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Community Collaboration on Show at ‘Together in Action’ Event

The Gladstone Region Community came together recently for the inaugural ‘Together in Action’ showcase sharing community-led action being taken to create improved wellbeing for our local children and families.

Over 100 attendees shared their journey of collective impact and action towards the community vision of opportunity, equity, and quality of life for everyone in our community.

Participants were welcomed to country by Gladstone Region engaging in action Together (GRT) Leadership Group member and Bailai Elder, Aunty Cecilia Eggmolesse, to the sounds of the didgeridoo.

The extensive range of stakeholders contributing to the community-led movement was demonstrated by the diversity of sectors and representatives in the room including local, state and commonwealth government, police, childcare, welfare, education, health, social and human services, local business, industry, not-for-profit organisations, service clubs, community groups and individual community members.

Images from the ‘Together in Action’ inaugural event 16 August 2023

Over 20 community members presented throughout the full-day event, sharing the journey and evolution of the community-led, placed-based, collective impact initiative, Gladstone Region engaging in action Together (GRT). They provided updates on community-led action including a collective skills attraction campaign, development of our local data collection and capacity for service improvements, and continuous improvement projects in child and family supports.

Community members shared how local voices were supporting the collective understanding of local issues through activities to capture the voice of our local children and through an arts project illustrating community resilience through the personal stories of local people.

Dr Michelle Lucas, Executive Director of Logan Together, delivered an engaging presentation on the power of collective impact in addressing complex social issues and how collective impact is delivering measurable outcomes in Logan, including through Maternity Hubs. Dr Lucas shared insights into the innovative approaches taken by Logan Together to improve outcomes for families and children and left the audience feeling inspired and motivated about the positive change our community can action together for the Gladstone Region.

National and state partners, Restacking the Odds (RSTO) and Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership (TQKP), who were attracted to partnering with the Gladstone Region, as a community with its finger on the pulse, outlined the opportunities that collection and use of data provides to disrupt disadvantage and grow thriving children and families. The partner presentations explained why they were investing in Gladstone and provided context on how work at the state and national level is being leveraged to provide local outcomes.

Gladstone Region Wellbeing Data Hub partner, Here for Gladstone, showcased their vital role in bringing this community asset to life and how the asset will support local investment.

The importance of collecting and sharing local data for the purpose of measurement and evaluation was an integral part of the day with presentations from regional data partners and data advocates, Bridges Health and Community Care, Heart of Agnes, and Gladstone Communities for Children sharing the importance of data sharing to create improved outcomes for community.

For those that missed the event, a published update on the progress of projects within the community-designed Gladstone Region Wellbeing Action Plan, can be accessed on the GRT website:

Additional resources provided to attendees at the event can also be accessed on the GRT website or by contacting the GRT Backbone Team for an event pack. Resources included updates on regional data and events impacting community over the last two and half years, with updated qualitative and quantitative data, captured in newly released addendums to the baseline reports that the initiative was founded on in 2021:

Event participants journeyed through the history of GRT from the:

  • early emergence of the Stronger Places, Stronger People (SPSP) initiative for the Gladstone Region, supported by a small group of long-term community advocates volunteering as an initial start-up Working Group building on the strengths and successes of community to date,

  • development of the partnership with CQUniversity as auspice enabling community to partner with government, and

  • establishment of the Leadership Group and First Nations Working Group to ensure the integrity of the community-led aspect of directing the investment into the region and representation of community-voice in leading the work.

Current recognition of the collaborative work of the Gladstone community and the value of the SPSP initiative as a nation-wide movement and catalyst for social change were shared by the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP via video broadcast at the event, explaining the next chapter of opportunity in extension of the funding to 2029, and placing call to action for community to join the movement to enable effective shared decision-making between government and communities that will create improved outcomes for families and children.

The showcase event closed out with an open conversation of over 50 participants contributing to next steps and opportunities to grow collaboration and their hopes and aspirations about what can be achieved collectively to create thriving futures for our children.

Attendees left the event pleasantly surprised by the volume and diversity of local stakeholders involved from across multiple sectors and interests and each took away with them a gift, specially crafted for them, from a local child. The gift held the insights into what makes our children feel loved and safe and was provided with permission of the child and their family with the understanding that it was to ‘help a grown-up who makes decisions on a daily basis about life in Gladstone for our local children, to make good decisions’.

For those disappointed to miss the August event, a further ‘Together in Action’ update event is scheduled for February 2024 and will provide a deep dive into progress on individual projects of the Gladstone Region Wellbeing Action Plan.

A second day will invite community to participate in development of the wider Gladstone Region Social Plan beyond the community-identified priorities within the scope of GRT.

For further information, to request copies of the ‘Together in Action’ resources or to place your expression of interest for the February event, please contact GRT.

P: 07 4970 7382



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