Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

RSNSW and Learned Academies Forum 2022

Reshaping Australia: Communities in Actione

 

RESHAPING AUSTRALIA: COMMUNITIES IN ACTION

Dates: Thursday 3 November 2022, 9.30 am–5.30 pm AEDT
Venue: YouTube live streaming (registration required) from Government House Sydney
Cost: no charge
Registration: through Eventbrite is required
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Brochure: to follow

The Royal Society of New South Wales and the Learned Academies acknowledge the generous support of Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of New South Wales and the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer.

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.

This year, the Royal Society of NSW in partnership with Australia’s Learned Academies and under the gracious patronage of Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of New South Wales, 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.

PROGRAM: THURSDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2022

Time  
09:00–09:25 Registration
 
09:25–09:30 Guests seated
 
09:30–09:45 Governor is announced into the Ballroom
Commencement of Proceedings
 
  Official Opening
Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC
Governor of New South Wales
  Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country
Susan Pond AM FRSN FTSE FAHMS
President, Royal Society of New South Wales
  Ministerial Address
The Honourable Andrew Leigh MP FASSA
Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities, and Treasury
Federal Member for Fenner
  Introduction to Program and Moderator/Rapporteur
Stephen Garton AM FRSN FAHA FASSA
Chair, Forum Program Committee
Principal Advisor, Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President
University of Sydney
  Moderator and Rapporteur
Julianne Schultz AM FAHA
Emeritus Professor, Media and Culture, Griffith University
Chair, The Conversation Media Group

SESSION I: SETTING THE SCENE

Despite a national myth of egalitarianism, contemporary social commentary, and research point to a growing divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in Australian society. This session will examine some of the broad economic and demographic patterns across Australia and explore in particular some of the indices of Indigenous disadvantage. It will set the scene for considering how communities are working to address social disenfranchisement and overcome health, economic and environmental challenges.

09:45–11:15 Richard Holden FES FASSA
Professor of Economics at UNSW Business School
President, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
  Alison Frame
Deputy Secretary, Social Policy Group
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australian Government
  Kalinda Griffiths
Scientia Lecturer, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW Sydney
Research and Education Lead for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  James O’Donnell
Lecturer, School of Demography and
ANU Social Cohesion Grand Challenge, College of Arts and Social Sciences
Australian National University

SESSION II: HEALTH AND COMMUNITIES

Although Australia has one of the best and most equitable health systems in the world, there are distinct challenges and inequities which need to be recognised and addressed. This session will consider these issues in urban, regional and remote, and culturally diverse settings, and in the under-resourced sectors of mental and Indigenous health and show how community initiatives can help provide innovative solutions.

11:15–12:30 Bernie Shakeshaft
Founder and Director
BackTrack Youth Works
  Sally Redman AO
Chief Executive Officer
Sax Institute Sydney
  Elizabeth Elliott AM FRSN FAHMS
Distinguished Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health
University of Sydney
  Maree Teesson AC FAHMS FASSA
Professor and Director, Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, and
NHMRC Leadership Fellow
University of Sydney

 

LUNCH ON THE VERANDAH (12:30–13:30)

 

SESSION III: NATURAL AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT (INCLUDING CLIMATE CHANGE & INFRASTRUCTURE)

Our natural and built environments are increasingly threatened by issues including climate change and the accumulation of waste. Local communities, businesses, researchers, and coalitions of activists have been working creatively on climate mitigation interventions, technological solutions for net zero emissions, and waste management and recycling. This session will look at how governments, communities and other stakeholders are coming together to create more harmonious and resilient futures for our natural and built environments.

13:30–14:45 Louise Adams FTSE
Chief Operating Officer
Aurecon
  David Schlosberg FASSA
Professor of Environmental Politics and Director, Sydney Environment Institute
University of Sydney
  Tone Wheeler
Principal and Director
Environa Studio
  Angelica Kross
Community Activist

SESSION IV: EDUCATION

Research continues to underline the transformative potential of education that is accessible to all – regardless of disability, race, language, religion, gender, and income – to enrich technological innovation, economic growth, political stability, and social cohesion. This session will take stock of Australia’s investment in education and offer examples and strategies for an education-led path to a more equal, more inclusive, and more successful Australia.

14:45–16:00 Pasi Sahlberg
Professor of Education
Southern Cross University
  Kim Beswick
Professor of Mathematics Education; Head, School of Education; and
Director, Gonski Institute of Education
UNSW Sydney
Member, Australian Academy of Science National Committee on Mathematical Sciences
  Peter Shergold AC FRSN FASSA
Chancellor
Western Sydney University
  Marcia Langton AO FASSA
Associate Provost, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, and
Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies
University of Melbourne

SESSION IV: SUMMARY AND SOLUTIONS

16:00–17:00 Ariadne Vromen FASSA
Sir John Bunting Chair of Public Administration, Crawford School of Public Policy
Australian National University
  Marcia Langton AO FASSA
Associate Provost, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, and
Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies
University of Melbourne
  Julianne Schultz AM FAHA
Emeritus Professor, Media and Culture, Griffith University
Chair, The Conversation Media Group

 

REFRESHMENTS SERVED ON THE VERANDAH (17:00–18:00)

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