It has been another rewarding year for RESQ Plus. Before going further, I’d like to recognise the outgoing CEO, Tony Rayner, and the incoming CEO, Chris Hamilton. Tony handed over a very effective and professionally run operation. Chris has since picked up where Tony left off. Behind these two,
however, is a very competent staff, some of whom have been with the organisation since inception. I would like to pass on my recognition of all staff equally. This year has seen a number of key achievements. We welcomed Sue Bylett, our new Regional Manager for the South West Queensland (SWQ) region. Other SWQ achievements of note include:
- The Indigenous Artist in Residence Project in Cunnamulla.
Two of our Indigenous job seekers were employed over six
months using funding from the National Indigenous Australians
Agency (NIAA) to create artwork and deliver art classes to other
- The Business Incubator Project. To date, this program has
connected seven Indigenous job seekers with new business
ventures based on their own ideas. These businesses have now
established a steady client base and are generating income for
- A landscape supply business that collects and cuts firewood for
locals is looking into developing a landscape service throughout
the warmer months. So far, four job seekers are involved in
setting it up.
We continue our operations in the Central West Queensland (CWQ) region with equivalent dedication and enthusiasm. Activities of note include:
- The partnership with Red Ridge in Blackall continues to go from strength to strength with the refurbishment of the old Commonwealth Bank of Australia building. Red Ridge is a success story in its own right, commencing as an outcome from the CICADAS@RAPAD arts program many years ago to become a sustainable and innovative arts and cultural group.
- RESQ Plus supported the Outback Watersports Club with the setup of the Premiere Outback Paddle Regatta last year, which was a huge success locally.
- RESQ Plus also supported the Outback Food, Wine and Music Festival, helping set up last year’s premiere event at the Cattleman’s Bar & Grill.
- With support from the Red Rose Foundation, RESQ Plus commenced the Red Bench Project, an initiative to raise awareness about Domestic Violence and encourage victims and their families to seek support.
Again, I’d like to acknowledge 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 the 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.
Chairman’s Message David Arnold, Chief Executive Officer of RAPAD, Chairman of RAPAD and RESQ.