ACOSS National Conference – A Chance for Important Discussion
Tuesday, 20th May 2014 at 10:12 am
As the community sector comes to terms with the recent Federal Budget, the Australian Council of Social Service will bring together representatives of the sector to develop a better understanding of the current landscape and to explore the potential for collective responses.
Following the Federal Budget, the community sector had voiced significant concern that those being asked to carry the greatest burden were the very people who could least afford it.
As the analysis of the Budget’s implications for people on low incomes or experiencing disadvantage continues, ACOSS will host a Post budget Event for the sector with the Treasurer Joe Hockey. This will be followed by the ACOSS National Conference, in Brisbane on June 11-12.
The national conference will give the community sector the chance to come together to explore some of the questions that the Federal Budget raises for the future of income support and community services in Australia.
ACOSS said the conference would provide a unique opportunity for sector representatives to join in a conversation about the trajectory of poverty and inequality and the community sector's role as strong advocates for a fair, inclusive and sustainable Australia.
The conference program covers issues relating to public policy, advocacy and the future of community services in Australia, including the following highlights:
ACOSS said the conference would play a key role in sharing insight on the latest direction of public policy, with an address from the Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, on the Government’s plans for addressing poverty and inequality in Australia, and an address by the head of the 2014 welfare review, Patrick McClure.
It said shedding light on the ever tricky path of fiscal reform, ACOSS would bring together key players to discuss funding for an aging population and a deeper analysis of our national debt with John Daley and Ben Phillips deciphering the “budget crisis”.
“With the introduction of GP co-payments on the horizon, experts will gather to discuss the future of health policy, and the conference will hear from RCOA head Paul Power and young refugee advocate Sediqa Karimi on the latest issues in refugee and asylum seeker policy,” ACOSS said.
Senator Scott Ludlam will address attendees on the potential for the government’s infrastructure focus to drive community connectedness; improve access to services; and reduce cost of living pressures.
June Oscar, CEO of the Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing, will share her inspiring story of resilience and rights in her remote Kimberley town, where the centre has been tirelessly promoting leadership and positive change in their community,
June will also be joined by community sector leaders Kasy Chambers and Nicky Sloan in a timely discussion about the challenges facing the community sector, and the roles and responsibilities of the sector to be effective advocates for equity in Australia, and beyond.
Representatives of the C20, Y20, L20 and B20 engagement groups will gather to discuss their initiatives to engage the world leaders of the G20 nations around sustainability and social inclusion when they meet in Brisbane in November, and share opportunities to participate.
The Director of the Centre for Australian Progress Nick Moraitis will facilitates a workshop on 21st century advocacy campaigning techniques, including compelling case studies by experienced advocates of winning campaigns from across the sector.
Sally Cowling will share UnitingCare Burnside’s experience of social benefit bonds, along with other innovations in financing for social service with Ben Gales and Heather Holst.
ACOSS also said: “For those wanting to make a difference in their own organisations, there will be an opportunity to join workshops on such topics as improving sustainability outcomes across your operations and making the most of high speed broadband by improving digital business practices”.
ACOSS said it welcomed anyone interested in or directly involved in community and social services to join the conference in June to continue the important discussion about opportunities for collective action to address poverty and inequality in Australia.