From Mark – 3 July 2019

  • QCOSS CEO Mark Henley
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NAIDOC Week: 7-14 July

Voice. Treaty. Truth – these are the three words chosen for this year’s NAIDOC week, from 7-14 July 2019. These words were three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, reforms that represent the unified position of First Nations Australians.

NAIDOC week is a time is to celebrate the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is not just the history of our First Peoples – it is the history of all of us, of all of Australia. We need to own it and work together for a shared future. I urge you to get involved in the state-wide events or plan your own. You can find a detailed list of the events, as well as ideas on how you can celebrate your own event, on the NAIDOC website.

I am proud that we will be celebrating this important week, as well as our continued call for the Uluru Statement of the Heart to be embedded in the constitutional and parliamentary system.

Bold change comes when we energise hope

I recently read a fantastic article in The Guardian that questions the ongoing narrative in the media post-federal election. It paints a picture of a ‘hopelessly divided’ Australian community. A picture that I feel politicians and the media have been driving.

QCOSS has been focussed on building hope and optimism across Queensland through engaged, inclusive and thriving communties. We have continued to build this momentum through our conferences and Changing Lives, Changing Communities events. This will remain our focus, building on the strengths that exist and also challenging the system to ensure they better meet people’s needs.

We will continue to change the narrative through our work as we see our role as a conduit for change – bringing people together to help solve the big social issues faced by people in Queensland, building strength in numbers to amplify our voice to see a better society and community for all people to live.

Raise the Rate week of action

Last week, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe, acknowledged that lifting Newstart would ‘be helpful’, boosting income growth and the economy. This is a significiant statement for the Raise the Rate campaign, a campaign we have been advocating for alongside ACOSS and the COSS network.

ACOSS is now moving into the next phase of the Raise the Rate campaign – a Week of Action from 15-21 July. During this week, ACOSS is asking campaign supporters who are, or have been, on Newstart or Youth Allowance to meet with their MP or Senator to share their story of how difficult it is to get by on $40 a day. If you would like more information on the campaign or to participate, please visit the ACOSS website.

3 July 2019