High quality education 2015-2016

The TU’s education programs reached approximately 1,500 people face to face – 248 tenant advocates and community workers participated in our training courses, almost 1,000 residential parks residents attended our new law information sessions and 253 people attended our boarding house law seminars.

Training for tenant advocates and community workers

248 advocates and volunteers in the Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Program (TAAP) attended training this year, an increase of nearly 40% on 2014-2015.

Training delivered covered:

  • Tenancy Law – providing advice and advocacy
  • Introduction to NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)
  • NCAT– conducting formal hearings
  • Boarding Houses Act
  • New Residential Parks Legislation
  • Aboriginal Awareness
  • Social Housing
  • Fair Trading reporting database (online)
  • Providing Community Education
  • Understanding Mental Health
  • Tenancy and Criminal Law
  • Consumer claim law
  • Finding the Facts (Online Tools for Casework) (online)
  • Researching the Rules (Legal Research for Advocates) (online)

Synchronous online training is well accessed by regional TAASs. We will be expanding both synchronous and asynchronous online training during 2016-2017. Regional workers also continue to access city-based training in high numbers.

We also conducted regional training sessions in Coffs Harbour, Newcastle and Wollongong.

Three full and four part qualifications were awarded in Certificate IV in Community Services Advocacy CHC41012. Nine TAAP staff are currently enrolled. This not only ensures high quality consistent outcomes for tenants in NSW but also provides a pathway to further education for tenant advocates.

While training of tenant advocates is the core of our education work we continue to expand our delivery of community education. This year we worked in partnership with other organisations to deliver training to a record 195 participants. Highlights include:

  • We collaborated with HomelessnessNSW to establish a joint project in which TAASs will provide tenancy information for non-lawyers to Specialist Homeless Services in NSW.
  • We delivered an introductory NCAT training for eight members of the Residential Parks Representatives Forum.
  • Presented to a mental health consumer conference
  • Provided training to settlement services who provide housing assistance to refugees

Residential Parks Community Education Project

The Tenants’ Union implemented a number of strategies to inform residents of land lease communities (residential parks) about the changes to law and how their rights and responsibilities are affected.

We launched a new website, thenoticeboard.org.au, produced a comprehensive set of factsheets for residents about the new law, published a 20-page newsletter and undertook a statewide community education project.

Our community education project saw us visit 107 land lease communities and deliver 19 information sessions to almost 1,000 residents. We also distributed 10,000 copies of Outasite (our specialist residential parks’ newsletter).

Boarding Houses Education Campaign

The education campaign ended in June 2016. The aim of the campaign was to ensure that boarding house sector stakeholders, particularly residents of boarding houses, are aware of the law and its application, and have the skills to monitor and take action under the relevant provisions of
the Act.

Campaign achievements include:

  • 30,000 wallet sized fold-out cards with information on the occupancy principles and the Boarding House Hotline phone number were distributed through boarding houses in the inner city and a wide range of community organisations working with residents of boarding houses.
  • The Hotline, launched in April 2015, continues to get an average of two calls a week from boarding house residents or people working with them.
  • 247 individuals and organisations received the ebulletin Onboard.
  • 7,000 brochures were distributed to agencies including 3,000 to public libraries.
  • 253 individuals from homeless agencies, council offices, legal centres, and medical organisations attended 16 training sessions. Of those 253 people, 168 attended training in their place of employment organised either as a result of advertising in Onboard or by direct contact by the Project Coordinator.

We acknowledge here the excellent work of Margaret Di Nicola, the TU’s Project Worker on the campaign. Margaret took on the challenging job of getting information directly into the hands of boarding house residents and spent many hours pounding the pavements of the inner city identifying boarding houses and dropping off cards, brochures and posters.

We also acknowledge and thank Newtown Neighbourhood Centre which has been our valued partner throughout the project.

Compliance with requirements as a Registered Training Organisation

We continue to ensure that our education program meets our obligations as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Mandatory reporting to the RTO registering body was completed in a timely fashion. Our Learning and Development Coordinator and our assessors put in considerable effort in transitioning to the new Certificate IV in Community Services (CHC42015). Thanks also for assistance in this go to:

  • Anne Coates
  • Margaret Barnes (Tenants Queensland)
  • Marina Chadiloff (Wholistic Learning)
  • Ruth Simon (Dtarawarra)


> TU Annual Report 2015-2016 contents