In the last weeks of 2022, Leeanne Enoch MP launched the Communities 2032 Strategy alongside NCQ CEO Em James and Deb Crompton at the Mount Gravatt Community Centre.
The 10-year whole-of-government strategy is the first long-term, community-based strategy in Queensland’s history. Communities 2032 outlines an inclusive, innovative and positive roadmap for Queensland communities that encourages diversity and social cohesion. Released alongside Communities 2032 Strategy is the Communities 2032 Action Plan 2022 – 2025 which details the first 3 years of how the Strategy’s vision will be delivered.
We are genuinely excited to see the core principles that Neighbourhood and Community Centres are guided by reflected throughout the Communities 2032 Strategy, which acknowledges the effectiveness of place-based and community-led approaches to local issues as well as the importance of human rights, empowerment, equity, access, and participation.
“The strategy’s focus on place-based and community-led approaches aligns with the work of our sector, creating opportunities for Neighbourhood and Community Centres to share their expertise and work across sectors and areas of government to create contextualised, holistic, and integrated responses to the challenges facing our communities,” said NCQ CEO Em James.
The Communities 2032 Strategy acknowledges and further embeds neighbourhood and community centres at the heart of their communities. NCC’s are recognised in both the Strategy and Action Plan as vital to achieving the Strategy’s vision, mentioned more than 35 times throughout the Strategy and Action Plan. The Communities 2032 Strategy recognises the significant role Neighbourhood and Communities Centres play in strengthening the fabric of Queensland Communities, stating:
“Neighbourhood and community centres operate across Queensland, offering a safe, welcoming environment for local community members to meet, socialise, contribute, and seek support. They are a vital part of our social infrastructure, helping to bring us together and build community, regardless of our background or circumstances.” (Communities 2032, p.27)
NCC’s have been responding to local issues, creating genuine connections, fostering community resilience through immense challenges, encouraging innovation, celebrating diversity and building the capacity and social health of our communities for decades. The value of the place-based and community-led approach of centres is also recognised by Strategy, which acknowledges “[Neighbourhood and Community Centres] are run by the community, for the community, which means that they understand what the community wants and needs. When issues arise, they can adapt quickly and respond with targeted support and services which are appropriate for the situation.” (Communities Action Plan 2022 – 2025, p.29)
“Through fires, floods, cyclones and the COVID-19 pandemic, neighbourhood and community centres are on the frontline, providing everything from emergency relief to a shoulder to cry on. They’re there when times are tough, but even more importantly, they offer a place of connection where everyone can feel welcome and included at any time.” (Communities Action Plan 2022 – 2025, p.29).
We look forward to continuing to work alongside NCC’s who already deliver innovative place-based, and community-led approaches to our communities, to build a stronger, more inclusive and resilient Queensland.
We have highlighted some of the key areas in both the Communities 2032 Strategy and Action Plan where you can find information about the role and value of Neighbourhood and Community Centres here
Communities 2032 Strategy:
Page 17: Social Isolation and Loneliness
Page 18: Community Spaces
Page 27: Place-based and community-led responses
Action Plan 2022 – 2025
Page 8: Vibrant, Inclusive and Cohesive Communities
Page 15: Digital Literacy
Page 26: Ready and Resilient
Page 28 Neighbourhood and Community Centre Overview
Page 32: Volunteering
Page 34 Neighbourhood and Community Centres
Written By: Taylor Bast
Published: January 2023