This week in review - 31 May 2018

Mark Henley

National Reconciliation Week

This week is National Reconciliation Week (NRW) - a time when all Australians are encouraged to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and stories to help us grow as a nation. This year’s theme is Don’t Keep History a Mystery. There is new content on Community Door to highlight the week including the Reconciliation Australia’s campaign video and here is a blog on how you and your organisation can get involved which I thought I would share with you all.

This year QCOSS is spending a day together expanding our understanding and learning more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and how we can build this better into the work we are doing. I hope you will be able to get involved in some way as well during this important week but more importantly at any time as learning and growing is essential to our nation.

State Budget Breakfast

The Queensland State Budget will be handed down on Tuesday 12 June by Hon Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier, Treasurer, and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. As always, QCOSS will be at the presentation of the budget and will prepare a commentary of the budget for members and the sector. We will also host our annual budget breakfast with the Deputy Premier presenting and John Quiggin and me being part of a panel discussion. We are happy to be hosting this breakfast with Queensland Community Service Peaks and again supported by Hesta. Hesta have been tremendous supporters of this event over many years, which we sincerely appreciate.

If you would like to come along please register here.

Review of the family law system

QCOSS has found that Australia’s Family Law System is not meeting the needs or expectations of many couples that separate, families, parents, children or young people. Because of this we have recently made a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission. It speaks about thousands of Queensland families who come into contact with the Family Law System every year with many people facing barriers to access due to complexity and costs, a system that exacerbates conflict, and a significant number of people experience ongoing safety and wellbeing issues.

You can read the full submission here.

Call to action

Following on from our conference several actions came out that you can get involved in. 

  • Raise the Rate campaign. Newstart Youth Allowance and related payments have not increased in real terms in 24 years. The payments are so low people are struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. The Raise the Rate campaign aims to get Newstart and Youth Allowance increased by $75 per week. You can lend your voice here.
  • Stop the Card. The introduction of the cashless welfare card in Bundaberg and Fraser Coast is still being pursued by the federal government. QCOSS has written a position paper on this issue you may be interested in. In the spirit of taking action I would also urge you to get involved and so have drafted a letter you may like to send to your local Federal Member of Parliament. You can access that here.