Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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Past Events

Conference: Building Social Infrastructure


SACOSS has developed a strong reputation for presenting exciting and engaging events that are forward thinking, on-topic, informative and rewarding. Our conferences are renowned for their lively discussions on cutting-edge topics, in addition to creating an environment in which delegates can engage in policy development and network with colleagues to share ideas and experiences.

DATE: Thursday 5 March, 2020
WHERE: Adelaide Convention Centre​


9:00 Opening  David Panter (SACOSS Chair) & Ross Womersley (SACOSS CEO)
9:15 Welcome to Country TBC
9:20 Opening Address Minister Michelle Lensink

Keynote Address Social Capital for the 99%

From a narrative on private-riches/public-squalor, this address will bring ideas to light about social capital building - capital that goes beyond fixed capital for the use of social services.

Yanis Varoufakis
10:20 Keynote Address Respondents Panel

Ross Womersley

Yanis Varoufakis

Kasy Chambers




Datafication & the Sector Relationship Between Funders and Providers
Using data to target services and entitlements: the good, the bad and the choices in between
Making the most of funding relationships for all involved

Owen Churches SA Gov.​

Diana Robertson Data Trust New Zealand

Xavier Goldie InfoXchange

Lois Boswell DHS​

Liz Gillies Menzies Foundation

Robyn Keast QUT Aus Centre for Philanthropic&NFP 

Facilitator Lauren Solomon CPRC Paul Madden Bright Futures

Midday LUNCH


Keynote Address Disaster and Recovery - from city to country to sea

The devastating bushfires over vast parts of the Australian landscape in recent months have highlighted the need for discussion, collaboration and action on natural disasters and recovery. This session is part of that conversation.

Mark Crosweller AFSM National Resilience Taskforce


13:30 Keynote Address Respondents Panel  

Shane Maddocks AC.CARE

Liz Gillies - Menzies Foundation

Kathy Mickan SACOSS

Catherine Sayer - FOOD SA


Anthea Pavy Uniting Country SA (Facilitator)




The Sector Workforce in 2030

Sector Fundraising and Marketing in a Digital World

How do we see the people we support: consumers, customers, clients or lived experience experts?


Gig economy or digital-savvy workforce? Problems and possibilities for the next decade.

A closer look at the current fundraising toolkit and thinking about what's next in this flourishing digital space.

Speaking with and alongside, to develop and empower. 


Micaela Cronin Future Social Service Institute

2020 State Conference: Building Social Infrastructure


Thank You for Attending!

Thank you to all who joined us at the SACOSS State Conference last week and being part of the conversation on building social infrastructure. We were thrilled to have our brains provoked around some big picture ideas – social capital, disaster resilience and recovery, how we work with and protect data, the future of our sector and much much more. We hope that for many of you, this conference will have marked the start of change for your organisation, the building or renewing of networking relationships within the sector or possibly just a good day to get your mind ticking overtime about how you would like to make a difference.

We’d love to hear what stood out for you, what opened your mind or what really made you think about planning for the future – for yourself, your organisation or your community. If you have a comment or two on the conference, please email to angela@sacoss.org.au so we can know areas of interest or concern to consider for next year’s conference. (Obviously we’d also love feedback on any areas you would like us to improve on also!)

Thanks again for participating in making this day a success – and stay tuned for news on our 2021 State Conference!

2020 Conference Program.

2020 Conference Slides.




End of year Pancake Breakfast



The SACOSS Team would like to thank all our sector colleagues, members and supporters for you invaluable contributions over the last year, so come and celebrate on Thursday 12th December with a scrumptious breakfast on us!

When: Thursday 12th December 7:30am
Where: Marjorie Black House Community Room, SACOSS, 47 King William Rd, Unley

Barista coffee! and breakfast will be provided.  Register your attendance here.




2019 AGM and Waged Poor Report Launch



SACOSS AGM and Board / Policy Council Elections 2019

Join us for the SACOSS Annual General Meeting 2019, where will will be launching our Annual Report for 2018-19 and our "Working to Make Ends Meet" report on Low-income Workers and Energy Bill Stress.

The "Working to Make Ends Meet" report is unique in that focuses on the energy affordability challenges of households whose main source of income is employment, but who are still living below the poverty line. It traces the issues and challenges arising from being part of the under-recognised cohort which we identify as “waged poor”.

When: Wednesday 20 November, 3.30pm - 5.00pm
Where: Marjorie Black House Community Room, SACOSS, 47 King William Rd, Unley

Drinks and nibbles will be provided following the meeting for members to make the most of this networking opportunity. Register your attendance here.



Voting for SACOSS Board and Policy Council

Elections are held when a number of nominations for positions on the SACOSS Board or Policy Council exceeds the number of positions vacant in any given category. This year there is a requirement for elections in the following categories:

  •  SACOSS Board
  •  SACOSS Policy Council
    • Persons nominated by non-goverment community service and/or health agency with annual revenue more than $5m (Large NGO)
    • Persons nominated by non-goverment community service and/or health agency with annual revenue less than $5m (Small NGO)

No election was required for the categories of Peak Organisations, Aboriginal Support, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Support (CALD), Non-metropolitan organisations and Individual member.

A vacancy remains for the Aboriginal Support and the CALD Support category. Policy Council will seek to fill these vacancies.

SACOSS Treasurer's Breakfast


The State Budget will be handed down on 18 June 2019. Every year for the past 9 years SACOSS has hosted a Post-Budget Breakfast with the Treasurer and this year we will once again offer you the chance to hear directly from the Treasurer himself.

This is an exclusive member-only event, and we would love you to join us.

As always, the State Budget will be crucial for our sector and for vulnerable and disadvantaged South Australians. This is your opportunity to hear the Treasurer speak directly to the community services sector about the State Budget, and your change to put your own questions to them.
Places for these VIP events are strictly limited and people will miss out, so we do encourage you to RSVP as soon as possible.

Date: Tuesday 25 June

Time: 7.00am arrival to be seated by 7.30am 

Venue: Adelaide Pavilion, corner South Terrace and Peacock Road, Adelaide


SACOSS individual members and member organisations are entitled to either:

Free registration for two people to attend the Treasurer’s Breakfast

Subject to availability, members may also book extra places for a fee to cover costs. Please contact Angela (SACOSS Events Coordinator) on 8305 4222 or angela@sacoss.org.au if your organisation would like to register additional guests or reserve a table for your Board or leadership team.

Registration is essential as seating is strictly limited. If, after registering, your circumstances change and you are unable to attend, please cancel your booking online or contact SACOSS to make your seat available for another member wishing to attend.

SACOSS wishes to sincerely thank our event sponsors: Nexia Edwards Marshall, CBB & Statewide Super





Budget Night Sector Briefing



On Budget Day SACOSS staff and many of our member groups will have people in the Budget lock-up all afternoon examining the detail behind the budget spin. Come and join our 2019-20 State Budget Night Briefing 6.00-7.00pm on Tuesday 18th June. This will be a chance to digest, deconstruct, and to contribute any insights into the likely impacts for our sector. RSVP here – refreshments and pizza provided.

SACOSS Federal Election Forum


*** PLEASE NOTE: the forum has been cancelled***

The Federal Election is fast approaching and it promises to be crucial for the health and community services sector.

Big national debates over tax and expenditure which impact on the funding for our sector and the services we provide. Plus housing policy, health, NDIS, Newstart, job services, aged care, Aboriginal voice, climate change and anything else YOU put on the table.

SACOSS is hosting an election forum to hear from the parties on issues that matter to our sector. This is also your chance to ask the big questions and put our sector’s issues into the election debate.

Speakers include:

Mark Butler (Labor)

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens)

Centre Alliance (Spokesperson to be confirmed)

Liberal Party (Spokesperson to be confirmed)

There will be other election forums on particular issues or in particular seats – this is a one-stop shop to put all our sectors’ concerns into the debate.

For further information contact Angela@sacoss.org.au  

Free SACOSS Advocacy Workshop


This workshop will provide participants with critical insights from experienced advocates about how to successfully influence decision makers and have your views both heard and acted upon. The workshop will cover topics including how to be effective in meetings, working with diverse perspectives and sectors and government and parliamentary liaison. Participants will have the opportunity to explore what makes a successful advocate and the sessions will be designed to maximise group participation and discussion.

Tony Smith, Chief Executive of the UK Consumer Council for Water, will be a workshop participant and key adviser. Tony’s early career was in strategy and marketing, implementing business turnarounds in oil, aerospace, automotive and fast-moving consumer goods businesses. Later Tony joined the utility sector where he has he has led corporate strategy, corporate services and stakeholder relations, customer service, investment programme and PFI procurement and delivery and competitive market business development.

To register: email angela@sacoss.org.au and please specify any dietary requirements.



Working with government and parliament

Cate Mussared, Chief of Staff, Office of Mark Parnell MLC (confirmed)


What are the keys to effective advocacy?

Mark Henley, Manager Advocacy and Communications, Uniting Communities (confirmed)

12.30pm (lunch - 30 mins)


Working with diverse perspectives, both within and across sectors

Karen Van Gorp, Senior Policy Adviser, Business SA (confirmed)

2.00pm (afternoon tea - 10 mins)

How to be effective in meetings

Greg Ogle, Senior Policy and Research Analyst, SACOSS (confirmed)

2.55pm (close)

Wrap up

Jo De Silva, Policy Lead, SACOSS (confirmed)


SACOSS Energy, Water and Telco Conference 2019


This conference will explore the new ‘consumer-centric’ transformation evolving in essential services across Australia. It will allow delegates to consider what this transformation will require of businesses, their customers and of governments.  It will support the essential services sector to better understand the needs, experiences and genuine priorities of customers, as well as explore how providers can work to integrate these views into their business practices.

The conference will also attempt to make transparent the different roles played by consumers, consumer representative organisations, consumer experts, and consumer panels and consultation forums.

Building on the success of SACOSS’ energy, water, telecommunications and transport conferences over the past seven years, the 2019 conference will again bring together a broad range of stakeholders including international, national and local experts, businesses leaders, consumers, consumer advocates, service providers, policy makers, government officials, community service organisations and regulators from across the energy, water and telecommunications space.

This Conference is one in a series of SACOSS Vulnerability and Affordability Conferences for the essential services sectors.

One session of the conference, "Consumers & the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code" featuring John Stanton (Communications Alliance) and Teresa Corbin (ACCAN) will be livestreamed. Find out more.

If you are a member of the public and would like to attend but are unable to afford the ticket price, we encourage you contact us on 08 8305 4224 or email sacoss(link sends e-mail)as we may be able to subsidise your place. If you require special assistance such as a hearing loop, visual assistance guide or AUSLAN interpreter in order to fully participate in the conference we will make every effort to provide for your needs. All areas of the venue are wheelchair accessible.

Download the program

Download speaker bios

Tickets and registration

Download Sponsorship Prospectus


Event Partner



Keynote Address Sponsor


SA Water


Industry Showcase Session Sponsor


Essential Services Commission of South Australia


Community Sector Supporter




Local Government Association of South Australia


Baptist Care SA


UnitingCare Wesley Bowden Inc.


Encouraging Democracy, Dialogue & Activism


Delegates from the Democratic Institute of Israel will be in Adelaide for a very brief study tour exploring what’s happening here, to better engage and activate citizens in the processes of democracy. 

We will be spending some time talking with them about our work and our role but we also want a broader group of you to be able to hear directly about their fascinating work as well as have a more open discussion about things that you’re doing here to build engagement and encourage activism.

Register online here