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A vision for Australia: social, cultural and economic inclusion

In my Australia, all people will have opportunities to access full social, cultural and economic inclusion.

I have had the privilege of working with community organisations that work to encourage people to assert their rights, build their capacity and confidence, and feel that they can contribute to their communities.

Particularly in leadership roles with the PILCH Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic and Victoria’s specialist homelessness services’ peak, the Council to Homeless Persons, I have seen the potential for marginalised people to improve outcomes for themselves, their families and the broader community.

I continue to be inspired by the resilience, innovation and commitment of many of the people experiencing homelessness that have worked with me in these organisations.

However, I’ve also worked with many people that have felt disempowered, disengaged and excluded. They feel that they are not part of the mainstream, and that they have been left behind in the social and economic development that has powered on without them.

Not in my Australia.

In my Australia, no-one is consigned to a life of chronic poverty and financial exclusion. Our safety nets will provide adequate support for people that aren’t able to work, but those that are willing and able should be supported into work or training that develops them and their communities.

In my Australia, we share a commitment to equality, respect and dignity.

No-one is marginalised because of their beliefs, their background or their appearance. Equal societies are better for everyone – it’s not about having winners or losers, it’s about all people being able to live a life of dignity and inclusion.

Having worked as a lawyer and now as a legal educator and academic, I understand the role that our systems and structures play in ensuring that people are able to live free and fair lives.

Our shared norms and values, reflected in our laws and legal systems, do not deleteriously impact people living in poverty and disadvantage.

In my Australia, education is a key plank of ensuring people can access social, cultural and economic inclusion.

As an educator, I am committed to providing learners with the opportunities to achieve greatness, and to make great contributions to their communities.

As a leader, I demonstrate my own commitment to contributing to my community, having held leadership roles at sporting clubs, arts organisations and community agencies.

As a father, I see the importance of education and inclusion for my children’s future.

In my Australia, all people will have opportunities to access full social, cultural and economic inclusion. 

James Farrell’s vision for Australia was recently recognised by the ADC Forum, which recognised James as a future leader at the 2012 Future Summit.

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