NSW Neighbour Aid & Social Support Association (NASSA) is the unfunded peak body for organisations providing social support services to older people and their carers still living in their communities.
NASSA was established in 1993 and has been proudly supporting its members on a voluntary basis since that time. NASSA has members across NSW with strong representation in rural areas.
Our members’ services are funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services.
NASSA is supported by an Executive Committee and Regional Representatives, who are all Service Managers, volunteering their time to work for our Peak Association.
The Executive Committee is elected annually and its role is to manage the operation of NASSA, represent the interests of its members and participate in consultative and policy making forums at a state and federal level. The Executive Committee consists of a Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Regional Representative Liaison Officer and at least two General Members.
Each region also has an elected representative – a Regional Representative, who is elected by local members to provide support at a local level.
NASSA membership entitles a representative from the organisation to be elected as Regional Representative, vote for and stand for the Executive Committee, to vote at General meetings and for access to the members section on the NASSA website, www.nswnassa.org.au
NASSA’s primary responsibility is to promote the importance of Social Support services in local settings to government funding bodies and support and advocate for members, organise regional meetings and annual conferences.
What can NASSA offer as a Peak Body?
NASSA is an Association of CHSP-funded Social Support service providers working together for optimal care today and sustainable Social Support of older people in the future. It is:
- fundamentally about collaboration; it is a non-competitive Association of members with common goals
- focused on articulating and promoting the values of Social Support separate from other types of service supports eg.personal care, domestic assistance
- independent of government funding, with a volunteer Executive Committee of service coordinators operating their own Social Support Service
- transparent in providing equity of membership, regardless of organisation size or location
- able to offer value for money in membership fees and conference costs, and is not for profit
- focused on advocating for our members and their consumers, not for our survival as a Peak Body
- an active participant in NSW Community Care Forum with other provider and consumer Peak Bodies to collaborate, lobby governments, network and form partnerships in projects
- constantly meeting with other Peak Bodies
- able to initiate sector development projects eg. ACCOM tool development
- keeping members updated on industry changes, and facilitates their response to reform
- liaising with Government on Social Support issues and at every opportunity advocate for longevity of block funding beyond 2020.
Why is it necessary to have a Peak Body for nearly every individual program?
Peaks have developed over time in response to the unique concerns of each service type and the need to clearly articulate their individual benefits for consumers and how each is delivered. This has been vital during periods of reform, to ensure nothing is lost to consumers. Of course, NASSA is always happy to engage with other Peak Bodies to see how we can work together. It should be noted that NASSA does not receive core funding from government; however, we generally receive help with the conference [to subsidise travel and ensure all SS providers can participate].
NASSA representatives attend NSW Community Care Forum which is attended by ACSA, NSW Meals on Wheels and other peaks to discuss issues facing the Sector as a whole. NASSA executive members had meetings in Canberra to advocate the continuation of funding that supported the extension to 2020. Now at every opportunity, including the last conference where Departments heads attended, we consistently emphasise our members’ agreed message that block funding is essential for the long term continuation of Social Support activities.
Also in the past, NASSA commissioned a consultant to help us to explore partnerships with other Peak Bodies, but unfortunately we were unable to move things forward.
The NSW Neighbour Aid and Social Support Association is the Peak Body, which represents, supports, advocates and lobbies on behalf of Neighbour Aid & Social Support programmes throughout NSW.
To enlist new members and current members to campaign for block funding for individual and group social support beyond 2020.