It has been a very big two weeks for QCOSS. I hope I can capture some of the highlights here!
Last week we hosted our AGM and welcomed two new regional board directors in Colleen Tribe, Roseberry Qld and Linda McClelland from Hinchinbrook Community Support Centre in Ingham. We also welcomed two Honorary Life Members in Mark Tucker-Evans and Peter Emery – both have provided service to the sector and QCOSS for a number of years and it is a pleasure to welcome them as QCOSS Life Members. There is more detail about our new QCOSS Board Directors and Honorary Life Members throughout this edition.
Peter FitzSimons was guest speaker at the AGM and his messages of challenging the divisive narratives that exist in some areas of society resonated strongly with QCOSS' role of supporting and nurturing strong, vibrant and diverse communities. People like Peter, being in the media, have an opportunity to influence people’s thinking and it is important we talk about the good and positive stories that are happening in communities across the state, but not losing sight of the systemic issues that may exist in society which are creating barriers for people.
The barriers are very real. Over the past two weeks I attended the Changing Lives Changing Communities forums in Cairns and Mt Isa and it is clear the barriers include living affordability, systemic racism and unnecessary red tape.
QCOSS was delighted to host David Locke and representatives from government, legal services, banking and finance, and community organisations for a meeting to start a dialog on improving circumstances for people impacted from financial hardship. David was recently appointed the new chief ombudsman and CEO of the Australian Financial Complains Authority (AFCA). We will be following up with David and seeking to work with him as he engages across the state to inform the community of the role and services his organisation offers. Our conversation was very interesting and you can read more about it here.
Changing Lives, Changing Communities
QCOSS hosted two Changing Lives Changing Communities events in Cairns and Mount Isa this week and last. I am constantly inspired by hearing peoples stories and the visions you have for your communities, no matter how many communities we visit. My thanks to both communities for having us and so generously sharing with us. The harvest for both events will be available from late next week. We have two more events this year – I hope you can join us in Brisbane or Caboolture in the coming weeks. Next year we will kick it off again going to Gladstone, Normanton, Woorabinda and the Gold Coast. Hosting these with QDN, ADCQ and other partners is very beneficial. More here.
Place-based community of practice and ChangeFest
Next week promises to be no less eventful with QCOSS launching our Queensland Place-Based Community of Practice in conjunction with Change Fest – this will be an amazing exploration and celebration of what place-based approaches can achieve. More here and we will keep you informed of developments.
Human Rights Act for Queensland community and sector
We are hosting a community information night about the Human Rights Act for Queensland which was tabled in Queensland Parliament just last month. There will be a keynote presentation by Scott McDougall, Anti-Discrimination Commissioner of Queensland, followed by a diverse panel of experts who will reflect on the importance of a Human Rights Act for people across the state.
The following week we will host a session for the community services sector alongside the 13 community sector peaks we work closely with. Hon Yvette D'Ath MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice will present the keynote address, followed by a panel session during which we will hear from community sector professionals about how they believe a Human Rights Act will affect the sector.
Chief Executive Officer