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Building your community

Active citizenship

What is active citizenship?

People acting deliberately to contribute to the civic life of their communities and create positive change.

It is crucial in developing and sustaining healthy societies and healthy democracies.

Our approach

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Council supports active citizenship in the Parramatta community in different ways:


Volunteer opportunities directly with Council are available.

There are also volunteer opportunities with other local community organisations.

2019 National Conference and resources

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6–8 November 2019, Parramatta

We hosted a national conference designed to share and progress effective approaches to enable active citizenship and community-led action.


Presentations, guest speakers and workshops addressed one of three themes:

  • First Nations
  • Social investment/social enterprise, and
  • general.


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You can view some conference presentation PDFs below list. They are in order of the conference program's day and sessions.

Presentations without the author's permission to publish are not available through Council or this website. You will need to contact the presenter to request a copy. You can email with your enquiry.

If you are unable to access the PDFs, please email us your request to

Guest speakers

Naomi Nash – Rethinking Leadership: Building capacity for positive change (PDF, 2.28 MB)

Professor Sarah Maddison – 21st-century activism: Active citizenship and community advocacy today (PDF, 1.37 MB)

Day 1: pm sessions

Session Presenter and presentation title
A Aunty Kerrie Doyle – Caring for Kaumatua: a community-based action research project (PDF, 2.13 MB)
A Dr Lynette Riley – Exploring what community-led is – using an Aboriginal lens (PDF, 748.00 KB)
B Sharon Zivkovic – The need for a complexity informed active citizenship education program (PDF, 1.42 MB)
C Julia Suh – Tech-enabled community building (PDF, 7.08 MB)
C Karla Gunby – Challenges in supporting not-for-profit social enterprises (PDF, 628.50 KB)
D Bianca Orsini – Co-designing with young people IRL (in real life) (PDF, 5.16 MB)
D Ellen Ross, Hatice Vural and Phil Scott – Supporting young people in community-led action at the local level (PDF, 1.12 MB)

Day 2: am sessions

Session Presenter and presentation title
A Professor Sarah Maddison – The Colonial Fantasy: Why white Australia can’t solve black problems (PDF, 344.56 KB)
B Tanya Owen – Community Citizens Training Program: Designed to strengthen capacity to engage with power structures & achieve positive change (PDF, 1.01 MB)
C Amanda Tattersall – How do you organise change in cities? (PDF, 945.02 KB)
C Sharon Zivkovic – Achieving Systems Change through a Social Entrepreneurship Program (PDF, 2.13 MB)
D Craig Hughes – Recovery & Healing from Child Sexual Abuse (PDF, 1.37 MB)
D Susan Mende – Shaping Health: Lessons on social participation from around the world (PDF, 3.15 MB)
D Vita Maiorano – Family by family: Creating thriving communities through building on the lived experience of families (PDF, 2.66 MB)

Day 2: pm sessions

Session Presenter and presentation title
A Michael Atkinson – ACON’s Welcome Here Project (PDF, 3.76 MB)
B Lucy Brotherton – Innovation in Local Government: Empowering and activating aspiring social entrepreneurs (PDF, 2.32 MB)

Tom Dawkins – Change from Below: Supporting Grassroots Innovation (PDF, 9.57 MB)

C Alex Long and Hannah Lai – MYAN’s Welcome to Australia program (PDF, 2.70 MB)