“It’s about the opportunity to make a contribution to the community, to make a real difference .”
-Brad, Mental Health
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
Play your part in achieving justice for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples. If you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander or non-Indigenous, you will be part of a sector that walks alongside First Nations peoples towards self-determination and Closing the Gap.
Working in an Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisation (ACCO) or non-Indigenous organisation contributes to improved outcomes for First Nations people through a career in the community sector.
Advocates fight to ensure people and communities receive the services they need and deserve.
As an individual advocate you will work with individuals and their families to navigate services – for example police and courts, social security, disability, aged care or housing – to help secure their rights and entitlements.
As a systemic advocate, you will create policies, communications and campaigns to improve systems and services for vulnerable people.
Make sure our parents, grandparents, elders – and (one day!) you – receive the care and support we all deserve in our older age. The aged care sector provides unexpected career opportunities from frontline care to senior management, from advocacy to business administration, to deliver the services that support older people to live meaningful lives with dignity and care.
Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD)
People impacted by alcohol and other drugs of dependence experience extreme stigma and discrimination.
You will change the lives of individuals, families and communities impacted by alcohol and drug misuse through a range of careers in the AOD sector.
Career opportunities include counselling and peer support, health roles, individual and systemic advocacy, research, education, health promotion or even a management or operations role in an AOD service.
Children and Young People
Experiences in childhood have a profound impact on outcomes in adulthood. Help ensure that all young people in Canberra have the very best start in life.
You can make a difference in the lives of young Canberrans by working to advocate and promote their rights or by supporting their social, physical and mental wellbeing and development.
Exciting opportunities include youth work, mental health, inclusive education, child protection and early childhood education.
Assist Canberra’s residents to work together to build strong communities – communities that shape their own futures and find their own solutions to challenges.
You will find a truly rewarding career where you make a difference in the place that you live and work.
Even early in your career you will lead activities with young people, families, newly arrived migrants or residents in art, music or food to bring communities together, build resilience and offer mutual support.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
Canberra’s success is boosted by the increasing cultural and linguistic diversity of the region. Yet people from migrant and refugee backgrounds often face barriers to fully participate in our community.
You can challenge racism and discrimination and ensure everyone has the chance to reach their full potential by working in the community sector in settlement and refugee services, youth organisations, advocacy and policy or our community legal services.
Work with people with disability to support their everyday living and social and economic inclusion in our community.
Disability services have a wide range of career paths including systemic and individual advocacy, policy and research, transport, personal care, and operations and management.
Disability services offer fulfilling career paths with significant opportunities for career progression in a growing sector. A recent HESTA survey shows professionals in the disability sector were most likely to recommend their career and were proud of their work within the sector.
Domestic and Family Violence
Family violence is a widespread and serious problem with devastating impacts.
Join a sector creating a coordinated system to support victim-survivors, respond to risk and safety needs, address root causes and promote the accountability of perpetrators.
The community sector offers opportunities for specialist workers to be part of targeted responses for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, LGBTIQA+ communities, older people and people with disability.
High-quality early childhood education gives the best start in life to all children and provides important opportunities for kids to learn and develop. Did you know that a strong early childhood sector is also crucial for gender equality by enabling women to return to the workforce?
We need passionate and committed educators to sustain a strong and growing early childhood sector that is inclusive of everyone including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children, children with disability and children from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Education and Training
Education and training in the community sector come in many forms. Our organisations offer mental and physical health education providing people with the tools to manage their wellbeing.
Join an organisation that delivers training in cultural competency to help others deliver safe and inclusive services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, LGBTIQA+ communities, people of migrant and refugee background and people with disability.
Working in the housing sector means you will not only be helping individuals every day – you will also promote awareness so that service providers recognise and respond to domestic violence. How will you make change through the delivery of education and training?
Energy and Climate Change
Climate change is having the greatest impact on people who already face disadvantages – people on low incomes, people experiencing poor mental health, young people and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples. Soaring energy costs are also driving poverty and inequality.
Play your part in ensuring that those with the least benefit the most from our transition to zero emissions.
Challenge the unfairness caused by the rising cost of energy through careers in advocacy and campaigns, research, education or financial counselling.
Great outcomes for children and young people start with supporting the health and wellbeing of their families and caregivers.
Working in family services you can help strengthen family connections to ensure the safety of children, young people and parents. By offering support to parents struggling with issues such as mental health, drug and alcohol dependence, family violence, disability, unstable housing and poverty you can help families stay together and thrive.
The community sector provides a range of health services to marginalised communities and vulnerable people at risk of long hospital stays.
You can be part of a community health service that delivers specialist primary health care to migrants and refugees or you can support an Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisation working to Close the Gap in health outcomes for First Nations peoples.
Community organisations also provide trusted medical care to Canberra’s detainees and other marginalised groups like sex workers and people experiencing homelessness.
Housing and Homelessness
We all need a secure, safe roof over our heads. Our housing system should ensure that secure housing is available to all Canberrans. Sadly, in the ACT, over two thousand people experience homelessness every day and public housing lists stretch out for years.
You can be an advocate for a fairer housing system – for more community housing, for changes to tax policies so that they do not just benefit investors but ensure that everybody has access to a basic human right.
Working in the housing sector means you will not only be helping individuals every day – you will be learning new advocacy skills in dealing with decision-makers.
Legal and Human Rights
As an advocate for legal and human rights, you can be one of an energetic and growing coalition of activists including community service peak bodies as well as lawyers and civil liberties experts.
You will have the opportunity to argue for better protections for vulnerable people. If you are interested in the daily impacts of the law, you will play a major role in fighting for better outcomes for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, for culturally and linguistically diverse people, for people with disabilities, people with mental health conditions and for people on low incomes.
You will make sure their voices are heard.
While the ACT is known for its inclusive attitude to LGBTIQA+ communities, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure all members of our LGBTIQA+ community feel valued, safe, and respected.
Canberra’s LGBTIQA+ organisations are working to provide equitable access to all services, freedoms and opportunities for LGBTIQA+ people.
Through advocacy, health promotion and services, training and other social services and support, you can join Canberra’s incredible LGBTIQA+ organisations in creating huge change and improving the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ communities, families and individuals.
Many people experience challenges with mental health. While our openness around mental health is growing, finding the right support can be challenging for many Canberrans.
The community-managed mental health sector works to ensure services are available, accessible and safe. Here you will work to support individuals experiencing challenges at any stage of life with their emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing.
A career in community mental health spans a vast range of roles and responsibilities – from educator to psychologist; advocate peer support worker – with an opportunity to become an expert in your field and transition between roles with your transferable skills and make a real difference to individuals and systems.