CRUcial Times 13: The role of community services in supporting and building community life

This edition of CRUcial Times focuses on the theme of  "The role of community services in supporting and building community life"

Download CRUcial Times 13 - Nov. 1998 (PDF)

This edition contains the following articles:


Anne Cross

CRU Presidents Report

Mike Duggan

Can small services endure: taking action for the long term

In the last edition of CRUcial Times, Ross Womersley was asked the question, “Under what circumstances might small agencies last?” and he identified some significant factors. In this edition, Ross goes on to suggest further important factors that might lead to small agencies having an enduring role in the community.

The link between " small" and "good"

Joe Osburn has worked in small and large human services for thirty-five years and has been involved in the evaluation of hundreds of services in many different places. He has found that good services invariably have certain attributes, and that smallness is one of these. Joe lives in the United States and has written of the time he spent in Australia working for a small agency in Brisbane. Joe goes on to link this experience to some general points about human services.

A worker's role in supporting relationships

Debbie Allum, is the Co-ordinator of Into Rec – Integration through Recreation, a small Townsville agency. Debbie describes some of the ways in which a community-based agency might help to create and sustain relationships, and some barriers that can arise.

Creating a training culture at a local level

In various Queensland regions some organisations have found numerous ways of meeting local training needs. One example is the Community Training Network of Rockhampton whose strategy was the focus of a presentation by Judith Hose at the CRU Conference.

Julie Simpson, of Maryborough, describes another training initiative developed by the local disability sector. Julie believes that one of the reasons why small non-government disability organisations are vulnerable, is that they do not have the financial capacity or infrastructure to plan for the training and development of their personnel, and that this in turn reduces their ability to respond to human resource management issues.

Reflections from the conference

In July this year, over three hundred people from across Australia gathered for three days at Griffith University for what has been reported to be one of the most significant conferences in Australia. It was called “Gathering the Wisdom; Enriching the Spirit; Embracing the Future”. Among this group of enthusiastic people were many people with a disability, family members, service providers, and others who strive to make it possible for people with a disability to participate in community life.

Key speakers from throughout Queensland and invited presenters from Canada, United States, Perth and Sydney were asked to consider the past ten years, to identify the opportunities of the present, and to define and shape a vision for the next decade. There were many “golden moments” during the Conference - ones that filled participants with insight, richness and renewal. Five participants have written their reflections.

Glenys Mann reflects on the Conference as a parent and member of a community support group.

Sandra Kalms who is a board member of Citizen Advocacy NSW Association, reflects on the power of storytelling.

Jim Byrne is an active member of the Rockhampton community. As the President of Access Recreation, Jim attended the Conference in July and writes some of his reflections.

Lisa Wilson from Lifestyle Support Service in Dalby was one of three staff members who attended the Conference and found that they were “not alone” in two important ways.

Wendy O’Meara writes her reflections from the Pilbara, a remote region of Western Australia.