Ipswich locals find power in numbers

It was not until Terry Bentick, Ipswich resident of Churches of Christ Housing Services, made a journey to Brisbane on 30 August that he “developed a full understanding of what the Queensland Community Alliance was all about”.

He is now part of the 1.6 million person-strong conglomerate of Queensland’s biggest faith, community, ethnic and union organisations.

Terry feels that now, more than ever, he has a voice and can make a real difference.

The Queensland Community Alliance (QCA) was more than 18 months in the making when it was officially founded in Brisbane’s City Hall in August this year.

Housing Chaplain Team Leader Murray Thomson said more than 1,400 people attended the founding assembly.

“There were 20 of us from the Ipswich Churches of Christ group. We took the train to Roma Street Parkland and had a barbeque there, then we walked to the city to join the meeting,” Murray said.

“There was great spirit, a great sense of unity and purpose. The QCA is about society getting organised, coming together and having influence over the decision makers to give more people a voice.

“We’ve done some pavement talks locally, asking questions like ‘what keeps you awake at night’ and feeding that back into the Community Alliance process.

“[In Ipswich] in particular, with the delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, there have been concerns that quality of service may decline. “There will be so many jobs created by
the Disability Insurance Scheme and we want to make sure those jobs are filled by people who are properly trained.

“So we’ve asked the Premier to help us lobby the Federal Government to make sure people on the Disability Insurance Scheme get the best service,” he said.

Churches of Christ Housing Services resident Debi Hogarth said the opportunity to be part of something so big had changed her life.

“On your own, it’s like who do you talk to? But in a group, if you have a concern and you realise someone else has that same concern, then you work together and eventually make a difference. It’s
about power in numbers,” Debi said.

Following the QCA’s official founding, the Ipswich team will concentrate on helping localise two campaigns.

The first, for quality care for people with mental illness, a disability or requiring aged care, in response to the shift to consumer directed care.

The second, to fix a broken training system, and work to end exploitative employment of vulnerable workers like seasonal farm workers and contract cleaners.

For more information about the Queensland Community Alliance visit qldcommunityalliance.org, or for information regarding the Ipswich Churches of Christ group, email Murray
at murray.thomson@cofcqld.com.au.

To learn more about how Churhces of Christ in Queensland is helping people in need, download the latest edition of Networking.

Posted December 6, 2017 in Networking blog