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Strengthening Australian Civil Society

Civil society is the beating heart of Australia

Civil Society is where we come together around a common goal. It’s where we gather with friends, colleagues, members, or neighbours to connect, play, make art, share culture, defend our rights, practice our faith and care for each other.

Strengthening Australian Civil Society brings people from across Australia together to share stories, experiences and expertise about new or different ways of doing things, bold and creative initiatives and innovations, and about what’s worked and what hasn’t – especially in the face of crises such as COVID-19 or bushfires.

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Strengthening Australian Civil Society is a collaboration between the Sydney Policy Lab, the Paul Ramsay Foundation and community leaders from across Australia.
Together, we want to build a stronger and reenergised Australian civil society. Everybody is welcome there are plenty of opportunities to participate.
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From the community

"Together we are better. As the world continues to adjust to a new way of life that secures our safety and wellbeing, we can bring back peace and compassion through our interactions and relationships with one another. By serving with kindness and hope wrapped in faith, sincerity and authenticity."

Maha Abdo OAMCEO, Muslim Women Association

“This could not be more timely. I am honoured to contribute to the for-purpose sector resilience and capability research. I am particularly interested in the significance of community leadership, how this can be sustained and amplified, and the opportunities to align efforts to community-led change.”

Tara Day-WilliamsDirector Stronger Places, Stronger People Initiative

“It is incumbent on all of us, particularly those of us leading and provoking the role of civil society, to be asking critical questions about the kind of society we need to be to ensure human flourishing and the creation of communities driven by principles of equity, fairness and justice.”

Jason GlanvilleQueer Wiradjuri disruptor and start-up founder

"Building the civil society of the 21st century has never been more important! It involves strengthening and agitating existing organisations, as well as creating new institutions. This opportunity to reflect in partnership with others and research partners can have immense benefit to the civil society groups essential to our common life and democracy."

Devett KennedyLead Organiser, Queensland Community Alliance

“Covid 19 has disrupted and changed countries all over the world, but what is clear is that it is civil society that has helped communities survive, and any economic, social and health recovery, anywhere, depends upon re-energised, renewed civil society.”

Dame Julia Unwin DBEChair, Civil Society Futures

Ideas for action

Key themes

By focusing on these four key themes we will collect and share stories, lessons, tips and tools from across Australia that can help us emerge stronger from crises like the Covid-19 pandemic.


Community Connection

Systems & Networks

Influencing & Advocacy


Our partners

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Be part of creating a stronger civil society