Chairperson's Annual Report
While the chaos of Covid-19 slowly began to settle in the first half of 2022, the 2022-23 Financial Year has seen the rise of a wide range of additional pressures impacting our community. Increased housing stress has resulted from unprecedented housing demand, high occupancy rates, steep rent increases, interest rate rises and other everyday cost of living increases in food, fuel & electricity, to name a few.
Many of the young people accessing our support services face a disproportionate level of difficulty in navigating these additional pressures due to lack of family support, insecure housing and mental health concerns. Further, despite the general unemployment rate on the Gold Coast being quite low at 2.3% of the working age population, the rate of youth unemployment is over double this at 5.6%.
It is of great concern that our already busy programs have seen a 33% increase in demand for support during the past Financial Year. This means the needs of local young people have not only become more pressing but also more complex, resulting in more stress for a larger percentage of this vulnerable group in our local community.
Keeping in mind the many complex challenges these uncertain times create across the whole community, the Management Committee is very grateful for the ongoing dedication and passionate commitment of our professional Gold Coast Youth Service (GCYS) staff teams in supporting local young people.
Management Committee Members have undertaken more site visits over this past year to see and support first-hand the great work being done by GCYS teams. This allows us to better understand the issues and informs our advocacy to Government in order to push for increases to funding.
The role of the Management Committee in steering the strategic direction of the GCYS has never been more important as we navigate increased service expectations, competition and in many cases, tighter funding requirements in very uncertain times.
The development and steady implementation of measurable operational objectives across the service following our Strategic Planning process is important governance work. The upcoming work to embed the Advantage Thinking lens across all teams will help inform individual program outcome and performance measures. It will help us to improve supervision and support mechanisms. Each of these improvements coupled with meaningful, practical & streamlined data capture processes will assist us to demonstrate the important outcomes being achieved for young people and subsequent planning for systems improvements.
Each Management Committee Member including Matthew Clayworth as Treasurer, Susie Boyer as Secretary, Allan Finn as a General Member and myself as Chairperson is incredibly grateful for the extraordinary work of our CEO Maria Leebeek. Her passion for young people is second to none, as is her practical support for the staff teams, while her strategic thinking & advocacy is quite exceptional.
The Management Committee is proud of the work ethic and culture of the whole staff team at GCYS and of the impact this service has in our community.
I commend to you the work of this dynamic group of professionals and acknowledge your support and collaboration as we work together to make a positive difference in the lives of young people on the Gold Coast.
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- Queensland Department of Communities, Housing & Digital Economy
- Queensland Department of Child Safety, Youth & Women
- Queensland Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors
- Commonwealth Department of Social Services
And the generous support of our sponsors, donors, and community members