• RAPAD Employment Services 2021-2022 Annual Review

    March 31st, 2023 | by
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    Chairman’s Message

    The last few years have been a once‑in-a-lifetime experience for many of us, having gone through a global pandemic and a slow and steady re-entry into our new normal. The experts have said that this pandemic will continue to resurface, which means we need to continue to be adaptable to change.

    It is easy to forget that even though we are remote in the Central and South West of Queensland, we are still part of a global environment. While the world, nation and state grappled with the pandemic and all its effects, here in our region, life went on, always cognisant of events unfolding around us.

    The Central West and South West regions are areas typified by agriculture, tourism, some mining and resources, small business and the public sector. In these industries, we weathered the worst of the pandemic, probably better than other areas of the state and nation.

    Our service region, however, is also one that has witnessed some decline from a population perspective. Recent census data and local observation suggest we have bottomed out, and the coming decade will see a reversal of this trend. That is my optimistic opinion anyway.

    With the backdrop of the global environment reflecting on our nation, the issues confronting our region are no different to those facing the nation. We continue to experience housing shortages, despite the population decline. Access to skilled and unskilled labour has stifled the hospitality and the agricultural industry, particularly the sheep industry.

    On the upside, we have welcomed much-needed rain over large parts of the region, with some areas revoking their drought declaration. With an expected La Nina period due to arrive, fingers crossed for this rain to continue, and the region will once again reach its full agricultural potential. Continuing that good news, more than anything else, we live in a part of the world typified by optimism, resilience and innovation, culture and values set personified by the RESQ+ team.

    RESQ+ has continued its excellent service delivery during this period. We have continued to build our partnership with Red Ridge Interior, the region’s premier arts and cultural entity, and here, I would call out the Wangkangurru wangka-purru Language Dictionary.

    The first dictionary of Wangkangurru wanga-purra language was launched in April this year, honouring the work of Elders and language keepers Anpanuwa ‘Joyce’ Crombie, Aulpunda ‘Jean’ Barr Crombie and Jim Crombie. This dictionary was an initiative of the Mobile Language Team and Two Sisters Talking (Joyce and Jean), supported by Red Ridge Interior Queensland Ltd, RESQ+ and the Queensland Government through the Indigenous Language Grants.

    We have continued to support a wide range of community events and groups and improve our support, resources and tools for job seekers who remain at the core of the service. The following pages outline some of the demonstrated activities of RESQ+.

    With the current contracts due to cease on 30 June 2023, and as a new federal government moulds a new policy approach, I hope the work of RESQ+ will be considered an example of service delivery that delivers outcomes—a win-win for government, community and clients.
    In closing, I’d like to thank Chris, and his team spread across the Central and South West regions. They are the ones on the ground, in the communities, delivering with passion and enthusiasm.

    David Arnold
    Board Chair and Director of RESQ+
    and Chief Executive Officer, Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD)

    David Arnold,

    Chairman’s Message David Arnold, Chief Executive Officer of RAPAD, Chairman of RAPAD and RESQ.

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  • RAPAD Employment Services 2020-2021 Annual Review

    January 12th, 2022 | by
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    Message from the Chairman 

    It is with pleasure that I offer this report to our clients, stakeholders, including government, fellow directors and their organisations, the CEO and staff.

    In 2020, they said it was a year like no other. Well, 2021 has been much the same. Regional communities continue to respond to the wide-ranging and hastily imposed government measures in response to ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 in the metropolitan areas.

    Although there have been no incidences of the disease itself in Western Queensland, COVID-19 continues to present a major test of resilience to businesses in the region, particularly in the area of tourism.

    The Outback has been the place to go this year as those tourists who normally go overseas have travelled to ‘the bush’ and beyond. An upsurge in visitors, when combined with a labour and skills shortage born of lower migration and backpackers, has certainly tested the mettle of many business owners.

    As it has done in the past, RESQ+ has stepped in and worked with employers to help them address these labour shortages by matching job seeker skills with jobs and providing targeted training and development programs for the individual.

    This year has seen many key achievements:

    • Indigenous artist Kirk Mitchell’s first gallery showing. The event was held in the Cunnamulla Fella Centre Art Gallery
      and Museum and was kindly sponsored by the Paroo Shire Council. Kirk produced 27 pieces of art for the exhibition, selling six on opening night and most of his other works over the eight-week show.
    • The Indigenous Business Incubator Pilot Program continues to be successful. The program now has two Indigenous businesses up and running in Cunnamulla and Mitchell, with two more in the pipeline.
    • RESQ+ and Red Ridge in Blackall continue to deliver original and exciting initiatives. The Red Ridge the Label Indigenous fashion line recently marked the release of its second collection, the Georgina. Sales continue to be strong, replicating the successful performance of the Diamantina collection. Our most recent project, the creation of the Wangkangurru Language Dictionary, will when completed, prove to be a landmark achievement in the area of Aboriginal culture.
    • RESQ+ supported the Longreach Show, as well as several sporting clubs and community events across our two regions.
    • This year, instead of red benches, blue trees are growing everywhere. The Blue Tree Project encourages regional and rural communities to paint a tree blue to spark conversations about mental health. RESQ+ Supervisor Tim Sorensen led the projects and worked with other community groups to establish blue trees in Longreach, Barcaldine, Isisford and Yaraka.

    In closing, I’d like to acknowledge our CEO, Chris Hamilton, who continues to demonstrate his excellent leadership and managerial skills on a daily basis, and equally, all of our staff who carried on with activities as normal, despite the impacts of COVID-19 on the business and our communities. Now, more than ever, an effective job seeker support program is important. The organisation’s achievements are a testament to Chris’s and our staff’s dedication and commitment, not only to the organisation but to the clients and regions we serve. In closing, I also give recognition to my fellow directors, without whom, the effective governance of the organisation would not take place.

    David Arnold

    Chief Executive Officer, Remote Area Planning and Development (RAPAD) Board and Chairman of RESQ+

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