This week in review - 8 March 2018

Mark Henley

International Women's Day

It is great that we have an opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day - a day to celebrate the achievements of women throughout history.  I believe it is particularly important for us to all take time to consider the incredible role women have played and continue to play in the community service sector and as active contributors to their communities.  The theme of this year is Press for Progress and it highlights the need we have to continue to work toward gender equality and inclusivity.  It also highlights the need for each of us to think about how we view groups and individuals who are marginalised.  This is particularly evident by the poor messaging we are hearing from some politicians and some areas of the media.  We need to challenge that thinking and behaviour.  This is exactly what we are going to drive at our state conference (details are below).  I hope you will join us as this is fundamentally important to the work that each and every one of us does.

I want to thank every woman today for what you have done and continue to do for our communities and all people.

Place Based Roundtable

As mentioned previously, last month we held a roundtable with Minister O’Rourke to look at what place-based approaches, nationally and in Queensland.  This importantly focussed on building thriving communities.  A summary of that roundtable meeting is attached here and I hope you enjoy reading it.  We are continuing to work with Minister O’Rourke, her Department and other key stakeholders to develop resources and facilitate the right conversations to support the sector and community to improve outcomes.  

QCOSS 2018 State Conference - Movement for Change

We are excited about our state conference and what it has the potential to create for the future.  This is really about looking at where we are, what is working and how we make change to create good wellbeing for everyone!  Seems simple enough when you write it like that but there are some significant social stories that we tell in Australia; that are grown by some government policy and perpetuated in the media that we need to overcome.  We can only do that with our individual actions but working as part of a collective with the community as our focus – I hope you will be able to join us to be part of that change (further details below).

National Remote Housing Agreement

As I have mentioned previously the National COSS Network wrote a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to continue the National Partnership on Remote Housing.  We have still not received a response.  We will continue to advocate on this crucial issue as it impacts socially and economically on the humanity of so many Australians in remote communities.  We have met with the Local Government Association of Queensland and QShelter on this issue and all believe the federal government should not turn their back on their commitment to people living in remote communities.  If the Prime Minister and his government is serious about Closing The Gap this must be funded.


Mark Henley
Chief Executive Officer