Discover some autumn gold from Port Phillip. See how to share your love of books with little free libraries, get a bus load of faith by visiting local places of worship, find inspiration at St Kilda’s own film festival and peruse dozens of local events. Divercity covers topics of interest to residents of Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park, St Kilda Road, St Kilda, Elwood and Ripponlea.
Policy makers in employment and industrial relations may be in denial about rates of underpayment amongst new workers, especially student visa workers and youth. Research with student visa holders points to widespread underpayment. Helping these workers to ‘move on’ to a fair workplace could be a practical strategy to reduce exploitation.
Thorough research by Dr Stephen Clibborn, Associate Lecturer in The University of Sydney Business School’s Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies found widespread underpayment amongst students with visas. His survey found that 60% of working students were paid below legal minimums. He concludes that “Australia’s 400,000plus international student guests are particularly vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers as they are often young, inexperienced, away from support networks, financially insecure and unaware of employment rights and enforcement institutions.”
A joint Fairfax ABC investigation into students working for 7-Eleven convenience stores by The Age’s Adele Ferguson pointed to widespread and systematic underpayment. Leaked company reports suggest that up to two-thirds of stores are paying workers as little as $10 per hour. In what is being dubbed the ‘half-pay scam’, staff were allegedly paid for only half the hours they work, with time sheets fudged to record hours that met visa limits.
Working with Chinese speaking journalism students, Edunity interviewed a range of current student visa holders about their experiences in Australia, including safety, accommodation and employment. The interviews showed an understanding of minimum wages but an acceptance that most first jobs involved below legal pay. The respondents knew it wasn’t right but felt they had to start somewhere, but hoped and eventually got employment at proper rates. Then the properly paid jobs in respectful workplaces were highly valued.
Other work by Edunity suggests that young workers, especially those desperate for first jobs are at risk of underpayment and even no payment as unpaid interns or trial workers.
Move on to a fair deal
Policy makers should explore ways to support and motivate underpaid workers to move on to a fair deal – quickly and confidently.
Use social – reach out with stories of underpaid people moving on to fair wages, emphasizing the friendlier atmosphere of workplaces that play by the rules
Show how to recover lost wages – step by step instructions to recover of lost wages and benefits after moving on.
Act now to avoid reputation damage – the education industry is important to Australia and negative work experiences are a significant threat to our reputation as a destination of first choice for study. Policy makers should address ’employment risk’ alongside already identified concerns like safety, accommodation and language.
Theatreworks’ Festival of Live Arts (FOLA) is just one of the great theatre highlights in the March April Divercity. There’s also special mate’s rates at ANAM for music lovers and a host of heritage events including an ANZAC Day tour of the St Kilda Cemetery.
Say bravo to St Kilda Mums for getting an award from the Premier and Yvonne who’s volunteered for 35 years delivering library books to house-bound locals.
See the site of a new multistorey primary school in South Melbourne and new ward boundaries in the council election scheduled for 22 October.
Add to this hundreds of courses and classes at local community centres, and you’ve got two months of great things to do in Port Phillip.
Divercity is delivered to over 60,000 households across Port Phillip including Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Middle Park, Albert Park, St Kilda, St Kilda Road, East St Kilda, Balaclava and parts of Ripponlea.
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Just up the beach, you might catch the ‘oarsome’ surfboat crews from the St Kilda Lifesaving Club. With summer holidays looming, there’s still time to get kids enrolled in holiday programs, like MSAC Planet Sport.
Hanukkah is also coming and so is the Ripponlea street party on 6 December in Glen Eira Road from 11.00 am – 3.00 pm.
Seniors are invited to get involved in the Linking Neighbours program for coffee chats, bike rides and all sorts of outings.
There are so many things to do across Port Phillip; Indigenous art at the Town Hall Gallery, Summer Solstice Healing, cemetery tours, opera in the pub, skateboarding show-off and much more.
Spend your shopping time in local style at local markets; South Melbourne, Esplanade Craft and St Kilda Twilight, all buzzing in December and beyond.
A new report from education researchers Edunity shows that Australian teachers are making significant changes to the way they teach and how classes are organised to meet the growing need for a new set of skills for the knowledge economy.
The report, titled Teaching in the Knowledge Economy highlights
• the overwhelming majority of respondents (93%) feel that they need to change the way they teach to meet changing workforce expectations
• a lack of self confidence in this area – no teachers reported feeling that they were ‘leading the way’, though some felt their school as a whole could be considered in this way.
• Problem based learning approaches were identified as an effective means of linking classroom learning and real life.
Teachers identified soft skills like collaboration, self direction, communication and empathy as being key to negotiating a shifting future containing multiple careers and job pathways.
But this knowledge is tempered by limitations in the way these skills can be effectively taught and assessed, in an environment of NAPLAN, PISA and tertiary entrance rankings.
The findings confirm that teachers need more support, in terms of time allocation, useful resources and professional development and more flexibility in assessment to maximise outcomes for their students.
Edunity’s Kathryn McGrath says, “the teachers we spoke to are acutely aware that they need to change the way they teach, and many are doing just that. But there are numerous challenges – in resourcing, in meeting the needs of struggling students, and in finding an effective framework to guide these changes.”
Contact: Kathryn McGrath, Edunity
0414 570 362 or Tweet to @kathmgrath
Schools and teachers in Australia are increasingly under pressure to provide an education for students that prepares them with the skills to meet the needs of a 21st century knowledge economy. What are teachers and schools doing to meet this demand? What issues are they facing and what opportunities are there for community and business to assist schools in the most useful ways?
Edunity is currently conducting research with primary and secondary educators across Australia to gain some insights into the current attitudes and experiences of teachers.
If you are a teacher and would like to be part of this research, please complete our questionnaire by following this link.
If you are a community organisation or business that would like more information on how to collaborate with schools in this space, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +61 3 8330 1930
This edition has a jam-packed program of local events, from the Port Phillip Seniors Festival to the Discover Sailing Day on Albert Park Lake.
Learn how you can also contribute to an inner Melbourne small-scale makers map, and share your favourite Port Phillip parks on Council’s social media.
Read about the Restaurant Revolution happening at the St Kilda Triangle, the Mayor cooking up a storm at Sacred Heart and the upcoming Market Week at South Melbourne Market.
Meet Nancy the lollipop lady, Kenny and Terry the pastry chefs and the crew from the Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre. There’s also dozens of local activities, ranging from local Open Melbourne destinations to craft options at the Market.
Don’t forget the exclusive sneak peek at the new Lemnos legacy statue arriving in August.
Divercity is distributed to every house in St Kilda, East St Kilda, Ripponlea, St Kilda Road, South Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park and Port Melbourne.
Watch out for the May – June edition of Divercity, coming soon to all Port Phillip mailboxes. Learn how to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’, meet The Furies, celebrate with a local centenarian, and read about Yalukit Willam: The River People of Port Phillip – a history of Port Phillip’s first peoples.
You’ll also find lots of things to eat, see and do in Balaclava, Port Melbourne, Albert Park, St Kilda, South Melbourne, Elwood and St Kilda Road; including a Pulitzer Prize winning play, some home front history, delicious dining for a good cause and activities for crafty kids.
Divercity magazine goes to 60,000 households in Port Phillip. It’s full of things to do and people to meet in Port Phillip.
The May June edition comes out on 4 May. Please let us know about any Council or community events in May and June before the deadline 20 March.
We are also looking for interesting items on the Green three Rs: reducing, recycling and reusing.
Got any questions: call Greg Day 8330 1931