Become a member of ACTCOSS
Join ACTCOSS and you'll receive the quarterly community sector newsletter Update, discounts on training, and more! Find out about membership.

Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs)
A RAP is a tool which enables organisations to assist in improving the status and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our community. Find out how you can develop a RAP.
Organisations Information Kit (OIK)
The OIK offers information about governing and managing community organisations in an increasingly complex regulatory environment. Check it out.

Special General Meeting for ACTCOSS Members - 19 May

ACTCOSS Members are invited to attend the Special General Meeting (SGM). There are a number of matters that the membership are being invited to consider and vote on at the meeting.

The Special General Meeting was convened to deal with a number of Constitutional changes that arose out of member feedback at the Annual General Meeting in November 2013, primarily focused on the need to assert the role of members in governance decisions and processes. The Committee is also taking the opportunity to fix some typographical and text errors that have been identified.

- Read the SGM Agenda and Summary of Recommendations (Word docx 90KB)
- If you are an ACTCOSS Member and would like to nominate for the Nominations Sub-Committee, please fill out the Nominations Sub-Committee Nomination Form (Word doc 73KB)

ACTCOSS Members will receive additional detailed SGM documents via post.

ACT Community Sector MEA: Meeting with Employers - 28 April

MEA negotiations between the Jobs Australia, the Australian Services Union and nominated organisation representatives will commence on 1 May 2014.

In the meantime, for employers who intend being involved in the MEA, please check whether there are further issues not already identified which are of relevance to your organisation. Since our last meeting a couple of further items requiring updating have been raised by individual employers. If your organisation has been having discussions with the union about your organisation’s schedule to the agreement, please let us know so we can keep track of developments.

We will be holding an employers meeting to discuss the MEA and recommended amendments that have been raised to date.

ACTCOSS Conference: Save the date - 7-8 August 2014

Designing Social Change: Beyond Talk, Taking Action

ACTCOSS is partnering with the University of Canberra to bring together people working in the community sector as staff, volunteers or board members, activists, researchers and policy makers to share their experiences and hear from one-another about how we can better design infrastructure, services, advocacy campaigns, research and public policy so they deliver positive social change.

The wrong sort of change: Racial Discrimination Act

Media release, 28 March 2014

The community in Canberra welcomes the ACT Green’s plan, announced by Minister Rattenbury today, to address any gaps in protections or sanctions that arise as a result of Federal Government changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS), ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, Canberra Multicultural Community Forum, Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation, and Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service have serious concerns over proposed amendments to what is an important piece of legislation in protecting citizens from racial intolerance, vilification and humiliation.

New Membership Service: Insurance Solutions Tailored for Community Service Organisations

Working in conjunction with ACTCOSS, OAMPS has developed industry specific risk cover and services for all sized organisations, including:
- Reduced premiums and discounted Worker’s Compensation rates for ACTCOSS members
- Association Liability, Management Liability and Professional Indemnity
- Cover for all physical assets including motor vehicles
- National claims support and easy to pay monthly instalment options.

No room for complacency on status of women

Media release, 8 March 2014

Speaking on International Women’s Day, Susan Helyar, Director of the ACT Council of Social Service, said "Four priorities for action are identified by women where-ever, and in what-ever circumstances, they live: stop violence against women and their children, sustain and build resources for the services that provide safety and support recovery for women and children affected by violence, build economic independence and security for women and increase the role of women in decision-making."

ACTCOSS Research Project: Independence in the Not-For-Profit Sector

Independence is a commonly held value which is sometimes even treated as a defining feature of the not-for-profit sector. Maintaining the independence of the not-for-profit sector is included in Object 2 of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012: 'to support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative Australian not-for-profit sector.' But independence can mean different things in different contexts.

ACTCOSS, in association with the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS), is currently undertaking a research project investigating the meaning(s) of independence and how it can be better supported and sustained by the ACNC in particular and more widely.

How to participate in the project: As part of the project a series of interviews will be undertaken with small, medium, and large not-for-profit organisations in the ACT in February and March. If you would like to participate in the project, or would simply like more information about the research, please contact Angie Bletsas at ACTCOSS on 02 6202 7277 or at

New resource: Gulanga Activity Book

The Gulanga Program developed an activity book as one of the many ways you can assist your organisation to support your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. Gulanga staff had fun putting together this resource and hope it provides amusement for the children of parents accessing your service.

We are very keen to receive feedback to further develop the activity book. Please phone 02 6202 7200 or email to share your ideas.