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Inside the Welfare Lobby


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Table of Contents

From Voluntary Welfare Co-ordination to Social Action: The Early Years of the Australian Council of Social Service,1955-1970; Towards Social Policy Advocacy, 1970-1975; Watchdog for the Poor, 1976-1985; A Political Insider, 1985-1996; Protecting the Welfare Safety Net, 1996-2006; Labourists and Welfarists: the Relationship Between the Federal Labour Party and the Australian Council of Social Service; Neo-Liberalism versus Social Justice: The Relationship Between the Federal Liberal Party and the Australian Council of Social Service; A Natural Alliance? The Relationship Between the Australian Trade Union Movement and the Australian Council of Social Service; Conclusion.

About the Author

Dr Phillip Mendes is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Community Development in the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. He has published widely on social policy debates, and welfare advocacy groups He is the author or co-author of four books including Australia's Welfare Wars (2003), and Jews and Australian Politics (2004).


"This book helps to fill an acute shortage in academic writing about the major interest groups that play such a large role in Australian policy-making and politics. ACOSS stands alongside the BCA, the ACTU, the NFF and other large peak organisations; without an understanding of ACOSS our knowledge of contemporary politics is incomplete. In particular, ACOSS' role in welfare politics is central. Mendes has the best credentials of anyone I know to write such a book. His knowledge of ACOSS is up to date and detailed. This book will be a major resource for all university courses in contemporary Australian politics and a necessary guide for all informed political commentators." -- Professor of Politics, School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. "Philip Mendes offers us a study of how ACOSS has built and developed its messages along with its tactics in seeking to influence policy to tackle poverty. Politicians, organisations, and researchers will all find something of interest in this examination of the case of the ACOSS and its relation to the policy-making process." -- Dr Paul Dornan, Child Poverty Action Group

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