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Karen's thoughts on the Social Economy

Keeping the NFP Message Front and Centre

Thursday, 9th August 2012

It’s hard to keep many community issues front and centre and in the public eye.

It always surprises me at how quickly attention moves from one big issue to the next. Take the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Last week we saw the Not for Profit sector advocating and pushing hard for State Governments to get on board and bring their cheque books to the table for a national trial. It was the main focus for days as advocates pushed for the biggest social change since the introduction of Medibank in 1975.

This week, notwithstanding the London Olympics, Not for Profits must be wondering what happened? The whole issue has gone quiet save for some finger pointing at Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s continued inability to find NDIS dollars and some anxious waiting for Victoria to get the nod for a trial.

Politics and politicians do make it difficult for Not for Profits to keep their message out there.
The Prime Minister said “it’s the right time” this week as she launched into criticism of the States for not challenging local electricity price rises.

Is it just about finding the gaps in the public psyche to push a social issue or cause?

I saw that the Salvos Red Shield Appeal out did their fundraising expectations this year…reaching an amazing $81.5 million. The result seems to have stayed under the radar but reflects a community that thankfully still understands need.

One issue, however, that might make it into the mainstream this week and beyond is the results of the Social Inclusion Report Card showing that around 640,000 Australians experience multiple and entrenched disadvantage in Australia.

Definitely food for thought for Not for Profits and our Governments.

Karen Mahlab AM is the Founder and CEO of Pro Bono Australia. In 2015 she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to the Not for Profit sector and philanthropic initiatives.
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