(02) 6620 1800 [email protected]
What’s in the 2020-2021 Federal Budget for the Northern Rivers?

What’s in the 2020-2021 Federal Budget for the Northern Rivers?

Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers NSW has summarised the effects of the latest federal budget on our region. It seems there are a lot of benefits for local industry and employment.

Roads will be improved, Apprenticeships made available, extending Skills for Education and Employment places for job seekers, relocation and support for Pacific and Timorese workers will provide welcome support for our agricultural industry. And much more around tourism and creative industries.

Follow this link to the full RDA Northern Rivers NSW eNews Alert for all the details.

Now Open – Consultation Survey, National Youth Policy Framework- Closes 12/10/20

Now Open – Consultation Survey, National Youth Policy Framework- Closes 12/10/20


The Commonwealth Department of Health’s Youth Taskforce is pleased to announce the National Youth Policy Framework Consultation Survey is now live.

The purpose of this consultation is to give young Australians an opportunity to help shape the development of the Framework and share their views on what is most important to them. Further, this consultation will help the Youth Taskforce to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting young Australians, information that will be invaluable as the Youth Taskforce continues to develop and refine the Framework.

The survey is accessible to all young Australians aged 18 and over and is the third consultation round since the Youth Taskforce began its work in June 2019.

The survey can be accessed directly here and some information on the consultation at the Youth Taskforce website.

The survey will be open until Monday 12 October 2020.

Further information:
Elizabeth Bennett
Director | RDA Coordinator
COVID Regional Intelligence and Local Government
Regional Development and Local Government Division
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
GPO Box 168, Hobart  TAS  7001
t 03 6221 0607 | m 0439 648 720
e [email protected]  | w www.infrastructure.gov.au  


Far North Coast Regional Water Strategy- Aboriginal consultations

Far North Coast Regional Water Strategy- Aboriginal consultations

Various dates held throughout the Far North Coast. See the attached flyers and details below.

14 September 2020
12:00pm- 4:00pm
Byron Bay Services Club, 132 Jonson St

15 September 2020
12:00pm- 4:00pm
Githabul Working on Country, 67 Kyogle Road

16 September 2020
12:00pm- 4:00pm
Fountain Room, Lismore Town Hall, 1 Bounty Street

17 September 2020
12:00pm- 4:00pm
South Sea Islander Room, Tweed Heads Civic and Cultural Centre, Corner of Brett St and Wharf St

Far North Coast Regional Water Strategy

The Far North Coast region is located in north-eastern NSW and comprises most of the region referred to as the Northern Rivers. The region is home to over 240,000 people and includes the regional centres of Tweed Heads, Lismore and Ballina.

The region’s growing population and tourism industry, important agricultural, forestry, construction and manufacturing industries and highly valued waterways, environmental and cultural assets are susceptible to long periods of drought and flooding.

The Far North Coast regional water strategy, to be completed in 2021, will consider these challenges and identify options to deliver healthy and resilient water resources for the region.

Further information please contact:

Regional Water Strategies enquiries
Email: [email protected]   

Eva Kokkelmans
Senior Stakeholder Relations Officer – Regional Water Strategies
Water Division| Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
M 04 1928 8416 | E [email protected]
Level 0, 84 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW 2500


NSW Police Force Domestic Violence Information Sheets

NSW Police Force Domestic Violence Information Sheets

The NSW Police Force recently developed several information sheets to assist victims of domestic violence and defendants with their journey through the criminal justice system.

The information sheets are available on the NSW Police Force website at www.police.nsw.gov.au/crime/domestic_and_family_violence/domestic_violence_fact_sheets_and_documents

The sheets cover topics including: general domestic violence information, property recovery orders, domestic violence charges, AVOs and giving evidence in the local court.

Police are encouraged to give them to victims prior to court. You may also find the information useful for your clients.


If reading this article has caused you concern, below are some resources where you can find support. 

Domestic Violence Line 1800 656 463 if you are experiencing domestic or family violence (24/7).

Child Protection Helpline 132 111 if you are a child who needs help or you are concerned a child has been / is at risk of being abused (24/7).

MensLine 1300 789 978 if you are a man with family or relationship concerns (24/7).

1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732 for free counselling and support (24/7).

The latest COVID-19 info from HeathtNorth Coast

The latest COVID-19 info from HeathtNorth Coast

Healthy North Coast have published their Community Newsletter – covering the latest info around Covid-19 here on the Far North Coast.

The Newsletter covers topics such as:

  • Queensland Border restrictions
  • Testing
  • Telehealth appointments
  • Face Masks
  • Mental wellbeing and support
  • and features a video for Aboriginal communities.

Follow this link if you would like to access the newsletter – and if you have questions or suggestions email

Research project: Planning for a better life under the NDIS

Research project: Planning for a better life under the NDIS

A research study, involving several universities, is being carried out to better understand the experience of people in rural, regional and remote Australia who live with a disability and have an NDIS plan.

Planning for a better life with the NDIS

Researchers are looking to  interview people with disability, LACs, NDIS Planners, and Community Connectors, and ECEI agencies who are based
Central Australia and Central Western NSW.

If you have been involved with a number of NDIS planning meetings, your thoughts and experiences would be greatly appreciated. The results of the study will help to plan and design resources and training for people working as formal advocates. and, to improve the planning process for NDIS participants.

Participation is voluntary and would involve an hour and a half conversation in a focus group (either in person or remotely) – or if preferred an individual interview. The information you provide will be de-identified.

If you are interested in sharing your experience contact:

Sarah-Jane Greenaway, Research Assistant Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council, [email protected] or 02 6361 4742

Nettie Flaherty, Research Assistant Centre for Remote Health Alice Springs, [email protected] or 08 89514778

John Gilroy, Chief Investigator The University of Sydney, [email protected] or 0427238776

Funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

This Is Deeply Concerning

This Is Deeply Concerning

Last weekend it was reported by Sky News that the Government is considering slashing the new JobSeeker Payment as early as July. Let’s be frank: This is deeply concerning.

Returning to the old cruel rate of $40 a day would not only be a devastating blow for people relying on the payment, but would also massively harm our economy.

This is especially true if a return to the old payment was to happen in July, merely two months away.

We know the community is onside: last week, we reported the results of an Essential Research poll that showed 57 percent of people do not want to return JobSeeker to the old brutal rate of $40 a day (with 28 percent supportive of a return to the old Newstart rate and 15 percent unsure).

This was followed by a Sydney Morning Herald poll that showed strong support for not cutting income support, with 72 percent supporting a permanent increase to JobSeeker (18 percent opposed a permanent increase and 10 percent were unsure).

(Subscriber Poll, Sydney Morning Herald, published May 6 2020.)

We need your help to ensure the Government listens: Can you write to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and tell them why we can never go back to the brutal old rate of $40 a day?

In particular, if you are currently on JobSeeker – or Youth Allowance or Parenting Payment – they need to hear from you, loud and clear, about what cutting your income would mean for your ability to keep a roof over your head and put food on the table. Feel free to send us a copy of what what you send them.

You might also like to register here to contact your local Member of Parliament to let them know why we can never go back to $40 a day.


Victims Services is introducing changes to improve our services to victims of crime

Victims Services is introducing changes to improve our services to victims of crime

What’s new?
•    Consolidation of phone numbers
•    Choice of counsellor
•    New application form

Consolidation of Phone Numbers
Victims Services will have two main contact numbers.
The Aboriginal Contact Line remains unchanged and is still available on: 1800 019 123.
The Victims Access Line (VAL) 1800 633 063 will now provide access to a broader range of services. Individual service numbers will be redirected to the VAL number.
Please listen to the new menu selection that will guide you to choose the specific service you are after including:
•    Victims Support Service
•    Approved Counsellors
•    Restitution
•    Specialist Victims Support Service
•    Child Sexual Offence Evidence Program
•    Redress
•    Families and Friends of Missing Persons

Why are we making this change?
Consolidating the various contact numbers provides for easy access to all services.

Choice of Counsellor
Once approved for counselling, our clients will now be able to choose the counsellor that suits them best from the list available on the Victims Services website.
We will no longer allocate a counsellor to a client.

Why are we making this change?
The new process allows clients to arrange an appointment with an available counsellor when they are ready.
If a client experiences difficulty locating a counsellor they can call the VAL or the Aboriginal Contact Line for assistance.

New Application Form
Victims Services is introducing a new application form to streamline access to the various forms of support under the scheme.
Applications will now require relevant documentary evidence to be included at the time of lodgement to enable efficient processing of claims.  The new requirements reflect the hierarchy of support provided under the scheme.  Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

For clients who need assistance with collecting documentary evidence to support a claim, Victims Services website will feature a guide and report templates to help with this.
Where a client cannot obtain other medical documents to support their claim for economic loss or a recognition payment, they may use a counselling report from an Approved Counsellor as the documentary evidence.  The client will need to request a report directly from their counsellor and then make a new application for the relevant support type.

Why are we making this change?
Incomplete application cause delays in processing claims.  We are focusing our resources on getting completed applications processed and approved so clients can get their payments faster.
For more information about these changes please call the Victims Access Line (VAL) on 1800 633 063; the or the Aboriginal Contact Line 1800 019 123  or see our FAQs link below.

FAQs – Service Improvements April 2020

New publication, Research to practice brief: Enabling the participation of young people in residential care decision making

New publication, Research to practice brief: Enabling the participation of young people in residential care decision making

A new research-to-practice brief has been published by the Australian Childhood Foundation Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care titled ‘Enabling young people’s participation in residential care decision-making’.

The brief draws from international literature to examine: what is participation, and why is it important, in residential out-of-home care?

What are the most effective models of participation, and how can practitioners enable the participation of young people, in their own lives, in program design and organisational decision making?

Feedback welcome to [email protected] Check out the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care’s other publications here: https://cetc.org.au/publications/.

In My Blood it Runs

In My Blood it Runs

After an incredible opening box office weekend in February, as well as some incredible wins in 2019 with Dujuan’s UN speech, awards, Parliamentary screenings and sold out festival screenings worldwide – we’re super excited to be bringing this film to your living room.

What better way to socially distance than watching a beautiful film with other people across the country and support First Nations communities?

30% of ticket profit will go towards immediate crisis response work of our partner organisations Children’s Ground and Akeyulerre Healing Centre in Alice Springs to support communities to prepare for and prevent terrible health impacts of coronavirus. 20% will go directly towards supporting those in the film who live in the Northern Territory to stay safe during this uncertain time.

Ten-year-old Dujuan is a child-healer, a good hunter and speaks three languages. As he shares his wisdom of history and the complex world around him we see his spark and intelligence. Yet Dujuan is ‘failing’ in school and facing increasing scrutiny from welfare and the police.

As he travels perilously close to incarceration, his family fight to give him a strong Arrernte education alongside his western education lest he becomes another statistic. We walk with him as he grapples with these pressures, shares his truths and somewhere in-between finds space to dream, imagine and hope for his future self.

Time to pop that popcorn in the microwave!

NOTE: this is available exclusively for those accessing the film from Australia. Geoblocking will prevent access from other territories.

VIEW TRAILER: www.inmyblooditruns.com/#watchtrailer

Still making a daily meal but closing the main doors

Still making a daily meal but closing the main doors

For the time being the Winsome has had to reduce it’s activity for the safety of our friends and volunteers, due to the COVID-19 virus risk.

So starting today we are not opening our doors as we normally do. However, we are still providing a wonderful meal every day, and still looking out for the needs of some of Lismore’s most vulnerable people.

At 11.30am each day, we’re serving lunch from the side verandah, in takeaway containers; and ensuring people have some sandwiches for later in the day too.

Often a lot of people meet at the Winsome every day, and visitors often attend some of the several service providers such as doctors etc that usually operate from the premises. So we’re really sorry that because of the virus risk, we’ve had to wind down these opportunities.

The Winsome does have an ongoing need for support, and as usual the best gift is cash – as we support local businesses, and provide top quality food. You can donate here….





This survey will provide input into increasing Access to Safe and Sustainable Private Rental Accommodation for Women Escaping Domestic and Family Violence. We are particularly keen to hear from any services in the Far West and Western NSW and the Mid North Coast to make sure that this is truly representative of our voice across the whole state. Read more

CLSD & Collaborative Planning Coordinator – Northern Rivers

I am currently conducting some research regarding the experiences of service providers in the NR region who make referrals to Legal Services. I am looking for service workers who would like to participate in a 15 minute interview over the phone or face to face.  The research is to assist us to better understand what is working well and what we could improve on.  Please give me a call or email me to book a time.  Interviews need to be conducted by 18 November 2019.

[email protected]

0432 506 133

Thank you

Joy Peters