Shelley Birrell is a Senior Community Capacity Officer at QCOSS, and is Project Lead for the Changing Lives, Changing Communities project. Criminology and behavioural science qualifications back her extensive experience across the disability and community service sectors.
A self-described “AFL, netball and cricket tragic”, Shelley has been with QCOSS since 2014 in various roles. She says opportunities to work with passionate people to drive social change alongside communities, and promote inclusion through work with people with disability are major draws of QCOSS as an organisation.
“We want all Queenslanders to enjoy a high quality of life and have access to opportunities that make this possible,” she says. “We know that a thriving community is one which is connected, engaged and working towards a shared vision, and a good life is one in which individuals are socially and economically engaged.”
Shelley says her proudest moment has been coordinating 10 Changing Lives, Changing Communities events across Queensland, with more to come. The work has resulted in QCOSS establishing 22 local champions around the state.
“We are working with communities to make the long-term social change they want. We know that we must do things differently and we can’t do it alone,” she says.
“The Changing Lives, Changing Communities events enable community conversations which create a shared vision and drive action towards a preferred future where everyone contributes, matters and belongs.”
“The wisdom and perspectives of community members are essential in finding effective solutions to the communities most complex problems.”