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Business Joins “Strengthening Communities” Project


Thursday, 22nd February 2007 at 1:32 pm
Staff Reporter
The Victorian Government has appointed a panel of business and community sector experts to report on how it can better support the Not for Profit sector.

Thursday, 22nd February 2007
at 1:32 pm
Staff Reporter


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Business Joins “Strengthening Communities” Project
Thursday, 22nd February 2007 at 1:32 pm

The Victorian Government has appointed a panel of business and community sector experts to report on how it can better support the Not for Profit sector.

The Strengthening Community Organisation Project (SCOP) will be lead by the Dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government and former ACCC chairman, Professor Allan Fels.

Also on the team is Rob Hunt (Managing Director, Bendigo Bank), Carol Schwartz (businesswoman), Cath Smith (CEO Victorian Council of Social Services), Tony Nicholson (Brotherhood of St Laurence), John Howie (Chair, VicSport), Tom Bentley (Department of Premier and Cabinet), Professor Mark Lyons (University of Technology Sydney), and Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes (Queensland University of Technology).

The group will examine the challenges facing the community sector, including workforce issues, governance and leadership.

It will also take into account other work on community organisations being undertaken within government. Their report is due for release in October.

The Minister for Victorian Communities, Peter Bachelor, says community organisations provide critical community services, are significant employers, encourage community involvement and advocate on behalf of marginalised communities.

But community organisations are facing a range of challenges. Bachelor says the environment they work in is more complex, pressures on the people they deal with have increased and higher standards of accountability are expected of them.

He says the SCOP project will provide advice on how Government, the community sector and business can work better together to meet those challenges.

A project Steering Committee includes experts from the welfare, sporting and cultural sectors as well as business leaders and key academics.

The Steering Committee will be supported by a secretariat within the Department for Victorian Communities (DVC).

Under the terms of reference the committee will provide:

– An overview of the community sector in Victoria The principal trends, influences and challenges that are currently impacting on organisations and those that may impact in the future
– A strategic vision for the next ten years that identifies the role of the sector in contributing to the social and economic goals of the Government
– Following completion of these strategic tasks SCOP will identify the issues and possible ways forward in relation to the following matters that go to the capacity of the sector and its relationship with government:
– Workforce and leadership development – how organisations can attract and retain skilled and qualified staff both paid and volunteers
– Organisational governance – what standards of governance are needed to meet public expectations of accountability
– Organisational sustainability – what business and financial planning are needed to ensure sustainability and to attract resources from all sectors including philanthropy
– Quality and effectiveness – how can organisations achieve high standards, efficiencies and innovative approaches to service delivery
– Assets and infrastructure – measures to maximise the use, and better planning of future and existing assets and infrastructure
– Collaboration – what measures would assist organisations collaborate within the sector and with government
– Law and regulation – measures to reduce red tape and the burden of compliance upon organisations and so allow greater focus on their mission of community service

For further information about the project email scop@dvc.vic.gov.au



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