From the Chair – Leah Mertens
It has been an uncertain and challenging year for the service and on behalf of the Management Committee of The Queensland Working Women’s Service Inc., I extend my warm thanks to my fellow Committee members, to Kerriann Dear the Director and to the staff of the service. QWWS with limited resources has focused our attention and delivery of services to the most vulnerable women throughout the state. In the increasingly complex and legalistic arena of industrial relations, women, particularly the most vulnerable, report back to us that this type of access to quality advice and assistance is highly valued.
The insecurities faced by QWWS about our ongoing funding from the Commonwealth Government have dominated the attention of the Committee who have had to make difficult decisions in an ongoing effort to keep the service going until some certainty could be established. The funding concerns do not change the need for the service and QWWS continues to respond to the high volume of requests for work while ensuring a quality service to those who need it most through the Working Women Queensland program.
This year there were two significant achievements for the Committee, the first is in attaining public benevolent status (also deductible gift recipient) with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and the Australian Tax Office in March 2016. This means that : All Donations made to QWWS are now fully tax deductible. QWWS are also able to offer salary sacrifice arrangements that improve the working conditions of staff. The Committee were grateful for the assistance of Neumann Turn our Lawyers in providing expertise in guiding the Committee through this process and contributing to a successful application. Secondly, the QWWS Enterprise Agreement was also formalized in March and continues to provide best practice conditions for staff of a not-for-profit organisation including access to paid parental leave and domestic violence leave.
In October 2015 QWWS celebrated twenty years of services to the community and this was marked by a lunch jointly supported by the Industrial Relations Society of Queensland. The event was well attended and a panel of experts explored the topic of domestic violence and work. Domestic violence is no longer considered to be a private or personal matter and Australia is leading the way in providing protections in the workplace with QWWS at the forefront of advocating for this attention. I congratulate the service on it’s achievements in this area and in recognising that domestic violence is everybody’s business.
QWWS expresses thanks to the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Office of Industrial Relations (QLD) for their funding and support throughout this year and we looking forward to continued funding for the 2016-17 financial year.
For the full report click here: wwq-web
From the Chair
On behalf of the Management Committee of The Queensland Working Women’s Service Inc., I extend my warm thanks to my fellow Committee members, to Kerriann Dear the Director and to the staff of our service. I warmly congratulate QWWS on reaching twenty years of service this year (2015).
For the past two years, QWWS has focused our attention and delivery of services to the most vulnerable women . In the increasingly complex and legalistic arena of industrial relations, women, particularly the most vulnerable report back to us that this type of access is highly valued.
The Committee has been particularly focused on supporting a structure for the QWWS staff that assists and responds to the high volume of requests for work while ensuring a quality service to those who need it most. While we can determine through our history and the volume of requests for assistance to our service, there remains a high unmet need for the provision of industrial and discrimination services for women, the committee has determined that our most effective use of resources is to target our services to vulnerable women in identified target groups.
Such targeting requires specialist skill sets in our staff to interview and determine needs and above all an ability to listen to the sometimes difficult stories that our clients are telling them.
I understand the work for the staff can be at times challenging but is also rewarding and our staff report a high degree of satisfaction with their jobs in their ability to effect change and to get better outcomes for women who otherwise have been treated harshly, unfairly or unjustly.
We express our thanks to the Fair Work Ombudsman for their funding and support throughout this year and we look forward to news that the Community Based Employment Advisory Services (CBEAS) program under which we operate will provide ongoing stable funding to our service to continue to do its essential work after our current contract expires on June 30 2016.
From the Chair: Leah Mertens
On behalf of the Management Committee of The Queensland Working Women’s Service Inc., it has been terrific to see QWWS continue in a challenging funding and operating environment and hone their focus on being available to assist the most vulnerable working women in our state.
The work QWWS does remains available to vulnerable women who are seeking information on their options when concerns arise in relation to their employment. QWWS not only provides that information to women but assists the woman to better understand the alternatives and options available to her and their possible outcomes. In the increasingly complex and legalistic arena of industrial relations, women report back to us that this type of access is highly valued.
From the Chair: Alison McClintock – Acting Chair (Shanti Thompson was Chair until July 2013)
The past 12 months have seen QWWS again meet some significant challenges and come out the other side with a renewed passion for providing services to the most vulnerable working women in Queensland. A complete loss of state funding, even with a recent increase in federal funding saw an overall reduction in service provision, service size including staffing and some intense planning to ensure continuity of access with minimal disruptions.
Despite these challenges we have again this year been at the forefront of policy around women’s work issues and has contributed to Government enquiries and social debates and has provided support and advocacy to over 2000 individual women.
From the Chair: Shanti Thompson
I have had a long association with the Queensland Working Women’s Service as an employee (first in Rockhampton then Brisbane) and as a committee member. I have now finished my first
year as QWWS Chairperson. It seems that there is never a dull moment for our community based service and this year has been no exception.
The service this year has again been at the forefront of policy around women’s work issues and has contributed to public enquiries and social debates and has provided support and advocacy to over 2500 individual women.
The Young Workers Advisory Service auspiced by QWWS continues to respond to requests for assistance from young people in resolving their workplace issues as well as providing community education on rights and responsibilities for young people in the community and in high schools…
From the Chair: Alison McClintock
On behalf of the Management Committee of The Queensland Working Women’s Service Inc., I would like to thank QWWS Co-Directors Sue Assad and Kerriann Dear and the staff who have delivered such professional and competent services to over 3500 women and youth who have contacted the service this year. The service has maintained high outputs and received extremely positive client feedback and service evaluations.
At the 2010 Management Committee planning day the committee implemented an internal service review examining our governance, staffing and service delivery structures. This was a significant project that has resulted in refinements to our service delivery structure in accordance with funding received for these services.
From the Chair: Alison McClintock
Once again another year at QWWS has flown by very quickly. QWWS has continued to deliver a high quality information advocacy and advisory service to women in Queensland and demand for services has been as constant as ever. The Young Workers Advisory Service has also had a productive year with increased traffic on the YWAS website, the continuation of the telephone advisory service and high demand for community education services to young people in Queensland high schools.
During October 2009 QWWS was again invited to participate in an external Federal Government review of the Working Women’s Centres and similar community based services which examined the need for, and provision of, community-based employment services (CBEAS) in the context of the establishment of Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman. The report was provided to the Fair Work Ombudsman by September 30, 2009 and the centres were advised that it would be used to inform the decision about ongoing federal funding to the centres beyond June 2010.
From the Chair: Alison McClintock
We learned this year, when we asked through our networks, ‘Is the Queensland Working Women’s Service a valuable service for women?’, that QWWS has many friends and supporters. It became apparent the support QWWS has provided to many thousands of women has not been forgotten and the community has sent a strong message to policy makers that QWWS and the Working Women’s Centres must continue their work.
The service this year has again been at the forefront of policy around women’s work issues, has contributed to academic research and social debates and has provided support and advocacy to over three thousand individual women.
From the Chair: Alison McClintock
My third year as Chair of the QWWS Management Committee has seen the Service and Committee go through a period of consolidation and growth. Having a period of funding certainty has allowed us to analyse what we do well, how services are delivered and what we can do to improve them. The development of strategic and operational plans, in consultation with staff and the Committee, has focused attention onto our core business to deliver effective and efficient services. Valuing our past and working towards the future to ensure the ongoing viability of QWWS and YWAS. This has meant some changes in how we deliver our services while keeping true to our aims and objectives and who we are.