Civil Society

ACOSS aims to strengthen civil society through a focus on how community organisations can maintain our independence and improve our effectiveness in delivering lasting social change and improved outcomes for people experiencing poverty and inequality.

Creating a shared vision for Australia’s future – 2014 ACOSS Civil Society Forum

In February 2014 ACOSS hosted a forum to engage the community sector in public discussion about the role and effectiveness of civil society in pursing political, economic, social and environmental change in Australia

Guest speakers included Dave Ritter, Peter Shergold and Fiona Armstrong; with facilitation by Randall Pearce of THINK: Insight & Advice.

Out of the forum, ACOSS produced a discussion paper identifying five themes which are critical to the evolution and effectiveness of Australian civil society in the 21st century:

Sharing power and control | Our role in governance and decision making

Developing a clear shared agenda | Our clarity of purpose

Giving real meaning to collaboration and partnership | The way we work with others

Enabling leadership and participation by those affected by poverty, inequality and injustice | The way we work with those we support

Being clear about the roles and responsibilities of civil society, Government, the market and business | Creating the solid foundations for our work together

You can download the full discussion paper here

Civil Society 20 – A voice for community at the Brisbane G20

ACOSS CEO Dr. Cassandra Goldie played a key role ensuring the voice of civil society was present at the 2014 G20 meetings in Brisbane as Deputy Chair of the C20 engagement group.

The C20 is a platform for dialogue between the political leaders of G20 countries and representatives of civil society organisations that enables civil society to inform the shaping of the global economy.

The C20 was prominent in calling for the G20’s proposals for economic reform to deliver inclusive growth, ensuring that economic growth lifts people out of poverty and improves participation rates for marginalised and vulnerable communities.

As a result of sustained advocacy throughout the year, a commitment to inclusive growth was included in the G20’s communique. Now we must remain vigilant in holding member countries to account in delivering inclusive outcomes.

Further issues of importance to civil society that were advocated by the C20 included climate change and sustainability, governance to limit tax evasion, base erosion and profit shifting and community-sensitive infrastructure development.

Community Sector Policy – Member Network

ACOSS’ work on strengthening Civil Society will be furthered through the member-only Community Sector Policy network. The network will meet through teleconferences, webinars and face to face, and will help inform ACOSS’ agenda in community sector policy, as well as responses to relevant government and other processes.

We invite all member organisations who are interested in policy affecting the sustainability and effectiveness of the community sector to join the network. You can join by emailing [email protected]

Not sure if your organisation is a member? Contact [email protected] and we will let you know.

If your organisation is not yet a member of ACOSS you can find out more about membership, and join, by visiting this website.