Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Towards a Better Relationship with Advocacy NGOS

The Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens, met with human rights advocacy non government organisations this morning to discuss how to strengthen the government’s relationship with the non profit sector.

Speaking at today’s Attorney-General’s Non-Governmental Organisation Forum in Canberra, Senator Stephens provided an update on the development of a new partnership agreement, or compact, between the non profit sector and the government.

“It’s no secret that during the past ten years there have been some difficult times in the government – non profit sector relationship.

“A national compact will reset our relationship and form the foundation for a new way of working. A way of working founded in mutual respect,” said Senator Stephens

A draft consultation discussion paper has been released that outlines a set of principles that will govern the new relationship and identifies potential priority areas for action by both government and the sector.

Senator Stephens encouraged all NGO Forum participants to get involved in the consultation on this discussion paper, particularly in the areas of advocacy and human rights protection.

“There are many ways you can participate.

“Through the online forum (www.socialinclusion.gov.au/forums), by lodging a written submission or running a discussion group among your member organisations using the toolkit that will be available soon.”

Senator Stephens emphasised that the compact is ultimately about finding the best way of working together for the well-being of all Australians.

More details about the national compact between the government and the non profit Рor third Рsector can be found at National Compact  or by call toll free 1800 607 839 (Monday to Friday 8:30am Р5:00pm AEST).