Media Alert – ACOSS National Conference: Leading the big debates

17-18 November 2016, Australian Technology Park, Locomotive St, Eveleigh, NSW

The future of civil society and public debates on major social and economic challenges will be in focus at the ACOSS National Conference to be held in Sydney on Thursday and Friday 17-18 November 2016.

The annual event, Community: Leading the big debates, will kick off with a major address from the visiting head of the International Centre for Civil Society, Burkhard Gnärig, on the need for community based organisations to re-invent themselves to stay relevant in a fast changing political, environmental and digital landscape.

There will be major speeches from political leaders, including the Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter; Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten; Leader of the Australian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale; and NSW Premier Mike Baird.

One of the highlights of the conference will be a keynote address from Professor Gillian Triggs, the President Australian Human Rights Commission, on Truth Telling: Speaking with Conviction, Living with the Consequences. She will be joined on a panel by community advocates Duncan Storrar, Dan de Sousa and Mariam Veiszadeh, the Founder and President of the Islamophobia Register Australia.

There will also be a keynote address from the Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Rod Little. ACOSS CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie will offer reflections on the two-day conference discussions to conclude and will be available throughout for media interviews.

Other key topics to be discussed include:

  • Dangerous new frontiers? : competition policy and human service delivery
  • Health or health care? Reducing (health) inequality in Australia
  • The role of the Media in public opinion and social cohesion
  • Should Australia Implement a Basic Income?
  • Education and inequality: bridging the divide
  • Getting to net zero : A community-led carbon transition

Another conference highlight will be the annual HESTA Community Sector Awards on Thursday night, celebrating outstanding achievements of individuals, organisations and programs making a difference in the community.

Media are invited to attend: Please contact ACOSS Media to arrange a media pass.

CONTACT – ACOSS MEDIA 0419 626 155
For more information:

ACOSS Conference website:

HESTA Community Sector Awards website: