On the 9th and 10th of November Melbourne was host to the second Australian Long Term Unemployment Conference.  Attendance came from a wide variety of organizations to listen, engage and connect with influential and active members of the unemployment sector.  Just four months into the Federal Government’s new jobactive scheme it was an important and fitting time to gather and learn.

    The Hon. Jacinta Allan MP opened the conference and keynote speakers included Jeff Borland, Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne, Mr Charles Brass of the Futures Foundation, Mr Darren Coppin of Esher House, Mr Nicholas Gruen, CEO Lateral Economics and Mr Martin Hehir Deputy Secretary of the Department of Employment.

    Mr Rick Kane of Disability Employment Australia, Dr Lisa O’Brien CEO The Smith Family and many others provided enlightening glimpses into the sector on the main stage and through many smaller sessions throughout the two days of the conference.

    The overwhelming response from attendees was that the conference was a success.  In particular it was a source of inspiration and knowledge as well as an opportunity to be challenged, make new connections, expand existing relationships and engage with delegates.

    The problems of long term unemployment are significant and entrenched but it was reassuring to see so many committed to making a difference as well as learning about new and innovative approaches that are working.  Careers Australia, Orygen and Workforce Recovery provided exhibitions with information about their approach and success.

    Congratulations to award winners Northern Futures, Orygen, VTEC Goldfields & Wheatbelt, CoAct/Workways and STEPS Employment Solutions who were recognised for their notable contributions to the sector.

    The conference was run with a calm professionalism that facilitated a comfortable environment to engage and connect with colleagues and peers.   For information about the 2016 event please visit  or


    The Australian Long Term Unemployment Conference 2015 was sponsored by MAX Employment, City of Melbourne, Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association and Open News.

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