Benefolk presents at Senate Inquiry

We made a submission to the Inquiry but this was a chance for our CEO, Julia Keady, and Resources and Advocacy Manager, Annette Herschtal to share more of our research and knowledge about the current and ongoing strain on not-for-profits, charities and social enterprises.

We took the opportunity to highlight how vital it is to invest in our sector’s capability and capacity to ensure we can support the impacts of disasters. We had four key messages

  • How changes to funding models (such as moving from funding ‘projects’ to applying core funding for sector / capacity building) and prioritising a wellbeing governance lens would better enable the social sector to respond during times of natural disaster.
  • The social sector workforce is stretched – as one sector organisation’s leader put it “we are traumatised people looking after traumatised people." In fact, with only 10% of charities receiving 90% of the funding, it’s not surprising that ACOSS Australian Council of Social Service found that only 3% of charities are keeping up with service delivery demands.
  • The social sector workforce is under-trained and under-skilled – our leaders do not have budget, nor do they have the time to invest in training, with one leader saying to us: “Do I prioritise my staff’s training in trauma or the woman who just arrived sleeping in her car with three children?”. In fact, 70% of organisations have noted that they couldn’t book a training or couldn’t afford it – and rarely is there outreach into rural and regional Australia.
  • The social sector workforce must become a national priority – we have an opportunity through our Foundation’s work to build The Social Sector Wellbeing and Resilience Hub, to work with governments and take the lead on making this a reality. The Hub is free and accessible to all organisations – the only hub of its kind in Australia dedicated to the social sector. And while the hub is an online resource, we have and will continue to deploy training in rural and regional communities.

We appreciated the opportunity to present and the insightful questions from the Senators. We are so excited by the opportunity our Hub will create for sector leaders, so they don’t have to choose between their own health – or that of their staff – and their ability to positively impact their beneficiaries.

Thank you to Senators Jacqui Lambie, Tony Sheldon, Perin Davey and David Shoebridge for travelling to the Northern Rivers and hearing directly from the community.

For more information on our social sector advocacy work, reach out to our Resources and Advocacy Manager Annette Herschtal here.

Tuesday, 04 July 2023 20:00

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