ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media alert: Listening to citizen voice at ACTCOSS Conference

15 July 2016

Susan Helyar, the Director of the ACT Council of Social Service has announced that this year’s biennial ACTCOSS conference, to be held from 4-5 August 2016, will focus on amplifying citizen voice.

While the ACTCOSS conference has become a biennial fixture in Canberra, Ms Helyar says this year’s event has put people power at the centre of the program.

The conference will see 10 sessions with a common thread of listening to citizens, including: amplifying the voices of young people, service reform, shared vision, a dangerous ideas world cafe, putting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at the heart of decision making, citizen-led change, citizens and business working together, and listening to the direct voices of Canberra people experiencing housing stress.

Speakers include politicians, citizen advocates, academics, community leaders, business, unions, commentators and citizen panellists. A theme will be trying to cut through to what citizens want their Canberra to be like in 2020 at the end of the term of the next ACT Assembly, set to be elected at the poll due on 15 October this year.

The ACT Community Sector Awards will be announced at the Awards Night held on 4 August during the 2016 ACTCOSS conference.  These awards acknowledge the outstanding work done in the community sector by organisations and committed individuals. Categories include the RSM Partnership Award; the Little Feet, Big Footprint Award; the Yellow Edge Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace Award; the Strengths-Based Award; the CIT Human Rights Award; and the ACT Community Love Your Work Award. Registrations for the conference include the awards night. 

"This is also a decisive moment for voices in the community sector with self-directed funding making consumer voices more vital than ever. Many service providers are struggling to bridge these reform agendas with advocacy for the people they work with. The conference will profile good practice, new ideas and build shared priorities for amplifying people’s voices in policy, program and service design and evaluation," Ms Helyar said.

Registrations close at the end of July via

The conference hashtag is #ACT2020

For more information or comment please contact
Susan Helyar, Director, on 0448 791 987 or 02 6202 7200.