Social Inclusion Conference Calls for a Fairer Australia
28 January 2010 at 4:48 pm
The first Social Inclusion Conference has attracted some 450 delegates in Melbourne including international and local experts on social inclusion.
The conference follows the formation of the Social Inclusion Board which was established in May 2008 as the Federal Government’s advisory body.
The Board is chaired by Patricia Faulkner AO and it released its first annual report this week. The report found that while most Australians live well, there are some groups who are doing it very tough with some 5% of Australians facing social exclusion.
The Report says that while most Australians are employed, 15% of all Australian children live in jobless families. Most Australians have high life expectancies but some groups, such as Indigenous people, have much lower expectancies (10 to 12 years lower).
The Conference sessions covered themes including social inclusion in Australia and overseas, health inequality, supporting jobless families, locational disadvantage, disengaged youth and mental illness.
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard told the Conference that Australia’s national character is ‘a fair go for all’ which ties into social inclusion and the idea of a stronger fairer Australia.
Gillard said that in a stronger, fairer nation no one should be left behind.
Delegates at the conference reaffirrned their commitment to find ways to give social inclusion a practical expression.
Gillard also launched the Federal Government’s policy document outlining a framework for social inclusion. See the document here: www.socialinclusion.gov.au