This week in review - 3 November 2016

Mark Henley

Enabling Local Communities project

Over the past year QCOSS has delivered on the Enabling Local Communities project in Cairns and Ipswich. This work built on the Home for Good project which captured comprehensive data on the need and life circumstances of over 4000 homeless Queenslanders. This data is being used as the platform for work with the Cairns and Ipswich communities to further develop collaborative strategies and initiatives that improve and extend service integration and better housing outcomes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. 

From all accounts from stakeholders the work has been incredibly valuable to better support local service delivery. Unfortunately the project is finalising this week and I want to thank all stakeholders that QCOSS has had the privilege of working with in Cairns and Ipswich. Also thanks to Peter Mengede and Kathy Desmond from QCOSS, who are our staff engaged with the Ipswich and Cairns communities.  We will continue to work with the Department of Housing and Public Works on the need to extend this work as it values collaborative strategies and partnerships that address need at the local level.

Human Rights Act for Queensland

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that her cabinet has agreed to introduce a Human Rights Act for Queensland! This is great news and something that will provide greater surety of consideration and support for all people across the state.The commitment is to introduce a Human Rights Act for Queensland based on the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. By learning from the Victorian experience there is a real possibility that soon Queensland will enjoy the best and most progressive human rights legislation in Australia.

The charter would require public authorities, such as state and local government departments and agencies, and people delivering services on behalf of government, to act consistently with the human rights as set out in the charter. We look forward to the implementation of this promise!

Indigenous incarceration

Last week there was a furore with federal government announcing an inquiry into Indigenous incarceration. The announcement was followed by condemnation from the head of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine because he argued the work has already been done. 

While there continues to be inequality in all areas of tertiary services such as housing, employment, health, education and high levels of poverty as noted in the QCOSS indicators framework we would also argue that it is clear where the problems lie. Assuming there will be opportunities to contribute to this inquiry, QCOSS will share this information, again.


This week we have sent out the notice of the QCOSS AGM.  The meeting will be held on 30 November in Brisbane. I am very excited that we will be hosting a panel with long-time sector leader Helga Biro from Cairns and most recently CentaCare, emerging leader Nadia Currie from the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak and finally we are delighted to welcome the Hon Shannon Fentiman MP, Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence.

Four Board positions are available for election this year, three General and one Regional position and as there were multiple nominations, a ballot will be held. You can read the Candidate Statements here.

All of the information you need to know about the AGM – voting, proxy form, ballot, delegate nomination form – can be found here.

Increasing choice across human services

Together with Churches of Christ Queensland, CSIA, UnitingCare Queensland, Queensland Community Alliance and Centacare we are hosting a policy forum examining the challenges and opportunities arising from moves to further introduce individualised funding, consumer-directed and person-centred approaches across human services. It will follow our AGM on 30 November 2016 though at a different venue, the Mercure Hotel Brisbane.

Consumer-directed and person-centred support is a movement that’s changing the way people get the support they need. As the movement progresses, people are getting greater choice and control around resources for care, allowing them to customise and shape the services they need. This is having a profound impact on how we deliver care across human services, requiring many of us to challenge and change the way we have always done things.

I encourage you to come along and bring your expertise to the table. More information about the forum and registration information can be found here.


Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer

3 November 2016