2021 Annual Report to Members

“Well what a very turbulent and unsettling year it has been for everyone, including Every Child Central Qld Inc.” This was how I began the Annual Report to Members at last year’s AGM, and the words fit the 2021 year just as well as they did back twelve months ago.

Every Child CQ had signed a contract with Stronger Places, Stronger People in September 2020 and were looking to engage a suitable person for this important work. Geoff Higgins was employed and gave great service in working in and with community to build on already established relationships as well as new ones. We take this opportunity to thank Geoff for his short, but very respectful and outstanding service to Every Child. Thank you Geoff.

Every Child was pleased to be able to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Darumbal People Aboriginal Corporation (DPAC) at beginning of last year’s AGM. The purpose of the MOU is to establish a formal relationship between DPAC RNTBC, as the custodians of Darumbal country, and Every Child CQ aimed at providing a platform for collaboration and equity in decision-making on Darumbal country in the Rockhampton district. The document recognises DPAC and Every Child CQ share a commitment to developing a new approach to improving the future for our families, children, youth and young adults in this place. We have a collective responsibility to provide a positive future for all.

I, as Every Child CQ Chair, also stated last year that we “anticipate that this will be the first of many agreements that commit to a strong focus on working collaboratively to break down barriers” and build shared acknowledgement , respect and understanding towards collaborative positive outcomes, with people of all backgrounds. We still see great benefit in establishing these agreements across community.

Following last year’s AGM, Geoff Higgins held a workshop to build the Rockhampton Community Alliance, to take the work done over the previous year on developing partnerships and collaborative thinking, as well as building required capacity and resources. It was time to start the action phase – developing policies, procedures, collecting and analysing data. evaluating the outcomes and doing all of this in truly collaborative and collective manner. The Rockhampton Community Alliance was the opportunity to create a safe space for this to sprout, nurture and grow.

As most of you would be aware, Every Child CQ withdrew from the contract with Stronger Places, Stronger People in July 2021. This was a decision that the Management Committee agonized over for some time, but was inevitable given the fact that we could see no appropriate role for Every Child CQ in the proposed move forward.
Every Child CQ’s Management Committee ultimately determined that it would be in our best interests, to withdraw from the program and the funding, and to revert to our original Charter in creating social innovation by using the principles of collective impact to bring about systemic and long lasting change to health, wellbeing and life outcomes for Central Queensland children, to ensure that every child has every chance to reach their full potential.

Every Child CQ’s vision and drive remains the same and we continue to value – connecting, collaborating, changing, coordinating and challenging community to get results that make a positive difference in children’s lives.

Since we withdrew from SPSP, we deliberately stepped back for a while as we did not want to be seen as an impediment to the proposed work of Stronger Places, Stronger People in the Rockhampton region.
We have had no indication from government, either Federal or State, or the Stronger Places, Stronger People officers, as to where the program is now at, but there were millions of dollars allocated to the Rockhampton Region to roll out the program that has not yet been allocated, to our knowledge.

Our Space, the project at Rockhampton Shopping Fair that has been supported through funding from the CBCAC, has been auspiced by Every Child CQ Inc. This is a great opportunity to engage with community in their space, time and safety.

Every Child CQ still sees the great value of a Rockhampton Community Alliance that has broad community involvement, bringing voices from across community, the seen and unseen, the hear and unheard, the fortunate and those that struggle from day to do, because everyone has lived experience that can help understanding, acknowledgement and explore solutions. This is an opportunity we need to continue to explore with community and government, to continue working towards building positive futures for our children and community wellbeing. Hopefully early in the new year, we may be able to share with you some ideas and opportunities.

We thank you for your attendance today. Every Child CQ appreciates your support and continued involvement in creating a safe, secure and happy future for children and families across Central Queensland.

Maxine Brushe
Every Child Central Queensland Inc.

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country and recognise their connection to land, wind, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures, and to the Elders both past and present.