Communities, Children and Families Australia (Queensland University of Technology – QUT)
Since the Labor Party came to government federally in 2007, it was concerned with addressing entrenched social and economic disadvantage. In its first term it adopted the concept of ‘social inclusion’, which has long been in use in the United Kingdom and other European Union nations (Jones & Smyth, 1999; Weiss, 2003).
It is used as a central organising principle for its social policy goal of building a “stronger, fairer nation”; one in which all Australians have the opportunity and support to fully participate in social and economic life (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009).
The agenda for change identified the need to build a fairer society in which, “those currently facing disadvantage have improved opportunities for education, health, work and wellbeing and that all Australians enjoy improved quality of life” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009, p 5).
The profile of Australians acknowledged as most at risk of not fully accessing opportunities is similar to those in other OECD nations: children are high on the list, young children, Indigenous children and children whose parents are affected by mental health problems, family violence, substance use and/or homelessness.