UnitingCare Australia believes that every older Australian should be able to live well, as part of their community, with dignity and independence, and in a place of their choosing.
In the new environment of consumer-led and demand-driven aged care, older Australians should have access to the appropriate and affordable support and care services that they need, when they need them.
UnitingCare Australia’s vision is for all children and young people in Australia to have access to the support and opportunities they need to be healthy, happy, and actively contributing citizens in Australian society.
This means recognising that well-functioning families are best placed to support and protect children, and committing to ensure that children live in safety and free from poverty.
People with disability in Australia deserve a decent life of choice and inclusion. A key principle of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is to support the independence as well as the social and economic participation of people with disability.
The NDIS allows individuals and families to choose the supports and services they need to fully participate in society, potentially transforming the lives of people with disability.
It is imperative that the NDIS is fully funded, properly rolled-out and that no one is left behind in the process.
Improving employment outcomes for people who have been or are at risk of being long term unemployed is a priority for services across the UnitingCare network because work can improve social inclusion, health and wellbeing.
Getting a job can be a motivator and enabler for dealing with personal, health and skill barriers, as well as a goal in itself. However, a narrow focus on getting a job in a short time frame is not effective.
Landing a stable job is the result of a holistic response to a person’s personal circumstances, family responsibilities, community context, skills and education potential and an ability to match a person’s capability to local labour market opportunities.
Access to stable and safe housing underpins functional families and communities. As a wealthy nation, Australia has the resources to ensure that everyone experiences belonging in a safe and supportive community, with appropriate, affordable housing.
UnitingCare Australia, along with other community organisations, wants to see a halving of the number of homeless people by 2025. To achieve this goal it will be vital for different levels of government, and private and not-for-profit organisations, to work together.
Given the considerable research indicating the impacts of government policy settings on housing affordability, the Australian Government, States and Territories should properly assess these impacts, and design reforms to encourage investment in affordable housing supply.
All governments should work together to support innovative models that ensure low income households have access to appropriate social housing or affordable private rental accommodation and, where necessary, supported accommodation is available to people needing other services to avoid homelessness.
All Australians should have the means and opportunity to live a decent life of financial health and wellbeing.
UnitingCare believes the Australian welfare system must support the transition out of poverty into stable employment.
This can be achieved through a more equitable tax and transfer system, in conjunction with innovative national employment approaches that address the changing workforce.
A community services sector is an integral part of our country’s civil society and serves a hugely important role for people in need and their families. This includes aged care, disability services, allied health, and housing services that are accessible and affordable to all Australians.
This means adequate and targeted funding, a professional and flexible workforce, and quality services available where they are needed. This is achieved through comprehensive planning and cooperative delivery that is focused on quality, not just cost.