Chief Executive Officer
Every year, we travel around Queensland to meet with our amazing members and talk about the incredible work that they’re doing and the contribution they’re making to our communities.
In 2022-23, we heard about how our member organisations were supporting Queenslanders affected by the statewide housing shortage and cost-of-living crisis. We heard how frontline staff were working with clients impacted by Queensland’s floods, despite also having to deal with their own flooded residences. We learnt that many Queenslanders were accessing social service supports for the first time.
In a year that the tenacity and resilience of the sector was so evident, it’s been humbling to collaborate with and advocate for the organisations who are there for Queenslanders when things get tough.
In that vein, 2022-23 was a year where QCOSS celebrated the work, and workers, of our sector. In September 2022, we hosted our biannual QCOSS conference. Themed Power and Politics of the Care Economy, it spotlighted the vital care work of the social service sector. 2022 was also the inaugural year of QCOSS’s Queensland Community Impact Awards. These awards recognised the extraordinary and often unacknowledged contributions our sector makes to the community.
Our advocacy focused on the needs of the community, and our sector that serves it. We worked with member organisations and the Queensland Government to ensure indexation levels better reflected the increasing costs of service delivery – resulting in a $50 million funding boost for our sector. Alongside Change the Record, we campaigned to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Queensland from 10 to 14-years-of-age, starting with seeking funding for an alternative to the justice system.
In the second year since its relaunch, Town of Nowhere campaign advocacy resulted in rental reform and more funding for social housing. The campaign commissioned report: A blueprint to tackle Queensland’s housing crisis by UNSW Professor Hal Pawson, had a huge impact on the efficacy of our advocacy. The day the report was released, the premier announced that her government would explore rental caps. With 300,000 Queenslanders currently experiencing housing need, we continue to work with our campaign partners to end the housing crisis.
As our Living Affordability Report demonstrated this year, it is almost impossible for low income families to get by. Together with the Power Together campaign we called for initiatives that would bring down power prices as we transition to renewables.
Our advocacy resulted in bill relief that is worth up to $1000 per bill per year, support to assist people on low incomes to pay for appliances to make their home more energy efficient and funding for community organisations to support people on low incomes to reduce their power bills.
As a feminised workforce, we have a particular focus on women’s equality and economic security. Working with our Women’s Equality Network, QCOSS has been seeking to have gender responsive budgeting implemented in Queensland. After successfully advocating for this commitment to be included in the Queensland Women’s Strategy, this year saw the Queensland Government apply this practice to their budget process for the first time.
In the next 12 months, we will draw on the power of our sector as we continue to advocate for equality, opportunity and wellbeing for all Queenslanders. We will campaign for housing to be treated as a universal right and for children to be kept out of prisons. We will advocate for better funding arrangements for the social service sector and cost of living relief.
Thank you to the QCOSS team for the passion, skill, expertise and dedication they bring to their work - their number is far outweighed by their achievements as is evidenced in this report. Thank you to the people with lived experience of the issues on which we advocate who shared their stories and called for change.
As always, thank you to our member organisations and partners; when our sector collaborates, we are powerful. The incredible work you do is a source of inspiration and hope for a fairer, more equal Queensland.