ECCQ President’s Update

ECCQ President’s Update

On 27 February 2024, the Parliamentary Youth Justice Reform Select Committee held a Public Hearing in Rockhampton. The purpose of the public hearing was to assist the YJR Select Committee in its inquiry into youth justice reform in Queensland. The focus of the hearing was evidence-based on seven priority areas –

  1. improving support for victims of crime and confidence in the youth justice system;
  2. the need for a long-term youth justice strategy;
  3. better early assessment, intervention and prevention;
  4. improving young people’s engagement with therapeutic programs;
  5. supporting their transition from detention back into the community;
  6. reimagining youth justice infrastructure;
  7. the operation of the Youth Justice Act 1992.

ECCQ Management Group put together a Submission – ‘A Collective Approach, Closing the YJ Gap’ which was submitted to the Parliamentary Youth Justice Reform Committee (Submission 204) on 1 March 2024. Please also read the Rockhampton Community-Based Crime Action Group’s submission – No. 179 (same link as above) and Our Space Submission (No. 200). We will keep you updated on the progress of the youth justice reform.

Upcoming dates for our Community Workshops will be advertised soon.

Kindest regards

Julie Irwin – President Every Child CQ
(on behalf of the ECCQ Management Group)

Every Child CQ Update – 2024

Every Child CQ Update – 2024

Welcome to 2024 and Every Child CQ. I am very excited to have joined Every Child CQ as President, being appointed late last year. I would like to thank the previous ECCQ President Maxine Brushe for all her extremely valuable work over many years and now in the role of ECCQ Strategic Advisor – Government & Community. I would also like to thank the ECCQ management team who continue to dedicate their professionalism, time and energy to grow and expand ECCQ activities. Our wonderful staff and consultants do an amazing job and I would like to acknowledge their valuable contributions to the children and youth of our region.

Thank you to the Rockhampton Community Based Crime Action Committee (CBCAC) which continues to take a lead role in building strong collaboration and understanding to address youth crime in the Rockhampton area and providing funding to ECCQ for valuable activities. I would also like to acknowledge the significant contribution of partner Stockland Rockhampton for continuing to provide a valuable space for ‘Our Space’. Several ECCQ activities have been funded by CBCAC with auspicing by ECCQ.

ECCQ Current Activities include:

OUR SPACE

Our Space is a safe space located in Stockland Rockhampton designed to engage with local youth and their families, improve positive behaviour, engagement and choices. Our space provides a space for early intervention, connections and activities for youth. It also acts as a community information hub for youth and families. Our Space also delivers Life Choices Level Up activities.

Various organisations deliver services that provide early intervention for at-risk youth, reducing disengagement while simultaneously offering health and wellbeing access or support. 
Our Space is a collaborative partnership between Stockland Rockhampton, Queensland Police Service, CQ Health and Hospital Service – CQ Youth Connect, Darumbal Community Youth Services, Headspace and Every Child Central Queensland and has representatives from each organisation serving as committee members. Our Space has been recognised for its exemplary contemporary practice and positive outcomes.

CQ YOUTH INTERAGENCY HEALTH FORUM

This Youth Interagency Health Forum, 2023 showcased its 10th annual CQ Youth Interagency Health Forum. The effectiveness of this forum has been evidenced by its attendance and the value it brings to our region. A pre and post survey revealed that from 2022-2023 PD hours delivered as part of this activity were 1,050 PD hours, a 75% increase in knowledge across the youth sector including professional development on FASD.

This Forum was originally developed in 2013 by a local Clinical Nurse Consultant from CQ Youth Connect to enable health professionals and community organisations working with youth to learn from experts in the field regarding youth health and well-being. This forum also provides an opportunity for key-note speakers to share their knowledge, information, data, trends and experiences about the youth sector across Central Queensland. It is a unique event which is not only very well attended each year but additionally provides opportunities to network and build partnerships as well as providing an opportunity for youth services to exhibit, connect and share relevant resources.

THE UNITING EFFORT WORKING GROUP [PART OF THE ROCKHAMPTON COMMUNITY BASED CRIME ACTION COMMITTEE (CBCAC)]

This strategic working group provides engagement, community development, resources and tools for the community. It is a valuable community asset in identifying community strengths and weaknesses and actions required to move the community forward as a collective. The Uniting Effort Working Group’s Report to Every of Child CQ of 2023 has put forward some recommendations including:

  • A continued commitment to involving grassroots community, local leaders, First Nations people and all levels of government in community change activities; including expanding to more directly involve leaders in Government, people in community and stakeholder organisations.
  • The work to involve local initiatives in education and health, which will require a more tangible involvement of leaders in education and health.
  • A local, accessible repository of documentation relevant to the work should be established.

UPCOMING COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS – APRIL AND MAY 2024

(dates/venue to be confirmed)

ECCQ is planning two Community Workshops this year to confirm Issues and Gaps and look at steps in collaboratively and collectively addressing them. These workshops will be action focused.

1.  April 2024:

The first event will be focused on Confirming the Issues & Gaps – Children & Youth in CQ – Community Workshop Event designed to engage and re-connect with community and government organisations including education and health to identify current issues in the region affecting children and youth. We will also do an environmental scan of the programs that are working in this space, their objectives and outcomes and the gaps that exist. We will look at what is working well and what isn’t.

2.  May 2024:

The second event will be focused on discussing ways in Addressing the Issues & Gaps – Children & Youth in CQ – Community Workshop Event – engaging and connecting with the same stakeholders (from 1.) and other interested parties to discuss solutions/actions/funding to address the issues and gaps we have identified.

Affiliations:

FASD CQ Alliance (affiliated with Every Child CQ)

FASD CQ Alliance is a community-driven collective group committed to increasing knowledge of and services for (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) FASD in Central Queensland (CQ). Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring improved awareness, research, knowledge and services that significantly address and reduce FASD in CQ.

FASD CQ Alliance believes that as many people as possible should be made aware of FASD – the hidden disability in order to prevent it – a 100% preventable condition. The way to prevent it, is for women to consume no alcohol at all when pregnant.

Activities:

  • Annual FASD Awareness Walk – 9 September – raising awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and prevention of FASD.
  • Currently working with University of Queensland to train health professionals on FASD and provide additional resources.
I will keep you updated on the activities of Every Child CQ as we continue to evolve, grow and expand activities and funding opportunities for the benefit of Central Queensland children and youth.

Regards

Julie Irwin
President
Every Child Central Queensland Inc.

President’s Mid-Year Update

President’s Mid-Year Update

Following our AGM in late November 2021, Every Child CQ Inc is pleased to welcome new Management Group Members, Friederike McCartney (Secretary), Bryce Davey (Treasurer) and Corey Bloomfield (Research & Partnerships Representative) to the Group. We also thanked retiring Management Group Members – Professor Wal Taylor, Josh Ariens, and Geoff Lee, for their outstanding work over several years.

Whilst only a very small committee, Every Child CQ (ECCQ) has been working in the background to support groups and individuals who are forging ahead with a range of initiatives to “shift the dial” on improving the lives and futures of young people in this region.

As we are an unfunded organisation, ECCQ has focussed on what we can achieve without paid staff and have taken on an auspicing role for unincorporated organisations over the last 6 months, thanks to the generosity of expertise, time and energy of the Management Group.

Every Child CQ continues to look for opportunities to pursue a collective change agenda to ensure our young people can grow, thrive and be happy in the Central Queensland region.

The Rockhampton Community Based Crime Action Committee (CBCAC) that has taken a lead role in building strong collaboration and understanding to address youth crime in the Rockhampton area. Several activities have been funded by CBCAC and auspiced by ECCQ, including the following initiatives:

Our Space – a place to connect

  • Our Space is an exciting and innovative initiative, supported by Stockland Rockhampton providing a shop front where services can connect with community in a safe space. CBCAC have funded a Coordinator for this initiative and are seeking further support from anyone interested in contributing beyond the funding period.
  • The aim of the space is improving health and well-being outcomes for our children, youth and families with a primary focus on vulnerable and at risk youth.
  • The target group for the space are the at risk and vulnerable youth and families that can be hard to reach via regular service delivery models.

Community Development Model & Tools – Funded jointly by CBCAC and Communities for Children (CfC) through the Smith Family, and undertaken by Geoff Higgins, Performance People

  • This activity is aimed at contributing to the Rockhampton CBCAC “priority gap” of Agency Collaboration. Further, it will provide the following community benefits in support of addressing disadvantage and reducing youth crime
  • 1. A documented approach to doing place-based community development.
  • 2. A blueprint for undertaking community development projects, including milestones.
  • 3. A common language around community development.
  • 4. A set of practical tools with clear instructions.
  • 5. A local cohort of trained people with an understanding of community development, and the ability to use the model and tools.
  • 6. A set of training materials for use again in the future.

Uniting Effort Project in partnership with Mindhive

  • Using successful crowd sourcing collective experience intelligence to develop a framework for structured, coordinated, whole of community response to youth crime.
  • Gathering global expertise, through an respected online platform, to seek and discuss what has/has not worked elsewhere and provide opportunities for our region.

Life Choices Level UP

  • Provide opportunities and resources for young people to explore, experience, connect and engage in pilot program that includes, support and pathways to making better choices, positive personal growth, develop goal setting, and grow to their fullest potential. Increasing positive youth engagement, reducing unhealthy activities and reducing youth crime.
  • Courses are held 3 days per week for 10 weeks and include Wellbeing, Personal Care, Dressing for Succes, Sexual & Reproductive Health, Alcohol & Other Drugs Session, Nutrition & Exercise, Low budget health food, Hair, Healthy Relationships, Social Media Use and Safety, Self Confidence.
  • Provide resources for other disadvantaged young people who are not in the course but visit Our Space.

Maxine Brushe
President
Every Child Central Queensland Inc.

2021 Annual Report to Members

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
President
Every Child Central Queensland Inc.

2020 Annual Report

2020 Annual Report to Members

Well what a very turbulent and unsettling year it has been for everyone, including Every Child Central Qld Inc. (Every Child CQ).

Our January meeting with stakeholders was a resounding success with in excess of 100 people in attendance and the workshop following provided a good starting point to conversations around building the Community Alliance and developing a shared agenda. Further workshops followed, including three in May, held virtually due to COVID 19.

Every Child CQ Inc has worked with Darumbal People Aboriginal Corporation (DPAC)throughout this year. DPAC is the Registered Native Title Body whose primary function is to address issues relating to the social and economic disadvantage that are confronted by Darumbal People, and we are very pleased to sign off on a Memorandum of Understanding with DPAC today.

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. This 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.

This has taken a while to get signed off due to COVID, however we are committed to the document and see it as a  first step in

acknowledgement and understanding of Indigenous issues and their impact on wellbeing of children and families. We also 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 understanding towards collaborative positive outcomes.

Our biggest challenge this year has been that whilst the Stronger Places, Stronger People Program had been announced by the Minister in July 2019, no funding for this important work was released until September 2020. The implication of this delay and Every Child not having funds to continue engagement of our very capable Coordinator, Susie Cameron understandably returned to her substantive position with Qld Health in June of this year.

Since that time, the Every Child CQ Management Group has continued to work with Government to secure funding to try to take the work forward. The funding received by Every Child CQ recently is to build the Community Alliance only. The short term nature of the funding, and the need to contract someone who has already built respect and trust across community has made filling this position very difficult. However we are not prepared to compromise on this fundamental role in bringing people and organisations together to ensure that the Community Alliance and the work it undertakes has sound governance around it, ensuring high level accountability, transparency and effectiveness.

We have been told that the next step is to provide evidence that the Rockhampton community is ready to partner with government to deliver the Stronger Places, Stronger People agenda. How do we do that? We need to evidence that as a collective we are committed to working together, not always with the same thinking, but are willing to compromise, to agree to disagree in a spirit of cooperation and respect to develop a shared agenda and a willingness to proceed to shared outcomes.

Over the last year, work has been done on developing partnerships and collaborative thinking, building required
capacity and resources. We now need to move onto actions – developing policies, procedures, data analysis and evaluation tools and source funding to create the required infrastructure for community to do this together.

This is the next phase – where we will all be required to “leave our hats at the door” and bring our lived experiences to the table, i.e. our experiences not as an organization specifically or with an individual view, but rather as a parent, a friend, a student, an aunt/uncle/survivor, a teacher, or football coach. This is the valuable knowledge we know is out there… however, a space needs to be created where this can be safely shared with a view to improving the lives of others, through our own life learning lens. The Community Alliance is to be this space.

Every Child CQ’s vision and drive remains the same, that is 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.

This is a vision for our community , that will require a whole of community approach and the Community Alliance will provide an opportunity to bring voices from across community, the seen and unseen, the heard and unheard, the fortunate and those that struggle from day to day, because everyone has lived experience that can assist us to understand, unpack and explore solutions to issues, steps to take on our journey of working closely together to improve community wellbeing.

In the words of Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” We are keen to ask you to progress the beginning of success today, together.

After such a haphazard year, Every Child CQ looks forward to a strong and purposeful year in 2021 towards creating a safe, secure and happy future for children and families across Central Queensland.

Maxine Brushe
President
Every Child Central Queensland Inc.

President’s Mid-Year Update

President’s Mid-Year Update

Over the last 18 months Every Child CQ has been endeavouring to secure funding to continue to progress the great collaborative work being done across community to address issues to improve the lives of children and families in the Rockhampton Region.

Every Child CQ was established in 2015 as a community-based organisation to bring all local service providers and community together to address the issue of inequity of opportunity for our regions children, youth and young adults which embeds lifelong disadvantage and diminishes our region as a place of choice for families. It has been funded to date by volunteers and support funding from Queensland Government Department of Communities.

The data indicates that the matters of concern for our children, youth and young adults are growing despite their being some 10,000 people employed with responsibilities to address these matters in our region. The need to bring these efforts together in a community driven approach separate from, but engaging with, 

 the very committed people in government and the Not-For-Profit sector to harness effort in a more simplified and collective manner has never been greater.

During this time our Coordinator, Susie Cameron, has ably led an agenda to connect and build on the resources within community towards a shared understanding of the issues and developing a shared agenda, through the establishment of the Community Alliance. In tandem with this valuable work, the Management Group of Every Child CQ has engaged with State and Federal Government officers of the Stronger Places, Stronger People (SP/SP) Program to secure funding to maintain the community momentum to drive this work forward.

With regards to the ongoing work of Every Child CQ, we remain hopeful of securing adequate funding in the near future to sustain the employment of a capable person to continue to establish the Community Alliance as a Community Voice to promote and together,  drive systemic change to address community issues.  We are currently working with SP/SP officers and are looking forward to sharing some good news with you shortly in this regard.

Susie has now returned to her substantive position with CQHHS and we at Every Child CQ would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Susie for the great work she has done in community, particularly in building trust and reciprocity, engaging unheard voices, and delivering tangible outcomes through collaborative partnerships, including a partnership with Darumbal People Aboriginal Corporation (D-PAC). Her skill will not be lost to community as she continues her CQHHS role and Every Child CQ looks forward to continuing to work with both Susie and the broader community to achieve what we know the Community Alliance has the capacity to do for this region.  Susie will also continue to be a passionate supporter of the work of Every Child CQ in a voluntary capacity.

Maxine Brushe
President
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.