Community leaders join forces with Sunshine Coast Council to see communities thrive

3 June, 2020
Author: Charles Hodgson

Nine local representatives with strong community links have come together today at The Events Centre, Caloundra for the first meeting of Sunshine Coast Council’s new Community Strategy Leadership Group (CSLG).

(L-R) Liam Mayo, SCC Manager Community Planning and Development; Greg Laverty, SCC Group Executive Economic and Community Development; SCC Community Portfolio Cr David Law; Andrew Elvin, Coast2Bay; Mayor Mark Jamieson; Phil Smith, Principal, Gomango Architects; David Hollinsworth, Multicultural Advisory Group; Kathy Rogers, Department of Housing and Public Works; Henry Neill, Cultural Educator, James Cook University; Mervat Quirke, Manager – Strategic Partnerships, Thompson Institute; and Tim Wess, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of the Sunshine Coast.

The formation of the CSLG is a commitment in the Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041 and represents a further demonstration of Council’s partnership approach to helping communities thrive.

The CSLG Members are:

·        Andrew Elvin, CEO of Coast2Bay;

·        David Hollinsworth, Multicultural Advisory Group;

·        Vicky Meyer, Executive Manager, Integrated Family and Youth Services;

·        Henry Neill, Cultural Educator, James Cook University;

·        James O’Brien, Regional Director, Department of Housing and Public Works;

·        Mervat Quirke, Manager – Strategic Partnerships, Thompson Institute;

·        Tim Wess, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of the Sunshine Coast;

·        Phil Smith, Principal, Gomango Architects; and

·        Kathy Rogers, Senior Advisor North Coast Region, Sport and Recreation, Department of Housing and Public Works.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the CSLG had been formed to help guide the implementation of the Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041, released late last year.

“Our strategy will help shape and strengthen the social fabric of our Sunshine Coast community for decades to come,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The first meeting is an opportunity for the new group to familiarise themselves with the Community Strategy, and to begin to formulate a work plan as to how they can use their positions as community leaders to work alongside council in a collaborative approach to affect positive change in the community.

“We know we have an important role to play in supporting a connected, active and engaged community, but only a collaborative approach will enable us to achieve the outcomes that our residents wish to see realised.”

Thompson Institute Manager of Strategic Partnerships Mervat Quirke said she was pleased to be a part of this partnership with council and other key community organisations.

“It’s a real privilege to be appointed to this leadership group where we can hopefully make a real difference to the lives of residents across the Sunshine Coast community.”

Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said the CSLG would aim to meet monthly to ensure the Community Strategy Action Plan was implemented as scheduled.

“To achieve the future we aspire to, it’s vital to have a clear blueprint – so people, places and opportunities are connected, inclusive and cohesive,” Cr Law said.

“The Community Strategy Action Plan outlines our key priorities in order to build capacity in our communities to be connected, resilient and to respond to local issues, plus empowering our residents to live healthy and active lifestyles.”