Editorial

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Social change is incremental. Progress often sits halfway between what’s needed and what’s achievable. This hard reality means —as advocates for social change— we often find ourselves celebrating the micro: successfully protecting this entitlement or opposing that cut. More support for X, more education about Y.

Attempts to lift our sights above the horizon and imagine the possibilities beyond are often stymied by the problems at our feet. Even when ‘blue sky’ thinking and long-term planning does occur it can be derailed by changing circumstances or new priorities. Too often, well intentioned policy submissions, election pledges and government blueprints have never been truly realised.

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By 2030, a child born today will be preparing to celebrate their 13th birthday. What kind of society do we want this child to inherit? What are the values, attitudes, social structures and opportunities we want for them? What are the issues and challenges we don’t want them to be saddled with?

Which makes the prospect of 2030 so appealing.
2030 was chosen as the theme for this edition of Insight and the upcoming VCOSS-ACOSS Conference (24-25 October) because it demands we think big.

By 2030, Victorians will have endured at least another six trips to the ballot box. Barring an unforeseen breakout of electoral stability, even Daniel Andrews’ and Malcolm Turnbull’s successors in office will have concluded their political careers. And a child born today will be preparing to celebrate their 13th birthday.

What kind of society do we want this child to inherit?

What are the values, attitudes, social structures and opportunities we want for them? What are the issues and challenges we don’t want them to be saddled with?
This edition of Insight brings together an array of social policy advocates and community leaders to answer these questions.

Victoria’s Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, Ro Allen, travels though time to write a ‘letter to myself’ from the year 2030, economist Jim Stanford from the Centre for Future Work dissects the changing nature of labour, the Mallee District Aboriginal Service’s Rudolph Kirby contemplates a Victoria fully reconciled with its past and Sharee Grinter from West Footscray Neighbourhood House analyses what’s required to enhance community connectivity over the coming decade.

We also take time to look back and celebrate the extraordinary contribution of long-time Berry Street CEO Sandie de Wolf, as our ‘Sector Champion’.

As you read these articles please allow yourself to be swept away by their vision and promise. Then snap out of it, quickly.

Because the bright future we imagine today will vanish unless matched by immediate action. Just as we’re now living with the legacy of policy decisions made in the 1980s and 1990s—like energy privatisation and tax concessions for property investors—the big decisions needed to shape the Victoria of 2030 must be made now.

VCOSS is committed to providing leadership for this important mission. We will continue working with our members, friends and partners to build the case for positive change and enact the policies required to ensure a fairer and more just Victoria.

Emma King
Chief Executive Officer
VCOSS
September 2017

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