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NCOSS #IWD2021 online event: Valuing the Social Economy - Register Today!

March 12, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Virtual Event Virtual Event

NCOSS #IWD2021 online event: Valuing the Social Economy

You are invited to join us during the week of International Women's Day to acknowledge the contribution of women in providing essential community services across NSW to support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged; and the importance of the social services sector to NSW’s wellbeing, productivity and economic growth.

Be the first to hear about new research commissioned by NCOSS in partnership with other peak bodies and our sponsor HESTA. You will hear from lead economist with Equity Economics, Angela Jackson who has led the research, and a panel of sector voices who will share their perspectives on the important contribution of the social services sector to the economic and social wellbeing of NSW, the challenges faced and the need to elevate and properly value our sector, and the women who are at the heart of it.

We #ChooseToChallenge the notion that the social services sector (primarily made up of women) is part of a necessary but not productive or important industry – when in fact it is a key element of one of the fastest growing industries in our state that contributes more to our economy than other male dominated industries and has the potential to play a lead role in NSW’s recovery.

Zoom Link:

Passcode: ncoss

Our Panelists

Angela Jackson is Lead Economist at Equity Economics which authored this report on the Social Sector in NSW.

Prior to joining Equity Economics Angela worked across Government, including as an economic adviser in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and as Deputy Chief of Staff to Australia’s Finance Minister.  Angela recently completed her PhD in Health Economics at Monash University, looking at the Economics of Disability in Australia.  She is a non-Executive Board Member at Melbourne Health, Board Member of GenVIc, and National Deputy Chair of the Women in Economics Network.  Angela regularly appears in the media providing expert economic commentary and has written for The Age, The Australian and The Conversation.



Nemat Kharboutli is a humbly proud Australian Muslim woman, of Lebanese heritage. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science (Criminology and Social Policy) from University of New South Wales, she is passionate about social justice, social inclusion, diversity, policy and women's issues.

She is the Strategic Support Manager at Muslim Women Australia working on succession planning, continuous improvement strategies and collaboratively  across the sector, to advocate for an SDFV free and inclusive Australia. Nemats’ introduction to Muslim Women Australia began as a participant in their youth leadership camps two decades ago. Professionally, she has been actively involved with MWA for the last 10 years in both operational and governance roles.

Previously she has worked at Strathfield Council as the Multicultural Services Officer and as a Community Liaison Officer for the Australian Federal Police.

Key areas of particular interest is the gendered nature of violence and Islamophobia. Nemat hopes to contribute to policy reform that enhances culturally, linguistically and religiously appropriate service provision to facilitate women's agency and greater accessibility of support to women.


Siobhan Bryson is the CEO of Weave Youth and Community Services. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Siobhan migrated to Australia in 1989. Siobhan studied at Trinity College Dublin and has an Honours Degree in Psychology and a Graduate Certificate in Counselling Psychology.

Siobhan’s whole career has been in the community sector both in Australia and Ireland. Siobhan started working at Weave in 2001 as a caseworker and counsellor supporting Aboriginal young people and families in the Redfern/Waterloo area and then as Operations Manager for 10 years, before taking on the CEO role in July 2018.

Siobhan is passionate about social justice, strengths-based, trauma-informed, healing-centered support, and walking alongside people and communities to achieve self-determination. She has worked in a range of roles ranging from Domestic Violence and Housing Caseworker, Community Development Worker to Youth Worker, Counsellor and Caseworker, Operations Manager and CEO.


Jenna Roberts, CEO Wagga Wagga Family Support Service, Deputy Commissioner for the NSW Mental Health Commission

Jenna Roberts is proud Aboriginal woman who was born and bred in North Queensland. A significant part of Jenna’s family history that has shaped her career and life is her grandmother being taken to live on Palm Island as part of the stolen generation. Seeing the intergenerational trauma this has had on her family has had a profound impact on her.

During her career Jenna has worked in a variety of mental health settings and is passionate about working with communities to promote person-centred initiatives which focus on wellbeing. Jenna began her career in mental health at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, where she worked as part of a multidisciplinary team to support people not only with their addictions but also with dealing with complex personal and health issues.

After moving to Wagga Wagga to take on the role of Suicide Prevention Manager with a rural PHN, Jenna led the implementation of the high-fidelity trial of the Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan initiative. Although the role was primarily implementing the model, as the implementation phase progressed, Jenna took a stronger focus on evaluation. One of achievements Jenna is most proud of is the development of a lived experience advisory group to guide the project.

During Jenna’s employment with the Ministry of Health at InforMH, she was responsible for implementing the consumer experience measure Your Experience of Service (YES) across all 18 Local Health Districts (LHDs) and Speciality Health Networks (SHNs) within NSW. This role focused on primarily on quantitative data collection, however there was an element of qualitative data collection that developed as the measure was more widely adopted. It was in this role that Jenna took up the challenge of ensuring that the data was meaningfully reported to consumers and health professionals alike.

Jenna has a strong interest in policy development and systemic change of mental health service delivery. She currently lives and works in Wagga Wagga where she is CEO at Wagga Wagga Family Support Service where she has broadened her knowledge and interest in Human Resources and wellbeing in the workplace. Wagga Wagga Family Support Service has recently rebranded to Tend Riverina.

In 2018, Jenna was appointed to the role of Deputy Commissioner for the NSW Mental Health Commission. The NSW Mental Health Commission is an independent statutory agency responsible for monitoring, reviewing and improving mental health and wellbeing for people in NSW.

The Commission works with government and the community to secure better mental health and wellbeing for everyone, and availability of appropriate supports in or close to home when people are unwell or at risk of becoming unwell. It is her role as Deputy Commissioner where Jenna listens to the needs of different communities and advocates strongly for change.

Jenna brings with her a range of diverse personal experiences that shape her career and give her unique perspectives and understanding into the work she does.





March 12, 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:
Zoom Link / Passcode: ncoss


NSW Council of Social Service
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