Sector leaders welcome the Community Advocate

Posted on 18 Jul 2023

By Greg Thom, Editor, the Community Advocate


The Community Advocate, a new weekly newsletter brought to you by the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA), will cover all the news, views and issues that matter from across the sector.

There are more than 600,000 community groups, charities and not for profit organisations across Australia.

They range from tiny volunteer-run initiatives baking scones to raise money for their local footy club to multi-million-dollar grant making philanthropic foundations.

One thing they have in common is membership of a vast sector that employs more than 10 per cent of the nation’s entire workforce – placing it on a par with retail and construction.

A segment of the economy that has such a huge impact on the lives of countless Australians in so many ways deserves to have its activities celebrated, scrutinised and investigated in the most comprehensive way.

The Community Advocate will do just that.


Launching on Wednesday, July 19 the Community Advocate is a new weekly newsletter brought to you by the Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) designed to cover all the news, views and issues that matter from across the sector.

From breaking stories to in-depth commentary and profiles that shine a light on the people making a real difference on the front line, the Community Advocate will have its finger on the NFP pulse.

The initiative has received widespread support from regulators, sector leaders and academics who recognise the importance of having a trusted voice reporting on the sector.

The new publication is part of a $4.5 million investment by ICDA into better governance and a major revamp of its publications.

Commissioner Sue Woodward, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission:

“Australia’s charity sector is a major part of our economy, generating billions in revenue each year and employing more than 10 per cent of the workforce.
Sue Woodward
“If we cast the net wider to include not-for-profits, it is even more significant. The community depends on the vital programs that charities and NFPs provide.
“It is therefore extremely important that there are forums to present and discuss the sector’s challenges and triumphs, and for the exchange of ideas to play out.
“I am pleased that Our Community is expanding its news offering and look forward to reading more of the latest news and views in the sector. No doubt I will contribute an ACNC perspective from time to time.”
Doug Taylor

Doug Taylor, CEO, The Smith Family:

“The new Our Community newsletter is a fantastic new initiative. It will connect all of us in the NFP sector with the latest news, trends and issues, allowing us to effectively collaborate and create a better Australia for everyone. I’m looking forward to seeing the weekly edition in my inbox!”

Carol Schwartz AO, Chair, Our Community

As the founding chairperson of Our Community, I’ve always been immensely proud of our diverse and content-rich publications and our responsiveness to our community’s needs.

It’s within this tradition of providing the sector with instantaneous and up to date news and information, that we’re now launching the Community Advocate. This latest publication is another great example of the kind of work that will make this sector stronger, better informed and more impactful.

Kelly O'Shanassy, CEO, Australian Conservation Foundation:

“It is so important to cover issues affecting not-for-profits. In recent years, at times when there have been moves to restrict the right to advocate freely in Australia, it has been particularly vital to know what is going on across the sector, to identify threats and work together.
“Some of Australia’s most precious environmental jewels – places like the Daintree, Kakadu and Ningaloo Reef – have been protected because conservation organisations have advocated for their protection. Being better informed fosters collaboration and strengthens civil society in Australia.”

Travers McLeod, executive director, Brotherhood of St Laurence:

“It’s fantastic Our Community have created an outlet specifically focusing on delivering not-for-profit, community sector news. It’s vital there are designated channels for our expansive – and steadily growing – community to get factual, timely information and this will be a great and welcome resource.”

Louisa Graham, CEO, Australian Scholarships Foundation:

“Congratulations to Our Community for taking on the important role of sharing new developments and news with the Australian NFP sector. Having a passionate and for-purpose organisation curating and delivering news is imperative to keeping sector leaders informed and abreast of innovations and issues that are unique to our sector.”

Kasy Chambers, executive director, Anglicare Australia:

“There is a major gap in our sector for a platform that tackles our issues, takes charge of the narrative, and tells the news and political stories that affect our work. Our Community will fill that gap at a time when it has never been more important for our sector to be educated, informed, and strong.


Susan Pascoe AM, chair, Community Directors Council, Institute of Community Directors Australia:

“Now more than ever we need to keep abreast of the issues that affect our ability to provide meaningful services that truly benefit the community. The Community Advocate will be a great tool to help build awareness and capacity in the NFP sector."

Emeritus Professor Julianne Schultz AM, author, academic, thought leader on media and culture:

“I think it’s [the Community Advocate’s] a great idea. As our media has contracted, there’s less space for these sorts of stories. It’ll be an inspiration.”

Emma Dawson, executive director, Per Capita:

“I think that kind of sector-specific news service is really critical to ensuring that we're all able to work together collectively to build a better country.”

Antoinette Lattouf, broadcaster, journalist, author and diversity advocate:

“I think given the growing lack of trust in institutions, namely government and media, that there's a real appetite for people to turn to sources that they know are trustworthy. There is a distrust in mainstream media, so I think this is a real opportunity to help deliver news and information (where your) heart and mind is in the right place.”

Debra Nicholl, CEO, Elder Rights Advocacy:

“Now more than ever we need to keep abreast of the issues that affect our ability to provide meaningful services that truly benefit the community.”

David Spriggs, CEO, Infoxchange

“We are very excited to see the launch of the Community Advocate. A dedicated news service for the sector is critical and we congratulate Our Community on this important initiative. We are looking forward to contributing the latest digital technology trends, insights and challenges from across the sector to empower not-for-profits.”

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