The Australian Assistance Plan (AAP) was an innovative yet largely forgotten social welfare program from the 1970s. A key platform of the Whitlam Labor government, which established a series of Regional Councils for Social Development across Australia, the AAP reframed citizens' participation in their communities, stimulated voluntary organisations and volunteering and attempted to transform engagement among all levels of governments and the voluntary sector. Through an analysis of three Regional Council case studies in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, this article focuses on the themes of regionalism and regional distinctiveness in order to assess how questions of regional difference can impact on the development of policy practices.
Australian Journal of Politics and History / Vol. 62, No. 3, pp.419-434