From Mark – 13 August 2019

  • QCOSS CEO Mark Henley

Leading change together

For those of you who have yet to register for the conference, now is the time to do so. We have a stellar line up that includes:

·Mariam Issa – speaker, author, storyteller, community builder. Mariam Issa passionately believes all we need in overcoming adversity is a stretch of the imagination.

·Kim Skubris –  is a broadcast journalist with 26 years’ experience in News, with the Seven Network and affiliate stations, in Australia and overseas.

·David Ritter – is the Chief Executive Officer of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Sydney Democracy Network at Sydney University, a research affiliate of the Sydney Environment Institute and an honorary fellow of the Law Faculty at UWA.

·Mick Gooda – is a proud descendant of the Gangulu people of Central Queensland and has been involved in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs throughout Australia for more than 35 years.

· Caterina Giorgi – is the Founder and Managing Director of For Purpose, an organisation working with not-for-profit and purpose-driven organisations to create change.

·David Moody – is the Acting Chief Executive Officer of National Disability Services, and has worked at NDS since 2015 as Victorian State Manager, before being appointed Acting CEO in February 2019.

·Scott McDougall – commenced as Commissioner of the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland on 8 October 2018 and became the inaugural Queensland Human Rights Commissioner on 1 July 2019.  Prior to his appointment he was the Director and Principal Solicitor at Caxton Legal Centre Inc. in Brisbane.

There is much more on the conference website, including details of QCOSS 60th Anniversary Dinner on the evening of the first night (12 September) which will have Dame Quentin Bryce AD as our guest speaker. It promises to be a great night with additional entertainment arranged. Come and join colleagues and celebrate with us! You will find all of the details here.

Peaks – procurement

Last Friday QCOSS hosted a number of peak organisations in Queensland and heard from the whole of government (that are located in Department of Housing & Public Works) and Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women procurement teams.  It was an enlightening conversation that helped to flesh out some of the direction procurement for social services is taking in Queensland.

There is a strong desire to have a process that involves codesign and the ability to keep everyone engaged in the procurement process.  There is also a desire to make sure community services organisations are on a level playing field regardless of size.  Some of the ways this might happen is with the department funding a facilitator in a region to help organisations work out the best ways to collaborate and coordinate.  There was also acknowledgement and realisation that this new approach will require considerable cultural change before fully implemented. We know there is a focus on buy local, supporting indigenous businesses and social enterprise.  We will keep you updated as we hear more.

COSS network update

Last week the National COSS Network wrote to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to support the proposed changes to introduce demand response into the national electricity rules. The COSSs are arguing for changes that will mean households can access incentives to reduce their energy bills by reducing household electricity demand during expensive periods.

These offers will be made by third party Demand Response Service Providers (DRSPs) who are not the household’s energy retailer. Even for households who can’t or don’t reduce demand, this will reduce the wholesale costs component of all bills, reducing costs for all consumers. It is a complicated area but one that is important for the National COSS Network to be involved in so we can ensure low-income households are not disadvantaged by any of the decisions being made. If you would like to read the details, please download the letter here.

13 August 2019