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Social Work: Policies & Issues

Guide to locating relevant resources for Social Work assessment tasks and projects.

Social policy

Advocacy is about working on activities that will influence policy. It is a consistent and persistent effort to shift perceptions through regular positive activity to bring about change. Advocacy groups work towards influencing policy on behalf of members of society who may not be able to themselves due to their vulnerability or other circumstances. The groups work towards better outcomes for these people who may be adversely affected by the policies introduced.

Lobbying is the active campaigning of the government with the view to asking policymakers to take a specific position on an item of legislation. 

The Lobbying Code of Conduct is a publication of the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department (2019) and defines a lobbyist as: ... 'any person, company or organisation who conducts lobbying activities on behalf of a third party client or whose employees conduct lobbying activities on behalf of a third party client'. There are rules lobbying groups should abide by.

You can find relevant advocacy and lobby groups by Googling keywords and limiting the domain address.

women reproductive rights

A selective list of institutes that conduct research related to social policy:

Government policy & legal resources

To search for the work of parliamentary committees, parliamentary debates/Hansard, bills and legislation, parliamentary publications, parliamentary media releases, and the budget papers

Parlinfo (Tip: use the ‘Advanced search’ option to limit your results)

To find relevant policy documents from State Legislation and Bills search the individual State parliament websites.

How Parliament works - includes video about how laws are made

"The Law Council of Australia is the representative voice for the Australian legal profession. We work to influence government, parliament and key stakeholders on behalf of our Constituent Bodies and the legal profession."

Queensland Parliament: 

Committee Hearings - search live and archived broadcasts

Hansard - search transcripts by sitting date

NSW Parliament:

Current NSW Bills

Hansard - search documents by keyword

Victorian Parliament:


Political parties' policies in Australia

Liberal Party of Australia - "Our plan"

National Party of Australia - "Our policies"

The Greens - "Our policies"

Labor Party- "Campaigns"