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Social justice for the community services in the Web 2.0 millennium


Steve Spinks
3 June 2014
The power of social media for community organisations will be discussed in the first of Southern Cross University’s Community Seminar Series on Thursday, June 5.

The first seminar of the 2014 series is titled ‘Social Justice for the Community Services in the Web 2.0 Millennium’ and will include Kelsey Cooke, a senior campaigner with activist organisation GetUp, as a guest speaker.

Hosted by the School of Arts and Social Science, the community seminar will shine the spotlight on Web 2.0, with workshop sessions featuring virtual social justice campaigners, academics and community members demonstrating the power of global Web 2.0 strategies.

It will consider how these strategies can help local and regional organisations re-imagine community engagement, build social capital, advocate for client and community needs, and improve service delivery.

Dr Jo Coghlan, a lecturer in politics at SCU, will chair the first public seminar.

"Social media is increasingly a free and accessible medium for any organisation, small and large, to engage with the world and their communities in an exciting way,” she said.

"Social media sites are developing, almost daily, so there is scope for small organisations to create their own social media presence in free and exciting ways. Even without a lot of technical skills, a social media presence is now possible.

"Social media may not change the world, but it can allow any small progressive organisation the opportunity to engage in debates about the future of a caring society.

"More information than ever before is available on the Web. It is a brave new world. Web 2.0 encourages anyone interested in social justice to participate in debates and advocate for better communities and better outcomes for everyone. The power of social media for social justice is within the reach of all us.”

The Seminar Series, held at the University’s Gold Coast campus next to the Gold Coast Airport, aims to support community practitioners and managers in developing and evaluating innovative solutions to challenging problems.

The first seminar, which is free of charge, will run from 4pm to 7pm in Room A1.29 at Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast campus.

It is the first of four seminars with other topics including ‘Virtual barriers and boundaries: The ethics of Web 2.0 for the community’ on August 7; ‘Apps versus people – The cultural and political consequences of social media’ on October 9; and ‘The future of the community-welfare sector in a Web 2.0 world’ on November 6.

Photo: Dr Jo Coghlan.