Centre for Continuing Education

Social Justice Course: Issues for Australians

Sociology. Study the development, structure, and functioning of human society.

Learn about social behaviour the smart way with Sociology courses at CCE, The University of Sydney.

Keeping a balance of justice and equality is a challenge to any democratic society. Maintaining this balance requires constant engagement with those who shape politics and opinion, and the general populace. This social justice course will bring you into contact with those issues, with politicians and opinion leaders, stimulate debate and encourage active and informed citizens.


In order for a civil society to be effective and informed, members of the public need to have a thorough understanding of barriers to justice, equality and participation. This social justice course aims to develop your understanding of current and emerging social justice issues in Australian society, to meet opinion leaders and politicians and debate these issues within the class and later, within your community.


By the completion of this social justice course, participants should be able to discuss:

  1. Social Justice issues such as ‘Homelessness’, Domestic Violence, Inequality of Education, Same-Sex Marriage, Indigenous Incarceration and Treatment of Asylum Seekers.
  2. And be familiar with Jesuit Social Services report, ‘Dropping Off the Edge 2015’ by Professor Tony Vinson and Associate Professor Margot Rawsthorne
  3. And be familiar with Quentin Bryce ‘Not Now, Not Ever’ Report, Senate Report on Domestic Violence and proceedings of Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.


This social justice course will address certain issues that are a concern for our society:

  • Growing ‘Homelessness’.
  • Growing ‘Domestic Violence’.
  • Growing inequality of 'Education'
  • The injustice of not allowing 'Same-Sex Marriage'
  • The injustice of the treatment of 'Asylum Seekers'
  • The growing 'Indigenous Incarceration'
  • The growing inequality of certain Australian towns and the loss of local identity with council amalgamations.

In discussing, debating and analysing the above topics we will be joined by guest speakers which include:

  • Liberal NSW Senator Marise Payne, Minister for Human Services.
  • Former NSW ALP Premier and CEO of Public Education Foundation, Nathan Rees.
  • Western Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Spokesperson for Homelessness.
  • Warren Entsch, Federal Liberal Member for Leichhardt who proposed the recent Same-Sex Marriage bill.
  • Associate Professor Margot Rawsthorne, Co-author, of Jesuit Social Services Report ‘Dropping off the Edge 2015’.
  • Jane Powles National Campaign Manager of ANTAR.
  • Long- serving ALP MLC member Peter Primrose,Shadow Minister for Local Government.
  • Great artist and the “First Asylum Seekers Centre Ambassador” Wendy Sharpe and her recent exhibition of 'Seeking Humanity, Portraits and Stories of Australia’s Asylum Seekers and Refugees'.

Guest Speakers by Session

  1. Warren Entsch, Queensland Federal Liberal Member, ‘Same-Sex Marriage’.
  2. Professor Margot Rawsthorne, ‘Dropping off the Edge 2015’.
  3. Western Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludham, ‘Homelessness’.
  4. Peter Primrose, NSW ALP MLC, ‘Strata Title Reform and Local Government Amalgamations’.
  5. Jane Powles, National Campaign Manager, ANTAR, ‘Indigenous Incarcerations’.
  6. NSW Liberal Senator Marise Payne, ‘Domestic Violence’.
  7. Former ALP NSW Premier and now CEO Public Education Foundation, Nathan Rees, 'Gonski and Australia’s Future'.
  8. “The First Asylum Seekers Centre Ambassador”, Wendy Sharpe and her recent exhibition of 'Seeking Humanity, Portraits and Stories of Australia’s Asylum Seekers and Refugees'.

Intended Audience

This social justice course is suitable for personal interest adult learners, university students and active retirees who have an interest in social issues facing Australians.

Delivery Style

This social justice course will be delivered as a face-to-face, interactive lecture where questions and open discussions will be encouraged.

Recommended Reading

  1. Professor Tony Vinson and Associate Professor Margot Rawsthorne, 'Jesuit Social Services 2015 Report, Dropping of the Edge – the Distribution of Disadvantage in Australia
  2. Quentin Bryce and other, Not Now, Not Ever – Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland
  3. Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence
  4. Justice Campaign – Reducing Imprisonment Rates
  5. General Purpose Standing Committee No. 6, Local Government Inquiry
  6. Wendy Sharpe, Seeking Humanity – Portrait and Stories of Australia’s Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  7. Anna Henderson, Warren Entsch introduces same-sex marriage bill with warning over ‘divided nation’, ‘ABC News’, 18 August 2015,


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Certificate of completion