Finding the right information to deliver the right programs.

Integreat Queensland deliver numerous of programs throughout central Queensland to assist our migrant community. To know what is needed including how to deliver those programs better, it’s extremely important to understand the region and gather further evidence to not only back-up what Integreat Queensland already know, but to understand what the migrant community want now.

Over the past month, Integreat Queensland have been working with Sarah Rookes from Charles Sturt University via their work placement program to gather further information and statistics about our region to support our current programs and to build other support programs for the community.

Currently completing her Bachelor of Criminal Justice, Sarah said she’s been interested in social welfare for a long time.

“I started my bachelor’s degree nearly 20 years ago, so it was time to complete it,” she said.

“Over that time, I’ve been working in residential care and disability, but I felt it was time to go back and finish my degree because there is still much work to be done in diverting individuals away from the court and criminal justice system.

“I believe the current criminal justice approach needs to be a holistic one where we need to work from the ground up in the policies being delivered especially in health care, education, and childcare.

“If the policies don’t address the issues, organisations like Integreat Queensland don’t have the information they need in tackling issues like mental health, education, and for women by either getting them back to, or transitioning into work and assisting them with childcare.”

Sarah said one of the reasons she chose to work with Integreat Queensland was she wanted to make greater connections and learn more about how current policies can further assist the migrant community.

“I’ve been assisting Integreat Queensland in finding the information needed to further develop programs for the migrant community,” she said. “Because much of the information hasn’t been gathered in the past it can sometimes be very difficult understating the needs of the migrant community especially migrant women.

“Government department information is spread out all over the place and census information is very limited or out of date however, I’ve had some great assistance from the Gladstone Regional Council who have created the Gladstone Region Wellbeing Data Hub to make it easier for organisations like Integreat Queensland to access the correct information.”

Sarah has completed her work placement with Integreat Queensland and has now become a volunteer for the organization. Sarah, along with Chang Nguyen, who is also a Integreat Queensland volunteer, are currently working on research and data for an exciting project which will be announced soon.

Both Sarah and Chang will be joining the General Manager of Integreat Queensland Julie Pettett and program facilitator Jaclyn Thompson at the launch of Gladstone Region Together (GRT) Gladstone Region Wellbeing Data Hub today (September 13).

Picture: Sarah Rookes from Charles Sturt University work placement program.

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