Regional Peak Body for Community Services

The Illawarra Forum is the regional peak body for the non-government community services industry in the four local government areas of Shoalhaven, Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong.

Advocacy, social policy and representation

The Illawarra Forum takes up issues across program areas that impact on the region’s community services and disadvantaged communities. The Forum’s roles include:  promoting the well being of disadvantaged communities, resourcing and supporting community service organisations and their committees, advocacy, information provision, social justice strategies, building expertise in community services and representational roles.

As part of this role we:

  • Facilitate and co-ordinate collaboration and partnerships in planning, service delivery and development at a regional or State level
  • Advocate on social justice and related policy issues on behalf of the sector to address disadvantage within communities
  • Identify and promote emerging community services initiatives with regional or State significance to address disadvantage within communities
  • Lead or facilitate industry change and the development of community services infrastructure

Click here for information on our latest submissions.

Community Sector Development

Funded by NSW Family & Community Services –the Forum works to support and resource organisations across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. Our roles include:

  • Developing and distributing publications and resources including newsletters, fact sheets, research reports, ‘How To’ sheets, and policy documents
  • Sector capacity building
  • Organisation, sectoral, regional and cross-sectoral planning and consultation
  • Skills development and training opportunities

Click here for the latest training opportunities.

Peak Meetings

Peak organisations provide a strong voice for the community sector in representation and advocacy, policy analysis, research and consultation, and sector development. The Forum represents the views of its membership and the community sector in meetings with peak organisations and with government departments including:


The Council of Social Service of New South Wales, NCOSS, provides independent and informed policy development, advice and review and plays a key coordination and leadership role for the non government social and community services sector in New South Wales. NCOSS works with our members, the sector, the NSW Government and its departments and other relevant agencies on current and emerging (and ongoing) social, systemic and operational issues.

The Illawarra Forum is represented on the NCOSS Regional Forum, and the NCOSS Sector Development Forum.

FONGA Forum of Non Government Agencies

The purposes of the NSW Forum of Non Government Agencies (FONGA) are:

  • To be a vehicle for information exchange, discussion, consultation and advocacy about key policy, program and service delivery issues affecting the non government human services sector at a state-wide level
  • To be a conduit for information flow from the state to the regional, sub-regional and local levels of the NSW non government human services sector.
  • The membership of FONGA is open to peak, state-wide NSW human services NGOs, regional human services NGOs and the major, State wide NGO human services providers. Members of FONGA must also be members of NCOSS.

The Illawarra Forum is a member of FONGA. Click here for the Charter for NSW Community Sector.


The Shoalhaven and Illawarra Managers Taskforces

The Forum has established two managers Taskforces, one in the Illawarra and one in the Shoalhaven.  They have been established to:

  • Support, improve & sustain the community services sector in the Shoalhaven and Illawarra by addressing managerial & strategic issues in a collaborative manner
  • Uphold principles of social justice
  • Improve the coordinated collaborative approach to service provision, and work collaboratively on joint projects
  • Provide a united voice for lobbying and effect change at policy level
  • Engage with regional issues to influence strategic planning
  • Communicate regional information
  • Research, discuss and consider new trends and initiatives and their impact on service delivery;
  • Utilize members skills to provide support, knowledge and advice
  • Provide an opportunity to reflect on issues and ideas
  • Identify and implement opportunities for professional development and training

Membership is open to individuals and organisations from the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions who have managerial or strategic responsibilities in their work with community services and are in a senior decision-making role.

Membership is primarily for non-government organisations. Government agencies are welcome but priority will be given to non-government issues.

Click here for more information or call ph4256 4333

Regional Development Australia, Illawarra

Regional Development Australia, Illawarra is a key facilitator for change and development in the Illawarra region.

It works towards the growth of regional business, the creation of employment opportunities and the development of more sustainable communities. RDA Illawarra develops partnerships between the community, government and business to achieve important community goals.

The Illawarra Forum represents community sector issues in RDA Illawarra.

RDA Illawarra has set a priority for projects that;

  • Enable economic and business growth in the region.
  • Create jobs for the Illawarra’s unemployed.
  • Facilitate the development of employment generating infrastructure.
  • Build community capacity; particularly in disadvantaged suburbs.