Magazine article Impact

President's Message

Magazine article Impact

President's Message

Article excerpt

The community and welfare sector plays a great role in Australian life--providing services to over 4 million Australians from child care to emergency relief, undertaking research on the fairness and state of our society and highlighting issues of disadvantage and poverty.

In the leadup to ACOSS Congress last year in Sydney, we took the opportunity of many organisations and individuals coming together to discuss where we are as a sector and where we hope to be in the future. This Future of the Sector Day was a chance to explore ideas and current trends for our sector and agree on what unites us as a unique part of Australia's civil society.

Our consultations and discussions focused around four key areas for action.

1. Values

There was overall support for the development of a core set of shared sector values. We agreed to develop a set of core values shared across the sector and to articulate our shared values to the community after testing this with the community, and in particular with service users.

2. Independence--ensuring diversity

We identified that diversity should be valued and was a necessary part of ensuring a set of services across the diverse set of Australian the community. We also discussed the need for independence from government and other interests to ensure they upheld values and to work together to develop guides to handling government and other funding contracts.

3. Engaged Citizens

We heard from speakers about ways to ensure that the sector, its clients and citizens can play the fullest possible part in civil society, the development of social capital and creation of strong cohesive communities. …

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