Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

RSNSW and Learned Academies Forum 2022

Map of Australia formed by a composite of people

“Reshaping Australia:
Communities in Action”


Royal Society of NSW and
Learned Academies

Date: Thursday, 3 November 2022, 9.30 am AEDT 
Venue: Government House Sydney (by invitation) and Live Streaming 

Summary:  The tumultuous last decade has witnessed a decline in political consensus and a growing perception that our formal institutions of government have failed to tackle fundamental challenges in areas such as climate change and social inequality.

As the 2022 Federal election demonstrated, many Australian communities, corporations and interest groups have become increasingly active as voices for political change. The ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’ is one striking example of a community demanding that they be shapers of policy, not just the recipients of what others think should be done.

Such activism builds on a long tradition of community participation in Australia, which has developed a vibrant and extensive not-for-profit sector. There are now more than 50,000 organisations, a million employees and five million volunteers, providing services and support in many areas of our civil life.

These community and volunteer efforts are essential in managing the immediate and long-term impacts of social and environmental crises including catastrophic fires, droughts, and floods. Successful initiatives have involved local communities collaborating with corporations, businesses, research, and government agencies to find innovative solutions.

The annual Royal Society of NSW and Australia’s Learned Academies Forum for 2022 will explore this dynamic of communities in action. It will canvass some of the latest research on the factors shaping disparities in social, economic and well-being outcomes for Australians and address four key areas — health, education, infrastructure, and the environment.

The Forum will highlight examples of community collaboration with business, not-for-profit, research, and government organisations to drive meaningful change. It will conclude with a consideration of how greater community participation might impact long-term policy development for the benefit of all Australians.

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