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In FY18 SVA advocated for change by:

Continuing engagement with Federal Government on national impact investment policies.

In FY18 we saw the fruits of our ongoing advocacy to improve the national policy infrastructure for impact investment, including the growth in the Social Impact Bond markets in Vic, QLD and NSW.

In recent years we have made multiple contributions to the creation of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) including joint submissions with our partners Macquarie Group and briefings and round tables with Commonwealth Treasury and the community housing sector. The NHFIC was established in legislation in FY18 and will raise its first capital this year.

The NHFIC is an affordable housing bond aggregator, which should increase capital flows into the social and affordable housing market, creating more stock and ultimately better outcomes for people trying to access affordable and appropriate housing. The Commonwealth Government also allocated new funding in the Budget for social impact investing, including funds for developing an impact framework, which SVA has been engaged to deliver in partnership with Taylor Fry.

SDGs: Sustainable cities and communities, Partnerships for the goals

Actively supporting the ‘Hands Off Our Charities’ campaign.

In FY18 SVA joined with a broad community of not-for-profit organisations to ensure the charities sector retains the ability to advocate for the needs of the individuals and systems we work with and for. We signed on to the ‘Hands Off Our Charities’ campaign, and provided submissions to parliamentary inquiries on proposed changes to electoral funding and disclosure laws and the Foreign Interest Transparency Scheme.

The collective effort has been a success, with the Government agreeing to substantial changes to both pieces of legislation so that charities maintain the capacity to advocate for policy change in the service of their charitable purpose. This included altering national security legislation to ensure we can continue to push for social change.

SDGs: Partnerships for the goals

Campaigning for the wider adoption of evidence informed practice throughout the Australian education system.

In FY18 we took forward a strong education agenda spanning evidence, collaborative networking, STEM skills in low SES schools and a broader ‘capabilities’ or 21st century skills framework. We advocated to Government to establish an independent evidence body that will provide services to all Australian schools and educators.

The intensive campaign involved direct government engagement, coalition building, policy roundtables and leading public debate in order to garner support. In line with SVA’s recommendation, the Gonski 2.0 review explicitly recommended a national research and evidence institute (Recommendation 23).

The Government has committed to implementing the recommendation and the Federal Opposition has announced it will invest $280 million in a new Education Evidence Institute if elected. This would be a significant national reform, helping ensure all teachers across Australia have access to the information they need when making decisions about their teaching practice. It would also help direct the growing education spend towards high-impact teaching practices. Importantly, the experience of similar initiatives overseas suggests this approach will have greatest impact on lifting learning for the children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.

SVA also made submissions to the Commonwealth on how take the successes generated through the Bright Spots Schools Connection program to schools in regional, rural and remote locations. Together with Samsung we briefed the Chief Scientist on how our STEM Learning Hub approach to community-business partnerships can be used to improve STEM learning. Finally, SVA hosted the next iteration of the SVA Education Dialogue featuring Andreas Schleicher – OECD Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills – to advance the debate around what capabilities students will need to succeed in coming decades. This theme also carried through strongly into the final report from David Gonski AC.

SDGs: Quality education, Reduced inequalities, Partnerships for the goals