“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

Welcome / Wominjeka

Every morning at our FSSI Team check in meetings, one of the Team gives an Acknowledgement of Country. We would like to share with you an Acknowledgement given by FSSI Coordinator Lee Newnham recently…

My husband was using a quote last night – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – from A Tale of Two Cities.
One would have said before the pandemic that we were living in “the best of times”.  Suddenly, we are in a pandemic.  It has become a fearful time, an uncertain time, for many, “the worst of times”. 
The theme of Dickens book was the belief in resurrection and transformation on both a personal and societal level. I am hoping that there may be a chance that there will be transformations that come out of this time and indeed we have seen some good things happening around us.
The #blacklivesmatter movement at this time has put the Indigenous situation back on the map in a way that has certainly moved me and others. As our lives have slowed down due to the pandemic, we are looking at the world in a different way. Some, who perhaps have not had the time, the space, the need or the want to actually take in the reality of how our Aboriginal brothers and sisters have been treated in the past, and are being treated in the present, are seeing things they have not recognized before or are making the effort to find out more about our true history. It could be that we have the opportunity to truly live in “the best of times” in the future. 

We acknowledge the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation and the other various indigenous groups on whose unceded lands FSSI conduct their business. We respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past and present.
What are we hearing?
Leading through transformational times
This week, Micaela speaks with Arthur Rogers, Victorian Disability Services Commissioner. As Arthur finished this role last month, he reflects on his leadership experience through transformational times and discusses the lessons he has learnt.

With restrictions in place, Arthur discusses the impact it will have on people, especially those whose interactions are already limited. As Arthur acknowledges that these are challenging times for everybody, he talks about the key things to focus on and gives his advice on managing during these times.
Click here to view the vlog featuring Arthur Rogers
What are we seeing?
Stories into Evidence
As part of our Stories to Evidence Project, FSSI has been talking to community service organisations about adaptations that they have put in place to enable them to continue to provide high quality services and support.

VCOSS and FSSI have been commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services to gather, test, analyse and interpret critical intelligence from a diverse range of front-line service providers working across a range of service areas including disability, mental health, homelessness, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), children and families, family violence, aged care, youth and justice.

The “Stories Into Evidence Project” will develop a more comprehensive picture of the service adaptation and innovation that has taken place so far, the contribution (or otherwise) of those adaptations to ‘future state’ goals, and deeper insights into “felt demand” and its implications.

If you are aware of service or practice changes that have had a positive impact, please get in touch with us.
What are we doing?
Reflecting on our progress
FSSI is a core component of Keeping Our Sector Strong: Victoria’s Workforce Plan for the NDIS. Our latest Progress Report provides an overview of FSSI’s work over the past six months. The social service sector has been transformed  by the current health, social and economic crisis and FSSI has sought to respond to this rapidly evolving operating environment in a practical and constructive way. This has required reimagining existing projects and activities in ways that harness the power of technology and pivoting to address challenges and opportunities that have arisen in the new operating environment.

Like many other organisations, it feels like FSSI has been busier than ever and whilst 2020 has been – and continues to be – incredibly challenging, it is heartening to reflect on what we have achieved with our partners in the sector and government. To find out more, check out FSSI’s Progress Report.
FSSI Presents Fireside Chats: Mentorship

FSSI presents fireside chats with special guests Maree Walk Sandie de Wolf. In both pre and post COVID-19 contexts mentorship is something that people in professional settings strive to be involved in. How have the practicalities of mentorship changed in light of a global pandemic? This discussion promises to have fantastic insights being provided by some incredible leaders and mentors. 
Join us live for the discussion, and participate in a live Q&A. As this will be an online event, this will be open to members of the FSSI Leadership Intensive Network as well as their colleagues and friends from across the community sector.
Please click here to register

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Workforce Innovation and Development Institute · Building 98, RMIT University, 102-104 Victoria Street · Carlton, Victoria 3053 · Australia