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Starting a revolution

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Local communities' influence on COVID-19 recovery plans

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, QCOSS has engaged our sector on how COVID-19 has impacted Queensland communities and advocated for specific and meaningful change for those most affected by it. 


Our report, COVID-19 contribution to sector readiness and response strategy identified COVID-19 related issues for the community sector and outlined recommendations to the Queensland Government. 

Our COVID-19 Learning Exchange series examined the lessons of lockdown to plan for a more resilient sector in the future. This powerful series examined the vaccination rollout, impacts on domestic and family violence, online service delivery and volunteer attrition. 

 It included our most popular webinar of the year, a session with Queensland Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young, which attracted more than 600 registrations.

Women were worst hit by COVID-19 impacts


More women (29%) than men (19%) 
lost employment or working hours 
due to COVID-19

More women (43%) reported a reduction
in household income than all Queensland
respondents (35%) and men (30%)


More women, many on lower incomes, 
took the opportunity to withdraw their 
superannuation early 

Projects to affect positive change

QCOSS’ project work demonstrates how social policy can positively impact individual lives. The projects ground QCOSS in specific communities, as project coordinators work with small groups or individuals to help them access services such as education, employment, housing, interpreter services, and financial and health supports.

In 2020-2021, our funded projects included:

NDIS Targeted Outreach Project

Assists people with disability who traditionally fall through the gaps in the service system to access the NDIS. 

Community Action for a Multicultural Society (CAMS)

Supports increased social connectedness, participation and access for community members from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

NTSSS (NDIS Training and Skills Support Strategy)

Builds the NDIS workforce through support and training. This is an initiative of WorkAbility Queensland.

Gold Coast Housing and Homelessness project

Coordinates engagement between Gold Coast housing and homelessness services and builds the sector’s capacity to create a holistic service response. 

Energy and Water project

Provides policy makers with input into policy decisions and regulations related to energy and water services, and helps to educate on issues and policy changes.  

Place Based Homelessness Advice Project

Looks at the best way to support accessible housing and sustainable tenancies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Cairns and Townsville.   

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 QCOSS Member Profile: 

Wuchopperen Health Service: Leading in the fight against COVID

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wuchopperen Health Service swung into action to protect the community.


Within weeks, health workers at the Cairns-based Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation were screening temperatures, conducting COVID-19 tests at an on-site Respiratory Clinic and delivering supplies to vulnerable Elders across the region.

Wuchopperen is now one of the region’s leading vaccination hubs, with nine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers trained up to be part of the clinic’s vaccination team.

Place-based approaches across Queensland

In 2020-21, QCOSS’ Community of Practice (Place-based approaches) grew to more than 700 members. They met six times across the year to explore topics including: transport accessibility in rural areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community health, financial hardship and multicultural inclusion.  

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