The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has come to life in Townsville and is making a big difference to people’s lives and to the community. QCOSS has been involved in community-led transition efforts in Townsville since the start of the roll-out in early 2016. We strongly support the principles of the NDIS, particularly the building of a more inclusive community and ensuring people with disability are part of the social and economic life of the community.
Following the success of the Bringing the NDIS to Life in Townsville event in June 2016, we again joined forces with Queenslanders With Disability Network (QDN) and Townsville City Council (TCC) to host the next part of the conversation, Changing Lives, Changing Communities in May 2017. More than 100 people took part over two days which informed, inspired and sparked dialogue between community groups to co-design projects. Participants left feeling invigorated and with a clear sense of purpose.
“One of the really interesting things was that the energy levels kept rising over the two days; you could feel that energy in the room. There was a real sense that things were going to happen and a sense of empowerment that people could make these things happen,” said QCOSS Communication Manager Karen Murphy.
It was a time to reflect and an important step in mapping the way forward for the NDIS in Townsville, as well as guiding other towns and cities with later roll-outs. Re- capping on the progress of the past year was a powerful reminder of how far the city has come.
It was a good example of collective impact where communities come together, co-designing and co-planning.
“By coming together, thinking and connecting, projects were created and a lot of momentum was gained. The partnership between QCOSS, QDN and TCC has been wonderful and really helped the broader community see where they could help in terms of the NDIS transition into Townsville, and also in moving it all forward,” said TCC Community Development Officer Julie McTaggart.
QCOSS looks forward to hearing about all current and future NDIS projects arising from our engagement in Townsville. The community has been incredibly enthusiastic about building a more inclusive social and physical environment for people with disability and we are thrilled we could play a part in helping stakeholders come together.
“Communities have the knowledge of what needs to happen but sometimes they need a catalyst or someone to draw the knowledge out in a useful way and QCOSS has helped to do that,” Karen said.