Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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Past Events

Annual Thank You Breakfast 2021



The SACOSS Team would like to thank all our sector colleagues, members and supporters for your invaluable contributions over the last year, please come and celebrate on Thursday 9th December with a scrumptious breakfast on us!

When: Thursday 9th 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.




Housing the Australian Nation Luncheon followed by AGM


We hope you will join us for this special AGM event!

The AGM Luncheon will provide an outstanding opportunity to not only hear a thoughtful and insightful presentation from Peter as our guest speaker, but a chance to connect with friends old and new, and colleagues across our SACOSS community and the sector. Also, for those from member organisations, we will have the usual AGM business, with a chance to catch up on SACOSS news and activities from across the year.

SACOSS AGM Luncheon and Special Presentation -
Housing the Australian Nation: learning from the past to fix the future

Guest Speaker: Peter Mares
Location: Adelaide Pavilion, Veale Gardens, South Terrace, Adelaide
Date and time: Thurs 25 November, 12noon arrival for a 12:30 start. Finish 3pm
Cost: $35 per person (inc 2-course set menu)

To book your tickets Click Here

Putting the spotlight on public housing, which benefits the whole community

SACOSS has been calling for a significant investment in public housing stock as a key element of our current advocacy. Public housing offers a range of benefits across the community. It provides homes for those who are left out of the housing market, adds supply to the market to help make housing more affordable for everyone, and can provide economic stimulus in construction. But the stock of public housing in SA has declined over recent decades. In fact, the waiting list sits at 53% of total public housing stock - the third highest proportion on the country. So there is significant unmet need. Our AGM Luncheon will cast a further light on this important area, with the theme being 'learning from the past to fix the future'.

'Housing the Australian Nation': The story behind the title

The title of the presentation at our AGM Luncheon 'Housing the Australian Nation' is a reference to a pamphlet from 1942 that helped argue the case for Australia's post-war investment in public housing, by pointing to the primary role of housing in wellbeing and to the market failure in providing decent affordable homes for people on the lowest incomes.

About our special guest speaker, Peter Mares

Peter Mares is the author of No Place Like Home: Repairing Australia’s Housing Crisis. His 4-part radio series, Housing the Australian Nation, aired on ABC Radio National in 2020 and he writes about housing and other issues for Inside Story magazine. In his day job Peter is lead moderator and program director at the not-for-profit Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, a partnership between The Myer Foundation, Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Foundation and Monash University. Peter previously worked for 25 years as a broadcaster with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He grew up in South Australia.

Very special thanks to our sponsor

SACOSS Liveable Futures Conference: Towards Climate Justice & Social Equity


Climate change is very much in the spotlight, with local and national advocacy around what is needed both for our planet and our future.

The health and community services sector has been speaking out for fair, fast and inclusive climate action, and various organisations are stepping up through measures such as Climate Active certification.

We have dedicated this conference (our 11th in the series) to some of the important conversations about climate and the future.

We'll be looking at not only the work of community organisations, but the move to net zero; energy and climate justice; green infrastructure and social equity; redesigning an accessible, affordable transport system; water justice; and the future of gas.

When: 18 November, 9am-4.45pm
Where: Hilton Adelaide

Community, health and social service organisations, as well as Government and industry, have a critical role to play to ensure an inclusive climate future, as South Australia continues its transition to renewable energy and other sectors begin to decarbonise. 

And everyone in our community has a role to play in the critical discussions about 'what next'.

There are new opportunities to redesign our residential, transport, water, community and other industry sectors to ensure a decarbonised economy is inclusive and does not leave people behind. The Liveable Futures conference will explore how the low carbon transition can address existing disadvantage by including the experiences and voices of those most impacted by climate change.

Energy and water justice are at the forefront of changes that are needed, with accessible and affordable transport systems and greening new developments also part of the agenda.

What does an equitable future look like and how can the social services sector work closely with government and industry to ensure a sustainable future for all in our community?

Our Liveable Futures Conference offers great speakers and a range of interesting and informative sessions to choose from, as well as time to network and connect with people in person, and across sectors.

Please register and join us on the day if you are able, and help spread the word within your network.

It should be a great event, and an important opportunity to hear from diverse voices on these critical topics.

To make a registration  click here.

The program is available here

A special thanks to this years sponsors

Reducing and Managing Climate Risk - Schedule of upcoming sessions


Climate change has been recognized as a priority across the banking, investment, insurance, energy and communications sectors. Governments worldwide are recognizing that failure to act will result in increased frequency and intensity of weather events and disasters.

People living with poverty and disadvantage are most impacted by these events, as they are unable to afford to mitigate against the risks and may lack the mobility or transport to escape. This results in increased inequity, poverty and worsening health outcomes.

South Australia is expected to experience increased heatwaves, fires and the resultant smoke pollution, drought and dust pollution, more intense storm activity with flooding, and coastal inundation from rising sea levels and storm surges.

These events pose risks for health and community service sector organisations, their assets, people, clients and communities.

Join us for a workshop to get a greater understanding of the risks to your organization, learn how to access and use risk assessment tools and build preparedness and resilience in your organization, clients and community.

There are multiple sessions available in the metro area targeting different parts of our sector, so choose the session that most suits you, and register up to 3 people from your organization.

Our August sessions will focus on smaller organisations and the aged care sector.

Additional sessions are being planned to cater for regional areas in the Riverland, Eyre Peninsula and the Limestone Coast, as well as the Aboriginal community controlled sector.

Metropolitan sessions available - book at the link

  • Small organisations (eg under 50 staff) - Wed 18 Aug
  • Aged care - Wed 1 Sept
  • Large organisations - Tues 14 Sept
  • Disability services - Wed 20 Oct
  • Housing and homelessness - Wed 27 Oct
  • Health - Tues 2 Nov

Regional sessions available - book at the link

You can find out more in the program, or call Kathy on 8305 4231. You can also access this flyer for use in your organisation.

We hope you can join us!

These workshops are delivered by SACOSS and the Australian Red Cross. This project was funded under the Disaster Risk Reduction Grant Program and joint initiative of the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs and the South Australian Government.


SACOSS Regional Consultation


******Please note the in-person event is now full but you are still able to attend via the zoom link. Please continue with your registration and join the session via the link provided******

SACOSS is heading to Murray Bridge on 2nd August 2021 with some of our board and policy council member to meet with service providers and stakeholders across the Hills and Mallee Region.

We are inviting local community service providers and leaders to discuss what they consider to be key issues for their community and identify ways that SACOSS may be able to provide support through our policy and advocacy work. 

The meeting will run from 9.30am -1.30pm in the Conference Room at ac.care, with a light lunch and networking from 12.30pm

Local community service providers and leaders can register here.


11th Annual Post-budget Breakfast with the Treasurer


NOW ONLINE - check your inbox for Zoom details

Join us for our 11th annual post-budget Breakfast with the Treasurer 

The SA State Budget will be handed down on Tuesday 22 June. SACOSS will be hosting our 11th annual post budget breakfast with the Treasurer and warmly invite our members and friends to join us for breakfast on Thursday 1st July, where you will hear directly from our state Treasurer, the Hon Rob Lucas MLC, about his government’s budget, followed by a panel of sector experts who will discuss what it means for our sector and the people it supports. 

Event details 

Date: 1 July 2021 
Time: 7.00am arrival for 7.30am start - 9.30am finish 

All SACOSS member organisations are entitled to two free tickets, and can also book a table of ten for $600 + gst. If booking a table, you are welcome to bring people from your organisation, or other guests who you think would be interested to attend.

SACOSS individual members can claim one free ticket and are welcome to purchase an additional ticket at $75 + gst for a friend or colleague. 

  • For organisational members (2x free tickets) and individual members (1x free ticket) - click here to book
  • To upgrade to a table of 10 for your organisation, or book extra tickets - click here

About the Breakfast 

In addition to hearing from the Treasurer, who will be able to highlight aspects of the budget that are of most relevance for our sector and the people it supports, we will also have a panel at the event, who will provide some commentary on the state budget and its implications. In particular, they will examine aspects relating to employment, taxes and the economy; gender; and young people. At the Breakfast, we will hear from: 

Key speaker: 

  • Hon Rob Lucas MLC, SA Treasurer (also holding a range of other portfolios). Mr Lucas has been a member of the SA Parliament since 1982. 


  • Michael O’Neil, Executive Director of the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies of the University of Adelaide and Flinders University  
  • Helen Connolly, SA Commissioner for Children and Young People 
  • Sarah Wendt, Director of the Social Work Innovation Research Living Space, Professor of Social Work and Head of Discipline at Flinders University. 

You can check out the speaker bios here

If you have any questions about this event, just contact Crystal@sacoss.org.au

Special Thanks to our Sponsor HESTA


SA State Budget Night Briefing


What will the State Budget mean for the sector, and your organisation?

The SA State Budget to be delivered on 22 June will reveal the government's spending and revenue initiatives for 2021-22. Get the jump on the year ahead, and the post-budget commentary and analysis, by joining SACOSS and other member organisations for our State Budget Night Sector Briefing. 

On Budget Day SACOSS and many of our member groups will have people in the Budget lock-up all afternoon examining the detail behind the budget spin. By coming along to this (virtual) post-budget event, you can be one of the first to know the likely impacts for our sector. It will  provide a chance to contribute any insights, digest and deconstruct this year’s State Budget.

Please note this is a virtual event.

To register Click Here


If you have any questions about this event, just contact Crystal@sacoss.org.au

State Budget Training Session


Are you wondering what impacts the State Budget will have for the sector, the community, and your organisation? Perhaps you go to the State Budget lock-up, or your work involves responding to budget announcements or decisions. Or maybe you have read State Budget papers in the past but not been confident you have understood them correctly. SACOSS can help! 

Budget papers provide a wealth of information and data - and more detail than you will get from just following news reports and analyses. If you understand the budget papers you can get information straight from the source. Come along to our SACOSS State Budget Training Session and increase your confidence in reading and understanding State Budget papers, and finding the information you need. We will cover:

  • What happens on Budget day
  • The contents of the Budget Papers and how to read them
  • Where to find the details of new measures
  • Departmental goals for the next year
  • Traps for new players
  • SACOSS' plans for budget analysis

The training session is designed for those going into the budget lock-up or needing to read the budget papers or get detailed budget information for the first time.

The session is free and is available to all community groups, but RSVPs are required.

To register Click Here

If you have any questions about this event, just contact Crystal@sacoss.org.au

Workplace Check-Up



In conjunction with the Working Women’s Centre SA (WWCSA), we would like to offer SACOSS  member organisations free training, to help you deal with common employee issues. 

The WWCSA advises workers about their rights at work, and is also funded to provide training to SACOSS members under the small organisation category. The WWCSA takes many calls from workers in the health and community services sector and this session will arm you with the best practice to prevent some of the most commonly-heard complaints. The training will be of particular value to small organistations.

The Workplace Check-Up session aims to give you the tools to make sure your workplace is safe, healthy and an environment in which your employees can thrive. The workshop will cover:

  • workplace equity and respect
  • dealing with workplace bullying and harassment
  • fair supervision and disciplinary processes
  • fair dismissal and redundancy processes.

You will also have the chance to network with other SACOSS members over morning tea.

Date: Thursday 24 June

Time: 9:30am - 12noon

Venue: Marjorie Black Community Room


If you have other suggestions for content, please email Kylie Porter at kylie@wwc.org.au . If it’s not possible to incorporate your question into this workshop, we will note it for further sessions.

Please contact angela@sacoss.org.au with any questions.


Living Without the Basics Conference


Registrations are now closed

Things are moving fast, but too many are being left behind.

Our Living Without the Basics Conference looks at topical issues relating to housing, energy and water. These areas can all have impacts on health, well-being and costs of living. With parallel sessions, you can choose which sessions are of most interest and relevance for you.


When: Wed 19 May 2021 
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre 

The Conference spans a half day, with a networking lunch included. It will provide a great opportunity to hear from expert speakers across different disciplines. Come along to connect, learn, share ideas, and help create change.

We will be looking into current policies that exist for people who many be struggling, and what might better assist them.

The conference program includes an open from the Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, and sessions on public and social housing and energy efficiency standards, the state of rental housing in SA, access to drinking water in regional and remote communities, and water services, including access to supports.

With a focus on energy and water as well as housing (which is so topical right now) this is our tenth conference in this series! 

It is of value for people working in the health and community services sector, consumer and community advocates, policy advisors/officers, analysts and managers, those in the energy, water and housing spaces, researchers, and those working in government: senior bureaucrats, program coordinators, policy advisors and more.

More about the Conference ...

The Living Without the Basics Conference will include a look at the intersection of housing policy with energy and water policy, and some of the practical impacts these intersections have in terms of health, well-being and costs of living. What impacts do policies have on the ground for people who may be struggling, and the services that are seeking to support and assist them? We will examine how where people live and whether they have tenure over their homes, impacts on access to decent housing and affordable energy and water. We also look at what can be done, or done better, with opportunities for participants to engage with and influence policy. 

The Conference will also feature the launch of a SACOSS-commissioned report on improving drinking water services for regional and remote communities in SA, and preliminary findings from SACOSS energy efficiency research. It will examine a range of housing-related areas which are extra topical now, including a panel session on the state of rental housing in South Australia. With parallel sessions, attendees can choose which stream is of most interest and relevance for them. 

Who should attend? 
The 'Living Without the Basics' Conference is of value to: 
- People working in the health and community services sector 
- Community sector leaders  
- Consumer/community advocates 
- Policy advisors/officers, and analysts and managers 
- From government: senior bureaucrats, program coordinators, policy advisors 
- Researchers, and more ... 

About the Conference 
Our conferences bring people together from various sectors, such as the community services sector, government, higher education, the energy and water industry. This approach helps to break down silos and provides the opportunity to benchmark against other areas, gain and share ideas, and learn from best practice. 

This Conference will provide a great opportunity to learn, share and network (in person), connecting with colleagues, and hearing from expert speakers, with opportunities to engage with and influence policy in these fundamental areas. 

Speakers and topics include:
Opening keynote - Falling through the Gaps
The state of rental housing in SA
 - Dr Alice Clark, Shelter SA; Prof Chris Leishman, University of South Australia; and Dr Greg Ogle, SACOSS
Water Security in Regional and Remote Communities Workshop - facilitated by Rebecca Law, SACOSS
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for Housing - Joel Dignam, Better Renting; Dr Lyrian Daniel, University of Adelaide; and Rob Murray-Leach, Energy Efficiency Council
Tenants as Water Customers (including access to hardship supports and dispute resolution) - Dr Sonia Masciantonio and David Coombe, SA Water; Mark Henley, Uniting Communities; and Barbara Johns, South

Our final speaker, Professor Emma Baker from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, will offer a holistic perspective based on insights gained from the conference. Emma is Professor of Housing Research at the University of Adelaide where she leads the Housing and Healthy Cities Research Group and is Director of the Stretton Institute’s ‘Building a City for the Future’ research program.