In an open letter to members of the Queensland LGBTIQA+ communities, Rebecca Reynolds, CEO of QC — Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, announces plans to expand the organisation’s on-the-ground services. In addition to the state-wide expansion, QC will also examine the feasibility of a future Pride Centre as both state headquarters and a community resource.
Dear colleagues and friends,
It’s been a rough start to the year for us here at QC and we have been working through not only the ongoing impacts of living through a pandemic but also the really devastating impacts of the storms that caused havoc in our state earlier this year. In particular, those storms severely damaged QC’s state headquarters at 30 Helen Street, Newstead. The storm damage rendered the building unusable without costly re-roofing and re-build, mould treatment, asbestos removal, and refit. Since the storms, our Programs have continued to operate from temporary premises, including space leased from Queensland Positive People. We will be forever grateful for their generosity & hospitality over the past months.
Our team have been brilliant through all of this, and we are lucky to have so many committed individuals working for the health and well-being of our Queensland communities.
It has also given us time as an organisation to take stock of where we are, where our services are and what is our role in advancing care for our LGBTI Queensland communities. Both those visible and those who are still finding ways to be so in their everyday lives. We are a state filled with diversity and colour, and this weekend our Board has made some significant decisions about the way that will work for us as an organisation moving forward.
The Board unanimously resolved to accept an offer for the sale of the premises at 30 Helen street that has been a home to so many of us over so many years.
It was originally purchased through the generosity and benefaction of a few Queenslanders who had the means to do so. It has served us well and enabled us to develop services and supports that sit across a lifespan of services that include frontline coordinated health care, hold our core duty of prevention testing and treating the sexual health of our communities, mental health services, community outreach and connection services. Our decision-making over the weekend reaffirms our commitment to these services and to expanding them wherever possible.
It has given us a base to deliver state-wide services and has provided a home to many other organisations and community groups over many years.
It has been a place of safety for many, and a place that holds difficult history for others.
We hold, balance and honour all of these stories as we move forward.
And move forward we will.
The board has endorsed a strategy to expand our state-wide physical footprint by adding centres in
Along with our existing presence in Brisbane and Cairns, this represents the first steps in achieving an ongoing Queensland-wide and regional presence.
This is not a decision that has been made lightly. It included months of research, deliberation and consultation with members of our communities to determine the future of QC.
Following the sale of Helen Street, we will rent premises in Brisbane while we reassess and recost a pride centre post-pandemic and alongside our many partners. This will create stability for our staff team, ground the work that they do, and give our Brisbane-based clients a place of continuity of connection.
We have a 3-5 year strategy that will create a stable foundation for a state that is, and our many communities that are, working through a period of immense change. We hope that the above decision represents the first of many regional hubs that can support change at local levels.
QC are committed to embedding our values in all that we do, and to enshrining and holding space for those who are central to our work but who sit at traditional intersections of Culture and identity. We will work deliberately, take the time that we need to get this work right, and will work through an ongoing co-design process with our communities and partners.
We will be planning an event to farewell 30 Helen Street and invite you to join us if you would like to do so. We will let folk know as plans are finalised over the coming weeks and months.
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