Logan Child Friendly Community Consortium
This started out as an initiative of Queensland Health Early Years to create a network of organisations in Logan that work in the field of child wellbeing. As the members began to drive the agenda, it became a Consortium. Now it operates independently of the Health Department and has even established a trust so that is can attract and manage funds. The Consortium also recently hosted a national conference.
Making child friendly communities from birth to 18
- Survey of collaboration
- Each partner organisation gathers their own children’s profile – health, education, AEDI results - these are combined and regularly updated.
Mutually Reinforcing Activities
Action Groups take on specific projects after community and service provider consultation establishes there is a gap or a need:
- Communication DVD – help child care centres support language development
- Creating a DVD for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about how to develop attachment
- Packs for dads to be given out at hospitals
- Strategic Reference Group meets monthly
- Regular group emails
- Action Group leaders report to the Consortium and Strategic Reference Group
- This was originally an initiative of Queensland Heath Early Years
- Strategic Reference Group – a combination of about 10 NGO, Government and Business representatives. Members of this group are Directors of the ACFCC (Child Friendly) Trust
Growing Communities Together
The collaborative project arose as an NGO driven initiative with no government funding or support. As host organisation for Communities for Children, The Benevolent Society was keen to explore how this model would look if it wasn’t government funded, but rather as a whole-of-community approach.
This initiative is very much about NGOs working closely with a range of local organisations, from school and church groups to small local community organisations to improve social capital.
- Greenacre Community Centre
- Local businesses
- The YMCA
- Melkite Welfare Association
- Banksia Road Public School
- Local Public Schools and High Schools
- Individual community members
This was developed only after extensive consultation and emerged as engaging youth - aged 9 to 17 -in activities that will keep them in school, improve their educational outcomes and ‘stay out of trouble’. The second issue that emerged was a need for a community hub in Greenacre.
Following the initial community consultation, The Benevolent Society developed a Community Connections Survey to measure social capital – how safe and connected people felt in the community, what support structures they have, whether they were bridging with other sections in the community and participating in local civic life.
At the same time, we were working with the University of Western Sydney to measure social capital among high school students.
All these results were shared with the partner organisations and activities were developed that would be complementary.
This research, coupled with ongoing community conversations, inform the design of the program delivery in Greenacre. Having all the partner organisations use the same data to inform their decision helps us all work toward a common goal.
Mutually Reinforcing Activities
We identified the local Uniting Church as an additional partner, and they became a key site for three new initiatives:
- The Church Hall became a ‘youth hub’ and indoor meeting space for a range of activities including after school care and homework help
- It’s also the venue for ‘Wheelworks’ - a weekly workshop where kids and youth come to make and repair bikes and scooters
- The Greenacre Community Centre and Melkite Welfare Association now run ‘Youth Step Up’ an early intervention program to teach 14 – 17 year olds about job readiness. They’re making videos of young people talking about their success in getting a job as a peer support exercise, as well as developing technical support such as resume writing, all available for viewing on YouTube.
We formed a partnership with Banksia Road Public School to establish a community hub for parents and their children. The purpose-built space is utilised for social, educational and training activities for parents and families in Greenacre.
There is a monthly Community Forum, convened by Greenacre Community Centre, and monthly partner meetings.
This is provided by The Benevolent Society, with an emphasis on working with community organisations to build their capacity and ability to do things differently. Our goal is not to establish another organisation, but to support a consortium approach, making ourselves redundant after a total of ten years in this community.