Activating community leadership to combat inequality

28 – 29 May 2018

Don’t believe those who tell you otherwise: inequality is on the rise. And that needs to stop.

Inequality is bad for individuals. In more equal societies, people are happier and live longer.

It’s bad for regions. Local governments know this, and have made it a focus.

Inequality is bad for the nation’s health: more equal societies do better.

Inequality is bad for our economic development: more equal societies grow faster.

And it’s bad for our political system. When special interests are allowed undue influence, we all lose out.

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Conference Wrap-up

A thousand community delegates from across the country have laughed, cried, been confronted, and been inspired by the only conference in the land with more powerful communities as its goal

Australia’s progressive leaders, thinkers and doers converged for the two-day event aimed at “activating community leadership to combat inequality”.

Hosted at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley Racing Club, over Monday and Tuesday, May 28-29, observers marveled at the upbeat mood of delegates displaying the open-mindedness, determination and thirst for change that marks out our conference as unlike any other.

Those delegates weren’t left dismayed in their hope for useful "homework", as a baker’s dozen of great thinkers, achievers, activists and artists took to the stage to surprise, delight, and provoke.

For community groups trying to do a lot with so little, the affordable event by Our Community remains a chance to take stock of the never-ending battle for resources and social change, to explore ways to do better with what we’ve got.

Our Community managing director Denis Moriarty was unapologetic about the progressive lineup, reflecting the social enterprise and B Corporation’s agenda of a business with a conscience.

He accepted this year’s theme of “activating community leadership to combat inequality” wasn’t something that’s going to come easily, but “it’s a fight worth having”.

And that “fight for good” is a big reason Communities in Control is the Our Community crew’s favourite time of year.

“It’s an incredible line-up of some of the most inquisitive, creative, courageous and forward-thinking Australians, a chance for all the community groups we’re so closely involved with to tap into new ways of doing things, and a once-a-year opportunity to catch up with old friends,” Mr Moriarty said.

Underneath it all though, each speaker added to a compelling case for what must be done for Australia to retain its mantle as the most liveable, welcoming and fair-minded place we’d like it to be.

“We know many of our delegates have walked out of this event changed people, more ready to take a stand, to take action and to do it more effectively,” Mr Moriarty said.

“I’m not a betting man, but since we were at the Moonee Valley Racecourse I’ll take any wager that this conference will change lives for the better.”

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