivery networks across the sector.

FRSP would like to thank all those who helped coordinate the Conference and facilitate the workshops to make it a success, in particular those from the sector who participated.  The Conference could not have been a success without the attendance of FRSP service providers and industry stakeholders.  A special thanks also goes to Julie McCrossin, the Compere and keynote speakers Dr Norman Swan, Dr Rhonda Galbally AO and Penny Ryan.

A report detailing the Conference activities and outcomes will soon be published to brief those people who could not attend the Conference.

For more information, please email FRSPe-News@facsia.gov.au.

New Board of Directors for Family Relationship Services Australia

Family Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) is pleased to announce the following people have been successfully elected to sit on FRSA’s new Board of Directors:

  • Dr Luke Rumbold, CEO, Upper Murray Family Care
  • Tony O’Hare, Managing Director, Community Services Australia
  • Tony Pietropiccolo, Director, Centrecare Inc
  • Jennie Hannan, Executive General Manager Services, Anglicare Western Australia
  • Jo Cavanagh, CEO, Family Life
  • Mary Mertin-Ryan, National Director, Relationships Australia
  • Susan Holmes, CEO, Relationships Australia Tasmania

FRSA presented the new Board Directors to members at the Inaugural General Meeting on 1-2 August at the Family Relationship Services Program Biennial Conference. 

During the Conference, FRSA was officially launched by Glenys Beauchamp, Deputy Secretary of FaCSIA.

Funding for new Family Violence Regional Activities Projects for Indigenous communities

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Mal Brough, recently announced projects that had been successful in securing funding to deliver family violence initiatives to Indigenous communities around Australia between 2007-2010. 

Some of these projects will be delivered over a three year period, providing longer-term opportunities for services to break the cycle of violence prevalent in some communities.

The Family Violence Regional Activities Programme will provide about $6 million per year in funding for 34 projects across Australia.  These projects have been identified by the community as best meeting their needs in addressing family violence.  The projects will provide culturally appropriate and accessible services to Indigenous men, women and children affected by family violence and will seek to increase personal safety and build safer communities.

A range of activities are funded under the Programme, including the provision of community education and awareness, skills acquisition in addressing family violence, counselling for men, women, children and families, mediation and conflict resolution, and programmes to assist victims and perpetrators.

A list of the projects and their locations with a brief description is provided below.  Should you require any further information on these projects, please contact your local FaCSIA representative.

Organisation Location Project Description
Darwin Aboriginal and Islander Women’s Shelter Inc Darwin Counselling and education to Indigenous women, men and children
Aboriginal Resource and Development Services Arnhem Land Community education and awareness through radio programs
Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Alice Springs Providing counselling and skills acquisition to Indigenous men
Yuendumu Community Government Council Yuendumu Community education and mediation
Kunbarllanjnja Community Government Council Gunbalanya and Oenpelli and the outstations Counselling and community education to men, women and children
Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Association Borroloola Counselling and community education for victims from the Safe House
Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation Tennant Creek Counselling and community education to men, women and children
NPY Women’s Council Aboriginal Corporation Alice Springs servicing the border communities in NT, WA and SA Counselling, case management and support for women and children who are victims of family violence
Wuchopperen Health Service Ltd Cairns and Atherton Tablelands Counselling, outreach and education to victims and perpetrators
Helem Yumba Rockhampton, Mount Morgan, Woorabinda Counselling and support to victims (women and children) and working with perpetrators
Gallang Place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation Brisbane Counselling and outreach to men, women and children.  Providing Alternatives to Aggression workshops to assist Indigenous men develop skills to address conflict positively
Lifeline Darling Downs Toowoomba Education and awareness and skills acquisition targeting Indigenous men
Kurbingui Youth Development Association Brisbane Community education and outreach to Indigenous families affected by family violence
Congress Community Development and Education Unit Ltd Townsville Provide narrative therapy/writing workshops to address family violence
Aboriginal Family Support Services Coober Pedy Counselling, community education and group family violence training
Kaparrin Community Inc Adelaide Counselling, workshops and training for perpetrators of family violence
Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation Mt Gambier Support and counselling for women who are victims of family violence
Aboriginal Resource Centre Inc Port Augusta Counselling, referral and support for victims of family violence
Gippsland Lakes Community Health Incorporated Lake Tyers, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance Counselling, support, forums and a camp for Indigenous men
Centre Against Sexual Assault – Loddon Campaspe region Kyneton, Bendigo, Maryborough, Echuca and Kyabram Counselling and support for Indigenous women and children who are victims of family violence
Mildura Aboriginal Corporation Mildura Workshops for women and their daughters who are victims of family violence
Anglicare Tasmania Cape Barren and Flinders Island Skills acquisition for Aboriginal men and youth focussing on perpetrators of violence
South-West Aboriginal Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation Bunbury Outreach, counselling, support and community education focusing on victims of family violence
Yorgum Aboriginal Corporation Perth Counselling and support to children who are victims of family violence
Southern Aboriginal Corporation Albany Counselling for victims and perpetrators, anger management and conflict resolution courses and outreach services
South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation South Coast region Family violence support and camps for Indigenous men
Warlga Ngurra Women and Children’s Refuge Raymond Terrace and Port Stephens Counselling, workshops and mediation for Indigenous men and women
Bunjum Aboriginal Co-operative Coffs Harbour Education, workshop and counselling for Indigenous men, women and children
Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre Northern Rivers region Group work for women and children who are victims of family violence
Barkuma Neighbourhood Centre Kurri-Kurri and Cessnock Workshops and community events, as well as counselling for victims
Albury Wodonga Women’s Refuge Albury Outreach to Indigenous women and children affected by family violence
Tumut and District Women’s Support and Housing Centre Tumut, Tumbarumba and Gundagai Counselling and education for men and women affected by family violence
Anglican Counselling Service – Coledale Tamworth Counselling and workshops for children and young women
Anglican Counselling Service - Moree Moree Counselling and workshops for children and young women

Sector Updates

What Works for Children Conference

An early childhood conference being delivered by Marymead Child and Family Centre and the Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth will commence at the Rydges Lakeside, Canberra on 29-30 August.

The theme is What Works for Children – Bridging the Gaps’.

There will be a focus on successful models of inter-sectoral integration and collaboration in early childhood service delivery systems, and participants will explore policy, practice and research aspects of early childhood services in an interactive way that focuses on solutions.

The Conference will take a broad, holistic and integrated approach to early childhood service delivery and provide a platform to showcase cutting edge collaborative initiatives operating both in Australia and internationally. There will also be an opportunity for interactive discussion about what works for children.

Conference topics will include:

  • Models of integrated early childhood services
  • Bridging the gap between education and care
  • Early intervention and prevention in the life of the young child
  • Addressing disadvantage.

This Conference aims to leave you better informed about the professional practical applications of collaborative practice and will give you new ideas about what works for children.

Registrations will be available from mid-April.  To register or for more information on sponsorship or presentation opportunities, please visit the What Works for Children Conference website, contact the event managers on 02 6280 8122 or send an email to conference@communicationlink.com.au.  

Second Victorian Immigration and Settlement Conference

The second Victorian Immigration & Settlement Conference, hosted by Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria and the Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre (formerly the Northern Migrant Resource Centre), will be held on Tuesday 21 August at the Park Hyatt, East Melbourne.

This year’s theme is ‘Integration – Modern Multiculturalism or Assimilation’

Participantswill examine the policy of “multiculturalism” being replaced by “integration” and what the implications are of this policy shift.

The speakers currently confirmed for the conference will provide interesting insights into this year’s theme and include:

  • International keynote speaker Sarah Wayland PhD  -   Author of Unsettled: Legal & Policy Barriers for Newcomers to Canada  addressing “The Canadian experience of Settlement”    
  • Australian keynote speaker George Megalogenis - Author & senior writer at The Australian addressing “Integration - Modern Multiculturalism or Modern Assimilation?”
  • Stephanie Lagos, CEO, Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, addressing “It’s the Economy, stupid! Why social integration can’t happen without economic integration”
  • Phong Nguyen, Chairperson, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV), addressing “Where to next on multiculturalism?”
  • The Major Parties answering - How does your Party define “Integration” – as “Modern Multiculturalism or Modern Assimilation”? And what will it mean for new and existing migrants?
  • Hon. Teresa Gambaro, MP, Assistant Minister for Immigration & Citizenship
  • Mr Tony Burke, MP, Shadow Minister for Immigration, Integration & Citizenship
  • A panel of diverse speakers addressing the theme.

The Conference will be of interest to government policy advisers, immigration lawyers, international NGOs, ethnic community leaders, peak ethnic community organisations, health and education providers and local Council and state government representatives interested in attracting or working with new migrants.

Registration forms and a full program will be available from the Spectrum Victoria website or the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria website soon. If you have any further queries, please contact Malyun Ahmed on (03) 9496 0200.  

To be on the email list for distribution of the registration form, please send your email address to info@spectrumvic.org.au.

Improved regional access to child support services

A new Child Support Agency (CSA) Regional Service Centre (RSC) in Mildura was officially opened on 26 July, by the Minister for Human Services, Senator Chris Ellison, who announced that four additional regional locations are set to benefit from better access to child support services.

The CSA roll-out of new RSCs in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia will bring the Australia-wide total number of RSC’s to 27.

Joining the new Mildura RSC later this year will be CSA service centres in Warrnambool, Orange, Tamworth and Kalgoorlie with all facilities to be co-located with local Centrelink or Medicare offices.

CSA recognises that some separated parents may find face-to-face service preferable to talking on the phone, especially if they are newly separated or have complex child support issues.

Staff can help answer questions about child support calculations or payments, provide information, one-on-one interviews, and offer referrals to other support services.

Customers can call 131 272 to find their nearest RSC and to make an appointment for advice and assistance on child support issues.

The location of current Regional Service Centres are as follows:

NSW - Ballina, Campbelltown, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Gosford, Penrith, Wagga Wagga
VIC - Bendigo, Frankston, Morwell
QLD - Bundaberg, Cairns, Mackay, Maroochydore, Palm Beach, Rockhampton, Toowoomba
SA/NT - Darwin, Mt Gambier, Port Augusta
WA - Bunbury
TAS - Mowbray

CSA also has service centres available in all capital cities.

Child Support Scheme Reforms Stakeholder eBulletin

The Child Support Scheme Reforms Stakeholder eBulletin is a great resource for information about the further reforms to be implemented from 1 July 2008. The bulletin highlights different aspects of the new child support scheme and will help keep you up-to-date with particular issues that separated parents are concerned with regarding child support and the reforms.

Latest editions of the stakeholder eBulletins.

If you would like to receive regular editions of the eBulletin you can add your details to the Child Support Agency's Community Services Directory and be kept up-to-date with the latest news about the child support scheme reforms.   

Third International Conference on Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

By the Canadian Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System

The Centre for Children and Families Third International Conference on Children Exposed to Domestic Violence was held from 9-11 May.

The Conference was a great success with close to 1,000 delegates from over 20 countries attending. 

The Conference provided the opportunity to release the Centre’s latest resource, Little Eyes, Little Ears: How Violence Against a Mother Shapes Children as they Grow (2007), by Alison Cunningham & Linda Baker.

The resource was developed by the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System with funding from the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence in Ottawa, a division of the Public Health Agency of Canada.  Topics include:

  • what children might feel, think and do during violent incidents against their mothers
  • roles they might adopt, strategies of coping and survival
  • 10 ways children can be changed by living with violence
  • potential effects of coercive control tactics on a mother
  • why spanking gives the wrong messages to children
  • how violence may be experienced by children from infancy to adolescence. 

This is a valuable and interesting resource featuring the latest research and statistics in this area. 

To download the resource or for instructions on how to order free copies, go to the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System website .

Interesting family websites

The internet is a very rich resource for learning and sharing.  Following are three sites you may find useful to enhance your family relationship industry knowledge.

FaCSIA recently provided funding to the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) to deliver the Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse.

The Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse website was established to increase access to current literature and information for FRSP practitioners and other professionals working in the area of family relationships.  It provides:

A south-west Queensland grazier established a new website to connect farm families battling drought and rural downturn.

Jeannie Baker from Wyandra launched Connect Country website. The site includes five interactive chat rooms, open forums and discussion areas.  Jeannie says after seven years in drought she was eager to find a way to assist other rural families enduring the same problems.

‘I kept hearing many, many stories about farm suicides and hardship and people taking their children out of school and I thought maybe I could help by connecting each other by the existing technology we have available to us.’

Originally established in 1992, the Rural Health Education Foundation provides independent, accredited education services to general practitioners and other health professionals working in rural and remote Australia.

The Foundation produces and broadcasts interactive distance education programs using digital satellite technology, the Internet and ’enduring‘ materials (videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs).  The Foundation operates a growing network of more than 630 receiving sites, called the Rural Health Satellite Network. 

A recently released DVD by the Foundation, ‘Drinking for Two?’  explores Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  This and many other resources can be ordered through the website at DVD & Video Orders.

  1. Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse
    • An electronic data base of the latest FRSP related research
    • 16 purpose written publications relevant to FRSP providers (over 2 years)
    • Resources and information such as conferences, training and events
    • Literature synthesis and reviews
    • Information exchange through moderated e-lists for closed or open stakeholder groups
    • Opportunities for Family Relationship Services to showcase innovative best practice in prevention, early intervention and post separation services.
  2. Connect Country website
  3. Rural Health Education Foundation


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We value your interest in this publication and seek your feedback about the articles published. Feedback notes will be kept confidential. 

We also seek contributions from the sector. Should you have a topic of interest you feel the sector or industry stakeholders would be interested in, please send to the FRSP mailbox below for consideration.  Those articles not selected will be saved and reconsidered for later editions. 

Article contributions/feedback for the next edition is welcome by 17 August. The next edition of FRSP Sector e-News will be released on 10 September.

To provide feedback and/or to send topics of interest, email FRSPe-News@facsia.gov.au and include the subject header Feedback to FRSP Sector e-News.

Contact us

This e-newsletter is produced by the Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) in collaboration with the Attorney-General’s Department.

To contact the editor, please email FRSPe-News@facsia.gov.au.

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