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Social & Community Services (SACS)

The ASU is the largest union of workers in the social and community services (SACS) sector.

The ASU covers workers in what is commonly termed the "non-government social and community services industry". The term non-government can be misleading as most organisations or services receive funding from the government; however, workers are not employed by the government. Workers are generally employed by community based management committees, boards or collectives. These employers administer government funds and oversee the management of an organisation or service.

Like our ASU Social, Community and Disability Workers page on Facebook to get involved in the dialogue about your sector!


Following is a summary of the ASU's coverage in this sector. It is not exhaustive, so if you do not see your position or employer listed, you may still be eligible for ASU membership. Feel free to make an inquiry.

Social and Community Services (SACS)  
  • Advocate
  • Alternate Care Worker
  • Case manager
  • Caseworker
  • Clerical & Administrative Worker
  • Community Development Worker
  • Community educator
  • Counsellor
  • Development Support Worker
  • Disability Support Worker
  • Employment consultant
  • Family Support Worker
  • Family Therapist
  • Financial Counsellor
  • Group Worker
  • Indigenous Child Protection Worker
  • Indigenous Housing Worker
  • Job Support Worker
  • Mediator
  • Operations Manager
  • Policy analyst
  • Professional Social Worker
  • Program manager
  • Project Worker/Officer
  • Recreation Worker
  • Referral and Liaison Officer
  • Refuge Worker
  • Resource Worker
  • Respite Care Coordinator
  • Service manager
  • Shared care Coordinator
  • Social educator
  • Social Planner
  • Solicitor
  • Vocational educator
  • Welfare Worker
  • Youth Worker
St Vincent de Paul
Brotherhood of St Laurence
Salvation Army
Mission Australia
Community Health Centres
Community Legal Centres
Neighbourhood centres
Legal Aid Centres
The Smith Family
House With No Steps
Life Without Barriers
Amnesty International
Vision Australia

Since 2013, over $1 billion has been cut from our sector, with devastating results for local communities and more to come as the cuts continue to roll out.

The ASU has been campaigning against the cuts but we have ramped this up during the election campaign because it appears the Coalition will only hear us if we hit them where it hurts: at the ballot box.

Join our campaign by sharing information on Facebook where you can follow the campaign here:

You can share memes, change your avatar, retweet, repost, share, etc, through your networks so as many people as possible know about the dramatic extent of this Federal Government's cuts in areas that hurt local communities deeply.

Candidates who have signed pledges to champion community services

Twitter feed for our campaign

The ASU launched a discussion paper "Building Social Inclusion in Australia - priorities for the social and community services sector workforce" in early 2007.

Arising from the discussion paper, the ASU surveyed SACS workers in mid 2007 to get your views on some key issues in the sector.

The results of the survey can be found in the ASU's report "Building Social Inclusion in Australia - priorities for the social and community services sector workforce: recommendations for stronger social and community services" which was released later in the year.

There are a range of resources available for our members in the SACS industry.

In June 2011, James Allebone of the Brotherhood of St Laurence published a research paper entitled "Valuing care in Australia: Achieving pay equity in the social and community services sector". The paper explores reasons for low pay in the non-government social and community services sector and is interesting reading for our SACS members in the context of the ASU's Equal Remuneration Case.

The ASU produces specific materials for our members in the SACS industry, and we regularly produce news which you can find links to in the side bar on this page.

A very useful Best Practice Guide to Family and Life Balance has been produced by the Victorian Branch (August 2006).

If you would like to learn more about a career in community services check out this website:

The ASU participates in Community Services and Health Industry Training Advisory Boards (ITABS) in most states. The ASU is also represented on the board of the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CSHISC).

The ASU participates in the periodic reviews of the Community Services Training Package and most recently participated in the 2008 review.