Not for Profit Leadership Group Initiative
19 January 2009 at 2:05 pm
Plans are being pushed ahead to form a National Leadership Group to represent all aspects of the Not for Profit Sector in its future discussions with the Federal Government in what has been described as an historical step.
The move comes after more than fifty Not for Profit organisation leaders met in Canberra just 5 days before Christmas to establish early mechanisms for effective national representation of Australia’s diverse community sector.
The forum was convened by sector leaders following a meeting of the National Compact Expert Panel that has provided advice to the government on developing a national compact between the government and the Not for Profit sector.
The Expert Panel called for the sector to establish as a matter of priority an effective leadership structure to progress compact discussions in 2009 and to engage in discussions on key issues currently challenging the Sector.
The formation of a National Leadership Group has been described as an historical step in securing the future of the sector by the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens.
Senator Stephens says the Government is looking for a sector-driven organisation to engage with as it implements wide ranging reforms which will have a lasting impact on the Not for Profit sector.
She says it is critical that there be a strong voice advocating the views of the sector and the communities in which sector organisations work.
She says the forum was an impressive sign of the commitment of Not for Profit organisations across the sector to work collectively in strengthening the sector’s capacity to serve the Australian community.
A spokesperson for the Senator says the government clearly wants to engage with the sector but needs to know who to engage with. In the business sector for example which has great diversity, the Business Council of Australia is still the peak body for discussion and negotiations.
The spokesperson says the Forum in December was able to agree that there were five issues that all parts of the sector had commonality with and could take a coherent voice to Government on:
• the economic downturn
• the Senate Inquiry into Regulatory reform
• Tax Reform (The Henry Review)
• the carbon pollution reduction scheme
• workplace relations
The Forum set up a Steering Committee of 14 people to move the Leadership Group initiative forward. Some nine members were chosen from the Forum and a further five positions were left vacant to allow those who could not attend the late December Forum a chance to get involved.
The Senator’s spokesperson says the Steering Committee will meet in early February to carry out scoping work for the Leadership Group and to also make preparations for a larger National Forum in March.