What do you want to ask the major parties about the future of the Australian charities and NFP sector?
2 May 2019 at 8:06 am
The charity sector is being given a chance to put their questions directly to Australia’s politicians in the lead up to the next election.
For each of the last two federal elections the Community Council for Australia (CCA) has organised a Pre-Election Forum at the National Press Club where the major political parties have outlined their policies for the charities and not-for-profit sector.
This year, CCA is taking the Pre-Election Forum to the sector at the Connecting Up Transform Conference.
The ALP’s shadow minister for charities and not-for-profits Dr Andrew Leigh and Greens spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert have already agreed to participate, with the Coalition representative yet to be finalised.
CCA CEO David Crosbie, who will facilitate the panel, said the forum provided a critical opportunity for the sector to help set the agenda for an incoming government.
“Election periods are critical in setting government agendas,” Crosbie said.
“An issue that is not prominent during the election period will usually be given a lower priority by an incoming government. This is why it is so important for the charities and not-for-profit sector to raise their issues with candidates, particularly potential government ministers, during the election period.”
He said having both Leigh and Siewert prepared to debate and discuss their priorities, and then answer questions directly from the sector, was “an opportunity the sector cannot afford to miss”.
“If we do not want to be silenced or sidelined, we need to use our voice to make sure our issues are on the political agenda,” he said.
Thanks to Connecting Up, Infoxchange, and Pro Bono Australia, three people have a chance to come face-to-face to the politicians shaping the future of charity policy, and put their questions to them in front of an audience of hundreds of people.
People are encouraged to send in the questions or burning issues they want to see Australia’s politicians taking action on for the good of the charities and not-for-profit sector.
All questions are to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by close of business on Monday 6 May.
A panel of judges including: Pro Bono Australia editor Wendy Williams, Deborah Smith from CCA, and Krystian Seibert, industry fellow at the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne University, will select the three best questions.
Each of the three winners will be offered a free two-day pass to the Transform Conference and will be invited to personally put their questions to the politicians as part of the forum.
Crosbie said it promises to be an important event where the charities and not-for-profit sector can hear from politicians and raise the big cross-sector issues that are impacting charities and not-for-profits across Australia.
“A strong charities and not for profit presence will send a message to all federal politicians about the importance of the sector,” he said.
The Pre-Election Forum will take place from 8.45am – 10.10am on Friday 10 May.
You can purchase tickets, including a special one-day pass, to attend the Transform Conference here.