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In partnership with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), NCOSS held "Evidence Talks" online learning sessions from August to November 2021.

In three x 90-minute sessions, we went 'back to basics' and relearned concepts, whilst preparing to use the highly-anticipated DCJ Evidence Portal when it launches in late 2021.

Back to basics: FACSIAR’s Evidence ‘How To’ Guides (31 August 2021)

Presenter - Katie Page, Senior Evidence Officer | Strategy and Evidence-FACS Insights, Analysis and Research (FACSIAR), NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ)

Katie is a Senior Evidence Officer in the Strategy and Evidence team of DCJ's Family and Community Services Insights Analysis and Research unit (FACSIAR). Her role involves evidence work, knowledge translation and supporting development of the evidence base for NSW State Outcomes and Premier’s Priorities. Katie has a Master of Policy and Applied Social Research and undergraduate degrees in social work and social science. She has also worked in inner Sydney homelessness services and in child protection/out-of-home care practice and policy in NSW Government.

Focus areas

    • Key concepts in recognising and using various types of Evidence
    • Appraising good quality evidence for everyday practice

Revisiting your Theory of Change (15 September 2021)

In this 1.5 hour session, Robin gave a refresher on the ‘Theory of Change’ (ToC) as it applies to social and community services, as well as ‘case studies’ on how the ToC was used in two community projects. The recording includes a brief introduction by Anna Bacik, NCOSS Director Policy and Research.

Presenter – Robin Miles | Director, Social Equity Works

Robin Miles is the Director of Social Equity Works, and she also works for the Miller Group as a Principal Consultant. Robin has worked for over 30 years in the human services sector in NSW, working in government departments, in the higher education sector and as a private consultant. She provides sector support to TEI-funded services and has also supported services during the homelessness reform process. Robin is an experienced evaluator and a member of the Australasian Evaluation Society. She has conducted many evaluations of large and small-scale projects and programs. Robin is a passionate advocate for the importance of measuring outcomes to strengthen service delivery, as well as for the core role that Theory of Change plays in defining a program's overarching process in order to achieve change.

DCJ Evidence Portal (18 November 2021)

Resource links shared by session participants

About the Presenters

Anthony Shannon | Director of Early Intervention Volunteering and Youth, NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ)

Anthony is no stranger to NCOSS members and participants, having joined us in many previous sector forums and meetings. Anthony has held a number of positions across DCJ/old FACS over more than 15 years- at head office leading statewide targeted earlier intervention, child protection and homelessness reforms; and at District level, managing NGO disability and community services funding, community development and sector partnerships.

Dr Amy Conley Wright (BA MSW PhD) Associate Professor of Social Work and Policy Studies University of Sydney| Director of the Research Centre for Children and Families

Amy leads an extensive portfolio of applied research to build evidence about strengthening family and cultural connections, and promoting well-being for children in out-of-home care, focused on active exchange of research findings into policy and practice through substantial engagement with the government and non-governmental sector. To date, her research has attracted over $3.4 million in external research funding, including from Australian Research Council, Australian National Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), and the Australian Institute of Criminology. Amy has published four books as well as authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and commissioned research reports.

Ken Zulumovski Hon DHSc (USyd)  |Founder and Managing Director, Gamarada Universal Indigenous Resources (GUIR) 

Ken received the honorary award of  ‘Doctor of Health Sciences’ by The University of Sydney in 2019 for his outstanding contribution to Australian society.

GUIR provides specialised and tailored services to individuals and organisations across the private, government and community sectors. Its spheres of influence include health, mental health, education, justice, and employment and community engagement across the social & emotional wellbeing fields. GUIR specialises in program co-design and evaluation, coaching, mentoring, cultural supervision, and organizational capacity building underpinned by the GUIR COURAGE Coaching Model. The model combines Australian First Nations wisdom traditions with Western behavioral science and elements of military leadership and is used extensively for staff training, program development and community engagement. GUIR works to promote community cohesion with a focus on marginalised groups who may be at risk of radicalisation.

Gamarada was recognised by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet with an Excellence Award for Building Leadership in Indigenous Communities.

Johanne Gow |Manager of Evidence and Strategy NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ)

Jo has been with DCJ since 2004, and has worked across many portfolios within the Department in the past 17 years. These include the Parliamentary and Cabinet unit, Multicultural Services, Legislative Review, Royal Commission team and Office of the Deputy Secretary Commissioning. She’s held her current role, supporting the TEI and other early intervention programs towards achieving better outcomes for children, families and communities in NSW.

For queries about these resources, please email: (ATTN: Training)