The 2015 QCOSS State Conference was held in Brisbane in October 2015, with the theme of ‘individuals building thriving communities’. Nearly 250 delegates attended the two-day event and feedback from participants, sponsors and exhibitors was very positive and encouraging.

Watch highlights of the conference on StudioQ

Conference wrap-up – day one and two 

Welcome to country

Danny Doyle
”That was the best welcome to country I have ever seen.”

This year’s Welcome to Country was delivered by Danny Doyle, and it was certainly a unique and powerful way to open our conference. We thank Danny for sharing his culture with us and inviting us to participate in the ancient custom of a smoking ceremony.

A message from the Minister

Queensland’s social services sector is a diverse and powerful entity, and one that is undergoing “significant and transformational journey”, as described by the Hon Shannon Fentiman in her opening video address. “We need a clear vision for the community services sector of tomorrow,” she said. The concurrent sessions were designed to support, encourage and aid in the shaping of this vision. 

Keynote session with Community Solutions’ Jessica Venegas

Jessica Venegas

“There is no one person that cannot be homed...”

This statement was made by our keynote speaker Jessica Venegas from Community Solutions in the United States. Jessica’s keynote speech certainly got a lot of people talking and excited to return to their communities and organisations and examine ways in which they could implement some of the learnings.

Watch Jessica on StudioQ

In the round hosted by Jenny Brockie

Jenny Brockie

“This is an ambitious format...looking forward to seeing how it unfolds...”

We were delighted to be joined by renowned Australian journalist and Insight host Jenny Brockie, who helped deliver a new and exciting – and yes ambitious - session for delegates exploring how we can better protect our most vulnerable consumers. With a panel of engaging, inspiring and outspoken guests, the conversation was incredibly robust and fascinating. I found this session to be so heart-felt and informative, and I certainly gained a new perspective on how we must change our mindset and engage more broadly if we are to ensure that a market-driven social services sector in Queensland does not leave anyone behind.

Guests on the panel included: Michael Hogan, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services; Ray Jeffery, National Disability Insurance Agency; Gabrielle Borggaard, Domestic Violence Action Centre; Samantha Way, Palm Beach Neighbourhood Centre; Nicole Gibson, National Mental Health Commission ; Graham White, ATSILS; David Cant, Brisbane Housing Company; Loretta Kreet, Legal Aid Queensland; Melinda McDonald, ACCC; Kevin Cocks, Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland; Paige Armstrong, Queenslanders with Disability Network; Bryony Walters, Emerging Voices participant; an empty chair was maintained so delegates could join and also to remember those unable to be with us.

“The consumers who raised issues during the "in the round" session - truly inspirational”

Concurrent sessions

The afternoon’s five concurrent sessions tackled the topics of technology changing the way we deliver services; organisational rebranding; service integration using data and relationships; the government’s response to the issue of domestic and family violence; and young people shaping their own future. What a wealth of information and opportunities to contribute and be part of the shift towards individuals and communities taking more control and effecting real change in Queensland. 

Social benefit bonds

Social benefit bonds

“...great idea and great to see Queensland Treasury conducting the pilot program. A good solution for not-for-profits, governments and ethical investors.”

The last session on day one keep the momentum up and provided many with further insights into a topic many have shown a keen interest since the concept of social benefit bonds was announced by the Hon Curtis Pitt as part of the Queensland Budget earlier this year. The session provided a detailed overview of the concept, how they could work, and what opportunities it may provide for Queensland’s social services sector. The panel chaired by (right to left in photo) Jerry Marston included Adam Allen, Christine Crain and Progessor Gary Sturgess.

Watch the social benefit bonds panel on StudioQ

Networking function

Day one ended with an opportunity to relax and catch up with friends collegues and meet new people.  There was definitely a buzz inthe exhibition area as people moved around and spent the time speaking to people. 

Conscious leadership masterclass

“In under 4 years the 100K Homes campaign housed as many people as are homeless in Australia. We can do this too!!”

“Jessica Venegas is one of the most inspirational and passionate people I have ever met.”

This masterclass kicked off with a consolidated history of homelessness policy, and government consultation mechanisms in Queensland, highlighting the need for meaningful conversation between government and sector partners to work together to produce the right results.

We heard from the Department of Housing and Public Works’ Strategy and Policy team about the process for developing the government’s hew housing assistance strategy, and participants had an opportunity to feedback on key strategies for consideration.

A panel talked about collaborative works undertaken in Queensland to date and about the qualities of courage, tenacity and generosity that contribute to good leadership. 

Jessica used a variety of methods to teach us some tricks to take home, including a game where participants were encouraged to communicate with one another and think creatively to improve their performance. 

Finally we thought about our story, and the qualities of that story that are shared throughout communities, and how we can use those shared experiences to lead with courage, build partnerships and generate commitment to achieve lasting change.

The science of storytelling masterclass

“Full & Frank makes it clear.... story telling is intentional, and ongoing.  And part of your brand.”

Juanita from Full & Frank took us through the science of why storytelling is essential and how to make sure we are telling the right stories!  

Thought provoking content with excellent examples of when storytelling is done well.  Who is our hero and how do we inspire people to take action to support our mission.

We left with ideas and inspiration to really make a difference.

Watch highlights of Juanita's masterclass on StudioQ

Financially fair masterclass

“A unique opportunity that brought together people working towards financial resilience to share our ideas and vision.”

Sharing of case studies in the morning highlighted a range of systemic and individual issues that need attention to build financial resilience – including lack of employment stability, relationship breakdown, domestic violence and mental health.  The case studies also showed emerging issues and trends which are compounding problems for vulnerable people – such as online gambling, regional unemployment, drought, and predatory financial practices.

The day also showcased a range of creative responses that are in place and collaborative / innovative approaches which are emerging. This highlighted that a vast range of creative responses is required to tackle the issue across the spectrum – from measures around early intervention and prevention as well as emergency relief and support for highly complex legal problems and crisis situations – all need to be in the mix in an integrated approach. 

There was strong interest in continuing the conversation!

In closing

“Big tick. Great success. Well done QCOSS and all the speakers.”

This year’s conference was designed to encourage participants to think more broadly about the role of their organisation or service and how it can better interact, engage and work with other community service providers, citizens and stakeholders to improve the lives of all Queenslanders. I hope that delegates are able to put some of the learnings and perspectives into action and build thriving Queensland communities.

Registrations are now open for the 2019 Community Legal Centres Queensland Annual Conference. A premier event on the community legal centre calendar, the conference is being held at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Brisbane on 21 and 22 March. The conference is a fantastic opportunity to meet with a...
decorative
The Queensland Government has tabled the Human Rights Bill and it has been referred to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee for community consultation. The committee will be considering submissions from all over Queensland. To find out more information about how you can make a...
decorative
Conversations are happening across the state to develop an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Action Plan. The Department of Housing and Public Works need your views and ideas to help shape this plan and provide better housing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples...
decorative
Peak body PeakCare is holding the event The Speak Out: Improving Outcomes through Advocacy Symposium which will feature a thought-provoking program. The event will include speeches and key note addresses by: Bob Atkinson AO APM , former Queensland Police Commissioner, former Commissioner on the...
decorative
Purchase your ticket today to the Queensland Government's 2018 White Ribbon Day Breakfast and show your support in ending domestic and family violence. Event MC, Kay McGrath OAM, will lead a panel of some of Queensland’s most respected advocates in the field of domestic and family violence as they...
decorative
Make sure your organisation has a say in the development of the Child and Family Support Sector's Excellence Framework for Child Safe Organisations and is briefed on the Industry Development work that Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) and Queensland Family anc Child Commission are...
decorative
If you're involved in improving the lives of people and places, and you recognise that more can be achieved together than alone, then book your ticket for ChangeFest 2018, in Logan from 20-22 November. At ChangeFest you will learn, plan, relate, collaborate and progress your community's agenda for...
decorative
The Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) is holding an information session to provide participants with an understanding of its services including information about programs, referral pathways and client groups. Anyone who is supporting someone with a refugee...
decorative
Griffith University invites you to two events as part of its research into engagement and impact in human services Advancing social work and human services research - engagement and impact panel discussion A panel discussion on researcher and industry perspectives about social work and human...
decorative
This week marks Anti-Poverty Week 2018 (14 to 20 October 2018), a week where all Australians are encouraged to organise or take part in an activity to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship here in Australia or overseas. It was established in Australia as an expansion of the UN's...

Pages

Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
decorative
Author: 
Louise Mullins, Queensland Council of Social Service

Because of Her, We Can! – is the theme for NAIDOC Week 2018, which will be held nationally between 8 and 15 July.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played, and continue to play, active and significant roles at community, local, state and national levels.

Sadly,...

Author: 
Angela Massey, QCOSS

On 8 December we celebrate Community Door’s 10th birthday.

Community Door was established as a gateway for community service organisations in Queensland to access key information and resources to help them in all aspects of their operations and keep them up to date with what’s happening...

Author: 
Lewis Atkinson, Haines Centre for Strategic Management

The traditional model of social and community benefits delivered by government, community groups, charities and the not- for profit sector, with some corporate philanthropy around the edges, has been slowing dying for some years now. 

Financial sustainability and/or independence is a...

Author: 
Shelley Dunlop, Queensland Council of Social Service

You may have seen the Network Spaces tab at the top of the Community Door site. You may even think Network Spaces is actually Community Door, a common assumption since the whole of Community Door used to be that green colour.

So what is Network Spaces and why would you want to use it?...

Outcomes Working Group February 2015
Author: 
Richard Fahy, Lutheran Community Care

Lutheran Community Care’s vision is aligned to making quality of life better for the clients we serve. In the light of this it is important to us that we can also quantify what has changed for the client since they have been using our services. Through adopting an outcome-based framework we seek...

The road ahead
Author: 
Valmae Rose, Queensland Council of Social Service

In the social service sector we are currently seeing a lot of interest and focus on outcomes. Given the desire to determine ‘value for money’ and other objectives of public investment in social services, there is renewed interest in the outcomes we are achieving, at a client and program level....

Peter Kenyon
Author: 
Shelley Dunlop, QCOSS

Last week on 17 October 2014 the QCOSS State Conference - Building strength was held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane.

The program aimed to build on the strengths already existing within Queensland’s strong and resilient community service sector, as well...

See videos from StudioQ related to this topic

Share or Print