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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Social Inclusion Unit

Contact Details

By phone
Contact the Social Inclusion Unit on 03 6232 7139 or Service Tasmania on 1300 135 513.

Our staff
Use the Tasmanian Government Directory to find staff contact details

About us

What is social inclusion?

Social inclusion is the idea that everyone should have access to the resources and relationships that make life healthy, happy and productive.

It means having an education, skills, meaningful work, access to services, good relationships and having your voice heard and opinions valued.

People and communities that do not have access to these things may be at risk of social exclusion.

What does the Social Inclusion Unit do?

Established in March 2008, the Unit undertakes research, analyses data and consults with the community to develop evidence-based policy responses to complex social issues.

The key objectives of the Unit are to:

  • progress the Government's social inclusion agenda, including the social inclusion, cost of living and food security strategies; and
  • provide high quality policy services to the Premier and Cabinet.

The Unit works across government, in collaboration with the community and business sectors.

It also administers funding to the community to address a range of barriers to social inclusion.

Professor David Adams was the inaugural Social Inclusion Commissioner from 2009 until October 2012. The Unit supported Professor Adams to develop A Social Inclusion Strategy for Tasmania, which was provided to the Tasmanian Government in 2009.

Research and recommendations outlined in the Strategy have since shaped the Unit's policy responses to social inclusion.

The Unit also supported Professor Adams to develop of A Cost of Living Strategy for Tasmania in 2011 and Food for All Tasmanians - A Food Security Strategy in 2012.

These three strategies provide a strong evidence base and clear direction for the work of the Unit.

View the Social Inclusion Unit's Work Program from 2007-08 to 2013-14 and a description of the Unit's funded programs, including the Government's cost of living initiatives.

An Interim Report on the Cost of Living was tabled in Parliament on 8 March 2011.  The Tasmanian Parliament established a Select Committee on the Cost of Living on 23 November 2011.  The Select Committee on the Cost of Living reported on 21 November 2013. View a summary of the report.

What has the Unit achieved?

The three strategies produced by the Unit collectively propose 65 principal actions to address social exclusion in Tasmania.

More than half of the 65 principal actions have been completed or are underway, along with additional cost of living interventions. The vast majority of the remaining actions have been at least partially addressed.

In January 2014 the Unit prepared a report on Social Inclusion Progress in Tasmania which details the implementation of the strategies and describes the approach the Unit takes to its work.

What does social exclusion mean for Tasmania?

Evidence in the three strategies shows that there are people and places in Tasmania that are more likely to experience social exclusion.

It also shows that vulnerability to social exclusion can be caused by multiple issues, and increase during people's lifetimes.

This social exclusion plays out as reduced capacity and opportunities to:

  • manage cost of living pressures;
  • engage in employment, education and skills development;
  • connect with the community and participate in social, cultural and recreational life; and
  • access services that support health and wellbeing (including food, housing, support networks, and health and social services).

The Unit has collated statistics against a range of Social Exclusion Risk Factors in Tasmania.

What can we do?

Governments, communities, the business sector, families and individuals all have a role to play in addressing social exclusion in Tasmania.  The Unit supported Professor Adams to develop a Conceptual Framework to provide an understanding of the role everyone has in the continued progress on social inclusion.

The conceptual framework is not based on the deficits of people and places – but is based on their assets and potential, aiming for both a fairer society and stronger economy.

The Framework includes:

  • promoting enterprise solutions to build capacity and sustainability for individuals, groups and places;
  • devolving responsibility locally as much as possible through a focus on place management;
  • starting early support for families, individuals and communities to build resilience and capability for greater choice and responsibility of their futures;
  • providing a strong safety net to respond to immediate need and/or crisis arising from exclusion; and
  • enabling effective institutions and leadership to address the cumulative impacts and structural causes of exclusion.