In March 2020, the activities of the Western Australian Alliance to End Homelessness were put on hold so everyone could focus on the actions associated with a COVID-19 response. Now the Collaborative Lead Group have met again to resume work.
After regrouping the Executive Officer of the Western Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (Alliance), John Berger welcomed everyone back.
Since the establishment of the Collaborative Lead Group and the ‘stay in proceedings’ due to COVID-19 a number of issues have arisen during this period. In consultation with the Shelter WA Board Chair and CEO, it was agreed that priority needs to be given to enabling the Collaborative Lead Group to discuss governance arrangements to inform and guide the work of the Alliance. This will ensure the ongoing vision and intent of the Alliance is held true with the support of Shelter WA as the backbone.
As the Collaborative Lead Group only formed at the beginning of the year – we had not been able to develop and agree on the framework that would guide our work and inform our decision-making processes. Therefore, priority was given to our recent meeting on the 10 of July to work on an agreed governance and accountability framework.
In the resulting discussion several members of the group liked the idea of maintaining the Alliance as a “larger group and forming a smaller group”, with the delineation between the two needing to be determined.
There was general agreement that the Collaborative Lead sets the broad direction of the Alliance and advises and decides on key decisions. The Group requires broad representation of the community and sector to ensure the Alliance remains true to its key stakeholders of those experiencing homelessness and the broader community. This reflects the original Alliance objective that a whole of community response to homelessness is core.
However, there was recognition of the challenges of directing and guiding the Executive Officer and Shelter WA as the backbone to ensure the work and activities of the Alliance meet stakeholder expectations, respond to emerging opportunities & changes to the landscape and to meet contractual and probity requirements. In response to this was the agreement that the Alliance would appoint a smaller advisory group called the Project/Advisory Group to provide functional support and guidance.
What wasn’t determined was the make up of the smaller group, who appoints its members and its delegated authority – hence the agreement to develop a paper for the group to consider. To progress the work quickly the Collaborative Lead Group will meet for a three-hour meeting so this large piece of work can be dealt with in one session and then the group can move into a regular schedule.
John also briefly noted that the Alliance needed a “systems map to get an understanding of what everyone is doing”. With work being done by several individuals and agencies he determined this document would be best suited to “paint a picture” of who was doing what, something he felt was missing from the current workings of the group. This will be progressed offline and brought back to the larger group.
Stay tuned to our social media for further updates on the work of the Alliance.