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Newsletter issue 21 October 2012

e r i w t o H r e t t e l s New In this issue...


• Financial Abuse Workshops Getting control of your money after family violence • Secure Your Super More super for your future • New Info Booklet Young people who use violence in the home •

• Coming up... •

• Annual General Meeting Monday 22 Oct 2012 • Moving soon! 372 Spencer St, West Melbourne • New Housing Guides for Women Helping women navigate the housing maze in Victoria

Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc.

Welcome to our October 2012 edition of HotWIRE WIRE received the MoneySmart Week Highly Commended Award for our Women & Money Month project (2008–2010) on Monday 3rd September 2012. The Women & Money Month project was run in partnership with QVWC and the Office of Women’s Policy, and was part of WIRE’s ongoing efforts to help Victorian women better understand money and build a more financially secure future. Clearly there was a need for the program and it’s fantastic that WIRE’s efforts are recognised. And if you haven’t already heard, WIRE is on the move! After eight years at the QVWC, we’re moving to a new home at 372 Spencer Street, West Melbourne. This decision came after 18 months of talking, planning and coming to the realisation that we needed more space! WIRE’s new home will provide more space for the Women’s Info Centre and the 5,000 women who visit

WIC each year. This also means WIRE can deliver new programs to support women seeking work and improve women’s financial security and longer term economic security. We are now organising our new fitout with much help from WIRE volunteer and architect extraordinaire Karen Tanfield (ARG Architects, Fairfield). Karen has advised us as we searched for a new home, drawn up new office plans, and will continue to help us with the new fitout. We are also drawing on our wonderful web of women for their skills and connections in the making of WIRE’s new home—we thank you for your wonderful support! So stay tuned for the moving date and come visit us in our new home! Preparations for the move aside, we continue to support and speak with women everyday with the ever growing support of our wonderful and talented volunteer team.

Samiro Douglas

Helping women get control of their money after family violence WIRE ran free workshops across Victoria in June–July 2012 for women who have experienced financial abuse, and for community workers who support them. One in three women who contacted WIRE last year and in July 2012, 17 women attended 5 women’s sought support in dealing with family violence, workshops in five venues across Victoria. including financial abuse. Hearing women’s first“A great resource for hand experiences with family violence and financial financial counsellors abuse on a daily basis has made us at WIRE acutely aware of the need to educate women on how dealing with women to manage money after they have experienced struggling to find their financial abuse in the context of family violence. financial ‘feet’.” Earlier this year, Consumer Affairs Victoria funded WIRE’s state-wide workshop program for women who have experienced financial abuse in the context of family violence, as well as for community service workers supporting them. WIRE’s financial literacy project worker Sally Marsden researched and developed the program resources —a 77-page participant manual, a 34-page Trainer Guide for Workers and a 46-page Trainer Guide for Women. She not only coordinated the venues and bookings across Victoria, but also trained facilitators and even delivered some workshops. In June 2012, 97 workers attended 10 workshops in 10 locations across metro and regional Victoria,

“Safe, open environment and very thoughtprovoking. I’m seeing things I hadn’t seen before.” On 7th June 2012 the main changes in the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2011 commenced. One of the key changes includes a new, broader definition of ‘Family Violence’ to include socially and financially controlling behaviour.

Secure your future Take control of your super! Australian women generally have much less superannuation than men—we get paid less to begin with (gender pay inequality) and are more likely to have taken career breaks or worked part-time to care for children. No wonder many women find themselves financially vulnerable upon retirement, and wholly reliant on minimal age pensions.

Changed jobs recently? Know where your super accounts are?

Currently, the maximum fortnightly payment for the single age pension is $748.80 or $19,468.80 per year. For most people, this would not be enough money to live comfortably.

For more information on managing money including your super, visit the MoneySmart website at www.

Women can make a big difference to their retirement savings by knowing where their super is, and consolidating smaller or unused accounts to save on fees and charges.

Edited and extracted from Sonida Sorn’s article written on behalf of the Australian Taxation Office


Here are some ways the Australian government will help us get the most out of our super.

Use free online tool SuperSeeker

View any lost super reported to the ATO and any super that the ATO is holding on your behalf

Transfer funds from lost super accounts and active accounts into one preferred super account using a simple online form

Look up an active account to provide details to a new employer

View details of any super accounts you have contributed to in the last two financial

Super boost for low-income earners from 1/7/2012 Eligible low-income individuals ($37,000 or less per year) will receive a government contribution of up to $500 to boost their retirement savings. No applications are needed and your eligibility will be worked out by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Higher super guarantee (SG) rate The compulsory SG rate will be raised from 9 to 12 per cent over the next seven years for all Australian workers. No upper-age limit for compulsory employer contributions from 1/7/2013 This means that if you are working, you can still grow super regardless of age. Payslips to show amount of super paid Work is underway to make it a legal requirement for employers to give more information on payslips about how much super you are being paid.

For more information on these government initiatives, visit


Easy to use 1. Visit and ‘SuperSeeker’ into the search box.


2. To do an initial search all you need is your tax file number (TFN). 3. To create a secure login and find out more information, you’ll need two personal documents to prove your identity. With more than 8 million lost super accounts one of them could be yours!

Did you know?According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, in 2009-10 women were paid an average of $112,600 upon retirement, compared to $198,000 for men.

COMING UP AT WIRE... Oct & Nov Starts Thur. 11th Oct Tue. 16th Oct

Job Club on fortnightly Mondays more info... Job Ready Computer Classes for Women (6 weeks) more info... FREE Info Seminar: Infant mental health more info...

Mon. 22nd Oct

WIRE Annual General Meeting 2012 more info...


FREE Info Seminar : My partner has depression


WIRE moves to 372 Spencer Street, West Melbourne 3003


WIRE Volunteer Christmas Party at our new home!

For information or bookings, please call 9921 0878, email or visit

We’re moving! Yes, WIRE is moving to a new home soon! Our new location will be just around the corner in Melbourne CBD at 372 Spencer Street, West Melbourne 3003. WHY? Having more space allows WIRE to offer more services and programs to more women. WHEN? Currently we are in the process of renovating and fitting out the office. We are hoping to move sometime in November as soon as the new office fitout is completed. Stay tuned for more news on WIRE’s move • at • on Facebook and Twitter • reading our fortnightly e-bulletins TRAMS: Spencer/Bourke St. 75, 95, 96, 86 and Spencer/Collins St. 11, 42, 48, 75, 96, 109, 112 TRAINS: Southern Cross / Flagstaff Stations

3 7 2 S P E N - C E R S T R T

Thank you for your kind donations to our 2012 Housing Guide Appeal.

You helped raised $3,589.24 towards research, development and printing of a plain English housing guide for women in Victoria. Many thanks to all who also helped with researching, editing and proofreading. Housing guides coming soon!

WIRE’s NEW info booklet: Young people who use violence in the home This update and reprint was kindly funded by the City of Melbourne. We also thank Jo Howard and Lisa Abbott (PenDAP & Youth Services, Peninsula Health) for their expert advice. Read/ download info booklet online!

We welcome our new WIRE staff:

Service Delivery Coordinator Sheridon Byrne Business Development Manager Julie Kun

Click here to see map! Published October 2012 Copright of Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc. ABN 98 957 157 895 Reg. No. A122

HotWIRE Biannual Newsletter #21 (Oct 2012)  

In this issue… Financial abuse workshops - Getting control of your money after family violence Secure your super - More super for your futu...