Vibrant, valued, visible: Palaszczuk Government’s shared vision for neighbourhood centres
Published Thursday, 07 December, 2023 at 02:47 PM
Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch
- A shared vision statement has been released to strengthen Queensland’s network of state-funded neighbourhood centres and deliver better services for Queenslanders.
- The statement will help neighbourhood centres attract new investment funding, adopt operational best practice, and showcase and encourage careers in the sector.
- There are currently 128 state-funded centres in Queensland supporting over two million people a year.
Every year, more and more Queenslanders turn to neighbourhood centres to find connection, support, and participation.
The state’s 128 Queensland Government-funded centres are set to play a bigger role in the lives of Queenslanders following the release of a shared vision statement to strengthen and grow the network.
Neighbourhood Centres – our shared vision for a vibrant Neighbourhood Centre System in Queensland will help promote the critical role and value of neighbourhood centres to their communities and support their sustainability well into the future.
Released by the Palaszczuk Government in partnership with Neighbourhood Centres Queensland (NCQ), the statement was co-designed with the neighbourhood centre sector and complements record government investment.
In the 2022-23 State Budget, neighbourhood centres received a significant increase in their annual base funding, enabling them to hire more support staff and deliver more services for Queenslanders.
On top of our record investment, we’ve also secured five year funding contracts to our 128 State-funded Neighbourhood Centres.
Historically, Neighbourhood Centres have held three year contract periods, so our five year contract agreements will provide greater certainty and stability, and will strengthen the role of Neighbourhood Centres in their communities
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communities Leeanne Enoch:
“Last year the Palaszczuk Government delivered the greatest single increase in funding for neighbourhood centres – $51.8 million over four years – which included an almost doubling of base funding for operations.
“This record level investment in our network of government-funded centres increased their ability to deliver quality services for Queenslanders.
“Our neighbourhood centres provide community-led, place-based services to the communities they serve. With this increased funding, our expectation is that they will expand their workforce and service offerings and become an even more vibrant and vital part of their local communities.
“We recognised a need to develop a strategy and policy framework for our neighbourhood centre network to support their growth and development.
“That’s why I established the Neighbourhood Centre Strategic Repositioning Committee – to consider these opportunities and identify ways to strengthen the capacity of all neighbourhood centres in Queensland.
“The committee included leaders from related sectors who worked together to co-design a framework that would guide the future direction of Queensland’s neighbourhood centres.
“I would like to thank all the members of the committee, past and present, for their work on this important project.
“In partnership with NCQ, we will continue to work with the sector to develop their capability to meet the evolving and emerging needs of Queensland’s diverse communities.”
Quotes attributable to Em James, CEO, Neighbourhood Centres Queensland (NCQ):
“For over 50 years, neighbourhood centres in Queensland have effectively supported their local communities to effect positive change and respond to local challenges.
“They are guided by the principles of local decision making, participation, addressing disadvantage, and being place-based and community-led.
“The sector is proud of its achievements, and we look forward to the continued growth and recognition of neighbourhood and community centres in the state into the future.
“The vision statement was developed with sector representatives in a process of genuine co-design with government and is formal recognition of how valuable neighbourhood centres are in local communities.
“Over two million visitors a year turn to our centres to find connection, support and participation.”
Quotes attributable to Tomas Passeggi, Caloundra Community Centre CEO and Neighbourhood Centre Strategic Repositioning Committee member:
“This vision is the culmination of decades of work, conversations and aspirations of centre workers, committee members and past and present NCQ representatives.
“In a nutshell, the vision has always been to make Queensland neighbourhood centres visible and valued community infrastructure.
“Regardless of the programs or activities we offer; centres are largely staffed and managed by community members.
“We are the reflection of our communities, a result of our communities, and the voice of our communities.
“This shared vision with the Queensland Government formalises and brings out into the light the pivotal role we play in fostering community connections, capacity building and mitigating the negative effects of disadvantage in our communities.”
Quotes attributable to Louise Judge, Manager of Chinchilla Neighbourhood Centre and Neighbourhood Centre Strategic Repositioning Committee member:
“It has been a privilege to be a part of the development of this Neighbourhood Centres Shared Vision, which is the product of a co-design process between representatives from neighbourhood and community centres, the Queensland Government, and consultation with the broader sector.
“Together we have described the role and purpose of neighbourhood centres in our communities, acknowledging the uniqueness of each as they reflect the needs, interests and activities of their community.
“This vision will support us to advocate for our sector and our communities into the future and helps others to understand what we do.”
Quotes attributable to Sandra Elton, Manager of North Townsville Community Hub and Neighbourhood Centre Strategic Repositioning Committee member:
“I am proud to have been involved in the collaborative body of work that has culminated in the Neighbourhood Centres Shared Vision.
“As a Neighbourhood Centre Manager in regional Queensland, it is refreshing to see genuine commitment and high levels of engagement from both Minister Enoch, and her team at the department throughout this review process.
“I can honestly say that I see our centre, and the many other centres I work with across Queensland, represented and honoured in the vision.
“It is wonderful to see a document which highlights the very important and diverse work that neighbourhood centres do and the social capital they provide for their communities every day and particularly in times of disaster.
“I hope all centres see their voices amplified in this vision.”
- Neighbourhood Centres Queensland (NCQ) is the peak body for neighbourhood centres in Queensland.
- The Queensland Government partners with and provides annual funding of $488,405 to NCQ.
- The new strategic framework supports the Queensland Government’s Communities 2032 vision to strengthen the fabric of Queensland’s communities.
- For more information about the Neighourhood Centre Vision Statement, visit: www.qld.gov.au/neighbourhood-centres-shared-vision.
Media contact – Tim Auguston 0427 090 563