The Queensland Community Alliance brings together 32 member organisations from Christian churches and other faith groups, community organisations, ethnic associations and unions to work for the common good.
The Alliance uses a process of community organising, which is deeply grounded in Christian theology and practice. It is about building relationships, listening to each other’s stories, identifying common concerns and shared values, and then acting upon agreed-to approaches, so that people affected by a decision get a meaningful say in the outcome.
The Anglican Church Southern Queensland (ACSQ) is an active member of the Queensland Community Alliance and has played a key role in shaping its direction through leaders such as The Ven. Geoff Hoyte, The Ven. Bronwyn Pagram and The Rev’d Michael Stalley. The ACSQ is a member of the Alliance through the Social Responsibilities Committee (Bronwyn is the SRC’s representative on the Alliance), as well as The Parishes of Logan (where Geoff serves as Rector) and Mt Gravatt (where Michael serves as Rector). The Parish of Stafford has also been deeply involved for several years.
By coming together with other Queensland organisations and communities we have collectively achieved things that none of us could alone; for example:
- Reducing missed ante-natal care in Logan by 67 per cent through establishing five Community Maternity Hubs, alongside our friends at Logan Together.
- Developing “Ways to Wellness”, a world-leading free social prescribing network to address loneliness and social isolation in the Mt Gravatt area. This has been running for three years and is now being expanded as a state-wide strategy by the Queensland Government.
This year the Queensland Community Alliance is focused on the upcoming Referendum by supporting constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians through a Voice to Parliament. Geoff, Michael and Bronwyn have been very involved in this work, assisting with event planning, public speaking and community education.
Our member organisations agree that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be included in our 122-year-old Constitution — our nation’s founding document that was signed when the idea of terra nullius, or “land belonging to no-one”, was still considered true — because Indigenous Australians have been caring for these lands for thousands of years. We are also committed to closing the gap, including through better healthcare and better education for kids, because we agree that better outcomes are achieved when people affected by decisions and who have solutions are meaningfully listened to.
We know that our member organisations, including the ACSQ, are built up through the trusted relationships people have with others who help them through hard times or tough decisions. As a Christian, I’ve seen this in choirs, church outreaches and Bible study groups, among others.
The Queensland Community Alliance’s community organising approach is about helping leaders in those relationships of trust to have effective conversations on the Voice that are centred on shared values of listening, compassion, respect, fairness and pragmatic change. The Uluru Statement From the Heart is an invitation to the Australian people who collectively own the Constitution — it is about real people in our communities.
I am aware that the Anglican Church Southern Queensland has been a leader in the Reconciliation space for decades — the ACSQ’s first submission in support of constitutional recognition was sent to the Federal Government in 2011, so your Diocese has been an active supporter of this for years.
On Tuesday 5 September between 6.30-8.30pm The Queensland Community Alliance is hosting “The Final Sprint” at St John’s Cathedral. This gathering will bring together more than 300 leaders across our community to launch the last five weeks of conversations before the Referendum.
If you are a clergyperson or lay leader and you would like to engage people in your parish, ministry, agency or other faith community about the Voice to Parliament, then please come to The Final Sprint, which is being co-hosted by the ACSQ, so you can be energised, equipped and supported to have these conversations.
Editor’s note: Please join hundreds of other ordained and lay leaders from different faith and community groups at The Final Sprint at St John’s Cathedral on Tuesday 5 September between 6.30pm and 8.30pm in St John’s Cathedral. Please see ACSQ Facebook for more information.Jump to next article