Research and Social Policy
Mission Australia Election Manifesto 2013
Australia and the next government face difficult choices. As a nation we can no longer afford to waste spending on middle-class welfare while short-changing the most vulnerable people in our society.
This will require a paradigm shift to find better ways for government, the community sector and corporate Australia to work in partnership in communities to address disadvantage and exclusion.
Mission Australia’s Election Manifesto 2013 calls on the next government to:
- Undertake root and branch welfare reform to ensure those who can work find sustainable employment while providing an adequate safety net for those who can’t work
- Commit to a universal model of early childhood education and child care while giving priority to disadvantaged families
- Introduce a single workforce age payment, or ‘universal credit’, with supplements to encourage the transition from welfare to work
- Re-engineer the jobs services system to enable greater flexibility to providers and tailored intensive supports to disadvantaged job seekers
- Secure a new National Partnership Agreement on Homeless recommitting to the 2008 White Paper targets for reducing homelessness
- Encourage innovation and investment in affordable and social housing through incentives such as the expansion of the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
Download our full Mission Australia Election Manifesto 2013 for more on how we can give every Australian the support and opportunity to successfully participate in society.
This election, let’s stand together for a truly fair Australia.
Download Mission Australia’s Policy Statements at the link below:
The Michael Project
Beginning in 2007, The Michael Project was a three-year Mission Australia initiative that aimed to help homeless men in Sydney to improve their lives. This integrated model, generously funded by a private donor, linked housing with care and support to help the men work on their overall wellbeing.
Putting a roof over someone’s head is not enough to break the cycle of homelessness, so The Michael Project provided intensive “wrap-around” support services tailored to the individual’s needs – be they dental, psychological, medical, social or vocational.
Importantly, this support was provided immediately, as and when it was needed.
The Michael Project included a longitudinal research component carried out by collaborative team, led by Dr Paul Flatau. Over the years, the team built an evidence base that we hope will change the way homelessness services are delivered.
The results, published in The Michael Project, 2007-2010: New perspectives and possibilities for homeless men, show that with appropriate and timely support, some of the most marginalised people in our community can dramatically improve their lives.
For an overview, watch our infographic presentation below:
Of the thousands of men who passed through The Michael Project, 253 entered the research study and we followed up with 106 after 12 months.
The research, some of the most detailed on homeless men ever conducted in Australia, found that a year after entering the service the men improved their:
- Health and wellbeing – reducing their hospitalisation rate from four to 1.7 times that of the general population and reporting improvements in their quality of life.
- Social and economic participation – reporting they were half as likely to feel isolated and three times more likely to be employed, with nearly 20 per cent in employment.
- Housing – with about half in stable accommodation, and only 16 per cent in crisis accommodation as opposed to 97 per cent on entering the service.
Reducing homelessness not only changes lives, but also saves us money. The cost-benefit analysis for those men tracked over the year showed they were far less likely to access publicly-funded health and justice services.
So it costs us more to leave someone homeless than it does to help them. Mission Australia will use these findings to push for a better homelessness service system.
Thanks to our partners
The Michael Project was made possible thanks to the generosity of a private donor, whose further support is now enabling Mission Australia and our partners to operate Michael’s Intensive Supported Housing Accord Service (MISHA), an integrated program for homeless men in Sydney’s west that builds on the experience of The Michael Project.
The research project was led by Dr Paul Flatau of the Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia (formerly Murdoch University) and included researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW, the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW and Mission Australia’s Research and Social Policy Unit.
Thanks also to FlowConnect who developed the research database and Ogilvie Impact for creating the animated presentation.
Research, Social Policy and Advocacy
Mission Australia has a long history of speaking out about poverty and disadvantage. With over 150 years of field experience, coupled with the expertise of our people, we have a strong knowledge base to advocate for a fairer Australia for all.
Today we increasingly use our influence in the sector, with government and business representatives, our media profile and community connections, to stand up for disadvantaged Australians.
Mission Australia believes our nation needs to come up with better ways to support the most vulnerable Australians.
In the lead up to the 2013 Federal Election we are calling on the next government to stand up and address disadvantage through welfare reform, better early childhood education, a new job services system, and investment in affordable and social housing and homelessness services. It can be done.
Read our Mission Australia’s 2013 Election Manifesto to find out how we believe the next government can address disadvantage.
We undertake research and produce publications on the key issues affecting our services and the people who use them. We aim for positive change by translating our research into practice - contributing to the planning and development of new services, or the re-shaping of existing programs to make sure we meet the evolving needs of the community.
Our research contributes to discussions about key and emerging issues within media, academia, business and the community. Much of our work is available for download.
Recent major research projects include:
Mission Australia’s Youth Survey, our annual ‘temperature check’ of youth across the nation. To take part in this year’s survey and find out results from past years visit our Youth Survey page.
The Michael Project
The Michael Project, 2007-2010: New perspectives and possibilities for homeless men, which found it costs more to leave someone homeless than it does to help them.
Social policy is one of the tools we use to influence government policy. It’s our way of telling governments what they can do better to improve the lives of disadvantaged Australians. Sometimes we can make more of an impact on our client’s lives by changing public policy than we can by delivering another service.
The social policy team seeks to affect change to public policy by preparing responses to State and Federal Government inquiries, consultations and legislative reviews. Download copies of submissions prepared on behalf of Mission Australia at the link below:
We stand alongside people in need and speak up on their behalf in a way that represents their interests.
Our advocacy is about speaking up for what’s right and using our collective, national voice to speak up for people we support.
We advocate for a fairer Australia by appealing to the highest levels of decision makers – to change government policy and public perceptions. This work is designed to complement our service delivery, so that together we can have a greater impact.
In 2009 Mission Australia became the first Australian community services organisation to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) – a strategy to help reduce the gap in living standards between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their fellow Australians. Find out more about on our ‘Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ page.
Stay informed and in touch
For more information download our Policy Submissions, Social Policy Reports.
Mission Australia Youth Survey
Youth Survey 2013: let’s hear from young Australians
Mission Australia’s Youth Survey – the nation’s most anticipated temperature check of Australian teenagers’ views and concerns – is back for 2013.
Conducted every year since 2002, our survey is now the largest and most influential of its type. The results assist with the development of youth services, guide policy makers and give the media and community an insight into what teenagers really think.
Mission Australia’s Youth Survey is a great way for young voices to be heard.
The survey is open to all Australians aged between 15 and 19. It only takes around 15 minutes to complete, so if you are in the age bracket please share your views with us.
We’d love to learn more about issues and concerns you have, what’s important in your life; where you turn for advice and
support; your use of social media and the internet; activities you participate in; your views on work and study, personal wellbeing and the future.
In 2012 more than 15,000 young people took part in Mission Australia’s Youth Survey, and this year we’re hoping many more will share their thoughts.
If you’re a youth worker, youth group leader or have family, friends, neighbours or employees aged between 15 and 19, please ask them to take part.
We want to find out how young Australians from all walks of life and parts of the nation feel. Please share the Youth Survey link on social media. And if you’re Tweeting, please include the #youthsurvey hashtag.
Want to learn more?
Read the results from previous Youth Surveys.
In 2012 we asked adults what they thought were the big issues facing today’s teenagers. Watch our videos to see what they
had to say.