The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) held its inaugural meeting on 1 September 1958. It brought together a group of passionate organisations, professional bodies and churches who believed that combining their voices in calling for prevention and early intervention services would be more effective than continuing to advocate alone.
As a peak body and member-based non-profit, QCOSS encourages and supports individual organisations to uphold their unique missions within the community sector, while actively contributing their voice and knowledge. Throughout its long history, QCOSS has demonstrated its abilities, its innovative approaches and its practicality in advocating for Queenslanders experiencing poverty and disadvantage.
We continue to listen, engage and collaborate with communities, our peers, and other experts to facilitate positive social change.
We actively build the sector and strongly support the valuable services that community organisations provide.
Through our place-based engagement work, we harness the power of communities for local solutions and local ownership. We listen and engage with people with lived experience and share their success stories of what can be achieved with improved circumstances. By bringing stories to the forefront, we aim to increase understanding and connection within communities and beyond.
Honorary Life Membership
QCOSS is proud to represent the interests of our members and the broader community services sector to bring our vision for equality, opportunity and wellbeing for every person, in every community to life. With members ranging from individuals to large organisations working across the globe, QCOSS relies on and works with our membership in order to achieve our shared vision.
Throughout our history, the organisation and the QCOSS Board have welcomed many passionate, outspoken, driven and revolutionary thinkers who have shaped social change in Queensland today. As a sign of respect, and recognition for the exceptional contribution and outstanding services brought to the organisation and the broader community, the board can nominate individuals as Honourary Life Members.
We recognise past life membership recipients of honourary life memberships and remain grateful for their involvement and dedication to QCOSS and Queensland communities.
QCOSS’ honourary life members*
Cyril Gilbert OAM
(Margaret) Peg Whiley
Rev Colin Arkell
Alma Hartshorn AM
Professor Edna Chamberlain AM
Vera Raymer OAM
Prof Dr Margaret Steinberg AM
Karyn Walsh AM
Helga Biro OAM
The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO
*Due to limited historical resources this list may be incomplete and we apologise unreservedly for any errors or omissions in this information.