This section highlights the professional development activities undertaken by staff at WESTIR Limited. It includes summaries of conferences, seminars and workshops attended throughout the year.

The staff at WESTIR Limited had the opportunity to run training and go to several conferences and seminars in 2018. A brief overview of these activities is provided below.


Collecting Data for Research and Planning Training run by WESTIR Limited

WESTIR Limited ran sector training called ‘Collecting Data for Research and Planning’ in June 2018. Participants were trained in how to create and conduct good surveys, followed by an afternoon session on how to tell client stories through qualitative methods such as interviews and focus groups. Training participants came from the following organisations: Nepean Community and Neighbourhood Services, YMCA NSW, WDVCAS NSW Inc., Connect Child and Family and Services, Palliative Care NSW and Community Junction Inc.


Social Return on Investment Training, Social Ventures Australia 

WESTIR Limited attended a two-day Social Return on Investment (SROI) course run by Social Ventures Australia in February 2018. This is in response to a number of our clients requesting us to place a value amount on activities when evaluating their community-based programs or projects. A summary of the two-day SROI course is available here.


Greater Sydney Commission Community Briefing Session

The Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) held a community briefing session in April 2018 to provide an update on the major metropolitan planning strategies that will guide the development of the Greater Sydney region in the next forty years. A summary of the session is available here.  

Australian Bureau of Statistics Review of 2021 Census topics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) held a webinar in April 2018 about the review of 2021 Census topics. The webinar was the public launch of the Census 2021 review and was designed to assist people in participating in the public consultation process and helping them make their submission. A summary of the webinar is available here.


Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Out There Summit 2018

WESTIR Limited attended the third Out There Summit, organised by the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue in May 2018. Many of the day's presentations were arranged around the Dialogue's agenda for the run up to the next Federal & State elections. These particularly focused on educational infrastructure; innovation around health research & services; the population debate; and regional identity. Video presentations from the day can be accessed here.


Communities of Change Report Launch, WSCF and St Vincent de Paul Society NSW

WESTIR Limited attended the launch of the Communities of Change Report in June 2018, a joint collaboration between Western Sydney Community Forum (WSCF) and St Vincent de Paul Society. The report provides an overview of the Greater Western Sydney region, outlining current population trends and projected growth, employment, community sector investment trends and health services and some preliminary projections. A summary of the launch is available here.


Using Facebook to Connect with your Community, Leep

WESTIR Limited attended a free webinar called ‘Using Facebook to connect with your community’ in June 2018, run by Leep and presented by AMK Training and Consulting. The webinar looked at some simple methods that organisations can use to make your Facebook page more effective and engaging. A summary of the webinar is available here.


Social Impact Measurement Breakfast Event, SIMNA NSW

WESTIR Limited attended a breakfast event by SIMNA NSW (Social Impact Measurement Network Australia) in July. The event was called ‘A 360 degree view of collecting outcomes data: reflections from impact measurement specialists and their frontline colleagues’. The event showcased two case studies from Mission Australia and The Salvation Army on how they are implementing impact measurement in their programs and organisations. A summary of the event is available here.


Heading Home Evaluation Report Launch, Wentworth Community Housing

WESTIR Limited attended the Heading Home Evaluation Report Launch at the Springwood Theatre and Community Hub during Homelessness Week in August 2018. The Heading Home Project, led by Wentworth Community Housing (WCH), is a collaboration of community organisations, businesses and individuals who are working towards ending homelessness in the Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Nepean Communities. A summary of the launch is available here.


Statistics for Non-Statisticians Course, University of Sydney

WESTIR Limited attended a short course over two evenings called ‘Statistics for Non-Statisticians’ in August and September 2018. The course was held at the University of Sydney’s Centre of Continuing Education. The course aimed to refresh the skills of participants in statistical terminology and interpreting data through applying tests of statistical significance, interpreting p-values, determining confidence intervals, and considering Bayesian methodology. A summary of the course is available here.


Migration, Social Inclusion and the Multicultural City Symposium, The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)

WESTIR Limited attended a TASA Symposium called ‘Migration, Social Inclusion and the Multicultural City’ at Western Sydney University in September 2018. The symposium featured academics, governments and NGOs for a collaborative discussion on how we can build more inclusive cities.


NGOs and Evaluation on a Shoestring Seminar, Australasian Evaluation Society

WESTIR Limited attended the Australasian Evaluation Society’s (AES) seminar called NGOs and Evaluation on a Shoestring in August 2018. The seminar invited speakers from Hepatitis NSW, specifically CEO Stuart Loveday and Programs Manager for Education and Community Support Sandra Davidson, to share the organisation’s approach to undertaking evaluation within a tight budget. A summary of the seminar is available here.


Connecting Communities Conference, Local Community Services Association (LCSA)

WESTIR Limited attended the LCSA Connecting Communities Conference in September 2018. A summary of the conference is available here, as well as a summary of masterclass held in conjunction to the conference which is available here.


NSW Government Move to Outcome Budgeting, Australasian Evaluation Society

WESTIR Limited attended the Australasian Evaluation Society’s (AES) seminar called NSW Government Move to Outcome Budgeting – Opportunities and Challenges for Evidence-Based Policy at the Australian Human Rights Commission in October 2018. A summary of the seminar is available here.


ACOSS Conference 2018

WESTIR Limited attended the ACOSS Conference in October 2018. A report of the conference is available here.


Breakfast Launch of SIMNA Western Sydney

WESTIR Limited attended and was involved in organising the official Breakfast Launch of SIMNA Western Sydney in November 2018. A blog of the Launch can be found at the SIMNA website.  


Food Futures Conference, Public Health Association of Australia

WESTIR Limited attended the Public Health Association of Australia’s (PHAA) Food Futures Conference in November 2018. The theme of the conference was ‘Food – Shaping our Future’ and explored the centrality of food in everybody’s lives and to recognise how the broader food and nutrition agenda will shape our futures. A summary of the conference is available here.


AES 2018 Conference Highlights Seminar

WESTIR Limited attended the Australasian Evaluation Society’s (AES) seminar in November 2018 outlining the highlights of the AES 2018 Conference. A summary of the seminar is available here.     



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