ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: Resources launched today for leaders of social change

10 August 2018

ACTCOSS & Hands Across Canberra, joint media release.

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) with the support of Hands Across Canberra have launched the Leading Social Change digital hub on 10 August 2018. Leading Social Change aims to develop the capability of new and existing members of governing bodies of community organisations in the ACT.

According to ACTCOSS Director, Susan Helyar, “Community organisations provide vital services and develop social capital in our city. This contribution is only possible through volunteers who serve as members of organisations’ governing bodies. While there are approximately 500 volunteer board positions supporting small to medium sized community organisations in the ACT, there are very limited financial resources to support their capability development.”

The latest AICD Not-for-Profit Governance and Performance Study released at the end of July 2018 found that 80% of respondents to their survey undertake their role on an organisational board for no financial reward and almost 60% of respondents reported working more than two days per week on their not-for-profit (NFP). The report also outlined the complex and changing operating environment that is navigated by NFP governing bodies and highlighted the needs for governance structures and skill sets to “keep pace”.

Peter Gordon, CEO of Hands Across Canberra said, “My board is delighted to be part of this innovative program. Hands Across Canberra works hard with the community sector to help it improve how services are delivered to Canberra’s most vulnerable people. The Hands Across Canberra and ACTCOSS collaboration is a great example of how working together can make a significant difference.”

The Leading Social Change hub consists of a sector orientation resource for boards, e-learning and face-to-face workshops, and a peer network.

The Leading Social Change digital hub can be accessed at

The next Leading Social Change peer network meeting will be held on Wednesday 15 August 2018. Board members of not-for-profit organisations are welcome to attend, with RSVPs through Eventbrite:

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

Peter Gordon, CEO, Hands Across Canberra, on 0417 064 767.