Governance, Succession Planning, Membership, Legal Compliance and Leadership are the topics covered in this one day Workshop.



This workshop is tailored for incorporated and non-incorporated Support Groups that have been running for at least a year. It will run on Tuesday 28th Feb in Booragoon from 9am – 2.30pm (lunch is provided).


The session will focus in identifying those risk factors that can adversely impact on the long term sustainability of the Group. It will provide participants with the necessary tools to assist and empower them.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Governance
  • Succession Planning
  • Membership
  • Legal Compliance
  • Leadership

Lunch will be provided.



$50 ConnectGroups Members


$70 Non-Members

We encourage all WACOSS members to show their support for the joint community services sector state election campaign by following us on Facebook and Twitter! For more information on the election campaign, check out our website here.

The new Positive Pathways Training Calendar and Training Summary for Semester One 2017 has been finalised and please find copies of these documents attached. The training calendar include the workshops, which have proven popular in previous semesters, as well as two new workshops: ‘Keeping Safe’ and ‘Magic Coat’.


We are pleased to announced some exciting changes:


We have moved and please note our NEW Address and temporary phone number:


Address:                              8 Yampi Way, Willetton WA 6155

Phone number:                0413 938 392


The upcoming workshops at Positive Pathways are:


  • Assertive Communication (4 week course): Wednesday 8th February to 1st March from 9:45am – 1:00pm.

This workshops provides women with the foundation to empower themselves and become confident and respectful communicators.

Notebooks and morning tea provided.


  • Keeping Safe (4 week course): Tuesday 7th to 28th February from 9:45am – 12:30pm: NEW Workshop

This workshop focusses on personal, physical and emotional safety for women, who have experienced family & domestic violence and provides information on home & cyber safety, legal information and it also includes basic self-defence. Practical handouts and morning tea provided.


  • Parenting Course – ‘Making Connections’: Thursday 9th February from 10:00am – 12:00pm:

We are privileged to have Di Wilcox deliver her expert workshops at Positive Pathways again this term focusing on connection, discipline and routines.


  • Magic Coat: Thursday 13th April from 10:00am – 12:00pm: NEW Workshop

An interactive and fun workshop for mothers and children delivered by Di Wilcox. Please note this is in the school holidays.


  • Women’s Wellness: 5 monthly workshops on Thursdays 23rd February, 23rd March, 27th April, 25th May  and 29th June from 9:45am – 1:00pm.

This workshop emphasises the importance of a health body  and mind to enable positive life changes. Please note the workshops on 27th April and 25th May will be facilitated by a Health Professional from Curves Health & Fitness and involve some light exercise.


  • Job & TAFE Readiness: Thursday 2nd March from 9:45am – 2:30pm:

This workshop provides foundation information for your job search and training opportunities. USB, folder and lunch provided.


If you wish to make a referral to any of the workshops, please find a referral form attached for your convenience. Once completed, please return to

The City of Melville’s participatory funding grant, Project Robin Hood is back with $100,000 on offer for ideas by the community, for the community.

The City of Melville’s Project Robin Hood is back with $100,000 on offer (distributed via a number of small grants between $1,000 - $20,000) for projects presented by community groups, not-for-profit organisations, businesses and individuals. This is a unique opportunity for communities to connect and build stronger neighbourhoods in the City of Melville. Project Robin Hood also encourages community participation and supports the creativity of people-owned and driven projects.

Unlike traditional funding programs, the grant approval process is conducted by the community through an online voting process using a 'budget allocator'.   

Communities are encouraged to get together with their neighbours, local organisations or businesses and to start thinking about how they can grab a share of the loot.  With Project Robin Hood, no idea is a bad idea.

Key dates for Project Robin Hood are:


February 1 2017 - Submissions Open

March 17 2017 - Submissions Close

April 10 2017 - Voting Opens

May 15 2017 - Voting Closes

June 2017 - Winners Announced


To make a submission, for more information or to get involved in the conversation visit or go to the City of Melville website -


Managers of organisations working with children are encouraged to enrol in free Child Safe Organisation WA workshops to be held in Perth during February and March.

The Child Safe Organisations WA program was created by the office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit to encourage organisations to develop a comprehensive and daily vigilant approach to effectively protect children from abuse and neglect.

Commissioner Colin Pettit said that children and young people have the right to feel safe and respected wherever they are.

“I encourage managers of all local organisations working with children to enrol in these workshops as this is the first step in an ongoing effort to improve child safe practices,” Mr Pettit said.

“In a child safe organisation, this commitment to protecting children is embedded in the organisation’s culture and responsibility for taking action is understood and accepted at all levels of the organisation, from the CEO to volunteers.”

The Child Safe Organisations WA program includes the workshop and a range of resources designed to help government departments, not-for-profit agencies and community organisations develop and implement strategies that increase children’s safety.

An organisation’s child safe strategies must aim to reduce the likelihood of harm occurring, increase the likelihood that any harm is discovered and ensure there is an immediate and appropriate response to any disclosures, allegations or suspicions of harm.

The whole-day seminar will be held on Tuesday 14 February and Thursday 23 March at the Commissioner’s office in Subiaco. Registration is free and bookings can be made at the Commissioner’s website.


Child Safe Organisations WA resources are available on the Commissioner’s website enabling any organisation to commence work on strengthening their child safety policies and daily practices immediately.

 More information is available from

The 2017 WA State Volunteering Conference is taking place on June 12 and 13 at the Duxton Hotel, Perth. Volunteering WA are looking for dynamic and engaging presenters who have content they feel will be relevant to conference attendees. Abstracts close 12 February. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.


Call for abstracts

Volunteering WA are looking for dynamic and engaging presenters who have content they feel will be relevant to conference attendees. Abstract content must align with the conference theme and streams.

Theme: Exploring new directions together

Streams: Leadership, Innovation, Good Practice

Abstracts are invited for:

  •     Plenary session slots
  •     20 minute short and snappy presentations
  •     45 minute interactive presentations
  •     90 minute workshops

Closing date for submissions is Sunday 12 February 2017.

A decision will be made on all submissions by the end of March.

For more information or to submit an abstract please visit


Sponsorship opportunities

The 2017 WA State Volunteering Conference also provides a number of opportunities for sponsorship. For more information please contact Traci Gamblin, Senior Manager Development – or call 9482 4389.

Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services invites you to our annual International Women’s Day Sparkling High Tea.  Spend a lovely afternoon celebrating with a scrumptious Sparkling High Tea and raising money for our Funds for Freedom Project.


The event is being held on Friday March 10th 2017 between 3-5pm at the Duxton Hotel 1 St Georges Tce Perth.

The cost is $80 per person and their will be door prizes, raffles and fundraising items available on the day.

To  Register click here:

For information about Funds for Freedom:

For further information contact Carolyn at:

There has been criticism of a Trip Advisor style platform for community services in Australia. Critics claim it is unsafe for consumers and service providers alike, not geared towards relationships or complaint resolution, and it’s only aim being to ‘name and shame’ providers.

Despite this, there are many websites of this nature popping up in every state for both aged care and disability support services. Given the Government reform of individualised budgets and consumer choice and control in both CDC and NDIS, many predicted this as only a matter of time. 


I firmly believe you can have a Trip Advisor style service, complete with ratings and reviews, and also offer providers and consumers a focus on relationships and quality improvement.  My Care My Choice is a ratings and peer review site for aged care, disability and mental health services in WA.


The reality of being in the business of care is services aren’t, and can’t be, perfect. When you’re dealing with people, service experience can’t be guaranteed or replicated between clients and workers. Rather than encouraging providers to resolve complaints offline like similar sites do, we encourage providers to be completely transparent and have the dialogue online through My Care My Choice. To protect people, we have put measures in place to ensure any reviews which allude to abuse, neglect or inappropriate behaviour by staff won’t be posted until the issue has been resolved offline. All reviews left on My Care My Choice are moderated to ensure privacy is maintained and any serious issues are dealt with in an appropriate manner. At My Care My Choice we want to help facilitate relationships and conversations between consumers and providers.


My Care My Choice is now live and can be accessed online at We understands budget restraints many for-purpose providers have so will be listing all providers in aged care, disability and mental health for free on the website. All approved and registered providers will be listed automatically on the site for people to find you and leave reviews.

My Care My Choice will also offer fee-based membership packages for providers to access additional features including instant notification of reviews and advertising opportunities. Membership packages start from $550 per year. My Care My Choice looks forward to working with service providers in WA to help you market your services with an easy and affordable solution.


If you have any questions about My Care My Choice or would like to find out more, contact Emer Long at  



Leader’s Series Breakfast and Workshop – Attracting and retaining a highly skilled workforce.

As the landscape for Aged Care Service Provision changes and adapts, it is imperative that your workforce is engaged with your future vision and that they are able to support your business to grow and thrive as the sector transitions to new service models and ways of working with consumers.

  • Who are the workers needed to achieve successful service outcomes for our consumers and what skills and attributes do they need?
  • How do we ‘future proof’ our current workforce by engaging them in alternative ways of thinking about service delivery and consumer engagement?
  • How confident are you that people in your current workforce will transition well in person centred and short term intervention work?

Presenter Arlene Quinn has over 35 years of experience in workplace & organisational development, she will help you recognise the skills and attributes a workforce requires in order to achieve successful service outcomes for consumers.

Date: Tuesday 31 January 2017
Venue: Rendezvous Hotel, Scarborough

Each calendar cycle WACOSS endeavours to develop partnerships with organisations delivering training we think is relevant for the community services sector and WACOSS members. In the next 6 month calendar WACOSS is hosting workshops with the Cancer Council of WA and Start Some Good. To see more, click here.

WACOSS is hosting two workshops in conjunction with the Cancer Council on what the community sector can do to help people stop smoking. These two half day sessions are designed to help participants gain an understanding of the important role they play in smoking cessation for clients and addressing tobacco use within your organisation.

With funding opportunities becoming increasingly difficult to find, WACOSS is hosting two webinars with Start Some Good on Crowdfunding. This introductory workshop will teach you the basics of what to do to make sure you succeed and common mistakes to avoid.

WACOSS is always looking for new opportunities that benefit the sector. If you have a partnership idea that would benefit the community services sector, please call Maree on 08 9420 7222 or email



Alternatives to Suicide is an innovative peer led suicide prevention program from the Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community (USA). MercyCare is pleased to bring Lisa Forrestal and Caroline White to Perth to outline how this approach evolved and why it has been so successful.

The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (RLC) creates conditions that support recovery at both the individual and community level through trauma-sensitive peer supports and the development of a regional network. They believe that human relationships are at the center of what heal people who have experienced extreme emotional states, trauma, mental health diagnoses and a variety of other challenges in life. Their lived experience and ‘humanness’ is what unites them. Their stories, collective wisdom and strength are what guide them and their community to wellness. You can view further information about this program and the Western Mass RLC at

The presenters will share their knowledge about this approach at this forum in Perth, which is their only stopover in Australia.

Alternatives to Suicide Forum

8.30am – 12.30pm

20 February 2017,

The Rise, 28 Eighth Ave, Maylands,

Perth, Western Australia 

You can register your interest by emailing .  Registrations will be opened soon and you will be sent a registration form if you have registered your interest.  Attendance is only by pre-registration as there will not be the opportunity to register on the day. The registration form will soon be available at

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has engaged the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) and Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at The University of New South Wales to produce the Australian Charities Reports. These reports analyse charity data to give the a comprehensive overview of the Australian charities sector.

The Australian Charities Report 2015 has revealed that some 37% of charities have an annual income of less than $50,000. In early 2017, CSI and SPRC will be releasing a report focusing specifically on this group, and are calling for three to five charities within this category to act as case studies for inclusion with the data.

Click here [link to full DropIN article] to read full details on the eligibility criteria and application process for this opportunity.

To express interest in your small organisation participating, please contact the research team via before January 23rd, 2017.

Previous versions of these reports can be viewed at


In early December 2016, the National Debt Helpline was launched and this has replaced the previous state based Financial Counselling Helpline service.

The telephone service is to address the unmet needs of people suffering financial hardship.

Consumers from all over Australia call the 1800 007 007 number which operates as a ‘switch through’ facility, so that callers are directed to a local service within their state.

The National Debt Helpline WA covers all metropolitan, regional and remote areas of WA.

NDH assists people who are unable to see a Financial Counsellor “face to face” due to isolation, transport, disability, health issues including mental health and if there are any pressing and/or legal issues which require urgent attention.



Face-to-face financial counselling is not provided, clients are referred to their local financial counsellor.

Financial Counsellors try to answer calls live as much as possible but there is also a message and call back system.

Financial Counsellors provide support and information to clients seeking assistance regarding self-advocacy.

Referral arrangements are usually direct however a warm referral can be made for CALD people and people with disabilities.

The WA Council of Social Service, ACOSS and the other state and territory COSS’ are calling on the Australian Government to immediately suspend the automated Centrelink debt recovery program and for it to be independently reviewed.

Since July 2016, the Australian Government has ramped up the system for identifying possible fraud by cross-referencing data from Centrelink with other areas of government, principally employment data from the Australian Tax Office. The fully automated system, known as an Online Compliance Intervention System is examining records from up to six years ago. This new system is issuing 20,000 letters a week.

The COSS Network supports the principle of ensuring that people receive the right payments, but this process is needlessly causing anxiety among people who have done the right thing and reported their earnings. Overpayments are being raised and people are being asked to repay ‘debt’ without the proper checks to make sure that money is actually owed. Many recipients caught in the net are being asked to provide evidence of income from as far back as 2010.    

WACOSS supports the call by ACOSS for the following actions:

  1. Immediate suspension of the automated debt collection system and review of cases where debts have been raised already under this system
  2. Government to meet with organisations representing/assisting those affected to redesign the system so that it’s accurate, fair, and doesn’t put undue stress on social security recipients
  3. The redesigned system should ensure that overpayments are correctly raised (the onus of proof should lie with Centrelink not the recipient), that no penalties or fees apply unless the person deliberately or recklessly provided false information, offer individual advice and assistance, and ensure that people in a vulnerable situation (for example, people with mental illness) are excluded from automated processing.

While neither WACOSS or ACOSS are equipped to provide individual advice, we suggest that anyone concerned about such a letter contact a welfare rights centre or a community legal centre. In addition, persons affected have the option to contact their local MP to make a formal complaint.

The National Welfare Rights Network are continually updating a factsheet on their website relating to this issue, explaining the meaning of the letter, how the online system works and where you can find help. Your front line staff may find this information extremely helpful when assisting clients.

Other sources of assistance include:

  • Commonwealth Ombudsman -
    Assists the public by investigating and resolving complaints about Government departments and agencies (and has launched an investigation into the automated debt recovery system).
  • ACOSS also suggests that you contact your Local Member of Federal Parliament to let them know how this has affected you -
  • Lifeline 13 11 14 - a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

You can post your experiences with the new system here on Facebook or follow the hashtag #notmydebt on Twitter (which is independent of the COSS network). You can also post your stories on the Not My Debt site:

We will have available office space from early 2017.  Claisebrook Lotteries House has offices sized from 13 to 93sqm, with the potential for organisations to occupy multiple offices.  Use of the Meeting Rooms is at no additional cost to tenants.
Claisebrook Lotteries House has a great community feel to it and is a very friendly, welcoming work environment. 

If you are a small or medium not for profit organisation looking for space please  contact Jane at Claisebrook Lotteries House via our website