‘We are behind state and national averages in several areas’
EVERY Child CQ, a local group established in 2015 to explore ways to make a sustainable, positive change to the lives of CQ children and their families, will address inequity.
They'll work with and support community service providers, to work collaboratively through the recently launched Connecting the Dots strategy.
This was a centrepiece of Every Child CQ's annual general meeting and annual report to the community, which was attended by representatives of key leaders from government, business, education and community organisations.
"We have to face up to the simple reality that despite all of the well-meaning and committed efforts of government agencies, community organisations and businesses, the statistics for youth development in our region clearly point out that we are well behind state and national averages in several areas," said President of Every Child CQ Maxine Brushe.
"We have lots of committed and well-meaning people, organisations and programs operating in our region and it is self-evident that we have to do some thing different if we are to improve and while funding is important, it is not the 'solve everything' answer.
"We simply have to learn to work together collectively to make better local decisions that we own and embed ownership in ourselves and our efforts for change,
"We want to help develop synergies across and between organisations and community and to help existing organisations achieve more in their core business," she said
In her address to the meeting, Federal Member for Capricornia and assistant minister for children and families Michelle Landry MP commended Every Child CQ for their ongoing work in delivering positive outcomes for local families in Rockhampton and the surrounding region.
Ms Landry also took the opportunity to outline her priorities in the portfolio, which includes strengthening child protection and improving permanency outcomes for children in out-of-home care.
"It is so important to ensure that Australian families, and our most vulnerable kids, have the support that they need to be safe, grow and thrive.
"Through the ongoing commitment and advocacy by community groups like every Child CQ, I'm optimistic that we can make a real difference in this space," Ms Landry said.
MP and assistant Minister for Education Brittany Lauga, who also attended the meeting, said she was a committed supporter of Every Child CQ's approach and strategy.
"As a young mother, I have become very aware of the research and impact that child and youth development have on the societal outcomes we see in disengaged youth and young adults.
"I also know that while addressing these issues is complex, all analysis from around the world and just plain simple logic points out that providing the means for community input in respectful, responsive and collective ways is an essential ingredient in any long-term success.
"The Queensland Government is also responding to best practice by establishing regional community forums to clarify local needs from the depth of community lived experience."
The Community Leadership Group will convene early in the New Year to map out the way forward.