This week in review - 13 December 2018

Mark Henley

This is our last edition of Focal Point for 2018.  It has been a big year for everyone!
I hope each of you will be able to take at least some time to spend away from work and with those you love during the next few weeks.  We are very aware of the tremendous work everyone does that happens across the state supporting people and communities.  This work is even more evident when we consider the devastating bush fires that impacted so many communities recently, but the work goes on daily for many people.  

To give you some highlights, in 2018 QCOSS put on more than 120 events to support the sector and communities throughout Queensland; we authored and submitted more than 35 reports or submissions on issues ranging from tenancy to tarrifs and everything in between.  We have, as an organisation, travelled almost 390,000 km to speak with over 6,600 people. We represented the community and sector in working groups, committees, steering groups and government forums.  We have asked you a myriad of questions; listened to your experiences;  visited your communities; and we will be back in 2019 to continue the journey.   

Changing Lives, Changing Communities
Our program of Changing Lives Changing Communities events has come to an end for 2018.  We will kick off again in 2019 with Gladstone, Gold Coast, Woorabinda and Normanton.  I can’t say enough how much we have enjoyed hosting these events.  If you are interested in what has happened in the communities we have visited to date you can see all of the harvest documents here. 

Peaks collaboration
QCOSS has continued to work with community service peaks across Queensland to harness our power.  We are continuing to focus on four key areas: NDIS, the Human Rights Act for Queensland, Family Matters and affordable and accessible housing.  Early in the new year we will release a joint state government priority statement for the Queensland Government with specific asks in these four areas.  We believe that by working more closely together we can make a greater impact.

Human Rights Act
If you were not able to join us for the two Human Rights Act events we held last month, you can now access the videos here.  These forums were very informative and I want to thank the keynote speakers, Yvette D’Ath, the Attorney General, Minister for Justice and Leader of the House and Scott McDougall, Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, and all of the panel members who were very generous in sharing their insights. 

We are excited the bill is before parliament but there is still much work to do.  We look forward to continuing this work because it is so important.

Again, all the very best for the festive season and a wonderful 2019.

Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer