Illawarra Forum is hosting a conference in Kiama on March 11 and 12 called Stand Up, Stand Out.
The annual event at The Pavilion features a range of speakers addressing both challenges and opportunities for the community services industry, which is facing a time of review, reform and change.
Everything will be related to the likely impact on or meaning for the Illawarra.
The impressive line-up of speakers is headed by former Queensland premier and present YWCA NSW chief executive Anna Bligh.
Illawarra Forum chief executive Nicky Sloan said Ms Bligh knew the region well, having once lived in the Shoalhaven.
Her early career saw her working in areas such as women's issues and domestic violence.
Ms Sloan said a theme of the conference would be the importance of sustainability at a time when many had to rely less on government funding.
Another notable speaker will be Australia Council of Social Services (ACOSS) chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie, who has done considerable work at the federal level.
NSW Minister for Ageing, Disability Services and Minister for the Illawarra John Ajaka will also address the conference, as will federal opposition spokesman for human services, Senator Doug Cameron, Paul Ingle, of the Wise Group in New Zealand, and OnlyHuman.com.au chief story activist and founder Moya Sayer-Jones.
Ms Sloan said the event would be good for leaders from the community, government and business sectors, as well as managers, board or committee members, and staff from non-government organisations.
She said students hoping to join the community services industry would also benefit.
Registrations are now open at illawarraforum.org.au and further information is available on 4256 4333.
The Illawarra Forum is the peak body working for community services and organisations in the Illawarra and the Shoalhaven.