Advancing Community Cohesion Conferences

Advancing Community Cohesion 2020

Hundreds of decision-makers, thought leaders, influencers, and practitioners from government, civil society and the private sector will gather at Western Sydney University for the 3rd National Advancing Community Cohesion Conference – The Way Forward.

The Conference, from 10-13 February 2020, will provide leaders with the opportunity to discuss challenges confronting social cohesion and community resilience and explore ways to more effectively address them by considering social, economic, cultural, legal, religious, and sexual/gender identity dimensions and perspectives.

“This Conference is designed to achieve practical outcomes and inform participants’ ongoing work in the social cohesion space, contribute to policies and strategies at national, state and local levels as well as provide opportunities to build new networks to facilitate partnerships and collaboration.” – Professor Sev Ozdowski

Advancing Community Cohesion 2017


Western Sydney University hosted the 2nd National Advancing Community Cohesion Conference – Today’s Challenges and Solutions, at its Parramatta Campus, from 20-22 November 2017.

Over 280 participants attended the Conference which was convened by Dr Sev Ozdowski AM, Director of Equity and Diversity at the University.

The Conference considered contemporary challenges to social cohesion in diverse, multicultural communities, and ways to more effectively address them.  It was attended by politicians, decision-makers, thought leaders, and practitioners from government departments and agencies, academia and think-tanks, civil society organisations, schools, and the private sector.

While multiculturalism was the cross-cutting theme of the Conference, relevant issues were considered from several perspectives including social, economic, political, cultural, legal, religious, and sexual/gender identity, perspectives.

The feedback received from participants revealed that 87.5% rated the Conference as having ‘Very High’ or ‘High’ utility (usefulness, benefit or value) while 93% said they would attend another community cohesion conference organised by the University.

The narrative report on the Conference can accessed here

Advancing Community Cohesion 2015

2015 Advancing Community Cohesion

The 'Advancing Community Cohesion – Towards a National Compact' Conference was hosted by Western Sydney University from 15-17 July 2015 at the University's Parramatta South campus.

ACC2015 was a resounding success. The Governor General opened the Conference on 15 July. The following two days of the conference comprised of 19 sessions with 79 speakers, including Prof. Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor of Western Sydney University, Senator The Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, Retired Justice of the High Court of Australia, H.E. Dr Hassan El-Laithy, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner, numerous senior government officials, scholars from throughout Australia and community representatives, including those from FECCA and Muslim groups. Indeed, the 350 ACC2015 participants included all key actors who are at the forefront of community cohesion advancement in the country.

There was an impressive array of media mentions, including ABC TV and current affairs, SKY News, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Some of the highlights are listed below.