ACOSS National Conference to discuss the future of public policy and advocacy in Australia

In the aftermath of a divisive federal budget, Australian civil society will come together to discuss the current state and future direction of public policy and community advocacy in Australia, on June 11-12 in Brisbane.

The annual ACOSS National Conference is the premier community sector event, providing an important platform for community voices to be heard.

This year’s conference theme is Global problems, local solutions: Tackling inequality in Australia and beyond, and will be held in Brisbane, the host city for November’s G-20 heads of government summit.

The conference will bring together key decision-makers, experts, policymakers, and frontline workers and agencies to discuss public policy priorities to address poverty and inequality in Australia.

When: June 11-12, 2014
Where: Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre

Media Contact: Fernando de Freitas 0419 626 155

DOWNLOWD Full Program


Political leaders

  • The Hon Kevin Andrews MP, Minister for Social Services
  • The Hon. Bill Shorten MP
  • Christine Milne, Leader of the The Australian Greens


  • Kirstie Parker, Co-chair National Congress of Australia’s First People
  • June Oscar, CEO of the Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre
  • Cassandra Goldie, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service

Key speakers

  • Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
  • Fred Chaney AO, Senior Australian of the Year
  • Patrick McClure, Chair, Welfare Review Reference Group
  • Helen Szoke, CEO, Oxfam Australia
  • Mike Callaghan AM – Director, G20 Studies Centre, Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • John Daley – CEO, The Grattan Institute
  • Sediqa Karimi, President, The Association of Australian Tertiary Students from Afghanistan
  • Senator Scott Ludlam, The Australian Greens
  • John Falzon – CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society, National Council of Australia
  • Kasy Chambers, Executive Director, Anglicare Australia
  • Peter Martin, Economics Editor, The Age

Key Topics include:

  • Inequality: The role and response of civil society
  • How will we pay for adequate support and services for an ageing population?
  • Making sense of the budget ‘crisis’
  • Health – a retreat from universalism?
  • Driving inclusive growth through infrastructure investment
  • Can inclusive growth address inequality?
  • Employment, equity and diversity
  • The pursuit of justice in refugee and asylum seeker policy
  • What does Justice Reinvestment look like in Australia?
  • The G20 – More than a meeting


  • We’re all in this together: 21st Century Advocacy Campaigns
  • Innovative financing for social services: risks and opportunities
  • Working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities
  • People’s experiences at the heart of advocacy: a world cafe conversation

Community Sector Awards finalists announced
Join us to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the community sector at the conference dinner where we will be presenting the annual HESTA Community Sector Awards. The finalists for the awards have now been announced – you can check them out here.