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Creating better opportunities for rural families

CHILDREN, young people, and families in rural, regional and remote Queensland will thrive under a new partnership between James Cook University (JCU) and Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership (TQKP).

JCU will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with TQKP to formalise their partnership through the Thriving Queensland Kids Country Collaborative initiative.

Cairns Institute Director, Professor Stewart Lockie, said the MOU signifies an important step towards achieving JCU’s vision for North Queensland.

“TQKP is working to bring together communities organisations, governments, higher education and philanthropies through practical, community and systems-level initiatives,” he said.

Professor Lockie said the new initiative is being delivered with support from The John Villiers Trust (JVT) and Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.

JVT CEO Lea-Anne Bradley said the organisation is delighted to partner with the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation to support the Thriving Queensland Kids Country Collaborative.

“Deep, positive change takes time. It takes strong connections and partnerships – with funders, local organisations, and most importantly, communities themselves,” Ms Bradley said.

TQKP Convenor Michael Hogan, said the new body will work with rural and regional leaders and organisations to support work to strengthen integrated child, family and youth services, enable place-based community-led efforts, build workforce capabilities, and develop and scale innovative services and supports for families and children in regional Queensland.

The MoU includes the Cairns Institute hosting of Partnership Officer Jacinta Perry, who leads the Country Collaborative, and Professor Allan Dale as chair of the Country Collaborative Strategic Leadership Committee.

“This will create a stronger voice for our regional and rural communities about policies, programs and actions that will deliver better outcomes for our kids,” Professor Dale said.

“This formal collaboration highlights the potential for further joint research and project-based initiatives to progress regional development in Queensland communities.”

The formal signing of the MoU took place on Friday, 10 November, at JCU’s Smithfield Campus.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Special constables appointed in Townsville and Council calls for cemetery tribute collection.

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