Civil Society Australia
 Australia's Peak Body for Civil Society
 



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CIVIL SOCIETY LEADERSHIP  PROGRAM 2015

A 12month program for community people to develop and exercise social leadership.
CLICK HERE for more.

SELF-DIRECTED
SERVICES AND PERSONAL BUDGETS


You can take charge of your social support, education and health care through a personal budget.
CLICK HERE
for further information.
REFORMING OUR NOT-FOR-PROFITS

Making a difference in our not-for-profits.
CLICK HERE
for further information.
STREET BY STREET

Linking
up people who live in the same street or nearby to build community by doing amazing things with and for each other - on a national scale.
CLICK HERE for further information.
CONSUMER POWER
CLICK HERE to find out more.
 

LEFT AND RIGHT?

"The Left and Right have been as bad as each other. The Left has allowed its distrust of markets and endless faith in government to obscure the importance of civil society. The Right has been so focused on replacing the state with markets that it has forgotten how to cultivate a trusting society.

This is the politics of the absurd. The Left identifies with the good society but rarely talks about the mutualism and trust between people. The Right recognises the importance of moral obligation but gives the impression of trusting market transactions more than civil society.

Few things seem to happen anymore without a government law or market transaction to guide them. This is how record levels of GDP in Australia now sit alongside record levels of crime, social stress and family  breakdown. The political balance needs to swing back towards civil society.

This task, in fact, requires a new type of politics."

Mark Latham, Mutualism: A Third Way for Australia," 1999.

CLICK HERE to read more. 

 

CIRCLES OF SUPPORT

Circles of Support are a tool to make social inclusion work for people with disabilities, mental illnesses, vulnerable children and families, single young parents, and others struggling with social isolation.
CLICK HERE to join us.

 
 
 
 
        

The Centre for Civil Society is a public policy and social innovation think tank. Our aim is to generate ideas and organise change-makers to empower the little people and strengthen civil society. We aim to empower those who are invisible in public policy and political debate:
                      

  • families (the foundation of society but unrepresented by any broad, mainstream movement)

  • consumers (our two main parties represent employers and employees, but not consumers)

  • people with disabilities, chronic and mental illnesses and their families/carers (the most invisible and vulnerable Australians)

  • the aged (regarded as being not glamorous, important or productive in our culture)

  • volunteers in communities (who are the glue in society but are unrepresented in any of our halls of power)

  • small businesses and independent owners (the backbone of our economy and employment but overlooked by governments)

  • individuals and communities who practice self-help (whose voice is rarely heard)

OUR VALUES

Self-help, empowerment, community, smaller government, inclusion, social capital, and ethical conduct.

Our Principles

Government and public policy should be built around:

Person-centred arrangements (services and institutions should be tailored to meet the personalized needs of individuals and their families - the 'one size fits all' model belongs in the dustbin of history)
Empowerment of individuals and families (transferring resources and power to individuals, families and their agents, enabling them to grow in community and capacity, not isolation and powerlessness)
Choice (individualised funding arrangements should become the norm throughout social and community services so that people can build the lives they want)
Subsidiarity (devolution of authority to the lowest level of practical decision-making)
Dispersal of ownership (the widest possible distribution of economic ownership amongst individuals, families and communities)
Inclusion of people across racial, cultural, religious and ability boundaries (ethnic, cultural and disability-based separatism is to be discouraged)
Openness and transparency in public institutions
Environmental sustainability (initiatives and programs of government should aim to enhance - or at least not harm - environmental sustainability)
Protection of civil society (initiatives and programs of government should strengthen - or at least not harm - relationships and institutions in civil society)
Neither Left nor Right but 'bottom up'

The Centre for Civil Society is not aligned with any political party. Our ideas and values place us in the centre of the political spectrum, between Labor and Liberal.

We are neither Left nor Right, but bottom up. The terms Left and Right belong to an era of top-down, authoritarian politics which is now redundant as we move into a new era of decentralization, community, choice, voluntary engagement in the service of others, global information distribution and communication.

CLICK HERE for a map of Left and Right which may help you locate our ideas and values and our 'people power' agenda. CLICK HERE to download and print a copy.


Centre for Civil Society 2007

             
 
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE COOPERATIVES AND MUTUALS

Social enterprises, cooperatives and mutuals make up a significant but often ignored component of the Australian economy
.
CLICK HERE
to join us.
AUSTRALIA'S 665,000 VOLUNTARY
COMMUNITY GROUPS


Our 665,000 voluntary community groups are without a Voice. 
CLICK HERE to join us.

TRANSFORMING OUR SCHOOLS

CLICK HERE
for details of our campaign for a Real Education Revolution.

PARENTS FAMILIES AND CARERS

CLICK HERE for information on empowering Parents, Families and Carers.

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LOCAL DIVISIONS

We bring people together in 150 local divisions around Australia to work locally in representing and empowering civil society.
CLICK HERE to join us.
 
MAKING IT PERSONAL

Charlie Leadbeater, Jamie Bartlett and Niamh Gallagher have authored this highly influential Demos Report on Self-Directed Services and Personal Budgets.
CLICK HERE
to read Making It Personal.
 
AUSTRALIA'S 6.4M VOLUNTEERS

Creating a Voice for 6.4m volunteers to speak for ourselves about volunteering.
CLICK HERE to join us.