Inside Page Baner

Partnership solutions highlighted for Anti-Poverty Week

Published: 15 October 2014

Partnership solutions highlighted for Anti-Poverty Week

The Logan: City of Choice initiative is proof that local, State and Federal Governments, community representatives and businesses can work together to create local solutions that address poverty and community capacity.

In the lead-up to Anti-Poverty Week 2014 this week (12-18 October), the spotlight is on identifying new ways to tackle poverty in Australia and overseas. The week aims to strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship, and encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems.

City of Choice is an example of how partnership approaches are most effective when solutions are tailored for a specific location.

Driven by the Logan: City of Choice Two-Year Action Plan 2013-2015, the City of Choice initiative aims to address underlying social issues and pursue opportunities to grow and strengthen the Logan community. As a result, it is already delivering key outcomes offering long-term sustainable solutions that address poverty.

City of Choice Leadership Team Member and YFS (formerly Youth and Family Service Logan City) CEO, Cath Bartolo, said the independent, cross-sector Leadership Team had been instrumental in championing key initiatives and advocating for collaborative support from the Queensland Government and Federal Government, particularly in the areas of employment and social infrastructure.

"Access to education and employment are key to the health and wellbeing of any community, and the Action Plan is delivering two projects in particular that will play an important role in helping build community capacity and resilience," Ms Bartolo said.

"The first is a pilot memorandum of understanding between Logan City Council and Logan-based Job Services Australia (JSA) providers. It's an Australian-first employment model that involves the most appropriate lead provider being allocated to a specific employer to source entry-level candidates and coordinate relevant training. This initiative makes it easier for local employers to hire local job-ready workers.

"Another key project is the Logan Together initiative, which aims to close the gap so that, by the age of eight, Logan children will be as healthy as any other group of Australian children and reach agreed health, education and social milestones. It brings together representatives from all three levels of government, government agencies, community organisations, and a wide range of child development service providers.

"Both of these initiatives are ground-breaking and rely on a collaborative, partnership approach across government, business, non-government and community sectors."

Through the Action Plan - which has been endorsed by Logan City Council, the Queensland Government and the Federal Government - the City of Choice initiative has been able to develop and progress initiatives that would have been far more difficult if driven by one level of government or agency alone.

Ms Bartolo said it was important to talk about innovative solutions during Anti-Poverty Week because history had shown the old ways were not working.

"While excellent programs, initiatives and services have been delivered across Australia to address issues of poverty, research shows the proportion of Australians experiencing hardship continues to increase, with many individuals and families being just one or two pay cheques away from financial disaster and homelessness.

"We must find new approaches that make a lasting difference, and we believe the collaborative approach of City of Choice is the way of the future."

For more information about Anti-Poverty Week and how to get involved: www.antipovertyweek.org.au