QCOSS Board Chair
In 2019, the year of our 60th anniversary, I became the QCOSS Chair. That year, our 2019-2023 strategic plan was launched.
I wrote then that underlying our new strategic direction was a “narrative of hope”. The following year, the world was plunged into the COVID-19 pandemic, and that statement took on an unanticipated urgency.
While we are now out of the pandemic lockdowns, the 2022-23 financial year was marked by rising inflation, rate increases, spiralling private rents and sharply declining housing availability and affordability. Once again, our members were inundated with people seeking help. Many people had not needed assistance from our sector before.
As always, the sector responded to increased need with creativity and collaboration. In its resilience, ingenuity and ability to meet and move through the moment, it both offered hope to the people it served and showed how a sector can embody the principles of hope.
Through research, advocacy, and communications, QCOSS’ role in the narrative was to provide a vision of Queensland where equality, opportunity and wellbeing for everyone really is a reality. The strength and reach of the Town of Nowhere campaign was just one example of this. The campaign has thus far resulted in billions of dollars of funding for social housing in Queensland, a housing roundtable and summit chaired by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, a limit to the number of rent increases allowed each year and a landmark report that found 300,000 Queenslanders had unmet housing needs.
QCOSS’ 2023-2028 five-year strategic plan will be launched in the second half of 2023. This plan outlines practical ways to harness the immense strength of our sector and realise the vision of equality, opportunity and wellbeing for all Queenslanders. It is underpinned by a theory of change that states: When the community services sector is strong, connected, engaged and mobilised, significant positive change will occur. My hope and belief is that this plan will be powerfully realised over the next five years.
I would like to thank my board colleagues, who contribute their expertise, wisdom and experience to guiding QCOSS’ work in 2022-23.
I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of the Queensland Government, the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and our many other partners and sponsors.
Finally, I thank the QCOSS members, a deeply engaged and committed group of organisations and people, who continue to inform and improve our work each year.