From Aimee – 26 February 2020

  • QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh
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Delighted to be on board

In 2019, QCOSS set a bold new strategic direction for equality, opportunity and wellbeing for all Queenslanders. I am thrilled to join QCOSS to assist in working with our people, community and government towards this inspirational goal.

My work in the community sector, including in community legal centres, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children, people with disability, carers and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, has taught me about the importance of our work, and our power to achieve change when we work together.

Queensland’s new Human Rights Act gives us a new framework for progressing our work to ensure we all have lives characterised by freedom, respect, equality and dignity. I look forward to working with the community sector to ensure that the potential for transformational change is realised.

I join a strong, committed and hopeful QCOSS team, which is testament to the effective work of outgoing CEO Mark Henley. Mark has made a significant contribution to the community sector during his time at QCOSS. He will be missed by our people and our sector.

A Queensland Renewed: QCOSS Priority Action Plan 2020

A Queensland Renewed: Priority Action Plan 2020 has been released. It sets out the key priorities and actions you, our members, consider most important for the state government to deliver on over the next 12 months and more. Thank you to all the QCOSS members who shared their feedback for this document.

In our plan, we are calling on the Queensland Government to set a bold vision, improve transparency, measure what matters, and be accountable for delivering on what Queenslanders value. A key part of achieving a vision for a Queensland Renewed is ensuring Queensland communities are engaged, inclusive and thriving.

Shortly I will commence meeting with ministers and other stakeholders to outline our requests for action, particularly in the exciting lead-up to both the state budget and state election this year. It is only by working together that we can create a Queensland Renewed.

More than one in eight people living in poverty in Australia

In a country as affluent as Australia, every person should be able to afford a good life. Yet ACOSS/UNSW Sydney Poverty and Inequality Partnerships’ new report – 2020 Poverty in Australia: Part 1 Overview – paints a very different picture of entrenched and deep poverty in Australia.

The report found 3.2 million people are living in poverty, or 13.6 per cent of the population. Even more saddening is more than one-in-six of these people are children under the age of 15 years. We want to make sure our children get the best start to life. To do that, they need access to adequate income so they can have food on the table and a roof over their heads.

The report finds that the low rates of income support payments like Newstart, a lack of jobs, and the high costs of housing, which are among the highest in the world, are largely contributing to these figures.

If our governments chose, they could provide enough income for every person to afford a good life.  QCOSS will continue to work alongside ACOSS and the COSS network to call on politicians and policymakers to act now and make decisions that prioritise living affordability for every person, in every community.

26 February 2020