Australia is home to a diverse population from many different cultural backgrounds and with many differing needs. As we go about our lives it is important to remember that a significant number of people may find it difficult to participate in or engage with certain activities and institutions due to factors such as:
- intellectual or physical ability
- language or cultural barriers
- level of education
- income level
- gender or sexual orientation
In fact, you may fall into one of these categories yourself.
Taking place in the last week of November each year, Social Inclusion Week is an initiative which encourages communities to organise events or activities which are inclusive of everybody. Social Inclusion Week was started by Jonathan Welch AM—creator of the Choir of Hard Knocks—in the hopes of connecting local communities and addressing the isolation and exclusion of marginalised people. This year’s theme is Connect, Collaborate & Celebrate!
How can I get involved / where can I find support?
There are many clubs and organisations which promote socially inclusive activities and welcome volunteers, or can help if you need connection yourself. Organisations offering these services around South-East Queensland include Communify (based in Brisbane), YFS (in Logan) and Volunteering Gold Coast. You may also like to try searching My Community Directory for groups which appeal to your own needs or interests. The Brisbane, Logan and Gold Coast council websites provide support information for people from all backgrounds. Griffith University also offers a range of academic, health and wellbeing support for students who may feel isolated or marginalised at university.
Social inclusion research at Griffith
The Centre for Governance and Public Policy is conducting important research into social inclusion and equality, seeking to advance knowledge that promotes inclusion for members of society who are marginalised or vulnerable. If you would like to explore the topic of social inclusion more deeply, check out some of the relevant work produced by Griffith researchers on the Griffith Research Online repository:
Social inclusion in a ‘risk society’: Identifying the barriers and facilitators of inclusion across different communities and contexts
Social inclusion, social exclusion and social closure: What can we learn from studying the social capital of social elites?
Promoting social inclusion: More important now than ever?