This week in review - 5 October 2017

Mark Henley

QCOSS AGM 2017
Last week we sent out Board nomination documentation to the membership.  If you missed the email then you can get all the information here on our website.  Board nominations are due by Friday 27 October.

We are excited to have Human Rights Commissioner, Edward Santow as our guest speaker. The nation is undergoing what seems to be more divisive debates around equality and inclusiveness.  Ed will discuss how the community services sector may be able to enhance its engagement in these important public conversations and give a stronger voice to those who experience exclusion.  While the Commission manages many different topics and the interests of many people across the community, Ed leads the Commission’s work on modern slavery, detention and implementing the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT); as well as marriage equality and other human rights issues affecting LGBTI people. Ed also has primary responsibility for the Commission’s work on freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of association.  Ed’s prior role was CEO of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

QCOSS State Election Platform
We all know there is an election coming and while the Premier may not have considered going early, we have been preparing our election platform and are keen to hear your feedback.  Next week I will send out the work we have done and ask for your input.  An election is always a great opportunity to bring the social issues and challenges being faced by our communities to the fore and ask for commitment from a new government to address them in a new way.  I hope you will take this opportunity to feed into the process.  

When we have your comments and thoughts we will send you the platform and some advocacy tools that may be useful in the campaign.  If you have any advocacy approaches that you use that get results, please let us know so we can include them in the toolkit.  You can email these approaches to karenm@qcoss.org.au.

National Housing and Homelessness Agreement Roundtable
Last week I attended a Roundtable hosted by Federal Treasury on the National Housing and Homelessness Agreements. It was good that an opportunity to feed into the next agreement was provided and there were clear messages about the need to see a longer term agreement, adequately funded and focussed on outcomes, which reflects the current high needs of the community on housing and homelessness.  The point was made about the need for flexibility so as to offer more responsive supports and services which match the diverse needs of each community across the state.  It was good that Treasury, as a central agency, was taking the lead and hosting the conversation.

Cashless debit card Senate Enquiry
Along with our strong stand against the cashless debit card in the media last week, we have also made a submission to the Senate Enquiry which is looking at options for expanding the program.  Along with a letter to the committee we also released a policy paper and a review of the trial and evaluation.  You can read both of those documents here.

 

Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer

5 October 2017