Queensland Community Alliance – a strong and successful foundation

The Queensland Teachers’ Union is a foundation member of the Queensland Community Alliance, and we were proud to join with other unions, faith groups and ethnic and community associations for its founding assembly on the evening of Wednesday August 30 at King George Square and Brisbane City Hall.

The QTU was represented by more than 70 members and supporters on the night, part of a total of 1,422 people who turned out for the event, which followed on from the initial work of the QCA in Logan, Ipswich and Stafford.

The QCA represents more than 1.66 million Queenslanders, and despite differences and the diversity of the 26 member organisations, they come together to work on issues that impact everyone for the common good of Queensland.

On the night, the QTU proudly committed $12,000 in funding each year for the next three years as part of the just over $300,000 pledged to the QCA and the two major campaigns it is conducting in south-east Queensland.

These campaigns, which QCA members have chosen through months of talks, research and sharing, were launched with heartfelt personal stories from people who have experienced hardship in navigating the aged care, disability or mental health systems and people who have experienced exploitation at work or in vocational training.

The event was co-chaired by QTU Vice-President Sam Pidgeon, Reverend Dave Baker from the Uniting Church and Kerrin Benson from Multicultural Development Australia.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk attended and personally met many of the members at the event to hear their stories. The Premier also formally recognised the QCA and agreed to work with it to improve the issues raised by the research action team and to seek solutions to the issues presented on the night.

Premier Palaszczuk said: “Firstly, I do recognise the alliance as organised civil society and I regard you as a partner in restoring hope and opportunity across Queensland…

“Secondly, my government is determined to ensure Queenslanders – no matter their age or their post code – can access quality health and care services.”

The LNP were absent. Despite months of meetings and invitations, they chose not to attend, and in response the crowd used hundreds of social media posts to reach out to party leader Tim Nicholls directly.

A number of QTU members have expressed a desire to see the QCA expand its work into other parts of the state, and this will be considered as part of forward planning in the next few months.

The QCA will continue to work with member organisations across the community to achieve a civil society and seek recognition and outcomes from the future state government on the important issues of care, employment and training.

Brendan Crotty                                                                                                                      Deputy General Secretary (Member Organising)

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 7, 6 October 2017, p23