Support ACOSS in developing sound policy and undertake effective advocacy on the needs of people affected by poverty, disadvantage and inequality, and to build a strong and sustainable community sector.

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Who We Are

Who We Are

ACOSS recognises the right of all Australians to opportunity, justice and equity.

The Australian Council of Social Service is the peak body of the community services and welfare sector and the national voice for the needs of people affected by poverty and inequality.

ACOSS' vision is for a fair, inclusive and sustainable Australia where all individuals and communities can participate in and benefit from social and economic life.

Established in 1956, ACOSS aims to reduce poverty and inequality by:

  • Developing and promoting socially, economically and environmentally responsible public policy and action by government, community and private sectors.
  • Supporting the role of non-government organisations in providing assistance to vulnerable people and groups in Australia and contributing to national policy making.

Our values

  • ACOSS recognises the right of all people in Australia to opportunity, justice and equity.
  • We acknowledge the importance of making a positive difference to the wellbeing of disadvantaged people in Australia.
  • We value national policy solutions that are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
  • We respect the civil, social, economic and cultural contributions of all individuals and communities.
  • We recognise the heritage and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the need for action which advances reconciliation and justice for Indigenous Australians.

The way ACOSS works

  • We act ethically
  • We lead and support initiatives within the community services and welfare sector
  • We act as an independent public voice
  • We are non-party political
  • We are part of and accountable to the sector
  • We are transparent and consult widely
  • We draw on the wisdom and expertise of our diverse member base
  • We value and draw on the direct experiences of people affected by poverty and inequality
  • We rely on evidence to support our work and uphold high standards of research and analysis.

Peak body for the community sector

ACOSS' member organisations are central to ACOSS' work. Our national membership network links a broad spectrum of community welfare services across Australia and is the national voice of people affected by poverty and inequality.

The ACOSS national member network is comprised of:

  • Eight state and territory Councils of Social Service which represent thousands of front-line community agencies
  • National peak organisations of consumers and service providers
  • National religious and secular welfare agencies
  • Low income consumer groups

Many state and local organisations and individuals also support ACOSS' work as Associate Members.

More information about our ACOSS Members and how to join ACOSS.