From Matt, QCOSS Chair – 28 May 2019

  • Profile picture of Matt Gardiner, QCOSS Chair

This year, QCOSS is celebrating 60 years of service to the community.

For 60 years, we, with the community sector and community, have been fighting for social justice. Together, we have led and will continue to lead, the charge for social change.

Since our first meeting in September 1959, we have been able to realise the wish of our inaugural President Mr Justice Wanstall, ‘some are interested in one facet of social work, others in an entirely different one, but tonight we hope that we will be able to cover the whole field’. Our broad membership today represents the whole community sector and beyond.

In 2019, we are using our 60-year anniversary as a catalyst to refocus our efforts and our vision. We are shifting our focus from poverty and disadvantage to recognising the strengths of communities and working alongside people to achieve our new vision and what I hope will become our shared vision: equality, opportunity and wellbeing for every person in every community in Queensland

We will do this by:

· rebooting the system – overturning systems and structures that create and perpetuate inequality

· being in service – creating a service system that truly supports and reflects the community in which it operates

· starting a social revolution – building hope and optimism across Queensland through engaged, inclusive and thriving communities

· joining forces – mobilising a force for equality, opportunity and wellbeing

· leading together – inviting and motivating people and organisations to walk with us, because we are stronger together, and

· walking the talk – being a strong, sustainable, relevant leader to achieve excellence.

We believe that every person in Queensland – regardless of where they come from, who they pray to, their gender, who they love, how or where they live – deserves to live a life of equality, opportunity and wellbeing.

We are a conduit for change. We bring people together to help solve the big social issues faced by people in Queensland, building strength in numbers to amplify our voice.

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.

We create positive social change through our work in advocacy, policy development, engaging and empowering the social service sector and communities. We’re committed to reconciliation and promote equity and opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our vision for equality, opportunity and wellbeing for every person, in every community, is bold, and we can’t do it on our own. We need to join forces with you, our members, to make our shared vision for the future a reality.

You, as members, provide invaluable support, collaboration and input into our initiatives and advocacy to help us deliver equality, opportunity and wellbeing for every person, in every community.

I hope you will continue with us to achieve our social justice mission.

Matt Gardiner

QCOSS Chair

28 May 2019