This week in review - 22 March 2018

Mark Henley

Special Edition on Place-based Approaches

QCOSS has long advocated for place-based approaches because both locally and globally place-based approaches are being recognised as critical to responding effectively to certain community challenges and building strong, cohesive communities.  There is significant evidence and a multitude of impressive stories demonstrating real change that support this.  QCOSS has been very active in place based work for a number of years and we will continue to build on the current work and the successful partnerships we have developed.

So to start, what is place-based work?? 

Place-based is an approach that can be loosely defined as the bringing together of key stakeholders in a place to address entrenched poverty, disadvantage and community need by harnessing the resources, opportunities and input of local community members and other stakeholders. Research and data continue to show that better outcomes can be achieved for individuals and families when they live in strong, inclusive and supportive communities. QCOSS has long advocated for place-based responses to address complex social issues experienced by individuals and families through more targeted and localised approaches that have community at their heart.  

Last month I co-hosted a Roundtable with Minister O’Rourke exploring aspects of place-based approaches and their role in creating thriving communities.  The Roundtable brought together views from across Queensland and Australia and was an exciting first conversation.  You can find out more about the Roundtable here.  This special edition of Focal point continues this conversation and will bring many of those different projects to light and hopefully broaden your understanding of place based approaches.  In addition to QCOSS members we welcome our broader sector to Focal point for this special edition.

This year there certainly seems to be some momentum moving toward how we build thriving communities in Queensland through place-based activities which is very exciting.  In fact last week I was involved in a forum about place held by the Community Partnerships and Hubs area in the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.  It featured June McLoughlin, from Doveton College in Victoria – this is a great example of place-based work.  We featured it a number of years ago at our state conference and you can watch that presentation here.

QCOSS is involved in partnerships, working alongside, the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, the Queensland Family and Child Commission, the Queensland Mental Health Commission, Townsville City Council, Queenslanders with Disability Network and community members to bring to fruition the visions of different communities.  Our website outlines our approach and current projects in more detail.

Our conference in May – Movement for Change – play your part – brings together many place-based approaches to highlight their success in making change.

I hope you enjoy this special edition and if you would like to receive Focal point regularly please join QCOSS. We would be interested in your feedback so please drop us a line if you have some comments or thoughts to qcoss@qcoss.org.au.

Additional important information about what has been happening this last fortnight is also below.

Human Rights Act For Queensland

Work is still progressing on Queensland adopting a Human Rights Act.  I would encourage you to get involved and speak to your local members about its importance.  From a QCOSS point of view it is a critical step in providing Queenslanders with the confidence in our system to stand up for all of our rights.  We recently met with the Premiers staff on this issue and unfortunately they were unable to provide timelines for its implementation.  We are concerned about its progress as it was a commitment to be introduced during the last term of the government.   Read more here.

Media and political comment

Last week we saw some appalling political and media comment about families and children.  We should be concerned about over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in child protection.  However, blanket statements that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children be adopted by white families goes totally against the fact that family and culture are important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.  It also misses the point that the entrenched disadvantage being experienced is rarely acknowledged or addressed by the political leaders making the statements and who are also in a position to make positive change.     

Human Services Quality Framework

QCOSS has been instrumental in supporting the sector through implementation of the Human Services Quality Framework.  In recent months our conversations have turned to the imposition of time and money that comes from organisations having to comply with multiple sets of standards. We are advocating for a single set of standards that focus on making sure people are front and centre.  If you would like to feed into this please let us know by emailing Karenm@qcoss.org.au.

Close the Gap

Last week was Close the Gap Day.  We called on every Queensland Federal Member of Parliament, Senator and State Member of Parliament to use the influence they have to make sure the National Partnership on Remote Housing continues.  You can read the letter we sent here.  As a part of the National COSS Network we also sent a letter to the Prime Minister directly urging him again to continue this critical funding.  To our knowledge there has still been no response to this important issue impacting thousands of Australians.

Queensland Government partners for impact with Queensland’s homelessness sector

Last week at the Parity Launch the Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni announced it would lock in five-year funding contracts for specialist service providers saying that funding certainty is a key plank of the Palaszczuk Government’s Partnering for Impact initiative.  This initiative includes a new Compact with the sector as a foundation piece for the partnership. We were excited to hear these announcements and will continue to partner with the government in this important initiative. More here.

 

Regards

 

Mark Henley

Chief Executive Officer

Special Edition on Place-based Approaches

QCOSS has long advocated for place-based approaches because both locally and globally place-based approaches are being recognised as critical to responding effectively to certain community challenges and building strong, cohesive communities.  There is significant evidence and a multitude of impressive stories demonstrating real change that support this.  QCOSS has been very active in place based work for a number of years and we will continue to build on the current work and the successful partnerships we have developed.

So to start, what is place-based work?? 

Place-based is an approach that can be loosely defined as the bringing together of key stakeholders in a place to address entrenched poverty, disadvantage and community need by harnessing the resources, opportunities and input of local community members and other stakeholders. Research and data continue to show that better outcomes can be achieved for individuals and families when they live in strong, inclusive and supportive communities. QCOSS has long advocated for place-based responses to address complex social issues experienced by individuals and families through more targeted and localised approaches that have community at their heart.  

Last month I co-hosted a Roundtable with Minister O’Rourke exploring aspects of place-based approaches and their role in creating thriving communities.  The Roundtable brought together views from across Queensland and Australia and was an exciting first conversation.  You can find out more about the Roundtable here.  This special edition of Focal point continues this conversation and will bring many of those different projects to light and hopefully broaden your understanding of place based approaches.  In addition to QCOSS members we welcome our broader sector to Focal point for this special edition.

This year there certainly seems to be some momentum moving toward how we build thriving communities in Queensland through place-based activities which is very exciting.  In fact last week I was involved in a forum about place held by the Community Partnerships and Hubs area in the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.  It featured June McLoughlin, from Doveton College in Victoria – this is a great example of place-based work.  We featured it a number of years ago at our state conference and you can watch that presentation here.

QCOSS is involved in partnerships, working alongside, the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, the Queensland Family and Child Commission, the Queensland Mental Health Commission, Townsville City Council, Queenslanders with Disability Network and community members to bring to fruition the visions of different communities.  Our website outlines our approach and current projects in more detail.

Our conference in May – Movement for Change – play your part – brings together many place-based approaches to highlight their success in making change.

I hope you enjoy this special edition and if you would like to receive Focal point regularly please join QCOSS. We would be interested in your feedback so please drop us a line if you have some comments or thoughts to qcoss@qcoss.org.au.

Additional important information about what has been happening this last fortnight is also below.

Human Rights Act For Queensland

Work is still progressing on Queensland adopting a Human Rights Act.  I would encourage you to get involved and speak to your local members about its importance.  From a QCOSS point of view it is a critical step in providing Queenslanders with the confidence in our system to stand up for all of our rights.  We recently met with the Premiers staff on this issue and unfortunately they were unable to provide timelines for its implementation.  We are concerned about its progress as it was a commitment to be introduced during the last term of the government.   Read more here.

Media and political comment

Last week we saw some appalling political and media comment about families and children.  We should be concerned about over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in child protection.  However, blanket statements that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children be adopted by white families goes totally against the fact that family and culture are important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.  It also misses the point that the entrenched disadvantage being experienced is rarely acknowledged or addressed by the political leaders making the statements and who are also in a position to make positive change.     

Human Services Quality Framework

QCOSS has been instrumental in supporting the sector through implementation of the Human Services Quality Framework.  In recent months our conversations have turned to the imposition of time and money that comes from organisations having to comply with multiple sets of standards. We are advocating for a single set of standards that focus on making sure people are front and centre.  If you would like to feed into this please let us know by emailing Karenm@qcoss.org.au.

Close the Gap

Last week was Close the Gap Day.  We called on every Queensland Federal Member of Parliament, Senator and State Member of Parliament to use the influence they have to make sure the National Partnership on Remote Housing continues.  You can read the letter we sent here.  As a part of the National COSS Network we also sent a letter to the Prime Minister directly urging him again to continue this critical funding.  To our knowledge there has still been no response to this important issue impacting thousands of Australians.

Queensland Government partners for impact with Queensland’s homelessness sector

Last week at the Parity Launch the Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni announced it would lock in five-year funding contracts for specialist service providers saying that funding certainty is a key plank of the Palaszczuk Government’s Partnering for Impact initiative.  This initiative includes a new Compact with the sector as a foundation piece for the partnership. We were excited to hear these announcements and will continue to partner with the government in this important initiative. More here.