This week in review - 13 March 2019

Mark Henley

QCOSS State Government Priority Statement 2019/20 - Actions for change

Engaging with Queensland communities and people has been a priority for QCOSS over the past few years. Since the beginning of last year, we have hosted more than 120 events; travelled almost 390,000 km; and spoken with more than 6,600 people.

It is from this engagement and our strong policy base that we have developed a priority statement for the state government – the actions that need to be taken to make positive social change in Queensland and make sure that there is equality, opportunity and wellbeing for every person in every community across Queensland. Our Actions for change ... QCOSS State Government Priority Statement 2019-2020 calls on our Premier and her Ministers to take action in four key areas: building on our strengths; equality, opportunity and wellbeing; rebooting the system; and being in service. The responsibility for making this change lies with us all. There are actions and decisions that need to be made now to make a better future for all people in Queensland.

Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities (the Queensland Government publication) is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough. It sets out priorities for the Queensland Government - and that is important - but those priorities do not set a vision. It identifies objectives, without asking the community. It asks for action inside of government, with little engagement of stakeholders, let alone real people. We want a collective and inspirational vision for Queensland and we are hearing that from all of the communities with which we engage. Queenslanders want more, are capable of more and want to support their communities to thrive. Read the full statement on the QCOSS website.

Changing Lives, Changing Communities Gold Coast

Last week we were fortunate to host Changing Lives, Changing Communities on the Gold Coast. I am amazed every time we host this event how much energy comes from the community and the sector and the real passion people have to make a difference! I was inspired by the ideas and projects that emerged on the Gold Coast and look forward to seeing them progress over time.

Alongside this work QCOSS, QDN and ADCQ have been catching up with the people who attended Changing Lives, Changing Communities throughout Queensland last year. This is an opportunity for us to continue the momentum of the two-day event and water the seeds of change that have been planted! 

We have Changing Lives, Changing Communities coming up in Gladstone in May and are looking forward to how this work continues to unfold into the future.

Raise the rate

As the federal election approaches we will be advocating strongly alongside the national COSS network to Raise the Rate. ACOSS has just released a messaging guide to support this that I thought you might find useful in your own advocacy around this critical issue. The guide is based on research and reframes the issue of inadequate income support for the election campaign. I recommend you have a read and join the fight to Raise the Rate!

Close the Gap

Next week we again acknowledge the gap in many things between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians. It is time to change this. It is time for all Australians to support the Uluru Statement of the Heart; it is time for the Queensland Government to put in place the recommendations of the Queensland Productivity Commission’s review into service delivery in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and, it is time for the Australian Government to support housing in remote communities. Come on. We can do better!

Mark Henley

Chief Executive Officer