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Logan Together initiative showcased in WA

Published: 22 September 2014

Logan Together initiative showcased in WA
Logan City Council Deputy CEO Oliver Simon, Logan City Councillor Don Petersen, City of Stirling Mayor Giovanni Italiano, Director-General, Department of Local Government and Communities, Jennifer Mathews, and Logan Together Working Group Chair Matthew Cox.

Logan City is continuing to attract national attention for the new and innovative ways our city is addressing key social challenges.

In August, Council and City of Choice Leadership Team representatives were invited by the Western Australian Government to visit Perth to present on the City of Choice journey to date and the ground-breaking Logan Together collective impact initiative.

The delegation comprised City of Choice Leadership Team member and Logan Together Working Group Chair, Matthew Cox; City of Choice Social Infrastructure Portfolio Champion Councillor Don Petersen; and Logan City Council Deputy CEO (Community and Customer Services) Oliver Simon.

The trio presented at a series of formal and information sessions, including seminars hosted by the Department of Local Government and Communities and the Western Australian Council of Social Services (WACOSS).

The Logan Together initiative 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. The Logan Together Working Group has the shared aim of providing a more coordinated approach to childhood services in Logan by developing a detailed child development 'roadmap' and establishing long-term systems improvements that can lead to better support for children and their families.

To date, 33 government and non-government agencies and service providers in Logan have provided formal support for the Logan Together initiative and the Queensland Government has created a cross-government reference group specifically to consider how Logan Together could work within government.
Logan Together - a key City of Choice initiative - is based on the collective impact framework, which enables organisations across a particular sector to focus on a common agenda to achieve large-scale social change.

Cr Petersen said the Western Australian Government and WACOSS executives were keen to understand Logan City's journey to date in developing the collaborative, cross-sector approach.

'They were interested in how we got started, and the processes that brought the key players to the table,' Cr Petersen said.

'What we are looking to achieve through Logan Together is a positive change in early child development that will dramatically affect our city and communities for the next 10 to 20 years.

'This work is occurring at many levels, involving Queensland Government departments and a host of local organisations. But this isn't a talkfest – Logan Together will bring the decision makers together to make timely decisions, based on real data, which will benefit our kids and our communities now.

'From Council's perspective, Logan Together is important because it will improve the lives of the children in our communities and also help us, as a Council, realise the wide range of other long-term positive changes were are trying to achieve for our city.'

Based on discussions with other organisations working on collective impact approaches in Australia, Logan Together appears to be the best supported, most developed place-based social development project in Australia.