Welcoming Australia Symposium 2023

The Welcoming Australia Symposium 2023 was our most successful yet, with over 250 people joining in person and over 70 online attendees coming together to explore the #PowerOfPlace.

Over two days, the Welcoming Australia Symposium featured inspiring speakers on the power of place-based organisation to increase belonging in Australia. Participants were challenged, motivated and energised to return to your communities to continue your important work.

Prof. Chelsea Watego challenged us to consider; who is welcoming who, and to where? She invited us to engage in conversations to strive for solidarity between settlers of colour and First Nations Peoples. Rana Hussain implored us to imagine an Australia without hyphens. We heard from First Nations speakers, councils, grass roots community organisations, professors, and community members. We learnt about local initiatives, and about the role sport plays in making sure people feel a sense of belonging.

We also launched Stories of Welcome – volume 4, and opened the draft Welcoming Cities Standard 2.8 for public consultation. At the Opening Reception we celebrated the Welcoming Australia Medals and Welcoming Cities Awards for Change.

Overall, it was a wonderful two days of celebration, learning, connection and challenge.

Thank you to every single person who shared the stage and offered their ideas, experiences and vulnerability. Thank you for your generosity of conversation, engagement, questions and comments. The buzz of conversation in the room was electric.  

Thank you to our Event Partners – Scanlon FoundationLGProSSICity of Melbourne and SBS – for your generous support in making the Symposium possible.

Thank you to the Members and Supporters of Welcoming Australia – without you the program wouldn’t have encompassed all that it did. We exist to support your great work and relish the chance to highlight the change you make.

Thank you also to the partners and friends of Welcoming Australia – we appreciate your support and guidance as we continue to grow our work and strive to create more opportunities for people to contribute.

If you would like to catch up on a presentation the videos are available here.

We look forward to continuing the journey with you, hopefully we will see next year!

Want to catch up on some of the key points?

Notes and key talking points from the 2023 Symposium

Speaker Slides – revisit the presentations from our speakers here:

First Nations Keynote – Prof. Chelsea Watego

International Keynote – Prof. Susanne Wessendorf

National Keynote – Prof. Kate Reynolds

Revisit all of the videos from the Symposium here