NCOSS works to be a conduit for the community services sector by advocating on the sector’s behalf to policy-makers.
The community services sector is diverse, strong and carries a wealth of expertise. The sector’s experiences in working on the ground with communities can contribute enormous value to advocacy.
Below is a collection of information about ongoing advocacy, as well as resources and tools organisations can use to build knowledge and capacity around conducting their own advocacy.
Advocacy plays a crucial role in influencing and changing policy systems. It is the process of helping decision makers understand what the real issues are and directing them towards the solutions.
Our Advocacy Toolkit provides an overview of the tools and strategies used by NCOSS to achieve positive change for people experiencing poverty and disadvantage.
Appearing Before a Parliamentary Inquiry: Free Workshop
NCOSS provides a free workshop that focuses on practical tips for effective advocacy and participation in NSW Legislative Council parliamentary inquiries.
The workshop covers: what parliamentary inquiries can achieve; how inquiries are initiated; the steps of an inquiry; maximizing the impact of a submission and giving effective evidence at a hearing.
NCOSS participates in advocacy campaigns that have an impact on people living with disadvantage in NSW. See links below for campaign updates and the latest call to action.
'Healthy Homes for Renters' campaign
More people are renting than ever before, but our rental homes are making us sick.
NCOSS is proud to support the 'Healthy Homes for Renters' campaign, driven by an alliance of organisations across Australia to ensure that everyone can live in a healthy home. The Community Sector Blueprint: National Framework for Minimum Energy Efficiency Rental Requirements is a core document of the campaign. Please view and endorse the Blueprint by visiting the 'News' section of the campaign's website - https://www.healthyhomes.org.au/news/community-sector-blueprint
'There is no doubt about it; our housing system is broken'. Everybody's Home is a national campaign supported by hundreds of community organisations across Australia. The campaign advocates for five key policy changes to fix Australia's broken housing system. Everybody's Home is calling for 500,000 new social and affordable housing by 2026.
Raise the Rate for Good
Before COVID-19 the social security benefit payment had not increased in real terms for 25 years. Living off $40 a day was driving disadvantage, as people struggled to cover even the basics, such as housing, food, bills and transport. The Federal Government’s Coronavirus Supplement almost doubled the social security payment and reduced the number of people in poverty from 3 million to 2.6 million. The Government’s decision to slash the Coronavirus Supplement by more than half in September 2020, saw the number of people living in poverty increase to 3.6 million. NCOSS is an active supporter of the Raise the Rate for Good Campaign, led by ACOSS.
Community Sector Sustainability
NCOSS supports a diverse and collaborative community sector. We do this by advocating for a regulatory, funding and operating environment that can sustain a strong, independent and innovative community sector. We seek reform that builds the capability of the sector to operate in an evolving and complex environment.
Human Rights Act for NSW
When human rights are expressed and guaranteed by law, they help to ensure that everyone is treated fairly, and with dignity, equality and respect. A Human Rights Act for NSW would clarify rights and freedoms and provide a way to seek justice if people’s rights are violated. NCOSS is part of a coalition of organisations, the Human Rights for NSW Alliance with broad expertise in law, community services and education who are building momentum for a Human Rights Act for NSW.
Stop the Debt Trap
Despite responsible lending obligations, there is evidence that lenders continue to offer loans to people who can’t afford to pay them. Current laws are not effective at ensuring lenders don’t overburden borrowers. Led by the Consumer Action Law Centre, the campaign seeks greater protections for payday loan consumers. Stop the Debt Trap Alliance is a coalition of over 20 consumer, non-profit and community services groups, campaigning for the implementation of the recommendations from an independent government review of Small Amount Credit Contracts.
Stop the Debt Disaster: Save Safe Lending
Fires, floods, drought and COVID-19 have left our vulnerable communities more disadvantaged than ever. At a time when we need stronger responsible lending laws to protect consumers from exploitative lending, the Government wants to wind them back. Stop the Debt Disaster is a coalition of consumer, non-profit and community services groups advocating for the retention of safe lending laws.
Anti-Poverty Week (APW) is about raising awareness of poverty and disadvantage in our community. Since 2002, a diverse group of organisations across Australia has been coordinating collective action and events around the 17th October which is the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Poverty. NCOSS is co-chair of the APW Steering Committee 2022.