UnitingCare Australia

UnitingCare Australia

Up to 10% of older Australians could experience Elder Abuse this year.


On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2018, UnitingCare Australia acknowledges the need for greater awareness of the prevalence of elder abuse in our community and our shared responsibility to look out for each other.

It is likely that between 2% and 10% of older Australians experience elder abuse in any given year, and the prevalence of neglect is possibly higher[1]. This figure indicates that we need to do more to strengthen the connections that build safety and security within our community.


[1] Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., & Rhoades, H. (2015). Elder abuse: Understanding issues, frameworks and responses (Research Report No. 35). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

UnitingCare Australia
Submission to the Closing the Gap Refresh
April 2018
UnitingCare Australia is the national body for the Uniting Church’s network of community service providers, one of the largest in Australia. With over 1,600 sites, the network employs 40,000 staff and is supported by the work of over 30,000 volunteers. We provide services to children, young people and families, people with disabilities, the poor and disadvantaged, people from culturally diverse backgrounds and older Australians in urban, rural and remote communities. We also deliver services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia and work with those communities to ensure that these services are integrated and responsive to need.

UnitingCare Australia Submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on Accessibility and Quality of Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia May 2018UnitingCare Australia Submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on Accessibility and Quality of Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia May 2018

UnitingCare Australia is pleased to provide a response to the Senate Inquiry into accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia. UnitingCare Australia is the national office representing the network of community service organisations of the Uniting Church in Australia (network). Our network operates nationally across more than 1,300 sites in metropolitan, rural and remote Australia, delivering services to people across the life course. Network experience in delivering mental health services in rural and remote Australia provides us with on the ground visibility of the challenges to accessibility and quality of mental health services in these locations. Comprehensive input to this submission was provided by the following organisations from our network: • Uniting Country SA • Uniting SA • UnitingCare Queensland (including Australian Rural and Remote Community Services - ARCCS) • Uniting NSW.ACT • Frontier Services • ARDS Aboriginal Corporation

Ensuring every child’s, a winner in the birth lottery

This week is National Families Week and the aim is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society.

When it comes to families, the Government’s Budget makes it clear that it sees the provision of incentives for those earning wages as more important than providing a liveable level of income support to those who are under- or un-employed.

“This leaves the future of children overly dependent on the birth lottery” says Claerwen Little, National Director of UnitingCare Australia. We know that there is a social gradient in child health and child development, with those at the bottom of the scale doing worst and being most in need of increasingly expensive and difficult interventions to reduce the impact of adversity as they age.



A stronger economy for the haves, but little hope for the have nots

UnitingCare Australia tonight welcomes the government’s commitment to older Australians and their care. The extra 14,000 home-care packages go some way to relieving the pain for those 105,000 people still waiting for support. The many other measures in More Choices for a Longer Life package such as the rural and remote initiatives, indigenous funding, investment in mental health services, and the $50 million Quality Care Fund are all positive and reflect the growing ageing demographic in the community.

A healthy budget means everyone should benefit

On Tuesday the Turnbull Government will release its 2018-19 Budget. With an expected windfall in revenue this is the time to direct spending to the people most in need.

Inequality is growing in Australia with over 3 million people living below the poverty line.  UnitingCare Australia calls on the Federal Government to use the Budget funds to invest in programs and services that support individuals and families that are struggling. 

Wednesday, 02 May 2018 11:23

Why we need to raise welfare payments now

UnitingCare Australia joins today’s call for an urgent rise in the level of welfare payments. This would: 
1. Stimulate the economy by placing greater spending power where it is most needed.
2. Relieve chronic financial stress on those genuinely seeking work and their families.
3. Enable part-time students to spend more time learning, rather than earning, to survive.
Funding a gold standard NDIS – a budget priority
UnitingCare Australia is pleased that funding of the NDIS is receiving attention in the lead up to this year’s Federal Budget and the Treasurer’s announcement today that there is adequate funding for the Scheme going forward.
Thursday, 26 April 2018 12:31

It's not just about jobs and growth

It’s not just about jobs and growth

Every May in Canberra, as winter hibernation begins, the nation’s capital comes alive as commentators descend on Parliament House to hear the Treasurer’s reading of the Federal Budget. Eager to examine the announced measures and their impact on our community, analysts compare, contrast and scrutinise the finer details, determining ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ and assessing the overall state of our economy. Of course, the frenzy of activity on Budget night is the culmination of perpetual forecasting, strategizing and planning to determine how best to economically organise ourselves to thrive as a society. But, Budget night itself represents a time for optimism and opportunity—a moment to take stock, plan and unpack the economic roadmap laid out by our political leaders, policy and decision-makers that collectively, hopefully, form a pathway towards our national prosperity. 

UnitingCare Australia takes this opportunity to comment on provisions of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018.
We would like to reiterate the concerns around the establishment of a drug testing trial which we raised in our Submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017. While we were pleased that the drug testing trial was removed from that original Bill, we are disappointed that the initiative has been reintroduced under a separate Bill with little consideration of the feedback provided by ourselves and others in the community service and health sector.