Inclusive growth

The main road out of poverty for individuals, families and communities is through employment and a successful economy is the key driver of prosperity.

Yet economic growth in many countries in the last 30 years has been accompanied by rising inequalities which are neither efficient nor sustainable, and which threaten to weaken continued growth. The income and wealth gap between rich and poor is widening, and too many Australians are being left behind.

What we want

The goal of inclusive growth addresses the linked concerns of boosting sustainable economic growth and reducing inequality. Social issues such as poverty and inequality cannot be separated from the issue of economic growth. One the one hand, strong social foundations – including an effective welfare system, a vigorous civil society, robust educational institutions and accountable government – are essential to a strong modern economy as well as to people’s wellbeing. On the other hand, economic growth underpins them.

Policies that encourage inclusive growth will help make Australia a fairer society, in which more of us can participate fully in social and economic life, creating and sharing prosperity.

What we’re doing

Right now, the key question is what kind of Australia do we want in the futureThe answer should shape the policy choices which are made now. The Brotherhood of St Laurence believes in investing in human capital and integrating social and economic policy as defining features of an Australian approach to inclusive growth. To encourage fresh policy thinking, we are launching a program of research and policy development to frame a New Social Contract for Australia.

A new social contract for Australia

Our work on a new social contract for the period to 2020 will set out a vision in which growth and inclusion go hand in hand. We will develop policy ‘offers’ for children, youth, and retired and older Australians. These new social contract offers will present proposals for managing the new risks and challenges posed by changing, longer lives and profound social evolution.


Jeannie Zakharov 2012, Towards inclusive growth in Australia: report arising from Inclusive Growth in Australia roundtable (PDF file, 168 KB)


P Smyth, Inclusive growth and Australian social policy presentation (PDF file, 66 KB)

F Azpitarte, Has economic growth in Australia been good for the poor? And what happens to the socially excluded? draft paper (PDF file, 341 KB)

M Horn, Strategies for inclusive growth: strengthening the critical role of active labour market interventions presentation (PDF file, 178 KB)

S Biggs, Inclusive growth and adult ageing presentation (PDF file, 730 KB)

H Buddelmeyer, The role of education for inclusion and growth presentation (PDF file, 407 KB)

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes