Industry Strategy Steering Group Minutes

Sector Report

March 2018

The Industry Strategy Steering Group monitors the implementation of the ACT Community Services Industry Strategy 2016-2026 (Industry Strategy). The Industry Strategy sets a 10-year vision for the ACT Community Services Industry (industry) and identifies priority areas for response and outcomes to be achieved. The Steering Group is a working group of the Joint Community Government Reference Group (JCGRG).

The Steering Group held its fifth meeting on 22 February 2018 at 11 Moore St, Canberra City. The Group next meets in early May 2018.

Workforce Plan

The ACT Community Services Industry Workforce Plan 2017-2020 (Workforce Plan) is the first of three 3-year plans the JCGRG has agreed should be developed to implement the Industry Strategy. The Workforce Plan will focus on outcomes relating to three of the four priority areas identified in the Industry Strategy:

80 people attended a workshop in June 2017 to explore priorities for workforce development and to develop advice to the Steering Group on priorities for spending funds collected via the Community Services levy in 2015-2017. A list of possible projects was developed and a survey was distributed to ACTCOSS distribution lists, and to NGOs receiving funding from the Community Services Directorate and ACT Health, inviting stakeholders to prioritise the projects.

Using the results of that survey, a short list of the first six priority projects to implement were agreed by the Steering Group and Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion Rachel Stephen Smith MLA.

1. Develop an Evaluation Framework for the Industry Strategy, to measure the outcomes expressed in the Strategy, including the workforce plan. Identify relevant data to be collected or monitored over the life of the workforce plan and of the Strategy.

2. Develop ACT specific community services industry reference documents that articulate, promote and facilitate entry points to working in the sector; and to develop a tool to map the pathways across career and across sector.

3. Collate and analyse relevant workforce data to provide a baseline workforce profile and inform further work on workforce trends and projections to inform the Community Services Industry and support workforce planning.

4. Develop a framework and tools to support consistent approaches across Industry for on‑boarding, peer support, supervision, coaching and mentoring. These are to be developed, published and updated at agreed intervals.

5. Identify and support development of emerging leaders in the sector, including via access to education opportunities, better succession planning and improved career pathways.

6. Develop and implement a Communications Strategy.

The Community Services Directorate will manage the tendering and administration of projects, and Steering Group members will be represented on tender evaluation panels. The Steering Group has oversight responsibility for project delivery and will monitor quality and progress against project milestones.


The request for tenders for the first five projects will be issued in March 2018. A six week tender process and a 2-3 week period for tender evaluation means that contracts are likely to be negotiated in May 2018. Some projects will run concurrently and some will start later, with the goal of the first five projects being completed by the end of 2018.

Once the first five projects have been completed, funding will be provided to develop and implement the sixth project, a Communications Strategy.

The purpose of the Communications Strategy will be to promote the work and opportunities available in the ACT Community Services Industry, in order to raise the profile of the Industry and provide greater clarity of the range of roles and career opportunities on offer. This project will be procured later in 2018, as it is dependent on the prior implementation of the other five projects.

Another project

One project will go ahead without funding from the Community Services levy:

Develop a toolkit for Board members around achieving the Industry Strategy Vision. This project will be able to proceed using funding to ACTCOSS from Hands Across Canberra and via their Peak Body grant.

Industry Strategy Steering Group members 2018

Community Sector Representatives:

Susan Helyar (Chair), ACT Council of Social Service
Darlene Cox, Health Care Consumers Association
Stephen Fox, National Disability Services
Jean Giese, Volunteering and Contact ACT
Samantha Quimby, ACT Council of Social Service
Meg Richens, UnitingCare Kippax
Hannah Watts, Youth Coalition of the ACT

Government Representatives:

Debra Burnett, Health Directorate
Anita Dolstra, Skills Canberra
James Dunstan, CIT
Jancye Winter, Community Services Directorate
Jennie Gordon, Health Directorate

Further information: Contact Rowan Ford, ISSG Secretariat on (02) 6205 0454 or by email: or