NFP Crisis Response in QLD ‘Unrivalled’
20 January 2011 at 12:30 pm
Queensland is seeing a crisis response unrivalled in Australian history, with community service organisations leading the way, according to the state’s peak welfare organisation.
Queensland Council of Social Services President Karyn Walsh says from coping with the most recent flooding in Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba to the rebuilding of communities that has already started, community service organisations are at the forefront of providing support for those hardest hit.
Walsh paid tribute to the many Not for Profits who, with the lead agency, Red Cross and the Brisbane City Council managed the largest evacuation centre in the country’s history.
Walsh says 1600 people registered at the Brisbane evacuation centre making it the largest ever established in an urban setting – a situation that no one had ever experienced as most evacuation centres have been in small rural communities.
She says that with the help of the local Not for Profits and around 200 volunteers, they were able to use their local knowledge and networks to get things done and eventually help relocate many families and individuals.
Walsh says it is a great tribute to the Premier, Anna Bligh, the Commonwealth, State and local governments and to the strong community services sector in Queensland that the vast majority of those in need are already receiving help.
She says from the big organisations such as Lifeline and the Red Cross through to neighbourhood centres, homelessness organisations and other local service providers, they are already seeing the difference that teams of dedicated community sector staff can make when backed up by willing volunteers, many of whom have put their own personal tragedies behind them to help others.
QCOSS Director Jill Lang says the investment made in establishing a strong community services sector will become even more apparent in the coming weeks, months and years of recovery.
Lang says all those organisations providing emergency relief now are in it for the long haul and will be a vital part of the rebuilding process.
She says many of those hardest hit by the floods were already disadvantaged people and they have now lost everything.
The Queensland Council of Social Service represents 650 organisations and individuals throughout the state.