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Emerging Issues

Emerging Issues Publications

The Community Sector Leaders Forum on Emerging Issues is the WA Council of Social Service’s premier annual strategic event. It provides analysis to inform the service and strategic planning needs of the executives and Boards of community service providers into the future.

As the Peak body for the community services sector in Western Australia, WACOSS has a unique role to play in informing the sector of important emerging trends and issues affecting both services, and the people they serve.

The Forum provides a comprehensive overview of the most important issues confronting the community sector. The seminar is based around environmental scans of five key domains: economic, political, social, services, and sector sustainability.

Delivered by independent experts and senior WACOSS staff, the Emerging Issues Forum provides detailed up-to-date information designed to assist CEOs, Service Managers and Boards in their strategic, organisational and service planning.

Presentations from previous years can be found below.

2016 Emerging Issues Forum – 1st April 2016

The 2016 Forum investigated several key issues that were identified across consultations, including:
  • How do organisations incorporate the benefits of individualised approaches and address their challenges?
  • What does the Uberification of community services mean for service users and workers?
  • Is our social safety net fit for purpose in the increasingly flexible and uncertain workplace?
  • With Federal and State elections coming up, what can we all do to advance the interests of vulnerable groups?

Speaking on these issues and others were Alan Duncan (Director, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre), Sue Ash AO (Chief Executive Officer, UnitingCare West), Pip Brennan (Executive Director, Health Consumers' Council Inc.), and Chris Twomey (Director Social Policy, WACOSS).

For a copy of the 2016 Emerging Issues Forum presentations, please contact Demelza Rogers at

Other resources of interest include:

2015 Emerging Issues Forum for Community Sector Leaders – 1st April 2015

The 2015 Forum provided a future-focused, environmental scan of our changing economic, political, social and service context, with presenters from: 

  • Prof Alan Duncan, Director, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre
  • Andrew O'Connor, Political Editor, ABC News WA 
  • Chris Twomey, Director Social Policy, WACOSS
  • Lin Hatfield-Dodds, National Director, UnitingCare Australia

These expert presentations led into an interactive panel session that gave attendees the opportunity to share emerging issues of concern, or dig deeper into the analysis to explore the emerging strategic context for their clients, services and networks.

The (compiled) presentations of the four speakers can be found at the link (under "Emerging Issues Publications") below.

Other resources of interest include:

  1. 2015 Emerging Issues - Compiled Presentations
    file (2.15 MB)
  2. 20140104 Community Sector Leaders forum on Emerging Issues - Final Presentation
    file (2.83 MB)
  3. 2013 Community Sector Leaders Forum on Emerging Issues - Chris Twomey Presentation
    file (1.54 MB)
  4. 2013 Community Sector Leaders Forum on Emerging Issues - Nathan Taylor Presentation
    file (233.47 KB)
  5. 2013 Community Sector Leaders Forum on Emerging Issues - Professor John Phillimore Presentation
    file (747.84 KB)
  6. 2013 Community Sector Leaders Forum on Emerging Issues - Irina Cattalini Presentation
    file (526.84 KB)
  7. 2012 Emerging_Issues_WACOSS (1)
    file (1.34 MB)
  8. 2012 Prof. Alison Preston Insecure Work and Gender in WA
    file (621.14 KB)
  9. 2012 A. Prof. Shawn Phillips Policy Capacity and Collaboration
    file (778.00 KB)
  10. 2012 Emerging_Issues_WACOSS
    file (1.33 MB)
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