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.
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 people should have the means and opportunities to participate socially and economically, and to live with dignity and thrive.
A robust, fair and supportive system of social protection is the precondition for a just and compassionate society, and the foundation for an inclusive and stable democracy.
Key to this is a robust social security safety net and quality services that are responsive to community need, and funded via equitable and sustainable taxation and expenditure settings.
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.