The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-06-11T23:16:35Z LOCAL FUNDRAISING TO RETURN AS PART OF RSL NSW REFORMS Ban lifted after two years as draft Constitution released 2019-06-11T23:16:35Z local-fundraising-to-return-as-part-of-rsl-nsw-reforms-ban-lifted-after-two-years-as-draft-constitution-released Wednesday 12 June 2019: All 350 RSL NSW sub-Branches will be able to apply to obtain the necessary authority to hold sausage sizzles, cake stalls, meat raffles, trivia nights and auctions to raise funds for veterans their families in need following a decision by RSL NSW to lift a two-year ban on the practice. RSL NSW President James Brown said fundraising by sub-Branches was suspended in August 2017 amid concerns compliance failures could expose potentially hundreds of volunteers to penalties under the law. “When it became clear during the Bergin Inquiry that we had an issue with fundraising compliance, there was very little data available to the new RSL leadership that showed the extent or nature of fundraising at a local level - it took nearly a year to collect that information from our sub-Branches,” Mr Brown said. “The restriction on fundraising was necessary to protect our hardworking local volunteers from unintentionally breaching the law and risking hefty fines or, in the worst case, a criminal penalty. “We proposed governance changes in 2018 which would have reduced these risks, but they were not acceptable to members. Now we have alerted our members to possible compliance issues and are providing them with guidance to better manage their fundraising at the local level. “Sub-branches can now apply to the NSW Department of Fair Trading to get back to the normal business of raising funds for veterans and their families. That will be welcome news to thousands of volunteers across the state.” RSL NSW has developed information to help sub-Branches navigate their way through fundraising and undertaken discussions with regulators to smooth the way. Lifting the ban is part of sweeping reforms RSL NSW is undertaking to help restore community trust in the iconic veterans’ charity, including a new draft Constitution which was released today to District Councils for consultation. “In the past two years, we’ve taken enormous steps to fix RSL NSW, which today is an entirely different organisation with professional staff, better governance processes and strong finance systems,” Mr Brown said. “Today, we are focused on our mission of helping veterans and their families in need.” Other reforms include appointing two independent directors to the Board, reinstituting a Member Tribunal to hear disciplinary matters and rolling out new procedures to sub-Branches on managing property and assets, holding ceremonies, governance and administration. “With all of these reforms, the Board wishes to draw a line under the organisation’s troubled past and create a stronger RSL NSW which is fit for today and the future,” Mr Brown said. Contact: Nic Frankham 0435 963 913 or nic@frankhamconsulting.com David Wolf 0411 111 787 david@closer.com.au Respecting, supporting and remembering our veterans and their families rslnsw.org.au AASW supports International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) 2019-05-17T00:07:39Z aasw-supports-international-day-against-homophobia-biphobia-intersexism-and-transphobia-idahobit On 17 May, the Australian Association of Social Workers recognises the importance of this date and issues raised by IDAHOBIT, as we continue to take a stand against discrimination of the LGBTIQ community. It marks the day the World Health Organization made the decision in 1990 to remove homosexuality as a mental disorder. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “Today is the day before a Federal election. We call on the next government to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ across the nation. “As social workers, we have noticed that the use of these discredited therapies has actually been on the rise in Australia. It is a situation we have been monitoring. As a profession, it can sometimes be our job to help un-do the damage that these so-called ‘therapies’ can cause to families and individuals.” Ms Craik said much action is still needed to counter discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Australia. “We are saddened and disappointed that homophobic, biphobic, intersexist and transphobic views continue to be broadcast, and that they are given air time in our media and community,” she said. “We only have to look at highly influential but misinformed media commentary which led to the ultimate disbandment of the Safe Schools program nationally. We want to see the Safe Schools program reinstated in its full scope and we urge the next government to do so. These programs save lives.” Ms Craik urged Australia to promote human rights and counter homophobia, biphobia, intersexism and transphobia internationally. “There is much influence that Australia has abroad, particularly in our part of the world. It would be great to see our political leaders taking a diplomatic stance on Brunei, which recently introduced and then retracted the death penalty for homosexuality. It is still illegal though. It is good to see the recent boycotts have gone some way to working. Brunei is a fellow Commonwealth country and one in our region. Now is the time for political leaders to flex diplomatic muscle and use it to promote human rights.” Christine Craik is available for interview. Synology Host Solutions Exhibition alongside Computex, 2019 2019-05-08T22:30:00Z synology-host-solutions-exhibition-alongside-computex-2019 Data lies at the core of every industry transformation. Synology provides a wide array of solutions to ensure business continuity. Join us to explore the data life cycle and discover infinite possibilities of file access, storage, and backup. Synology will be hosting its own Solution Exhibition alongside Computex 2019 and you're invited! Join Synology at their new HQ in Taiwan! Date: 29th May 2019 - 31st May 2019 Time: 10am - 6pm Venue: Synology HQ - TPKA in Taipei Far Eastern Telecom Park (1F, No.1, Yuandong Rd., Banqiao Dist., New Taipei City 220) 8-minute walk from the Far Eastern Hospital MRT station (Exit 3) For more information: https://event.synology.com/en-global/solutionexhibition_2019 If of interest and for RSVP, please contact: Shazana Roseli at shazana.roseli@taurusmarketing.com.au, John Wanna at john.wanna@taurusmarketing.com.au or Stacey Toskas at stacey.toskas@taurusmarketing.com.au +61 029415 4528 ‘School pressure, family life, digital identity, increased expectations’: the reason Girl Guides exists today 2019-04-30T22:43:54Z school-pressure-family-life-digital-identity-increased-expectations-the-reason-girl-guides-exists-today Girl Guides NSW & ACT will focus on the role Guiding plays in supporting young girls navigate school pressures, family life, digital identity and raised expectations with the launch of a new campaign called A Place To Grow to coincide with May - Girl Guides Month. This vital piece of communication to young girls, their families and thousands of active and potential volunteers, will highlight the diverse experiences on offer and its relevance for the young girls of today. Sarah Neill, State Commissioner said that Girl Guides provides a place for young people to feel secure. “We come together over a variety of activities, build confidence and resilience which makes our young people better able to cope with their lives. “We encourage our girls to build life skills, and have the freedom to be adventurous, learn strong communication skills, laugh, and make life-long friendships,” said Commissioner Neill. Ella Ezergailis, aged 12, was inspired to join Girl Guides after hearing her mother’s stories of Guiding and wanted her share of adventure and fun. In 2018, Ella became the youngest Girl Guide to take part in ‘Girl Takeover Parliament’ event, in which she watched Question Time in the Chamber of the House of Representatives. Disgusted by the behaviour, Ella wrote a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison telling him so. “I decided to write to the Prime Minister and ask him to change the culture in Parliament House. I told him he should visit my school to learn how to behave respectfully. “My letter was shared around the world on social media and was reported by news outlets. “Girl Guides has given me the confidence to do such a thing, however the result made me feel that a 12-year-old girl’s voice was important, and girls do have the power to change the world,” said Ella. Now in its 99th year, Girl Guides in NSW & ACT has 7,400 members across 540 Units. Comissioner Neill said recent research revealed that 90% of girls joined the organisation before the age of 11 and stayed because it provided the perfect antidote to the complex and pressured lives of young people. “Our research showed that young girls join for the things they need most at this stage of their lives: fun, meeting friends outside of school and developing new skills. “Parents said they wanted their daughters to join to help them build their confidence, meet new friends and have a community orientation to their life. “Our programs offer a connection to experiences and community that schools and busy families can’t. “We have large scale events and the traditional jamboree, but mostly girls choose their own activities to complete, from creative pursuits to sailing, coding to cooking, orientation to fundraising,” said Commissioner Neill. A Place To Grow will use the 540 Units of Girl Guides NSW & ACT, to promote the stories of resilience, confidence building and friendship it encourages, through social media, local press, local events such as school fetes and Girl Guides own Come and Try nights. Helen White, CEO said, the grass-roots approach is what Girl Guides excel at. “Over 1,000,000 Australians are or have been a Girl Guide. We work at the local level, in communities and across regions supporting and empowering the women of tomorrow. “There is a resurgence of interest in Girl Guides, as young people and their families look at ways to combat the pressures of busy and digital lives. We’re all about supporting someone to find their own path, to build resilience, and life skills to take them wherever they wish,” said Ms White. However, is Girl Guides still relevant for the girls of today? Ella says that it is. “Girl Guides is even more relevant to young people growing up with a digital life. “Girl Guides teaches you how to interact socially, be a responsible citizen, how to deal with emergency situations and gives you the courage to accept challenges. “I even went on camp for a week without my phone, and I survived.” More information: www.aplacetogrow.org.au New Media App Launches To Kill Off The Press Release 2019-04-30T04:15:39Z new-media-app-launches-to-kill-off-the-press-release A new technology platform has launches tomorrow made just for you. This tech platform called Story Match® will change the way that you receive your story pitches. No more emails, no more press releases and no more hassling PRs (I promise not to be one of those…) First, watch this! In 1.5 minutes it will explain it all to you… Story Match® is a two sided market place App and Desktop platform that allows brands to pitch story ideas to journalists, at the same time allowing journalists to select only what topics of stories they want to receive. Journalists, like you, set up their profile using 6 simple steps. You can select from up to 50 industry tags (food, finance, lifestyle, tech, etc etc) and can localise by State and Territories. If there’s a match on industry tags then you see the pitch. Using swiping technology you can scroll through stories, swipe left if you don’t like the story or right if you do. If you swipe right, it will open an immediate and private chat between you and the person who posted the pitch. The best bit…. The pitches have limitations – so brands can only upload selected images, a headline and up to 500 characters to bring their pitch to life. They then select which industry tag their story is relevant to, and localise it. So now you don’t need to read any more press releases or receive any more pitches that you’re not interested in. Story Match® was developed to improve efficiencies in the media industry, and allow all brands, no matter how big or small the opportunity to get their brand noticed. The tech platform has been developed by Founder and Director of Polkadot Communications Dionne Taylor – who has worked both as a journalist and a PR for the last 15 years. Dionne is available for an interview to chat about this new and exciting platform, built just for YOU! If interested in speaking with Dionne, please get in touch. Eaton celebrates PowerAdvantage partners at inaugural LeverEDGE conference and awards 2019-04-11T01:10:43Z eaton-celebrates-poweradvantage-partners-at-inaugural-leveredge-conference-and-awards John Atherton, Eaton General Manager Power Quality ANZ said the awards were a terrific opportunity to recognise partner achievements across the region following the relaunch of its PowerAdvantage Partner program and portal earlier this year. “Eaton is committed to supporting and celebrating our power quality channel as it focuses on maximising edge computing opportunities which is top of mind for our partners as 5G networks continue to take shape.” “We applaud the efforts of all partners including our inspirational award recipients who performed exceptionally well last year, delivering great value and service to Eaton and our customers.” Natural Power Solutions received the Certified Partner of the Year Award for Australia and also celebrated its 20 years partnership anniversary with Eaton. “Over the past 20 years, NPS and Eaton have evolved and grown together, on the same journey to deliver power quality products across Australia,” said Mark Sewell, Managing Director of Natural Power Solutions. “Today is a proud day for us to represent Eaton across Australia and continue on that journey of delivering for our customers.” New Era IT, who picked up the award for New Zealand’s Authorised Partner of the Year said partnering with Eaton has greatly increased their sales. “Working with Eaton means that we can deliver extremely reliable hardware and exceptional value for money to our customers,” said Greg Strachan, CEO of New Era IT. “This has greatly increased our sales in the education sector, helping us to grow our business in New Zealand.” List of awards for Australian partners: Channel Champion of the Year – Craig Brown, Natural Power Solutions Distributor of the Year – Bluechip Infotech Partner of the Year, Certified – Natural Power Solutions Partner of the Year, Enterprise – BSA Power Partner of the Year, DC Channel – Power On Australia Authorised Partner of the Year – RTV Approved Partner of Year – Scorptec List of awards for New Zealand partners: Channel Champion of the Year – Vinesh Prasad, Datec (Fiji) PTE Ltd Distributor of the Year – Ingram Micro Partner of the Year – PB Tech Authorised Partner of the Year – New Era IT Approved Partner of Year – The Instillery First four certified partners: BSA Power Computer Room Solutions Natural Power Solutions Power On Australia Eaton revamped its PowerAdvantage Partner Program this year including new Certified, Authorised and Approved partner levels and a new portal for power quality partners. Partners can also access the latest training for Eaton products and software thought its PowerAdvantage Training Academy. - ENDS - Eaton is a power management company with 2018 sales of $21.6 billion. We provide energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton is dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. Eaton has approximately 99,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. ### Danes Specialty Coffee wins Champion Australian Roaster second year running 2019-04-09T03:58:50Z danes-specialty-coffee-wins-champion-australian-roaster-second-year-running Sydney, Australia, 9 April 2019 – Sydney coffee roaster, Danes Specialty Coffee, has been named Champion Australian Roaster for the second year running at the Australian International Coffee Awards (AICA). The awards, held by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), attract entries from all over the world, with over 805 entries from 151 local and international coffee roasters. “For more than 20 years we’ve built strong relationships throughout our supply chain, from grower to barista, to ensure we can extract the best possible flavour from the beans. To be recognised two years in a row at one of the specialty coffee industry’s most highly regarded awards is a tremendous validation of the effort our whole team puts in,” said Paul Jackson, managing director and owner, Danes. With its focus on coffee education, Danes continues to drive Australia’s specialty coffee industry forward, including training baristas at its headquarters in Brookvale on Sydney’s northern beaches. According to Jackson, “The standard of the Australian specialty coffee industry has improved dramatically in recent years, so this drives the Danes team to obsess over the smallest details to ensure our customers get the best coffee flavour possible each and every day.” Danes prides itself on exceptional consistency across its product range, with high standards to ensure on the most character-filled beans make it to the consumer. Danes sources the best coffee cherries from across the globe, roasts them with care to bring out the best attributes for each origin, blends with precision, and matches to the most suitable brewing method for each product. As well as winning the Champion Australian Roaster title, Danes was also awarded: Gold for its Ascension blend in the espresso blend category Gold for its Kenya Gakundu in the pour over single origin category Silver for its Kenya Ndiaini in the cold brew coffee category Bronze for its Guatemala Finca Anonal in the espresso single origin category Bronze for its Kenya Gakundu in the espresso single origin category Bronze for its Kenya Ndiaini in the espresso single origin category Bronze for its Guatemala Finca Anonal in the pour over single origin category Bronze for its Kenya Ndiaini in the pour over single origin category Bronze for its Costa Rica Las Lajas in the pour over single origin category The judging took place over three days in March at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Head Judge Melissa Caia commended the high standards of entries in all categories, with over 330 medals awarded. The Champion Australian Roaster award is based on a points allocation from results across the various categories. Danes win reflects the consistency and quality of its range across blends and single origin, with adaptability to a mix of brewing methods. About Danes Specialty Coffee For over 20 years, Danes Specialty Coffee has been dedicated to providing Australians with the freshest and best tasting coffee. From sourcing the best beans from across the globe, through to roasting and distribution through our online store and cafe partners, Danes ensures the highest quality through monitoring and nurturing the coffee from seed to cup with the focus firmly on flavour. With online sales and subscriptions for homes and office, you need never suffer a bad cup of coffee again. Danes headquarters in Brookvale on Sydney’s northern beaches also provides training to baristas and home brewers to ensure the final coffee drinking experience is nothing short of exceptional. Find out more at www.danes.com.au. For more information or to arrange an interview: Paul Jackson Managing Director and Owner P: 0418 413 972 Increasing income support would have made a better Budget than tax cuts, say Australian social workers 2019-04-03T03:20:24Z increasing-income-support-would-have-made-a-better-budget-than-tax-cuts-say-australian-social-workers The projected Budget surplus has been delivered off the backs of Australia’s most vulnerable, according to the Australian Association of Social Workers. The AASW welcomes the establishment of the National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, as recommended by the Royal Commission, as well as funding for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. However, there is much more that can and should be done in the next financial year. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “The projected surplus is not a measure of a good Budget, when we have three million people in our country who are living in poverty. “The surplus calculation is nothing to be proud of when it is the direct result of an underspend on the NDIS and when it increases inequality in Australia. Supporting our most vulnerable should have been prioritised over tax cuts. This should have included a substantial increase in Newstart and Youth Allowance and no further roll-out of the Cashless Debit Card, which the government’s own evaluation shows doesn’t work. “Furthermore, family violence is a major national emergency, with one woman a week being killed by a perpetrator. This year’s commitment pales in comparison to the years of neglect. We need comprehensive and continuous funding to seriously address Australia’s real security threat at a structural level. “In this Budget, the government has outlined that trying to win the next election through tax cuts is more important than distributing wealth in way that creates a fair and just Australia for all.” Most households in the lowest income bracket will get no benefit from tax cuts and those on Newstart will also miss out on the one-off $75 (single) $125 (couple) energy assistance payment. Ms Craik said, “The Budget should be measured by how much it is addressing the causes of poverty and making sure that everyone has access to the support they need to improve their lives, which will also have long-term benefits to our country. “To deliver lasting change to Australians, you need to start by ensuring that the Budget makes allocations that will address the causes of poverty and inequality. “These allocations should be considered an investment in our country’s people, not a deficit that is to be avoided at all costs. “As it stands, this Budget surplus has been calculated at a real human cost.” During the 2019-2020 Budget submission, the AASW called for: Lifting the amount of income support payments to the level of the Minimum Income for Healthy Living, which is $866.00 per fortnight for a single person, up from the current amount of $555.70 Replacing the current punitive policies on unemployed people with initiatives that have been proven to create pathways into work, including a thorough review of the cashless welfare debit card before there is a further roll-out Ensuring that the services and programs within the Close the Gap initiative are planned, implemented, evaluated and governed by Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations (ACCOs) Increasing access to rural and remote mental health services Providing for a national housing affordability and homelessness strategy Providing for the full price of services within the NDIS as recommended by the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS Guaranteeing continuous funding for a full range of prevention, early intervention and crisis programs to prevent and respond to family violence Providing an undertaking to implement all recommendations that will be made by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Read our 2019-2020 Budget submission. Christine Craik is available for interview. Eaton’s annual Blackout Tracker Report reveals more than 1.1 million people affected by power outages in 2018 2019-03-27T03:37:31Z eatons-annual-blackout-tracker-report-reveals-more-than-1-1-million-people-affected-by-power-outages-in-2018 SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. Power management company Eaton today released its annual Blackout Tracker Report for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), which revealed more than 1.1 million people were affected by 167 power outages in 2018. Storms, cyclones and heat waves had a substantial impact with 40 percent of all power outages caused by weather or falling trees. One storm in Brisbane recorded 265,000 lightning bolts and high winds which left 130,000 people without power. While in Auckland, a category two cyclone left more than a quarter of Auckland homes without power. Overall power outages decreased by 49 percent, with New South Wales reporting the biggest reduction of any state or territory. It is the first time in four years that the number of power outages and people affected has decreased. Gordon Makryllos, Managing Director Australia and New Zealand at Eaton Industries said while the decrease in power outages is a positive sign, the unpredictability of blackouts serves as an important reminder for business owners and managers to ensure disaster recovery plans are in place and aligned with the current IT environment. “Digitalisation is rapidly transforming the business landscape and increasing power dependency – from applications that support digital transformation, right through to intelligent infrastructure for smarter control and energy efficiency. This is expected to increase with the roll-out of 5G across the region, so power reliability and availability is critical to operations and automation of data,” said Makryllos. “Mother nature can strike anytime, anywhere – disrupting power to businesses and homes. To avoid costly downtime and data loss, it is critical that disaster recovery plans and backup power systems are in place and regularly reviewed. “Security is also increasingly important during a power disruption, with uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) needed to ensure internal devices are protected against threats that might target their networks. UPS can improve power system reliability by notifying administrators of potential issues and enabling the orderly, graceful shutdown of servers and data storage during a power outage.” Among the most interesting power outages in 2018 included: Adelaide, SA: Dancers and audience members were plunged into darkness during the second half of a Sleeping Beauty performance by the Australian Ballet. About 2,000 patrons had to be evacuated by torchlight from the theatre after a rat crawled inside an 11,000-volt piece of equipment and blew a fuse. Masterton, North Island: Geese that took off from their nesting spot in a dam just before daybreak took a direct flight path into power lines — causing them to arc and cut power not once, not twice, but three times in five days. Experts believe that fog played a role in the large Canadian immigrants flying into the lines. Melbourne, VIC: A share bike was hurled from a footbridge cut power and caused more than $300,000 worth of damage. Someone threw the oBike at a Melbourne train but the bike hit the overhead power lines, causing an outage. Queenstown, South Island: A paraglider who crashed into a power line managed to free himself and had left the scene by the time emergency crews arrived. While the power lines were still intact following the incident, 889 customers lost electricity for 30 minutes. Rotorua, NI: More than 500 bolts of lightning were detected from a storm that lasted just over an hour. The sky’s electric show cut power to nearly 1,450 homes. As World Backup Day approaches on 31 March, Eaton is offering a complimentary consultation and Critical Power Site Audit to all Australian and New Zealand businesses that will assess the business’ vulnerability to power disruption. The consultation will provide recommendations on the steps that can be taken to minimise downtime. To register for this complimentary service, click here. Blackout Tracker Annual Report data is based on a full year of reported power outages across Australia and New Zealand. To view and download the entire report click here. To learn about Eaton’s power management products and services, visit: www.powerquality.eaton.com or www.eatoncorp.com.au. - ENDS - Eaton is a power management company with 2018 sales of $21.6 billion. We provide energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton is dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. Eaton has approximately 99,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. ### Harmony is more important than ever this week 2019-03-22T01:28:55Z harmony-is-more-important-than-ever-this-week Harmony Week in Australia coincided with important dates this week, including the International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, World Social Work Day and the aftermath of the devastating terrorist attack in Christchurch. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “These events remind us that ‘harmony’ within our communities and across society rests on recognising the dignity of every person, while welcoming diversity. “That is how we promote the human rights of everyone. “This year’s Harmony Week shows us how important it is that we all promote inclusion and end discrimination based on differences in heritage, culture or belief.” This year’s AASW World Social Work Day events took time to reflect on the tragedy in Christchurch and how important social work values are in countering racism. Ms Craik said, “Social workers are passionate advocates for justice and helping families, communities and societies to build relationships based on solidarity and mutual respect. “This is how we will eliminate racial discrimination in our country. We need to reflect on the culture that can make politicians believe that there are votes to be gained by blaming refugees, immigrants or Indigenous people for issues that are not related to them, such as pressure on health care, crowded cities or welfare spending. It’s the same culture that led to the terrible act of violence last Friday.” “Social workers are dedicated to creating a society which is just and inclusive in which it is possible for everyone to flourish and thrive. Eliminating racial discrimination is fundamental to our vision. “Now is the time when we look to our leaders to set an example and we call on politicians, business and community groups to commit to join us in eliminating all forms of discrimination.” Christine Craik is available for interview. AMHSWs are experts in complexity, new report published today says 2019-03-21T02:40:39Z amhsws-are-experts-in-complexity-new-report-published-today-says Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSWs) provide a vital service to those experiencing mental health disorders according to its new report Accredited Mental Health Social Workers: Qualifications, Skills and Experience. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “This report will be an important resource in the Association’s advocacy for greater recognition of AMHSWs under Medicare, other programs, and private health funds. “In documenting the breadth of skills and experience, high standard of qualification of AMHSWs, this report demonstrates that AMHSWs are truly experts in complexity.” AMHSWs are one of the few designated allied health professional groups eligible to provide private mental health services to people with diagnosable mental health conditions or people ‘at risk’ of developing mental health conditions under the Commonwealth Medicare initiative. There are currently more than 2,200 AMHSWs working across major cities, regional, rural and remote regions. As a group of providers, AMHSWs are the second largest after the combined group of Clinical Psychologists and Registered Psychologists. This report provides an overview of the skills, knowledge and services provided by AMHSWs, and is based on extensive analysis of AASW data, including 2013 and 2018 member surveys. According to the report: More than 40 per cent of AMHSWs provide services in rural and remote areas More than 60 per cent of AMHSWs have postgraduate qualifications More than 75 per cent of AMHSWs have over 10 years’ practice experience AMHSWs use a wide range of therapeutic interventions, including cognitive behavioural therapy, strengths-based approach and mindfulness People can access the service of AMHSWs through several programs including Medicare, NDIS, DVA and some private health funds. To further illustrate the contribution of AMHSWs, illustrative case studies are included throughout. The AASW is responsible for the accreditation of AMHSWs and is committed to maintaining the high standard of practice of the profession in this sector. Read the complete report. Access the infographic that summarises the report. Christine Craik is available for interview. An interview with an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker is also available. Statement on Brisbane City Council distributing disposable breathalysers to staff 2019-03-20T04:03:10Z statement-on-brisbane-city-council-distributing-disposable-breathalysers-to-staff Brisbane City Council has purchased 18,000 disposable personal breathalysers for staff to undertake voluntary testing after lunch or the morning after a heavy night of drinking. https://www.facebook.com/couriermail/posts/10156704673552702 Irwandy Tan, CEO of Andatech, says the amount spent on disposable units, which may have been up to $50,000, could have been better spent on wall-mounted and personal breathalysers to provide a long-term solution. Andatech has the largest number of Australian Standard-certified breathalysers in Australia, which are designed for personal use, workplaces and hospitality venues. Mr Tan said Brisbane City Council and any other workplace/venue can install a wall-mounted breathalyser to determine accurate readings of employees’ BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) to three decimal places. “While many workplaces conduct random alcohol and drug testing, providing a voluntary system where employees can check themselves at any time, allows employees to be responsible for their actions, which is a good thing.” The other suggestion from Irwandy Tan is that for the same amount of money, Brisbane City Council could have purchased around 160 personal breathalysers that employees could take with them to lunches and meetings so they could test themselves before they return to work. “For the Council’s investment, I believe a better option would have been a mix of wall mounted units and hand-held personal breathalysers that come with removable mouthpieces. “Once the units have been purchased, the only other cost is calibration of the fuel cell technology to ensure ongoing accuracy and the purchase of more mouthpieces. “The other concern with having 18,000 disposable units is that they will all end up in landfill,” he added. Ends For more comments please contact: Mr Irwandy Tan, Director and CEO, Andatech. T: 03 8899 6900 M: 0400 338 300 E: irwandy@andatech.com.au https://www.andatech.com.au/ About Andatech: Andatech is a 100% Australian owned company that designs, supplies, supports and services safety products including high quality alcohol and drug testing equipment. The company has the widest range of Australian Standard-certified breathalysers in Australia, which are designed for personal use, workplaces, hospitality venues (wall mounted) and as car interlock devices. Drug testing kits cover saliva and urine testing of up to 9 drug groups, providing error-free results. Andatech also has a distribution channel offering consumer safety products and air quality products include dehumidifiers, air purifiers and humidifiers. https://www.andatech.com.au/ Media enquiries: Wendy McWilliams, WMC PR, T: 03 9803 2588 E: wendy@wmcpr.com.au Balance for Better: Social workers call for action on gender inequality 2019-03-08T00:21:33Z balance-for-better-social-workers-call-for-action-on-gender-inequality The 2019 theme of International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter, with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) calling for action on gender inequality. AASW National President Christine Craik said gender equality is vital to health and future of our nation, and to the work of social workers. Ms Craik said, “We need to recognise that when women are disadvantaged, we are all poorer. “Social workers feel the effects of gender inequality both professionally and personally. Professionally, we strive to address the effects of gender inequality with the people and communities we work with at an individual and a systems level. “Personally, social work is also a female dominated profession. It is a highly skilled occupation which can often carry elements of risk in practice. However, like many other female dominated professions, social work is often not paid at the rate of similar male dominated professions, nor does it come with the status of male dominated professions that carry the same risks and the same (or often lower) qualification levels. Social workers well understand the need to Balance for Better. “Australia’s report card for gender equality is not looking good. More women than ever before are being incarcerated around Australia for crimes of poverty and through living lives influenced by trauma, family violence and sexual abuse. “There is an alarming increase in homelessness for women and children as a result of family violence and for women over the age of 55, many of whom find themselves with little in the way of superannuation or savings, due to their years of unpaid and uncounted work of caring and child-rearing. Government policies such as the Centrelink automated debt recovery scheme, robodebt, and the ParentsNext program are punitive, deficit-based and are contributing to increasing numbers of women and children living in poverty. “If we are to Balance for Better this International Women’s Day, then we must address the root causes of inequality and the misogynistic and discriminatory policies which devalue and fail women. If these are not addressed, then the inequitable situation we currently have will continue to enable the unacceptable rates of family violence, sexual violence, poverty, and homelessness that we see now. “This starts with recognising women as equals and that the work women do is of equal value to that of men, whether it is paid or unpaid. It means recognising that women need to be in positions of power, including on boards and in government. “Then we will truly be able to Balance for Better.” Christine Craik is available for interview. Solid 2018 for Gold Coast New Apartment Market, With a Hint At 2019’s Prospects 2019-02-27T19:00:00Z solid-2018-for-gold-coast-new-apartment-market-with-a-hint-at-2019s-prospects 2018 has been a great year for the Gold Coast new apartment market, as revealed in the latest release of the Apartment Essentials by leading property consultants, Urbis. The Gold Coast recorded 1,010 sales in 2018 – 24 per cent higher than 2017’s performance. On average, there were 252 sales each quarter, however the first three quarters showed stronger sales rates. In other years, Urbis has seen growth in the final quarter, however 2018 saw a slight fall, with 156 sales. ‘Urbis is monitoring 75 new apartment projects across the Gold Coast, a post GFC record. While the number of apartment projects has risen, the projects are generally containing less apartments than was seen in previous cycles’ said Lynda Campbell, Senior Consultant at Urbis. ‘We have seen a shift away from the mega-towers and sites with numerous buildings toward smaller boutique style apartment buildings.’ 2018 saw 33 new apartment projects launch across the Gold Coast. Two projects sold out in the quarter, bringing the annual tally to nine projects sold out and 30 per cent of this quarter’s surveyed projects are over 75 per cent sold out. The Gold Coast recorded weighted average sale prices in the low $700,000s over the course of 2018, whereas 2017 recorded low to mid $600,000s. The gradual increase in apartment prices is consistent with the higher concentration of luxury apartment projects on the Gold Coast, highlighting the move towards larger, owner occupier buildings. Southern Beaches recorded the highest weighted average sale price during the quarter ($797,500), based on 40 sales, coinciding with the precinct’s larger proportion of 3-bedroom products (23 per cent of future supply). 12 months ago, this precinct had 14 projects being actively marketed – it now has 24. ‘Apartments in this precinct tend to have larger floor plates and are suitable for owner occupiers, hence the higher price points’, Ms Campbell commented. The Gold Coast Central precinct recorded the highest sales rate with 87 sales, dominated by high rise projects and selling mainly two-bedroom, two-bathroom products. Interstate investors and owner occupiers made up the majority of sales in the quarter, with 41 per cent and 38 per cent respectively. Owner occupiers made up the majority of sales in 2018 with 38 per cent, followed closely by interstate investors 36 per cent of total buyers in 2018. 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Gold Coast’s new apartment market, with approximately 2,000 new apartments expected to launch their sales campaigns in the first half of 2019. Strong population growth and an increase in interstate migration should see demand continue into 2019. Urbis Gold Coast Apartment Essentials Q4 2018 snapshot: Weighted average sale price recorded: $715,865 7 project launches in the quarter: 412 new apartments 709 apartments approved in the quarter For media enquiries contact: Stephanie Keith, Senior Brand & Clients Consultant Ph: 02 8233 7633 E: skeith@urbis.com.au Rebecca Jagger and Alexis Carroll at DEC PR Ph: 02 8014 5033 E: urbis@decpr.com.au About Urbis Apartment Essentials The Urbis Apartment Market Essentials is the most comprehensive national survey in Australia, and the only survey for which the sales data for apartment projects with 25 or more units is collected at the time of contract rather than at settlement. Projects with 25 apartments or more are tracked from initial application through to the building being sold out for projects across Perth and key areas of density across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Brisbane. As well as tracking the status of 2,513 developments Urbis receives surveys from 295 apartment developments. Urbis recognises the traditional owners of the land on which we work. Learn more about our Reconciliation Action Plan. National new apartment market set to show signs of recovery in 2019 2019-02-27T19:00:00Z national-new-apartment-market-set-to-show-signs-of-recovery-in-2019 Australia saw a lot of new things in 2018: a new prime minister, tightening lending controls, debates around housing affordability and thousands of new apartments launched across Australia. But how did each market compare and what does 2019 have in store? Urbis’ Apartment Essentials brings together the sales and supply data from five markets across the country, revealing the quarterly wins and losses in the many new apartment markets. Today’s release provides a yearly review as the fourth and final quarter brings perspective to the recently departed 2018. Sales With new stock coming in and sales experiencing speed bumps, national apartment sales as a percentage of available stock surveyed has dropped to a new low of 7.7 per cent in quarter four. Clinton Ostwald, Director at Urbis, commented, ‘we’ve seen fluctuating results around the country. In many markets, buyers are soaking up the existing completed stock as the brakes have been put on new launches. In other markets, new projects are still being launched to market, replenishing the supply and leading to steady sales. Sales rates have been dropping for the last two years, so it’s no surprise that 2018’s results were lacklustre in comparison to 2017. In Sydney, surveyed sold stock averaged 21 per cent of available supply throughout each quarter in 2017 whereas this dropped to 5.5 per cent in 2018. Melbourne and the Gold Coast followed in this same pattern with sales as a percentage of available stock dropping by around 4 per cent over the same period. Brisbane and Perth, the markets that have seen the least new stock enter, have reversed this trend and have seen slight increases in 2018. Stock It’s not the stock crisis we imagined one year ago. Lower levels of new stock entering the market has continued to replenish the slow sales throughout 2018, with 24,000 new apartments launching throughout the year. The two biggest markets saw the most impressive figures; Melbourne took the cake with over 11,244 new apartments entering the market in 2018, while Sydney placed second in the country with 4,810 new apartment launches. There was a surprising standstill in Brisbane with no new launches in the quarter, however the first half of 2019 will likely bring over 1,000 new apartment launches for the sunny city. Apartment approvals are at their lowest in the history of Urbis’ Apartment Essentials, sitting at 4,576 in quarter four 2018. With new design specifications and planning requirements in some jurisdictions, we’re likely to see this number continue to fall in 2019. In relation to the falling levels of new launches and apartment approvals, Mr Ostwald observed, ‘we need to keep an eye on supply levels as ongoing population growth, particularly on the East Coast, will quickly take up available supply. This may result in a housing supply shortage in the next 12 to 18 months as we are also seeing fewer completions in the greenfield house and land market.’ Buyer Profile It truly was a year for owner occupiers, with 46 per cent of total sales for 2018 attributed to this buyer type. Interstate investors leapt up by 10 per cent in 2018, accounting for 19 per cent of sales. Local state investors, who previously accounted for 30 per cent of the market in 2017, dropped down to 17 per cent in 2018, in line with foreign investors. Q4 2018 Apartment Essentials Snapshot 7.7 per cent of the surveyed available stock was sold in the December quarter across the five markets: Sydney (6 per cent of available surveyed stock sold, 977 new apartments launched) Melbourne (9 per cent of available surveyed stock sold, 2781 new apartments launched) Brisbane (9 per cent of available surveyed stock sold, no new apartments launched) Perth (9 per cent of available surveyed stock sold, 464 new apartments launched) Gold Coast (6 per cent of available surveyed stock sold, 377 new apartments launched) National weighted average sale price recorded at $705,226 for Q4 Sydney – $899,793 Melbourne – $656,739 Brisbane – $831,884 Perth – $602,524 Gold Coast – $715,032 The most popular product type was two-bedroom, two-bathroom product at 47% of total sales. Across the cities the highest selling product types were: Sydney – One-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments – 48% Melbourne – Two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments – 44% Brisbane – Two-bedroom, two-bathroom 53% Perth – Two-bedroom, two-bathroom – 41% Gold Coast – Two-bedroom, two-bathroom – 66% 25% of actively selling apartments are in presales, 49% are under construction and 26% are recently built. For media enquiries contact: Stephanie Keith, Senior Brand & Clients Consultant Ph: 02 8233 7633 E: skeith@urbis.com.au Rebecca Jagger and Alexis Carroll at DEC PR Ph: 02 8014 5033 E: urbis@decpr.com.au About Urbis Apartment Essentials The Urbis Apartment Market Essentials is the most comprehensive national survey in Australia, and the only survey for which the sales data for apartment projects with 25 or more units is collected at the time of contract rather than at settlement. Projects with 25 apartments or more are tracked from initial application through to the building being sold out for projects across Perth and key areas of density across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Brisbane. As well as tracking the status of 2,513 developments Urbis receives surveys from 295 apartment developments. Urbis recognises the traditional owners of the land on which we work. Learn more about our Reconciliation Action Plan.