The Councils of Social Service (COSS) across Australia have unity of purpose and a compelling case to end inequality and poverty. That’s what motivates us and where our power to influence is.
Our combined national network has almost 4000 organisations and thousands of individuals working with them: that’s the foundation of who we are, that is our power to influence.
One purpose, one message, one goal, thousands of voices.
That’s why our network is engaged with government in negotiating policies that will meet our goals – and theirs. Only by staying engaged can we achieve change.
That’s why both community organisations and the business sector want to form alliances with us. Those alliances make our network even more formidable.
From these strategic alliances, a bipartisan approach is blossoming that Australians want to see but which politics has failed to deliver. This time of crisis in politics is rich with possibility for the new way of working that the COSS network has embraced.
Australians are recognising that the COSS network can be a voice not just for people surviving on the lowest of incomes and experiencing inequality and disadvantage, but for everyone who has a stake in a creating a more equal, prosperous and inclusive nation.
To achieve the goal of ending inequality and poverty, we, and our allies, build resilience within communities by enabling and amplifying their voice to challenge policies, systems, behaviours and attitudes.
We equip them, and our strategic partners, with the compelling evidence – the big picture on the social, economic and political need for change, and the dramatic, moving human experiences that are the motivator for what we do.
We listen to people in communities through consultation and grassroots engagement, we mobilise the skills and experience in communities, so their voice grows in power, endurance and eloquence now and through the generations.
We speak not only of the challenges faced by communities and individuals but, most critically, the successes. They are a critical part of the evidence for change.
Yes, the number of organisations, alliances and individuals is one measure of the COSS network’s influence.
But the supreme indicator of our powerful influence and success is in the number of lives we change and the number of communities we enrich through an end to poverty, inequality and disadvantage and the creation of a more equal and inclusive Australia.
Do you want to make a more equal and inclusive ACT? Join ACTCOSS