This week in review - 18 May 2017

Mark Henley

Centrelink Senate Inquiry
QCOSS presented evidence to the Senate Committee on the Centrelink Debt issue. We asked that the Committee support our recommendations including the suspension of the current scheme, engagement with the community sector - including people who have engaged with Centrelink - to ensure the process is one that best responds to the needs of those impacted, and ensuring Centrelink is adequately resourced to support all operations including any future debt recovery actions. QCOSS feels it was a strong submission and we thank all our members who provided their support and insights on this important issue. Should you hear more in relation to people being impacted please let us know.

Energy Savvy Families Community Forums throughout regional Queensland
Over the past fortnight, QCOSS has completed the last of its Energy Savvy Families forums in regional Queensland. Our team held events in Cairns, Yarrabah, Mareeba and the Atherton Tablelands. The Family Fun Day in Mareeba attracted around 600 people – children, families and community organisations. In Cairns, 25 organisations were represented at the forum. Staff from the Department of Energy and Water Supply were on hand at some of the events and were able to gain first-hand perspectives on the issues faced by people in regional areas.  We look forward to keeping you informed about this program and the benefits to those who have engaged.

Family Matters
This week is the Family Matters Week of Action, an annual awareness-raising event. The aim of the week is to harness public engagement and community and political commitment to eliminate the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system within a generation (by 2040). The campaign is calling for a new approach that trusts and empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, one that includes genuine collaboration and partnership, empowers communities and involves long-term government support across the country. For information on what you can do click here.

Member Survey
Our annual member survey was sent out last week. A huge thanks to everyone who has already responded. This is the one tool QCOSS uses to measure what our members think of our work and how we can better meet their needs and those of the broader community they support. The survey only takes a few minutes and the results are invaluable. I urge you to complete it so we can hear your views. Feedback on our work is encouraged at any time of year. I am always happy to chat over the phone or email [email protected]  

Pitt confirmed
The Treasurer Curtis Pitt has been confirmed for the annual QCOSS State Budget Breakfast, on Friday 16 June. The Treasurer will join a panel of speakers that will include Professor Anne Tiernan from the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University, a sector representative and myself to engage in in-depth discussion about the 2017/18 Queensland State Budget. We have also had confirmation of the attendance of several state government Ministers and a Shadow Minister. It is an excellent chance to examine the impacts the budget will have on Queenslanders experiencing poverty and disadvantage and I encourage anyone working in the sector to attend. Register here

NDIS in Townsville
This week’s ‘Bringing the NDIS to life in Townsville’ event has left attendees feeling inspired. It is almost a year since the National Disability Insurance Scheme was launched in the city and the forum explored its early progress as well as identifying six projects for the future. About 60 people attended each of the two days. The event has only just wrapped up – stay tuned for a full wrap-up which we will share with you shortly.   


Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer