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National COSS Network

>>National COSS Network
National COSS Network2019-05-21T11:42:58+10:00

The state, territory and national Councils of Social Service are an independent, non-partisan and well respected voice that advocate for individual and community need to all levels of government, supporting the community sector and facilitating a just and equitable Australia.

With more than 4,000 organisational and individual members, we work as a catalyst for change in every state and territory of Australia amplifying voices to improve the lives of Australians.

We are nine independent organisations – one for each state and territory in Australia and a national body – who work passionately and tirelessly together with each other and our communities to reduce poverty and promote social justice.

Happy three generation family sharing a meal together
Grand mother walking her toddler grand daughter

Our vision

Our vision is for a just, inclusive and sustainable Australia where everyone can exercise their rights, access resources and has the opportunity to participate fully in social and economic life.

Our purpose

Our purpose is to end poverty, inequality and exclusion in Australia.

We work together using our expertise and reach to help people who experience poverty, disadvantage and inequality in our communities, through:

  • Developing, informing and challenging policy, systems, behaviours and attitudes
  • Advocating for social change
  • Strengthening and supporting the community services sector
  • Providing a voice for communities.

How we work

We collaborate… by partnering with our members, government and community services organisations for greater impact

We consult… our stakeholders and partner with others with experience and insight to ensure we have the latest thinking and knowledge to advocate for change

We engage… our communities to keep abreast of their needs and to understand how community services, support and policy can help

We influence… key decision-makers and leaders to make improvements in social and economic policy and the community services we provided in our communities

We facilitate… conversations and opportunities for learning and engagement between all of our stakeholders, from the highest level of government to people in need in our local communities

We promote… awareness and understanding of the issues affecting people in our communities who experience poverty, discrimination and stigma

We mobilise… people, partners, community and business to help us create impact and take action through community liaison, campaigns and advocacy

We leadpublic debates and advocate for solutions that will build a better society based on evidence and real experience

We see… the whole social service system and the interactions between the many parts of the system.

Happy faces of family with nine children. Mature couple posing with their children and smiling
Australian Council of Social Service organisation logos assembled in a vertical list

Our story

The COSS Network represents the state, territory and national Councils of Social Service throughout Australia: the peak councils of the community welfare sector and the leading voice for people affected by poverty and disadvantage.

We are nine independent organisations – one for each state and territory in Australia and a national body – who work passionately and tirelessly together with each other and our communities to reduce poverty and promote social justice.

A vision for a better Australia
Together, our mission is to end poverty, inequality and exclusion in our society. We work across states and territories to help people who experience poverty, disadvantage and stigma in our communities, through:

• developing, informing and challenging policy, systems, behaviours and attitudes
• advocating for social change
• strengthening and supporting the community services sector
• providing a voice for communities

An expert, independent and fearless voice for change
From the grassroots level, up to the highest level in government, we’re an independent, non-partisan voice advocating for community organisations and community needs.
Our power lies in our independence, transparency and influence. We pride ourselves on providing an informed, expert voice in the sector and we’re not afraid to stand up for what’s right.
We tackle the hard issues: challenging policy, systems, behaviours and attitudes that contribute to inequality, exclusion and disadvantage.
Our depth and breadth locally, at a state level and nationally sees us create impact across a wide range of social and economic policy areas, from housing, employment and cost of living to health, disability, family violence and child protection.

A facilitator and connector of communities, business and government
We know that together we are stronger. Through collaboration, consultation and engagement, we work to strengthen and support the community services sector and be the catalyst for community solutions.

The COSS Network has a collective membership of more than 4,000 organisations and individuals throughout Australia. We partner with our members, government and community services organisations for greater impact, tapping into the latest thinking and knowledge to help us advocate for effective and sustainable change.

Our aim is to facilitate conversations and opportunities for learning and engagement between all of our stakeholders, from the highest level of government to people in need in our local communities. We stay closely connected with our communities to keep abreast of their needs and to understand how community services, support and policy can help them.

We promote awareness and understanding of the issues affecting people in our communities who experience poverty, discrimination and stigma. We constantly strive to influence key government decision-makers, the corporate sector and service providers to drive continual improvements in policy and how we service people in need in our communities.

More importantly, we know how to mobilise our members, our partners, our community and business to take action at all levels. Through our individual state, territory and federal work, as well as our collective efforts as the COSS Network, we create impact through proactive community engagement, campaigns and advocacy.

Together, we’re leading the fight against poverty, exclusion and inequality. Through well informed, expert and evidence-based advice and action, we’re fighting to make change a reality.