Changes at DHHS
A number of personnel and organizational changes are occurring within the Department.
New Director of Housing
Arthur Rogers, who was the Director of Housing, has taken up a new position as Special Advisor, NDIS Reform, within the Department of Premier and Cabinet. This role involves providing advice to the State Government on the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The VPTA had developed a positive working relationship with the former Director and senior Departmental staff and this was acknowledged by Arthur at his farewell function.
The new Director of Housing, who is yet to commence, is Nick Foa. The role of Director of Housing will be only one of a number of his responsibilities – as Deputy Secretary of Sport, Infrastructure and International Engagement, he will, no doubt, be kept busy!
A number of key senior staff will remain in their current roles and the VPTA is continuing our dialogue with them to address the range of issues that we have raised with the Department.
The more significant organizational changes within DHHS are:
The (new) Sport, Infrastructure and International Engagement Division to “lead the Department’s critical relationship with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.”
The Organisational Redesign team to “drive the ongoing departmental changes required during the transition to the NDIS and beyond, as well as those arising from the Royal Commission into Family Violence and Roadmap for Reform: Strong Families Safe Children.”
Creation of a new Community Participation, Health and Wellbeing Division – “This division has been created following:
- the move of clinical mental health functions to Health Service Performance and Programs
- the creation of a new Drugs, Community Mental Health and Primary Care branch
- the movement of some Sport and Recreation functions to the new Sport, Infrastructure and International Engagement Division
- the establishment of a new Diversity, Community Participation and Partnerships branch to bring together the department’s place-based community strengthening work, including the Office for Youth and the Office for Disability.”
More information can be found at http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/funded-agency-channel/news-and-events/changes-to-the-structure-of-the-department-of-health-and-human-services-which-will-take-effect-from-1-march-2016
State Government Budget
The 2016-17 Victorian State Budget will be handed down in early May. The Treasurer, Tim Pallas MP, responded to the VPTA’s submission by letter, in which he said “Public housing is an important issue for consideration by Government and your submission setting out the VPTA’s priorities and recommendations is greatly appreciated…….As with all budget determinations, competing priorities for the use of the Government’s limited resources will be assessed in the best interests of the Victorian community.”
VPTA Board casual vacancies
VPTA Rules allow for a maximum of nine Board members, three of whom must be public housing tenants. Currently, we have two vacancies on the Board and are particularly seeking applicants with broad knowledge of the housing sector and/or skills relevant to extending the benefits of the VPTA’s taxation status as a Charity. Experience in the areas of fund raising, sourcing philanthropic and/or corporate donations and developing business cases for funding would be an advantage.
The responsibilities of the VPTA Board are extensive and include oversight of the Association’s financial management, development of housing policy statements and strategic planning to guide the Association’s business priorities. The Board is developing a Board Charter to further define the roles and responsibilities of Board membership. Being on the VPTA Board is challenging and there can be a lot of reading and work in preparation for meetings and post meeting follow-up.
Expressions of Interest may be downloaded from the VPTA website https://vpta.org.au/ by clicking on the ‘Research’ drop down menu and downloading the pdf file titled “Board Expression of Interest”. Completed forms should be submitted to the VPTA office, addressed to the VPTA Chairperson.