News & Events

Hi, my name is Kath Sugars and I am a PhD student at Murdoch University. Over the years, I have been involved in a number of nonprofit organisations, including schools, sporting clubs and charities, as an employee, volunteer and committee member. Two things I know for sure. One, there are a lot of caring and dedicated people in WA, working to help others. Two, arguing about how to do this is an inevitable and creative process.

From time to time these arguments don’t readily resolve, and can result in opposing factions, hostility, and even the loss of multiple members. This happens despite organisations establishing strong structures, good leadership and positive cultures.

I am especially curious about how these ‘schisms’ affect human beings, as well as teams and organisations. Therefore, I am beginning my project by listening to people who have had such an experience, and are willing to share their recollections and reflections with me. I hope to glean insights into how to respond to situations beyond the rational, the predictable and the controllable.

If you would be willing to share your story with me, as an individual or as a group, I would be honoured. Please be assured I would treat your confidences with the utmost respect, and no person or group will be identified in any publication.

Interviews are scheduled for one hour, at your convenience, and any further commitment is by mutual agreement. Please feel welcome to call and ask questions, or discuss how you may be involved. My principal supervisor at Murdoch University is Megan Paull, or 9360 6040. My ethics application has been approved (2016/229).

I can be contacted by phone 0414 302 451 or email

You’re at the front line of service delivery.  It may seem that you can do little to respond to angry and abusive clients and customers.  But you can! 

This half day seminar (9:30am to 1pm) offers key principles and strategies to defuse clients' and customers' anger and reduce abusive behaviour right from the start.

It also assists to reduce your own stress levels.
Cost $110.
To enrol, please phone (08) 6164 0239.


This 2 day introductory workshop will be useful for those who are interested in becoming (clinical) supervisors, and for those supervisors who are looking for a 'refresher' or who are new to the role and looking to expand their knowledge and skills. This training is specific to the supervision of counsellors, social workers and case workers in the human services area.
When: Thurs/Fri 14 & 15 September 2017
Time: 9.00am to 4.30pm
Cost: $440
Where: Relationships Australia, Level 1/22 Southport St, West Leederville
Enrol: Please phone (08) 6164 0239


Please join us for the latest in our series of seminars detailing components of the Department of Health’s report, Incidence and Cost of Injury in Western Australia 2012. This briefing will provide an expert analysis of the impact of injuries sustained by older adults in WA, including health sector costs, long-term care costs, loss of paid productivity and loss of quality of life. Keynote presentations will be delivered from the perspectives of research, policy and practice, with a focus on how the data can be understood and applied to inform policy and program development, and strategies available to work with older adults. The briefing will also be available via video conference.

Date: Thursday 7 September
Time: 9.00am-10.00pm
Location: Grace Vaughan House Lecture Theatre, 227 Stubbs Terrace, Shenton Park, WA 6008
Cost: Free event with video conference available

Homelessness Week

'Homelessness Week Launch WA'
Monday 7th of August, 8.30-10.30am at The Platform, Level 3 256 Adelaide Tce
'Let's end homelessness, not just manage it' is the theme for Homelessness Week WA 2017, and the topic of discussion at the Homelessness Week Launch.
Join us in discussing this key issue with key speakers, including:

  • Simone McGurk MLA - Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interest; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services;
  • Kathleen Gregory AM - CEO of Foundation Housing, WA Council on Homelessness Chairperson, Shelter WA Board Member;
  • Rick England - CEO of Albany Youth Support Association (AYSA)
  • Professor Paul Flatau - Director, Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia


'Mental Health, Housing and Homelessness Forum'
Shelter WA is pleased to invite you to our event examining how our systems of government and community services can work more effectively to address homelessness and insecure housing among people with severe mental illness.
We are pleased to confirm that the Hon Roger Cook MLA, Deputy Premier, Minister for Health, Mental Health will be opening the event. He will be joined by the soon to be Director General of the Department of Community Services, Grahame Searle, the Mental Health Commissioner, Tim Marney, Acting Corrective Services Commissioner, Tony Hassall, Emergency Specialist at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), Dr. Amanda Stafford, and Professor of Criminology and Academic Chair at the UNSW, Eileen Baldry

The morning will be structured in two parts. Registering for this event enables you to participate in both sessions, or one, it is your choice.

  • FORUM: 9:00 – 11:00am: This forum that will cover how government can work more effectively to improve housing outcomes for those with severe mental illness. It will include presentations from the key speakers highlighted.
  • 11.00 – 11.30: Light lunch
  • WORKSHOP: 11:30am – 1:00pm, This workshop will be facilitated by Professor of Criminology and Academic Chair at the UNSW, Eileen Baldry, focussing on how the community sector can be a key driver in the reform process.


This event will be an example of collective thinking that can inform the Machinery of Government Reform process targeting a complex social issue.

To find out more about the events, check the link below:

Child Australia and Playgroup WA are pleased to be bringing Dr Kaylene Henderson to Perth for two events on Thursday 24th August.

Dr Henderson is a trusted, highly experienced Child Psychiatrist, parenting specialist, keynote presenter, radio and print media contributor. The two opportunities to hear from Dr Henderson are as follows:


  • Practitioner Master Class – “Exploring Challenging Behaviours”
    This Master Class is designed to provide practical strategies to all practitioners working directly with children that would like to add new techniques to their professional toolkit. Helping to guide children through challenging behaviours can often be difficult to navigate, so we’ve asked Dr Henderson to provide research based, hands-on practical strategies for practitioners across all settings.
    A certificate of completion will be provided post-master class.


WACOSS members will receive a discount for these events as follows:


 For any practitioners booking via WACOSS they can use the code:

  •  MasterClassWA  (discount of 15% - $79 instead of $89)


 For any parents/carers introduced via WACOSS members, they can use the code:

  •  ParentCarerWA (discount from $30 - $25)

The Australian Not-for-Profit Workforce Study has been launched as the largest ever research study on and for NFP organisations, and all their employees and volunteers.



  • NFP Practice that enhances organisational leadership, capabilities and impact,
  • NFP Policy that supports the sustainability and success of the sector, and
  • NFP Funding that better invests in and converts capacity building.



  • Organisations get a FREE Workforce Analytics Dashboard to better understand & manage their staff. No set up requires, it’s all online.
  • Participants obtain immediately a FREE Personal Analytics Report on their work experience, job autonomy, wellbeing, professional development, and more.
  • Contributing to and championing the research will advance the NFP sector at large - all findings will be shared for FREE. Be part of it!



  1. Complete the online survey. No invitation required, go to
  2. Invite your employees and volunteers, and get your FREE Workforce Analytics, go to
  3. Share this opportunity with others in the NFP sector so they can benefit too!


This study is to help people like you, organisations like yours, and those you support.

The online survey is open until 31 October 2017.


The study is led by Learning for Purpose, Centre for Social Impact, The University of Western Australia, supported through the Australian Research Council, EY, Australian Scholarships Foundation, and Australian Executor Trustees. Data is used for research purposes only, securely stored, strictly confidential and subject to legal restrictions. Approved by the UWA Human Research Ethics Committee (RA/4/1/8885).



Third year Edith Cowan University students, completing a Community Nutrition unit, are being trained to deliver food literacy programs.  Part of a work integrated learning opportunity and assessment is that they deliver this new found knowledge to clients of a Charitable Food Sector agency.

If you are interested in hosting two students, at your service for an information session, in the weeks beginning either the 16th or 27th October, 2017, please email Ros Sambell before 18th August, 2017.


Following the session services will be provided with resources and plans to support delivery of similar sessions in the future by the service.

The Berry Street Childhood Institute is proud to announce that as part of his 2017 Australian Tour, Richard Rose will for the first time be delivering a two-day workshop on Therapeutic Life Story Work on 11-12 September in Perth.


As a Fellow of the Berry Street Childhood Institute, Director of Child Trauma Intervention Services (UK) and Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at Latrobe University in Melbourne, Richard Rose is an leading expert on Therapeutic Life Story Work and working with 'hard to reach' children and young people.


During his Australian Tour, Richard will work with practitioners to enhance their engagement with children and young people affected by early life trauma. Through his innovative and creative techniques, Richard will demonstrate ways of working that enable placements to become healthy and nurturing through enhanced understanding and attachment, with the ultimate goal of helping these young people achieve their full potential.


During this two-day workshop, participants will be provided with an in-depth understanding of the Life Story process and how this work helps children make sense of the past, so that what has happened to them does not dominate, control or inhibit the present.  Based on Richard's book 'Life Story Therapy with Traumatised Children - A Model for Practice', techniques will be demonstrated that have been successfully utilised to assist children to communicate their trauma.


What you will learn:

* gathering and collating information

* the importance of interpretive skills

* the significance of 'magical thinking'

* working with the 'stuck' child

* techniques for producing the Life Story book


If you would like further information about this workshop visit our website - - or call our Training & Events Team on 03 9421 9362.

Social marketing uses the techniques of commercial marketing, focusing on what your audience wants rather than needs, to encourage healthier and safer behaviours.

Presented by Rob Donovan, Senior Principal Research Fellow in the School of Sport Science Exercise and Health at UWA, the two half-day workshops will take you through the principles and practice of social marketing and behaviour change, and give you the opportunity to workshop your own ideas and priorities.

Date: Thursday 9 November and Thursday 7 December
Time: 8.30am-12.30pm
Location: Bendat Community Centre, Dodd Street, Wembley.
Cost: $20 per workshop (or $30 for both)


Thanks to a new Lotterywest grant, WACOSS will now be able to deliver (almost) free training throughout regional WA. Over the next few months we will be identifying local training needs and planning the two-year rollout.

If you are in the Kimberley, you can get a head start by identifying your training needs now. WACOSS trainer Stuart Reid will be travelling to Broome, Fitzroy and Kununurra in the first two weeks of September for the Resilient Community Organisations workshops. Some of the other courses he can run include: Winning Grants and Tenders (full day); Governance for Boards and Committees (half-day); Collaboration for Sustainability (half-day); Introduction to Strategic Planning (half-day). If you think there would be local interest in any of these workshop topics, please contact and he will schedule workshops right away.


The Western Australian Council of Social Services will be holding a special community sector briefing on the outcomes of the 2017-18 State Budget on Friday 8th September 2017, 2.30pm – 4.00pm,  followed by a sundowner from 4.00pm – 5.00pm.

With the State Budget being released on 7th September, this event will be critical for sector stakeholders seeking to understand what this will mean for community services, and what the Government’s social policy priorities are.

Following the State Election in March this year, and the subsequent departmental mergers and Service Priority Review, this State Budget will also be of great interest to WACOSS members in revealing how the Government’s proposed changes are to be implemented.

The State Budget briefing is an annual event held by the Council to provide a detailed analysis of what the State Government’ budget decisions will mean for community services within Western Australia. To view the Council’s State Budget analysis from previous years, click here.


You may also wish to look back at the recommendations outlined in the Council’s 2017-18 Pre-Budget Submission, The Future in our Hands: Smarter Services, Stronger Families, Resilient Communities.

To register for the 2017-18 WACOSS Budget Briefing, email with your name and member organisation, or check below the flyer for this event.

Owl Learning Australia provides quality, accessible and affordable professional development opportunities throughout Australia. Our focus is on partnering, empowering and responding to the current and future needs of the workforce. This includes providing public workshops, customised on-site training, distance education and consultancy services.

Contact us ( for you and a friend to attend a 2017 public workshop for 50% off. This means that the following workshops would be $75 each:

  • Accidental Counsellor 
  • Case Management 
  • Conflict Management and Responding to Aggressive Behaviour 
  • Early Childhood Intervention 
  • Managing Change
  • Mental Health and Preventing Self-Harm and Suicide 
  • My Aged Care and Consumer Directed Care 
  • Navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Person Centred Practice 
  • Navigating the National Quality Framework and Belonging, Being and Becoming 
  • Positive Behaviour Support 
  • Trauma Informed Practice

The Community Sector and Development IRC is an independent group which provides an industry based perspective to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC). Its role is to represent, and provide advice based on, the national interests of the community sector in the review, development and implementation of training products and undertake this in accordance with the public good. It is to ‘gather and provide general intelligence for the sector to inform advice on training package review and development.’


If you have ‘general intelligence’ on this and would like to share it, please get in touch with Stuart Reid, WACOSS Manager Projects and Business Development, and he will raise it at the IRC.


The first meeting is mainly induction for the new IRC but there will be some opportunity to raise items of business as well.


Stuart will report back in future editions of eNews and the Members Bulletin.


More information on the Australian Industry and Skills Committee and the Community Sector and Development IRC can be obtained from the AISC website