Tasmanian Community Services Industry Plan

A community services industry built for the future

In an important milestone, The Tasmanian Government and the community services industry have released a ten-year Tasmanian Community Services Industry Plan (2021-31) to guide industry development, recruit and train our growing workforce and to futureproof the delivery of much-needed services to Tasmanians in need.

The Industry Plan is immensely significant as it provides a clear, coherent vision for the community services — shared by peak bodies, community service organisations and the Tasmanian Government — for the next decade. It provides an overarching framework to guide strategic industry development and transition planning.

The Industry Plan’s vision is for a connected community services industry that supports all Tasmanians to live a good life and enriches our state’s social, cultural and economic wellbeing.

Overall, the Industry Plan contains three strategic priorities: 

  • Strategic Priority 1: Local Solutions for Tasmanians
  • Strategic Priority 2: Workforce Development and Training
  • Strategic Priority 3: Leading for Impact

The Workforce Coordination project is the first project to be funded under the Industry Plan. 

To register to receive regular updates about the Workforce Coordination project and activities of the Workforce Coalition Network, please fill out the form here.

Community services is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in Tasmania, employing more than 17,800 local workers statewide in roles ranging from education and childcare, home care and allied health workers, to strategic project managers and experienced CEOs. The industry is also supported by a workforce of around 35,000 volunteers.

Importantly, the economic value added by the community services industry in Tasmania is $1.9 billion each year and for every million dollars spent in the industry 17 jobs are generated.

The Industry Plan demonstrates the need to grow the community services workforce with demand for community services increasing significantly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the full effects yet to be felt.

Estimates reveal the community services industry requires 4,000 new jobs by 2024 just to keep pace with this demand. To this end, the Tasmanian Government have committed $3.3 million in funding over three-years to address this skills shortage, which will form the first stage of the Industry Plan implementation.

The implementation of the Industry Plan will be overseen by a robust and comprehensive governance structure comprising three bodies:

  1. Industry Advisory Council to provide high level oversight and endorsement.
  2. Industry Development Steering Committee for steering and advising, reporting to the Industry Advisory Council.
  3. Workforce Coalition for actioning Strategic Priority 2: Workforce Development and Training, reporting to the Industry Development Steering Committee.

Each of these groups will be informed by input from community and consumer groups. They will have strong accountability measures and will be subject to evaluation and success measures.

The Community Services Industry Advisory Council comprises the following members:

  • President, TasCOSS, Alex McKenzie
  • Minister for Community Services and Development, Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Nic Street
  • Minister for Skills Training and Workforce Growth, Minister for Education Children and Youth, Hon. Roger Jaensch*
  • Vice Chancellor, UTAS, Professor Rufus Black
  • CEO, TasTAFE, Grant Dreher
  • Federal government member, TBC
  • President, Local Government Association of Tasmania, Mayor Christina Holmdahl
  • CEO, TasCOSS (ex-officio), Adrienne Picone
  • Secretary, Department of Communities Tasmania^ (ex-officio), Michael Pervan
  • Experienced chairpersons of community service organisations (four members):
    • Mat Rowell
    • Debbie Evans
    • Mark Jessop
    • Noel Mundy

* The Honourable Felix Ellis MP is the new Minister for Skills Training and Workforce Growth and will be invited onto the Advisory Council.

The Industry Development Steering Committee comprises the following members:


  • Secretary, Department of Communities Tasmania^, Michael Pervan
  • CEO, TasCOSS, Adrienne Picone

Appointed Members:

  • Department of State Growth, General Manager, Skills Tasmania, Angela Conway
  • Department of Education, Director, Child and Student Wellbeing, Ruth Davidson
  • Director, Community and Disability Services^ (ex-officio*), Ingrid Ganley

Executive Industry Partners:

  • University of Tasmania, Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Arts, Law and Education, Professor Kate Darian-Smith
  • TasTAFE, TBC
  • Local Government, CEO, Local Government Association of Tasmania, Dion Lester
  • Federal Government, TBC

Selected Members:

Peak body representation (two members)+ 

  • CEO, Shelter Tasmania, Pattie Chugg
  • CEO, Mental Health Council of Tasmania, Connie Digolis

CEOs of community service organisations (two members)+

  • General Manager, Self Help Workplace, Donna Bain
  • CEO, Relationships Australia, Tasmania, Michael Kelly

Service user representation (two members)+ 

  • Lived Experience Advocate, Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council, Jo Murphy
  • Mental Health Peer Practitioner, Baptcare, Denise Duncan

Workforce representation (one member) 

  • Secretary, Unions Tasmania, Jessica Munday

Volunteering Tasmania representation (one member) 

  • CEO, Volunteering Tasmania, Dr. Lisa Schimanski

By Invitation

Chair(s) of the Workforce Coalition or working groups for the lifetime of the project (ex-officio*)

  • State Director Tasmania, Red Cross, Sharon Wachtel
  • Training and Education Specialist Advisor, Human Services Skills Organisation, Lee Veitch

The Workforce Coalition comprises the following members:

Chairs (2 chairs):

  • Lee Veitch – Human Services Skills Organisation
  • Sharon Wachtel – Red Cross

Appointed members (3 members)

  • Linda Seaborn – Skills Tasmania
  • Ingrid Ganley or Tricia Males – Communities Tasmania
  • Claudia Butler – Workforce Project Manager (ex-officio)

Peak bodies that employ a Workforce Ready Team member (3 members)

  • Geraldine Ellis-Maguire – Aged & Community Care Providers Association, Tasmania
  • Annette Barwick – Early Childhood Australia, Tasmania
  • Renée Malby – National Disability Services, Tasmania

Social services peak body representation (2 members)

  • Michael Bishop – Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania
  • Ali Lai – Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs Council

Strategic workforce planning specialist (1 member)

  • Brenton West – Anglicare

Strategic training and development specialist (1 member)

  • Alice Carroll – Community Based Support

Education provider (tertiary/VET) (2 members)

  • Nita O’Callaghan – UTAS
  • Danielle Morgan – TasTAFE

Workforce representation (1member)

  • Robbie More – HACSU

Service user representation (1 member)

  • Lisa Free – COTA


  • Workforce Project Manager, TasCOSS
  • Skills Tasmania.