Roundtables & Forums

Leveraging the Experience and Expertise within the Sector

Roundtables – Zoom

Each 2-hour Roundtable focuses on a different aspect of operational excellence while focusing on three questions:

Over 1,100 sector participants attended the 30 different Roundtables delivered over the last two years with an average ‘Would you recommend to others’ score of 8.8 (out of 10).

The online delivery shift to Zoom, due to COVID, has been effective. CSP events maintained high engagement through the use of Zoom breakout rooms. Online events have also extended our reach. While previous in-person events were limited to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; the Zoom events now include participants from across Australia and New Zealand.

Hot Topic Forums

These forums focus on varying key topical issues and each have a different format:

  • 30-minute presentation by a sector Subject Matter Expert or consultant covering why is this important, what does a solution look like, key success factors and potential pitfalls
  • 45-minute small group discussion (using Zoom Break Out rooms) to discuss the approach and potential applications
  • Large group discussion to identify key insights and ideas




Improving Traineeship Offer

Our members provide several clear messages on this topic. Firstly, COVID has shown that online service delivery works and is effective. Secondly, future service delivery will be a hybrid of in-person and online. Many regional and younger customers prefer online. Funders like the increased accessibility and lower cost of online.

However, challenges to improving online service delivery include staff resistance (“in-person is better” mindset), capability limitations (using online tools), technology constraints (internet connectivity) and risk concerns (cyber security, child safety issues)

With this in mind, we partnered with a panel of sector leaders including Steve Leicester (headspace), Jared Ingle (Interrelate) and Kim Casburn (Royal Far West) to discuss how to improve online service delivery.


Improving Traineeship Offer

Many For Purpose organisations are interested in social enterprises as a way to create alternative funding streams and provide opportunities to deliver their mission.

However, sector leaders also highlight the challenges in creating something which delivers both these objectives.

With this in mind, The Centre For Social Purpose organised a Roundtable featuring panelists from Mission Australia, YMCA, yourtown and Asylum Seeker Resource Centre that have significant experience in creating social enterprises. 

The panel discussion was facilitated by Andrew Hamilton, Founder of Social Scaffolding, who also brought deep expertise in this area.


Improving Traineeship Offer

An effective working relationship between the Board and the Executive team can have a significant impact on a For Purpose organisation’s ability to achieve their purpose and commercial objectives.

With this in mind, The Centre For Social Purpose organised a Roundtable to gain insights and practical ideas on how CEOs and Executive Leaders can strengthen this relationship.

The Roundtable involved a panel of experienced sector leaders:

  • Elisabeth Shaw (CEO, Relationships Australia – NSW; and Board Chair, Settlement Services International)
  • Paul Linossier (former CEO, Uniting Vic.Tas; and Board Chair, Parramatta Mission)
  • Mark Sewell (CEO, Warrigal)
  • Trudy Skilbeck (Company Secretary, CBM Australia; and Board Chair, Whitehorse Manningham Regional Library Corporation)

The 50 sector participants were then involved in small group discussions to find practical solutions to shared challenges.


Improving Traineeship Offer

Traineeships are important to the sector as a way to address a staff capacity gap and increase the pool of skilled employees.

The South Australian Department of Innovation & Skills engaged Bradford Institute of Advanced Education (BIAE) to complete research to understand why the sector has a low utilisation of traineeships and to identify improvement recommendations.

The Centre partnered with BIAE to conduct a Focus Group with 25 participants to gain sector input in exploring these issues.


Cyber Security: Threats & Strategies

Cyber security is a significant risk to the sector as data breaches can have a major impact on clients, organizational reputation and financial sustainability.

Our guest speaker, Leon Fouche, (Partner and National Cyber Security Lead for BDO Australia), presented the findings from BDO and AusCert’s ‘2019/2020 Cyber Security Survey’ involving 500 organisations. Topics covered included what are the major cyber security risks, how are organisations responding to these risks, and effective strategies to be better prepared.

The 50 sector participants were then involved in small group discussions to explore what works, and doesn’t work, in addressing this key issue.


Development as a Retention Strategy

Our members highlighted attracting and retaining talent is a key challenge in delivering their purpose and commercial objectives. The sector is facing increased demand for services but has constrained salary budgets.

This Roundtable focused on how For Purpose organisations can use staff professional development as part of their Employee Value Proposition.

The CEO’s from Allambi Care and Key Assets Australia shared insights and practical ideas on this important topic. The 40 sector participants were then involved in small group discussions to explore application in their organisations.


COVID-19 Residential Outbreak Planning

A key concern for any organisation with a residential facility is how to respond to a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

A panel of Directors from Uniting NSW/ACT and Able Australia provided insights and practical ideas about how to plan such an event.

This was followed by small group discussion involved 30 Sector Leaders to share effective strategies and practical ideas.


Digital Leadership Enabling Remote Working

A key priority for IT Leaders in the new COVID-19 world is how to support a remote workforce.

Organisations are implementing initiatives to address issues such as data security, data access, collaboration tools, supporting remote workers and business process changes.

Their CIOs from Black Dog Institute, headspace National and Ozcare shared their insights and key learnings.

The 55 sector leaders were then involved in small group ncussions to find solutions to shared challenges.


Transforming For Purpose Organisations

One of the key challenges for CEOs and Executive Teams is how to transform their organisation so it can deliver its purpose, optimise impact and also achieve its commercial objectives.

Three CEOs from Royal Institute Deaf & Blind Children, Northcott Disability Services and Settlement Services International shared insights and key learnings from their organisational transformation journey.

The 60 executive participants were then involved in small group discussions about transformation success factors and potential pitfalls.


Volunteer Engagement through COVID-19

Organisations have been impacted by the need to stand down volunteers as a result of COVID-19.

Over 60 sector leaders and Volunteer Managers discussed different volunteer engagement approaches, and plans to encourage volunteers to return when social distancing restrictions are lifted.


Corporate Volunteering Hot Topic Forum

There has been increasing interest in corporate volunteering as it benefits both For Purpose organisations (as a revenue source or access to expertise) and corporates (who are seeking team-building projects to support staff engagement).

Subject Matter Experts Richard Duncan (previously Head of Volunteering Services at Wesley Mission) and Claire Turner presented why this is important, key success factors, potential pitfalls and examples of where it has worked.


Responding to COVID-19

Explores how For Purpose Organisations responded to lockdown changes by shifting to all staff working from home.

This Roundtable involved 40 For Purpose sector leaders discussing transition challenges and what works, and doesn’t work, in responding to these COVID-19 changes


Metrics Supporting Purpose

Performance metrics have become increasingly important to achieve funding, drive productivity improvements and make better decisions. This session explores how organisations are using metrics to achieve their purpose.

Sydney (December 6) Host: Mission Australia


  • ChildFund: Tom Schlosser (Head of Data Analytics and Innovation)
  • Northcott: Lee Carpenter (Deputy CEO)
  • Relationships Australia: Sarah Rowley (EGM, Customer Services)
  • Settlement Services: Greg Benson (GM, Client Services and Operations)

Managing Compliance

Managing compliance is a major issue from both an administrative workload and organisation risk perspective. This session explores how For Purpose organisations manage these demands through an emphasis on business excellence.

Sydney (December 12) Host: Wesley Mission

  • Barnardos Australia: Penny Hood (Executive Manager, People & Practice)
  • CareFlight: Glenn McKeown (National Q-HSE Manager)
  • The Fred Hollows Foundation: Penny Palmer (Global Lead – Legal Governance Risk and Compliance)

Driving Business Improvement

Explores how for Purpose organisations are using business improvement initiatives – such as Lean, Agile and Continuous Improvement – to help them achieve their purpose and commercial objectives.

Melbourne (November 19) Host: Australian Red Cross

  • EACH Social and Community: Sherisse​  Goodwin (Mgr, Governance and Executive Projects)
  • Save the Children: Adrian Stagg (Chief Information Officer)
  • YMCA Victoria: Amanda Locke (Chief Operating Officer)

Brisbane (December 2) Host: St Vincent de Paul

  • Endeavour Foundation: Greg McCluand (Continuous Improvement Manager)
  • Open Minds: Chris Shannon (GM – Strategy, Planning and Improvement)
  • Relationships Australia: Cassandra Ashton (GM, Strategy & Innovation)

Effective Volunteer Management

Volunteers are an important resource in delivering our purpose and commercial objectives.  This session explores effective practices to attract, engage and manage volunteers.

Sydney (July 30) Host: Wesley Mission

  • Salvation Army: Lucinda Gayl (Volunteer Resources Manager)
  • McGrath Foundation: Ryan Barlow (Marketing & Revenue Director)
  • Smith Family: Lauren Stocker (National Manager Volunteering)
  • Karitane: Grainne O’ Loughlin (CEO)

Melbourne (November 26) Host : Save The Children

  • Stroke Foundation: Suzanne Larsson (Volunteer Program Coordinator)
  • YMCA: Ang Cuy (Executive Manager, Youth Services)
  • The Salvation Army: Penny Aquino (General Manager – Volunteer Resources)

Brisbane (December 17) Host: St The Mater Foundation

  • Act for Kids: Karen McIntyre (Relationship & Fundraising Manager)
  • The Salvation Army: Ciska Burrie (Volunteer Resources Manager – QLD TAS)
  • UnitingCare Queensland: DJ Cronin (Manager, Volunteer Services)