Advancing Community Cohesion 2015


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.

  • Front page SMH (Opens in a new window) and Age
  • ABC PM, Thursday (16/7/15) (Opens in a new window) and Friday (17/7/15) (Opens in a new window)
  • SBS TV
  • Radio National interview (Opens in a new window) with Dr Sev Ozdowski
  • Rolling television coverage on APAC, SKY News' live current affairs station
  • Social media discussions included retweets of conference content by Tim Wilson and Michael Ebeid, CEO, SBS.

Thank you to all Western Sydney University people who worked hard to make the ACC2015 a success! My particular thanks go to Prof. Kevin Dunn, Dean, School of Social Sciences & Psychology who chaired the ACC2015 Academic Advisory Committee and ensured the intellectual integrity of the event. Thank you also to Beate Wildner and other Equity and Diversity staff, for making sure that everything worked out perfectly during the conference.

Dr Sev Ozdowski OAM FACID
Conference Convenor