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CONFERENCE THEMES

Skip Navigation LinksWACOSS Conference 2012 Program Themes

This conference will explore four key themes that help us to lead innovation and involvement in service design, drive cultural change, develop policy in partnership and set priorities for making an impact.

 Community             Setting Priorities, Making an Impact 
 Creativity             Leading Innovation + Empowerment
 Culture            Driving Cultural Change and Organisational Excellence  
 Collaboration            Working Strategically to Effect Change

Creativity         Leading Innovation + Empowerment

Community services have often lead the way when it comes to innovation and creativity – and now more than ever our partners in government and business sectors are looking to deliver improved outcomes through new ways of working. While the sector is facing mounting and unprecedented challenges from the scale of reforms underway, we are also keeping our focus on THE BIG PICTURE – designing and delivering the services that make a difference, in ways that fully engage with clients and reflect their needs and interests.

Drawing on the experience and expertise of leading organisations and entrepreneurial thinkers in innovative service design and delivery, we will explore what makes these models different and better, how we measure their value, and how to get started in the midst of change.

Topics being explored include:

•     Involving clients in service design and delivering
•     Changing services to individualised models
•     Identifying opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurism
•     Sharing best practice and creative ideas

Culture        Driving Cultural and Organisational Excellence

Designed to stretch your thinking, this theme will explore questions around what it means to be a community service organisation today and into the future.  We reflect on the current drivers influencing the culture of the community sector, our partners, supporters and funders and ask what needs to change. 

Our history, mission, policy and practice all affect our organisational and sectoral culture – but is it the culture we need and want?  Within this context delegates will be asked to examine THE BIG PICTURE questions such as what makes us unique and identifies us as vital contributors to a civil society? How do we drive forward a culture of purpose and mission within our organisations and sector in balance with our need to deliver value for money and be sustainable? Who are the next generation of sector leaders and what are their visions and how will we continue to work together as united advocates for change and a sustainable civil society within the context of reform? 

Topics being explored include:

•     Promoting a shared vision and goals for a sustainable community sector
•     Aligning mission and values with organisational practice and governance
•     Changing regulatory environment, including tax reform and Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission
•     Embedding funding and policy reforms across the public and community sector

Collaboration         Working Strategically to Effect Change

Today social policy covers an expansive range of issues from the economic to the environmental spheres, and questions of equity, social wellbeing, health and participation in civil society remain at the forefront. One thing is clear that in a complex policy space no one person, organisation or sector has all the answers and partnership and collaboration are vital to getting the best policy outcome.

Reflecting on THE BIG PICTURE experiences over the last two years - funding and contracting reforms, a sector wide campaign to address a shortfall in funding, the push for more client directed service models and social enterprise, have all added a new dimension to community services. This theme will explore the challenges and opportunities for developing policy, and implementing it in partnership, to achieve better outcomes for the community.  

Drawing on national and international experiences we ask what opportunities arise from this new approach of working in partnership with government and empowering clients and who are the real drivers?

Topics being explored include:

•     Demonstrating leadership in cross-sectoral relationships and partnerships
•     Understanding independence and interdependence
•     The changing nature of advocacy in the 21st Century
•     Using strategic relationships to effect change

Community           Setting Priorities, Making an Impact

The Western Australian community is changing rapidly, and with it the community services sector. The pace of economic growth, an increasing and aging population and the scale of our vast state presents great challenges and opportunities. While on one hand our two-speed economy is boosting our gross revenue, on the other hand it is driving a growing social divide for people on the slower speed, low and fixed incomes. The lived experience of many people facing multiple and complex disadvantage puts great responsibility on the community sector and our partners in government and business to see THE BIG PICTURE set the right priorities and make a real impact with the services we invest in and deliver.

The Western Australian community is changing rapidly, and with it the community services sector. The pace of economic growth, an increasing and aging population and the scale of our vast state presents great challenges and opportunities. While on one hand our two-speed economy is boosting our gross revenue, on the other hand it is driving a growing social divide for people on the slower speed, low and fixed incomes. The lived experience of many people facing multiple and complex disadvantage puts great responsibility on the community sector and our partners in government and business to see THE BIG PICTURE set the right priorities and make a real impact with the services we invest in and deliver. 

This theme will ensure the sector is resourced with the best and latest information on the changing demographics of our state and the future needs of our community.  We will invite you to use and apply research on leading practice, share and analyse information, and identify opportunities for improving quality in service planning, design and delivery to make a big difference.

Topics being explored include:

•     WA’s social demographics and future forecasts
•     Planning service responses to changing community needs
•     Human rights and access to services
•     Workforce demands and development
•     Measuring outcomes and making an impact

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