CEO’s Message

Reflecting on the last 12 months

The ongoing pandemic, extreme weather events brought about by climate change, two Federal Budgets and a Federal Election made for another challenging year for people, communities and the community sector. 

Since the Federal Election, we’ve taken every opportunity to establish and strengthen partnerships with the new Federal Government that will better ensure the support the sector needs to continue to do its vital work, as well as the safety nets that will ensure no one in Australia is left behind. In the year ahead, we will continue to work with the new government to secure and fund essential community services and safety nets, including adequate increases to income support payments so people can cover the basics, access to safe, secure housing for everyone, better support for people seeking paid work, fast and inclusive climate action, and self-determination and justice for First Nations peoples.

The ACOSS team met this year’s challenges with deep expertise, determination, skill and integrity and had a major impact as detailed in this report. We could not have done so without the support of our National Members, including the State and Territory Councils of Social Service, and a range of other friends and partners, for which we’re sincerely grateful. I particularly acknowledge the many people directly affected by poverty who have led advocacy and called for change for all. 

My heartfelt thanks go to ACOSS President Peter McNamara for his dedicated leadership of ACOSS over many years, the wonderful ACOSS Board of Directors and the extraordinary ACOSS staff team, including Co-Deputy CEO and Director of Policy and Advocacy Edwina MacDonald, who so ably served as Acting CEO over a four-month period, from mid-June 2022.