The 2017 ACOSS National Conference, in partnership with VCOSS, is the event where community leaders, policy and decision makers, practitioners, academics and people with lived experience come together to collectively tackle the issues driving poverty and inequality in Australia. Leading thinkers and decision makers from the community, public, and private sectors will collaborate to identify challenges and workshop responses to move us towards a brighter and more equitable 2030.
The conference is a public policy dialogue where we will collectively strategise options for effective reform. It focuses on the promotion of social cohesion and addressing the drivers behind poverty and inequality.
This year the conference program has an updated format to cover greater opportunities to spark conversations that inspire action. ACOSS and VCOSS are partnering to offer a series of breakout sessions in addition to our plenaries. Because now more than ever there are so many issues, of such great importance, that need our attention.
Each plenary session takes the form of a facilitated conversation between a dynamic panel of thought leaders and the ACOSS/VCOSS conference attendees. We engage expert facilitators to help energise and focus these discussions. Past ACOSS Conference facilitators included Jane Caro, Geraldine Doogue (ABC TV’s Compass Program), Anton Enus (SBS World News), Paul Barclay (ABC Big Ideas), Walkley Award winning Michael West (Fairfax Media) , Patricia Karvelas (ABC RN Drive), Helen Vatsikopoulos (Dateline), Peter Martin (the Age), Linton Besser (ABC Four Corners) and Verity Firth (Former member of the NSW Legislative Assembly).
We avoid lengthy addresses and instead run an interactive format that allows for a dialogue between expert panelists, conference attendees and online communities across a number of platforms. Each breakout session is an interactive debate or a facilitated workshop that goes into greater depth, greater breadth, or greater action on the conference’s 2030 focus; asking not only ‘where do we want to be’ but also ‘how are we going to get there?’
We use a conference app, live Twitter feed, live streaming and traditional media (print, TV, radio broadcast) to ensure the conversation happens across a number of platforms, opening our reach from hundreds to thousands of active participants.
The feedback following our 2016 conference was overwhelming, with delegates heralding it as our best event to date. Hundreds of sector leaders were in attendance and we trended on Twitter both days.