Blog

An Open Letter

An Open Letter

To the Community Services workers of Australia

To the carers, the support services, youth workers, disability workers, aged care and health support teams.  To the managers, the supervisors and the business owners who have been unsure how our uncertain situation will unfold from one day to the next.  To each and every person who gets up and goes to work on the healthcare frontline:

We write to say THANK YOU. Thank you for how you continue to show up.

Day in, day out, you show up for people who rely on your help for everyday activities that most people take for granted.

But it’s more than that.

 

You’ve been there when we needed you

Thank you, simply for your presence, your friendly face. Thank you for keeping vulnerable people safe.  Thank you for every time you went the extra mile to formulate, respond, or undergo additional training to carry out new safety plans and guidelines.  Thank you for the additional planning and organising that now goes into your day.  And thank you for doing it all with a smile.

There’s no doubt these have been hard times. While Australia, on the whole, has been spared from the extensive health crisis that many other countries have and continue to experience, our country continues to hurt economically and socially. In this hardship, we have depended on you to be there – and, like bedrock, you have been. Even though you may have been hit by the challenges of lockdowns, family job losses or illness, and managing your own self care.

 

Look after yourself, look after others

We especially thank and keep in our thoughts those in Victoria, particularly in Melbourne where significant lockdown restrictions have been in place for several months. We encourage you to keep connected with friends and family by any means you are able to (in keeping with current public health directives). Physical distance may be necessary for now, but this doesn’t mean we must lead isolated lives. Indeed, it is these small, everyday connections that give us the strength and solidarity to see this through.

We also urge your continued vigilance. This crisis is far from over, and while we have kept it at bay, it’s only through your continued efforts in direct care contexts that we can continue to hold the line against this invisible enemy.

 

A message for Governments

And to those in power, on behalf of those on the front lines of caring for the ones most vulnerable in our country – keeping in mind this is a predominantly female and often highly casualised workforce. We advocate for a rise in minimum pay and conditions, protected by law, to meet the high standard of care provided across the community services sector.

It has been said: 

The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and [those with disabilities].

(Hubert Humphrey, Former Vice-President of the USA, 1977)

In Australia, we are proud to say that we have made many changes to support better access to diverse services for those in need. Let us also address the obvious need for better remuneration for community services workers – pay that expresses their true value, and the value of the community services sector overall. And let’s act now – for our mothers, our fathers, for all our loved ones, and for the next generation.

 


Once again, to the ones changing lives on a daily basis, we say thank you. You know who you are. Stay strong, stay well.

Sincerely,

Leisa Harrison

CEO

On behalf of the entire team at Essential Skills Training and Recruitment, Newcastle

In Australia, we are proud to say that we have made many changes to support better access to diverse services for those in need. Let us also address the obvious need for better remuneration for community services workers – pay that expresses their true value, and the value of the community services sector overall. And let’s act now – for our mothers, our fathers, for all our loved ones, and for the next generation.

We want every community services worker to know they are appreciated. We also want the Government to hear our message about better pay. You can help get the word out by sharing this letter:

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.