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4.2 Community engagement

National Social Security Rights Network

The National Social Security Rights Network comprises 16 community legal services specialising in social security and family assistance law and its administration by the department.

Member organisations help individual clients, train community workers and produce publications to help social security customers and community organisations to understand the system.

The department and the Network meet twice yearly to exchange information and ideas.

Civil Society Advisory Group

The Civil Society Advisory Group gives peak bodies and community groups the opportunity to directly influence the design and delivery of our payments and services, thereby ensuring that they meet the needs of the community. The Group meets quarterly and explores key topics through a facilitated process to identify areas of consensus and concern.

Multicultural advisory forums and committees

The department has partnerships with a wide range of community and government organisations that work on issues relating to service delivery for people with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

The National Multicultural Advisory Group comprises members from non‑government organisations and peak bodies representing CALD communities. It gives the department advice and feedback about the quality and effectiveness of its service delivery to people with CALD backgrounds. The department’s annual face‑to‑face meeting with the group was held in August 2018, with follow‑up meetings in November 2018 and March 2019. Topics discussed include the department’s modernisation and transformation, and challenges and opportunities for multicultural servicing. Feedback from the Group is used to inform the Multicultural Servicing Strategy.

The department convenes other multicultural advisory committees and forums to consult regularly with multicultural communities at local and state/territory levels. These committees and forums operate in areas with high multicultural populations across all states and territories. They increase community awareness of the department’s programs, services and new initiatives. Issues raised in 2018–19 included employment pathways for migrants and asylum seekers, improving social cohesion, settlement services for refugees, and digital engagement for CALD users.

Stakeholder Consultative Group

Stakeholder engagement and input assists the department in delivering its aged care and health‑related services more effectively. The Stakeholder Consultative Group is the department’s peak stakeholder consultation forum on health issues. It comprises representatives from consumer, medical, allied health, pharmaceutical and aged care fields. The department advised the Group on emerging strategic and operational matters and on the implementation of government measures. The group met once in 2018–19.