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  • Writer's pictureSocial Scaffolding

Project Updates Q3 2022

We have in this newsletter a summary of key projects underway, completed and commencing shortly. We also have two opinion pieces on governance and ageing.

We missed the deadline to complete four newsletters this year - it has been a busy time across several projects. We hope you enjoy this update, and we look forward to working with you in 2023.


Andrew Hamilton


Tenders, Forums & Opinions

Earlier this month Ange and Andrew participated in the Queensland Governments Building Digital Equity In Queensland – Disability and Industry Workshop. The workshop was attended by senior representatives from across Government, disability peak bodies, people with a disability and industry. Congratulations to the government on getting some important digital providers to the table including Telstra, Optus, SAP, Dell, Apple and the leader in the digital social inclusion space (in our opinion) Better Mobile. Representatives by leading digital peak bodies and support providers included Queensland Disability Network (QDN), Autism Australia and Council on the Ageing (COTA). The session was facilitated by Mable, successfully delivering on the task of concluding with commitment on agreed actions. Was a delight to participate and we look forward to contributing to the Employment follow on Action Group.

Back in September Andrew had the opportunity of being the keynote speaker at the NDS “Navigating the Uncertainty of Change” conference. Whilst the rollout of the NDIS has been a constant state of change, this conference focused on learning from peer organisations on how to navigate, respond and embed changes in an organisations culture. To provide some comfort as well as some learnings Andrew presented on other Australian industries on how they had responded to change and sharing their insights, learnings and benefits for the NDIS sector as it continues to evolve.

This past month we have been in tendering writing mode for several clients – leading tender project teams and writing the bulk of submissions for contracts ranging from the Primary Health Network, Queensland Government employment initiatives and Department of Social Services projects across NDIS initiatives.

And lastly a word about the Social Enterprise World Forum proudly hosted in Brisbane with great fanfare - a culmination of years of effort by many individuals and organisations that Social Scaffolding is proud to call colleagues and peers.

It was a great opportunity to meet and speak with so many innovators – some who are new to the social enterprise space but many whose passion for delivering a purpose led business has kept them going, learning, reengineering, improving and delivering social impact outcomes. The chance to network and exchange ideas and knowledge with our global social entrepreneur peers will provide us with more tools and resources to transform our social enterprises and create a broader impact. The opportunity now is for social enterprises to run with this significant momentum in Brisbane and Queensland - an exciting time to be a social enterprise.

There is often a debate about what is and what isn’t a social enterprise, leading to a lot of confusion and making it an unnecessarily difficult place for people to get involved in. At the SEWF22 a debate was held about whether social enterprise was defined too narrowly. Tom Dawkins, Co-founder/CEO of StartSomeGood put it quite succinctly, ‘At the end of the day it’s about your motivation. If you’re trying to make a positive social or environmental impact using business, you’re a social enterprise.’

What is clear is that social enterprises are creating a rising impact on multiple fronts – economic, social well-being and environmental – with goals of delivering significant local and global community outcomes.



The Queensland Government has committed $8 million over 2 years for the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund, as part of the Future Skills Fund. Under the Jobs Fund, $4.6 million in funding has been allocated to business development and growth grants for eligible organisations and Social Enterprise Growth Grants (Round 1 – 2022–23) are now open. The Social Enterprise Growth Grants program provides grants to eligible established Queensland social enterprises for capability and capacity building that supports the business to scale up or adapt. The social enterprise must have potential within the next two years to grow the business including its social impact and increase employees. $1.6 million will be available for Social Enterprise Growth Grants of between $5,000 and $25,000 (excluding GST) per organisation. Funds may be provided for eligible organisations to purchase equipment and resources, or access business services, to enable them to move their social enterprise to the next stage of growth. Talk to the Social Scaffolding team if you are interested in applying and seeking support to grow your social enterprise. Applications close 5pm, Thursday 12 January 2023: go to the DESBT site for more details.


Representative Boards

Pros & Cons - By Denise Gibbons

The role of the Board and Management Committees of not-for-profit organisations is fundamentally to be accountable for the actions of the organisation. It has an over-riding duty to the mission mandated by the governing document (the constitution) of the organisation. With that mission, there will be stakeholders or constituents that the organisation has been created to assist and benefit. A representative board means that the composition of the board includes representatives of the stakeholders or constituents for which the organisation was established. In theory, representative boards are motivated to ensure that the board’s decisions reflect the will of the stakeholders of the organisation. What does this motivation look like in practice? As a member of a representative management committee, I share what I see are the benefits and challenges of a representative board. The advantages – ‘Pros’

  • A visible or transparent connection to the membership particularly the constituents of the organisation. For me, this means that the organisation’s purpose is front and centre not only for the committee but everyone who is involved in the organisation.

  • Responsibility for member accountability to stakeholders that is built-in to the committee’s work. For me, I believe that having the constituents on the committee means that we remain true to the organisation’s purpose, and this help us to make clearer decisions.

  • It provides constituents an opportunity to have a voice. My experience has been that hearing the lived experiences of the constituents on the committee has meant that I have a deeper understanding of the importance of the decisions we are making as a committee. It also empowers the constituents.

  • It gives the organisation public and political legitimacy.

The disadvantages – ‘Cons’

  • To best serve its organisation, the committee needs a diverse range of opinions from people with broad life and professional experience. If there are limited number of positions available for professional expertise because of the inclusion of constituent positions, the committee may be limiting its functionality. Therefore this could potentially affect the functionality of the committee because it may limit having committee members with the necessary functional skills for the committee.

  • Longer decision-making times when consultation with the constituents requires additional support and education. From my experience, additional resources are required to ensure that the constituents fully understand the decisions being made. These additional resources may need to be provided by other committee members, leading to additional pressure on the other members to ensure that a broader view of the decision for the organisation is being made.

To sum up, from my perspective, representative boards provide transparency and honesty to ensure that the mission of an organisation is being met. In terms of functionality, representative boards create additional restraints that require careful governance consideration to ensure the best functional decisions are being made for the organisation.


An Ageing Trend

Leaving Older Australians Confused

It’s no surprise that population ageing is a global trend. Within Australia, it is projected that by 2066 older people will make up between 21% and 23% of the total population [1]. With increased life expectancy and a declining proportion of younger Australian’s, the number of people aged 65 years and over will overtake the number of children aged 0 to 14 years by around 2025 [2].

Older Australia’s are not homogenous but are an enormously diverse group of individuals, with different cultures and languages, gender and sexuality, health status, socio-economic backgrounds, religions and spirituality, geographic locations, life experiences and lifestyles.

While providing equitable access and support to all older Australians is a policy goal, navigating the aged care and other service systems is complex. This complexity becomes even more pronounced when you factor in that an older person may be living with a cognitive impairment, significant health issues or is from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.

Older people with diverse needs often have challenging experiences understanding, navigating, accessing, and receiving optimum aged care services and supports. For many the previous negative experiences in attempting to access government services has resulted in them not wanting to engage - placing them at risk of not receiving the vital aged care supports that they need to maintain a healthy and vital life in their community.

Differing levels of disadvantage may apply across different groups and to different levels across individuals. For example, people who experience social disadvantage or are at risk of homelessness face barriers that can limit their ability to understand, access and maintain access to various aged care supports.

The complexity of the aged care system has left many older Australians confused about what kind of care is available to them and the best ways to access the most appropriate care. As Australia’s population continues to age the demand for aged care services and support to navigate the complex system that surround them will only increase. In response to this demand the Australian government is rolling out the Care Finder Program across the nation as part of the Connecting Senior Australians to Aged Care Services measure, which will be delivered through PHNs. The Social Scaffolding team has gained a significant understanding of this sector, the complexities and the solutions possible through the Care Finder program as a result of our recent engagement in this work.

[1] ABS 2018

[2] Australian Bureau of Statistic, 3101.0-Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2011 (December 2011)



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