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Here's the full program for NCOSS' 2017 Regional Conferences, which are coming to 6 key centres across NSW. 

Investing in Communities: Regional Conferences Program

9.00am: Welcome

  • Welcome to Country
  • Introduction – NCOSS

9.15am: Peaks consultation

NCOSS recognises the generosity of our members in the contribution of time, energy and expertise to the development of our policy and advocacy agenda. Our consultations have been guided by the Harwood methodology of community consultation and therefore our focus is on positive change. We’ve used this framework over the last 2 years and so this allows us to build on the work that we have done and proceed with a deeper conversation to capitalise on this opportunity of coming together to identify what are the key issues for your community and what are the solutions that would make a difference.  

Over previous years common priorities emerged across the State, so this deep dive conversation will focus on:

Rotation 1


Gender Equality and Domestic Violence


Rotation 2


Children, Young People and Families


Come prepared with your solutions. We want to know what is working in your community and what can be done to make a real difference. What do you think is keeping us from making the progress we want? What are the kinds of things that could be done that would make a difference? If we came back together in 6 months or a year, what might you see which would tell you that these things were starting to happen?

  • Charting a roadmap for change: Key challenges and solutions (Rotation 1)

    • Housing
    • Justice
    • Gender Equality and Domestic Violence

10.45am: Ministerial/ Shadow/ Local Member of Parliament Address

11.00am: Regional Members of Parliament Morning Tea

11.30am: Peaks consultation

  • Charting a roadmap for change: Key challenges and solutions (Rotation 2)

    • Children, Young People and Families
    • Disability
    • Health

1.00pm: Lunch

1.30pm: Local Innovation showcase panel

We all know that solutions to the key challenges we face are held in our communities and that we can all learn from the experiences of local initiatives and innovative organisations who are leading the way in disrupting systems and delivering outcomes. This panel will be an opportunity for us to lift up a local organisation or initiative, to showcase their work and the outcomes being delivered to the community.

2.00pm: Round 1 Workshops - concurrent sessions

Demystifying Procurement and Engaging with the Social Innovation Council (SIC)Review of Guardianship Law in NSWBeyond traditional funding models –Demystifying impact investment Building Power - Advocacy that Achieves Change
Dept of Finance, Services & Innovation 

Law Reform Commission 
(not inc Coffs Harbour or Parramatta)

I4G Pitch - SEFA Partnerships & Office of Social Impact InvestmentNCOSS
A strategic partnership between NSW Government and the Forum of Non-Gov’t Agencies, the SIC aims to accelerate the way human services are designed, delivered, and measured, and to improve human services outcomes.
In this session we will examine the work of the SIC in the past 12 months including:
  • the key steps in the procurement process
  • what the NSW Human Services Agreement means for your organisation
  • how to use NSW Human Services Outcomes Framework to measure your organisation’s impact
  • how to use the NGO Benchmarking Model to strengthen your organisation’s focus on customers. 
The Chair and staff of the Law Reform Commission will lead a discussion and seek feedback on aspects of NSW guardianship law, including:
  • decision-making models and the duties; and
  • responsibilities of guardians and financial managers.
In 2017 NCOSS and partners TDi, SEFA Partnerships and Office of Social Impact Investment will launch the inaugural I4GPitch to showcase and support outstanding social service organisations to attract social investment and scale impact. Successful candidates will be awarded grant funding and capacity building support to explore pathways towards financial sustainability and plant the seed for future impact investment propositions.
In an increasingly challenging and evolving climate how do we advocate effectively to achieve change? What makes a successful campaign? And how do we build power?
Join us for an interactive and practical workshop to
  • Hear case studies of wins, what works/ doesn’t
  • Learn about advocacy and campaign strategy and tools
  • Discover how to mobilise & activate others
  • Learn how to build alliances with non-traditional partners
Share insights, experiences and test ideas 
Alan Cameron was appointed Chairperson of the NSW Law Reform Commission on 26 November 2015. He has occupied a range of senior roles in both the private and public sectors including Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission from 1993 to 2000, Commonwealth and Defence Force Ombudsman, Principal Solicitor of the NSW Aboriginal Legal Service in the mid-1970s and first national managing partner of Blake Dawson Waldron (now​ known as Ashurst Australia) from 1989 to 1991.
Erin Gough has been the Policy Manager at the NSW Law Reform Commission since February 2016. Erin’s previous roles include policy positions within Legal Aid NSW (2007-2010, 2012-2015), Family and Community Services (2011) and research roles at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (2005-2007) and the NSW Department of Justice (2002-2005).

Hannah Miller is the Capacity Building Program Manager at SEFA Partnerships. Having spent the last 5+ years building partnerships across the entertainment, media, government, NFP, commercial and social enterprise sectors, she is fascinated by the ways in which communities evolve to best support themselves and each other. Working for the School for Social Entrepreneurs and now SEFA Partnerships, Hannah is interested in driving cross sector engagement and learning as a means to support positive and sustainable social impact. 

Anna Bowden is the Director of the Office of Social Impact Investment with NSW Treasury. Prior to joining Treasury, she worked with Social Outcomes, an impact investing and social innovation intermediary. Here, she led client engagements to implement social impact bonds, corporate shared value initiatives, and social enterprise. Anna previously worked with Impact Investing Australia (IIA), where she co-authored Australia’s first national strategy to develop the impact investment market. Prior to IIA, Anna worked with One Earth Future Foundation in the USA where she advanced global multi-stakeholder programs in maritime security, and developed a multi-million dollar impact investing program for Somalia. Anna also worked at the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment in London, UK. She holds a Master’s in International Development from Oxford University. 

Melanie Fernandez is the Deputy CEO of NCOSS. Melanie has led activism and campaigning in the feminist and trade union movements.

3.00pm: Afternoon tea

3.30pm: Round 2 Workshops - concurrent sessions

Outcomes Is Old Hat – Been There Done ThatA Conversation with icare - Innovation, health and wellbeingBuilding Business Models for Financial Resilience and Social ImpactAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community led solutions
FAMSicareSpark Strategy
(only Kiama, Parramatta & Newcastle)
Are you feeling:
  • A bit like Outcomes Measurement has all been done before – unsuccessfully?
  • Still not quite sure what is the difference between an Outcome and an Output?
  • You’ve been RBA 101’d within an inch of your life and still not seeing any change within your organisation?
If this is you, then make sure you participate in this session from Fams. Julie Hourigan Ruse, CEO of Fams will cut through  the red tape, tell it as it is and answer these questions:
  • Why outcomes
  • Why now
  • Why do I need to do it
Insurance & Care NSW (icare) is  a social insurer with a purpose to protect, insure and care for workers, road users, builders, capital assets and home owners of NSW.

The workshop description:

  • How can we better work together to enhance the mental health & wellbeing of our communities affected by injury at work or on the roads?
  • Where is your place in it and how can a bunch of people you've never met help you get there?
In this collaborative session, we'll leverage our collective experiences to explore, discuss, and imagine the future mental health & wellbeing systems worth sharing at your next BBQ.
Discover untapped value in your own community and the power of community in reimagining health and wellbeing services.

Spark exists to create high impact social change. To achieve this, we ask the following questions:

  • What problem do you exist to solve? and; 
  • How can we help you multiply your impact through achieving financial sustainability?

Come along to our workshop if you would like to find out more about how to unpack your organisation’s underutilised assets, explore strategic partnerships and test commercialisation opportunities.

Julie Hourigan Ruse is CEO of Fams, the peak body for delivering services in outcomes measurement and collective impact. Julie has worked in the areas of domestic violence and homelessness.  With a passion for ensuring positive outcomes for the vulnerable and marginalised groups within our community, Julie is committed to improving the wellbeing of children, families and communities. As CEO of Fams, Julie is a champion of the Results Based AccountabilityTM framework and has seen first-hand how this disciplined way of thinking and taking action can positively impact communities and organisations.
The Health and Community Engagement Team support icare’s community engagement and innovation agenda, and are headed up by Eugene McGarrell, General Manager. Eugene’s role at icare NSW supports icare’s innovation and partnership to improve recovery rates for injured workers and reduce the negative impacts of "worklessness" following an injury at work. Eugene has 37 years’ experience working in government health and social services in the UK and Australia with vulnerable people, families and communities. Eugene has experienced bringing together health and social services including joint-leading a project that reduced suicide rates by 40% in south west London in 1998.  Eugene was involved in inter-agency mental health reform in 2005 as Senior Advisor to the Minister for Health including consultation for the new mental health legislation. In 2013 Eugene started The Collective NSW for Family and Community Services to better connect community, government, non-government and business to break the cycle of disadvantage.
In this session the HACE team will facilitate an interactive social design session with Andrea Wattignar (social designer) that will enable participants to be collaborative, productive and creative. We are transformation agents and are passionate about mobilising collaborators and designing innovation experiences which leverage human-centred design to solve complex problems, enable cohesive eco-systems and move organisations and communities into a thriving, self-sustaining state.
Felicity Green is a founding member of the Spark team, she has facilitated international strategy projects, developed an expertise in Not for Profit business model design, and has a deep understanding of collective impact. She has comprehensive industry knowledge in the areas of community health, disability and mental health, recently co-authoring a briefing paper for the National Mental Health Commission review. Passionate about system reform, Felicity brings cutting edge social innovation techniques to her work, including cross sector co-design to ensure that beneficiaries remain at the centre of strategy. 
Verity Lomax has a decade of government experience that includes Chief-of-Staff to the NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Multicultural Affairs, Veterans, Volunteering & Youth. Verity held the position as CEO of the Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce, where she advanced concepts of corporate responsibility. While living in Myanmar, Verity launched the inaugural Responsible Investment Group and explored best practice under the UN Global Compact. With a passion for empowering women and girls, Verity led the creation of the first Myanmar Women in Business and Leadership Development Conference.

4.30pm: Wrap up

5.00pm: Close