Southern Moreton Bay Islands

The Southern Moreton Bay Community Impact Initiative

A community-led approach to improving the health and wellbeing of children 0-8 years and their families on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

The Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) are located in the Moreton Bay Marine Park in South East Queensland and are inhabited by one of Australia’s largest offshore island communities. There are numerous challenges associated with delivering services on SMBI, and for this reason Children’s Health Queensland, Metro South Health, Brisbane South PHN and the SMBI community identified the need for a community driven, cross-sector approach to improve the health and development of children residing on the islands.

The need is evidenced by data that indicates a high percentage of developmental vulnerabilities in children residing on SMBI.

As a place-based approach, community members, government, businesses and the service sector have been brought together to collectively tackle this complex problem, as no individual service or program can solve it on its own. The approach is long-term and harnesses the strengths of the community, values and fosters social capital, and empowers citizens engaging with decision-makers about their own challenges. A “collective learning” approach is critical to increase the odds of achieving these goals.

In the last eighteen months over 1000 community conversations have been held, a Foundational Report released, and a cross government, sector and community Community Governance Group has been created. A collective Action Plan has been formulated with four key focus areas identified by the community as top priorities.

  1. Health and child development, early childhood support and readiness for school.
  2. Strong and connected community.
  3. Healthy family relationships.
  4. Well-being and recreational activities for school aged children.

An Action Learning Network has been established to better understand the strengths, problems and challenges, and to test and improve upon ideas. First steps have been taken to progress the development of a shared measurement platform, including exploration of how qualitative and quantitative data might be gathered and meaningfully reflected on.

A Way of Working artefact has been created, with guiding principles and an experimental approach endorsed. This includes an outline of how people will work together, learn together and ensure community is at the centre of all action.

We are continually seeking out partners and social entrepreneurs who are motivated to contribute, and to learn alongside us and our partners what it might take to improve the health and wellbeing of children and families. For further information, please contact Craig Cunningham at ccunningham@bsphn.org.au.

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