Researchers at the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management define social inclusion to be the ‘equal opportunities, capabilities, and resources’ for all members of society to benefit from and is achieved by one moral statement: ‘leave no one behind’ (Collins et. al. 2021:311). For people with ability challenges in Australia, barriers such as ‘access, participation, representation, and empowerment’ (Collins et. al. 2021:308) are often the core limitations that perhaps restrict a sense of inclusion for some Australians.

This is the central mission embodied by the Social Inclusion Week team. They aim ‘to help all Australian’s feel included and valued, giving everyone the opportunity to participate fully in society’ (SIW 2022) and through fundraising events, are able to raise awareness and funds for underrepresented Australians. Hosted across the week of Saturday November 19 to Sunday November 27, the Social Inclusion Week is an opportunity for all Australians to Connect, Collaborate, and Celebrate! Promoting a sense of belonging and the importance of living happy, fulfilling lives, the organisation encourages young Australians to participate in a Social Inclusion Week event.

This year’s theme – Connect, Collaborate, Celebrate – is a simple motto that encapsulates all that the organisation stands for. Social inclusion is key to dismantling intersectional prejudice and working on a wider sense of representation; ‘defined as who does the speaking and how people are spoken of’ (Collins et. al. 2021:312). The team at Social Inclusion Week encourage representation and allowing diverse communities to speak their story – to connect with other members of their community, collaborate with each other, and to celebrate both their similarities and differences. ‘Social Inclusion Week is about encouraging communities to reconnect and be inclusive of all cultures, age groups, nationalities, and abilities’ (SIW 2022). Let’s define the core values of this year’s Social Inclusion Week theme: 


Image sourced from Social Inclusion Week 

            How do we connect with each other? With our communities? Young Australians between 12 and 25 years of age with varying abilities can feel isolated without their community, however there is no doubt that there is always someone nearby that has shares the same experiences. Connecting with others is so important in building a sense of community with each other, as it is this collective feeling of experience that makes us feel included; makes us feel valued; makes us feel human. Social Inclusion Week events are the perfect place to get started and to find peers to connect with! A simple Google search or Facebook event search will be sure to find a local event.


Image sourced from Social Inclusion Week 

            What can we do to collaborate? Local organisations that support activities for those with ability challenges are the best way to engage with identifiable communities. The Disability Gateway site is run by the Australian Government and lists all possible ways for people with various abilities to collaborate with each other. From arts and culture opportunities to community programs, to even outdoor camps and activities, the site has a wealth of opportunities for Australians to encourage social inclusion.


Image sourced from Social Inclusion Week 

            What do we celebrate? Everything! Celebrating our differences in a community is an amazing opportunity for each other to witness how unique we all are, how expertly crafted our lives are to produce an individual worth celebrating! It is also important to see through the lens of other individuals and how our different abilities affect our day-to-day experiences. It is these unique challenges, however, that we are stronger for and are worth celebrating.

            Working in tandem with our differences, are our similarities! It is our challenges and experiences that we all share, and supported through connecting and collaborating with one another, we are able to celebrate what makes us a united community.


Recommended Reads: 

Diversity training activity book: 50 activities for promoting communication and understanding at work by Jonamay Lambert and Selma Myeres

Designed for employers working towards creating safe, diverse environments, this handbook presents a variety of activities for diversity training. The book encourages sensitivity and understanding for all members of the workforce community, and addresses fundamental issues such as change, communication, gender, and conflict resolution. In discussing how to create a harmonious, open workplace no matter the cultural background of individuals, this text is a staple for any workplace. 
Available at the East and City Campus libraries. 


Politics, disability and social inclusion: people with different abilities in the 21st century by Peter Gibilisco 
An in-depth researched guide to social inclusion, this book provides an up-to-date background on the current policy and social issues for various disabilities. In addition to analysing current policy and social processes, the text encourages various ways to support social inclusion through various personal narratives and research provocations.
Available at the City Campus library.






Women and Community Action by Lena Dominelli 
In exploring intersectionality for women, Dominelli writes on the women’s role in a community’s growth and development. Looking at sustainability and the social change that feminism evokes, the text discusses gender relations more widely and highlights the differentiated position of both men and women in community work.
Available at the City Campus library.




Words by Ashlee Simpson, Digital & Library Engagement Officer. 

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            Collins A, Reentschler R, Williams K, & Azmat F (2021) ‘Exploring barriers to social inclusion for disabled people: perspectives from the performing arts’, in Journal of Management & Organisation, pp. 308 – 328, pub. Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management: Australia, retrieved October 24 2022, doi:10.1017/jmo.2021.48

            SIW (2022) Social Inclusion Week, pub. Social Inclusion Week, retrieved October 24 2022,