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Raising the age of criminal responsibility, disaster recovery, and celebrating the work of the sector

24 November 2021 at 4:52 pm
All the latest news from the Councils of Social Service of Australia.

Contributor | 24 November 2021 at 4:52 pm


Raising the age of criminal responsibility, disaster recovery, and celebrating the work of the sector
24 November 2021 at 4:52 pm

All the latest news from the Councils of Social Service of Australia.


There are only weeks left to register for the final ACOSS Policy Webinar for the year, which will focus on the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The event will explore where the campaign is now, what’s coming up, and how the community sector can provide support. You will hear from Olga Havnen, Uluru Statement from the Heart Campaign Manager, and Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous UNSW. Click here to register.

ACOSS is recruiting a Diary Manager to join the team for a 6-month contract. If you’re passionate about working in the community sector, have a genuine commitment to social justice, and can bring energy to the team – then we want to hear from you. See information full role description and information on how to apply linked here.


NCOSS will be celebrating the hard work of our sector at this year’s AGM, which will take place at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and by live stream on Friday, 26 November 2021. MC for the event will be 7News journalist and Western Sydney girl, the fabulous Sarina Andaloro. The program includes a panel discussion with four local leaders who will reflect on getting through Sydney’s harshest lockdowns and how they rose to the challenge of keeping their communities safe and connected. Click here for more information.


VCOSS is approaching the final instalment in its Disaster Recovery Conversations. The tenth and final conversation will take place, via Zoom, on Thursday 25 November at 4pm. Join VCOSS for a discussion focussing on disaster recovery over the longer term. Expertise and experiences will be shared, as well as the opportunity for audience Q&A. Click here to register.


TasCOSS, the Youth Network of Tasmania (YNOT) and Community Legal Centres Tasmania (CLC Tas) are deeply disappointed and concerned by the decision of the Meeting of Attorneys-General to develop a plan to raise the age of criminal responsibility to only 12 years old. TasCOSS CEO, Adrienne Picone said the government should heed the advice of the countless community organisations and leaders, including the Children’s Commissioners in every state and territory, who have highlighted the urgent need to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14. “A vague commitment to raise the age to 12 years is not good enough for our young people, their families and communities,” Ms Picone said.


QCOSS says the decision of the Meeting of Attorneys General (MAG) regarding the minimum age of criminal responsibility is meaningless. “This ‘announcement’ is just political smoke and mirrors. If there is real political commitment to getting young children out of the criminal justice system, the Queensland Government should be taking decisive action not announcing a proposal,” said QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh. A decision to make a plan means nothing, especially for young children who are currently spending days in watch houses.  


The Northern Territory Government must act to keep children out of detention by immediately raising the age of criminal responsibility. “Today marks four years since the final report of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT was tabled in Parliament, and still children as young as 10 are locked up,” said CEO of NTCOSS, Deborah Di Natale.


ACTCOSS commended the ACT Attorney General and ACT Government for its long-standing commitment to raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14 years – the only state or territory in Australia to do so. This follows outrage from community, legal, health and First Nations groups about the decision of Friday’s Meeting of Attorneys General (MAG) to merely “support developing a proposal to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 including with regard to any carve-outs, timeline and discussion of implementation supports.” Dr Emma Campbell, ACTCOSS CEO, said: “We are bitterly disappointed that the other states and territories are not following the ACT’s lead on this matter.”


SACOSS’ Liveable Futures conference provided an important and thought-provoking examination of critical equity considerations thrown up by our accelerating move to renewables. “Decarbonising our economy in response to a changing climate is inevitable and necessary. But it’s also important for us to examine the equity implications of the energy transition,” stressed SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley. Click here to read more.


With WACOSS staff 100 per cent vaccinated, they are in the fortunate position of being able to craft a mandatory vaccination policy in consultation with staff safe in the knowledge that there will be no impacts on employment. WACOSS understands that many organisations are not in this position, which is why developing a mandatory vaccination policy with signoff from your Board is so important for the future safety of your organisation’s workplace. WACOSS is hopeful that they will have a policy to share with the sector shortly. Keep across WACOSS website for updates.


This article was contributed by ACOSS Community Hub.


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