The department has partnerships with a wide range of community and government organisations that work on issues relating to service delivery.
National Social Security Rights Network
The National Social Security Rights Network (NSSRN) comprises 16 community legal services specialising in social security and family assistance law and its administration by the department.
Member organisations help individual clients, train community workers and produce publications to help social security customers and community organisations to understand the system.
The department and the NSSRN meet twice yearly to exchange information and ideas.
Civil Society Advisory Group
The department has established the Civil Society Advisory Group to engage with community peak bodies to share progress towards the department’s customer experience and transformation activities, including the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation Programme relating to health and aged care. The group meets quarterly and explores key topics through a facilitated process to highlight areas of consensus and any issues.
Multicultural advisory forums and committees
The department has partnerships with a wide range of community and government organisations that work on issues relating to service delivery for people with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
The National Multicultural Advisory Group comprises members from non-government organisations and peak bodies representing CALD communities. It gives the department advice and feedback about the quality and effectiveness of its service delivery to people with CALD backgrounds. The department’s annual face-to-face meeting with the group was held in August 2017, with follow-up meetings in November 2017 and March 2018. Issues discussed included digital transformation, Medicare re-enrolment for refugees, and challenges and opportunities for multicultural servicing.
The department convenes other multicultural advisory committees and forums to consult regularly with multicultural communities at local and state/territory levels. These committees and forums operate in areas with high multicultural populations across all states and territories. They make communities aware of the department’s programs, services and new initiatives. Issues raised in 2017–18 included employment pathways for migrants and asylum seekers, improving social cohesion, settlement services for refugees, and digital engagement for CALD users.
Stakeholder Consultative Group
The Stakeholder Consultative Group is the department’s peak stakeholder consultation forum on health issues. It comprises representatives from consumer, medical, allied health, pharmaceutical and aged care fields. The department advised the group on emerging strategic and operational matters and on our implementation of government measures. Stakeholder engagement and input assists the department in delivering its aged care and health-related services more effectively. The group met twice in 2017–18.