Participation and Inclusion

Participation and Inclusion is responsible for making it easier for people to be involved in their communities (Goal 24 of NSW2021). Participation and Inclusion promotes and enhances community involvement and participation, with the aim of strengthening communities so that individuals and groups of people are active and engaged in the social, economic and cultural life of the community; and have influence over their environment and wellbeing through robust community connections.

Business units within Participation and Inclusion include:

  • Community Engagement creates relationships across government, the community sector and industry. We look for opportunities to work with other agencies and the corporate and not-for-profit sector to better leverage other resources and to foster and build on community strength.
  • The Community Engagement team includes four Regional Coordinators whose role includes:
    • identifying the strengths and needs of communities in their region, and opportunities for collaboration
    • brokering relationships across agencies and coordinating regional partnerships to deliver outcomes for communities contributing regional knowledge and expertise to state and departmental planning activities and initiatives

Contact details and regions in which each of the four regional coordinators operate are available at the bottom of this page.

  • NSW Volunteering is responsible for implementing the NSW Volunteering Strategy, which focuses on removing the barriers to volunteering and recognising and celebrating volunteers. Our major projects include the Statement of Principles for Recognition of Volunteers, Timebanking, the Premier’s Volunteer Recognition Program and the student volunteer mobilisation campaign: Shape Your Future NSW.

    More resources for supporting volunteering in NSW, including toolkits for social media use and risk management, are at: http://www.volunteering.nsw.gov.au/home.
  • Youth Strategy and Participation supports the Minister in his role as Minister responsible for youth affairs; manages the Government's Youth Opportunities program and Youth Frontiers mentoring program and coordinates National Youth Week in NSW. More information on Youth Strategy and Participation is available at: http://youth.nsw.gov.au.
  • Community Building Partnership Program: Participation and Inclusion administers the NSW Community Building Partnership program on behalf of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. The Program supports the improvement of community infrastructure, and aims to create more vibrant and inclusive communities by supporting projects that encourage community participation, inclusion and cohesion. More information on the program is available at: http://www.communitybuildingpartnership.nsw.gov.au

Regional coordinators

Sydney region
Mia Zahra
P (02) 8753 8454
M 0408 514 264
mia.zahra@facs.nsw.gov.au

Southern region
Vanessa Ford
M 0477 317 224
vanessa.ford@facs.nsw.gov.au

Northern region
Blaine Patterson
M 0477 319 331
blaine.patterson@facs.nsw.gov.au

Western region
Donna Argus
M 0407 218 101
donna.argus@facs.nsw.gov.au