Many stories. One community.

Volunteering: A formula for help and happiness.

Volunteering is one of those activities that many of us know we should do.

It’s crucial to the operation of many charities, community groups, and not-for-profits; it can be a lifeline for the most disadvantaged members of our society; and — according to numerous studies — it actually boosts the health, happiness, and life satisfaction levels of the giver, not just the recipient.

So why should we care? There are a couple of important reasons. First, there are not enough paid staff to address all the needs of our community. Second, the well-being of people is positively impacted when they volunteer. In other words, we all win. It’s as simple as that.

What does organisations like Integreat Queensland get? It runs! It can accomplish its mission. It has the people it needs to do the necessary work and provide its services to those who could not otherwise access them.

At Integreat Queensland, the support we receive from volunteers is extremely valuable. Most of all however, we try to ensure that all of our volunteers are contributing in a way that supports their own future development either personally, via work opportunities, or their own goals.

Our goal at Integreat Queensland is to open up opportunities for everyone from everywhere to get involved, feel welcome, learn new things, and contribute to a strong, thriving local community. There are many ways you can help us through volunteering from assisting us with our programs to our events but most importantly, helping us to help you build a great future for everyone.

If you’re interested in volunteering at Integreat Queensland we would love to hear from you. For more information, please phone 4903 1931 or email:

Assisting Others: Volunteering can boost your health, happiness, and life satisfaction levels.

Multicultural Playgroup not just for children.

Being able to work with children brings new and exciting challenges. While just like any job, there are certainly challenging days, the good ones add so much more meaning and can bring reward to your life, that it outweighs the tough ones in a heartbeat.

For Integreat Queensland Rockhampton Little Steps Multicultural Playgroup Facilitator and Support Worker, Mirjam Kleine, it’s about watching children develop with their discovery and exploration skills.

“I find being around children to be uplifting and energising, especially when invited to view the world through their lens and explore their curiosity with them,” Mirjam said with a smile. “Their abundant creativity, playfulness and innocence can almost feel therapeutic to me.”

Originally from the Netherlands, Mirjam is a qualified Trainer and Assessor in Early Childhood and a Childhood Educator. She has worked with children over the past decade in Australia and lives by the philosophy that “children are more fun than adults.”

“Children are just more open to experiences than adults which is basically the fundamentals of Integreat Queensland’s Litte Steps Multicultural Playgroup,” Mirjam said.

“At the playgroup it’s great to watch the children interact with each other and develop their social skills. Our playgroup specifically doesn’t have too many children which allows us to help the children develop their social skills in relation to each other in preparation for their time in daycare or kindy.

“The playgroup is also good for the mothers because even though they still interact with their children, they also get to interact with each other and not just the children.

“A lot of mothers want to be seen not just as ‘the mother of….’, but also as a woman, somebody’s friend. Someone with needs and wants, and interaction with other mothers makes us all feel like a person, and this is an important aspect of the playgroup as well.”

Integreat Queensland’s Little Steps Multicultural Playgroup are held every Tuesday from 9:30am to 11:30am (during school term) at the Berserker Street Community Hub, 28 – 140 Berserker Street, North Rockhampton. It’s free to attend and for children from 0 to 5 years old.

See the children play: Our Rockhampton Multicultural Playgroup. Inset: Integreat Queensland Rockhampton Playgroup Facilitator and Support Worker, Mirjam Kleine.

Gaining Certificate III in Individual Support creates a bright future for Insun.

For Insun Hitts, getting a job has been a priority for the past few months. When she saw the opportunity to gain her qualifications as a support worker and to achieve a Certificate III in Individual Support with Integreat Queensland, she jumped at the chance.

“I love meeting new people but most of all I love helping people to further their lives,” Insun said.

“I had never thought of working as a support worker but once I investigated the course, I believed it could be a great option to not only work with people, but to find a job that I could be passionate about.”

Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home, and Community) is designed to provide training to entry level workers who want to work in residential aged care facilities, community care, disability care, and community-based organisations and hospitals.

Delivered at Integreat Queensland by Simple Solutions, Industry Trainer and Assessor Brenda Spedding said there is a high demand for support workers in both the aging and disability industry.

Bright Future: Insun Hitts gain her Certificate III in Individual Support at Integreat Queensland.

“The trainees that obtain their certificate will go onto working in residential retirement or in home community care which might involve them having to go into houses to support independent living,” Brenda said.

Bright Future: Insun Hitts gain her Certificate III in Individual Support at Integreat Queensland.

“It may allow them to go into a house share situation where people are required to have 24hr care. They may assist with general housework and duties or medications, which can enable people to continue on living an independent lifestyle.

“They could also become community support workers which helps people access the community by helping them go shopping, go to the doctor, and or access transport. It basically assists people keep their independence.”

From beginning the course in July, it only took Insun a few weeks to find work. If fact, due to her attentiveness during the training, her skills, and her enthusiasm, she was offered a position as a support worker at Sundale’s Bindaree Lodge in Boyne Island.

“It’s been a fantastic journey but to find work so quickly has been a blessing,” she said. “I would never of dreamed that doing the Certificate III in Induvial Support could instantly turn around and help me to secure work.

“I would recommend the course to anyone that wants to make a difference in the community.”

Welcoming Kristy Niemand to Integreat Queensland.

Integreat Queensland would like to introduce our new Gladstone program coordinator, Kristy Niemand.

With a background in hospitality, administration, events, and program coordination, Kristy believes her broad range of skills is essential for personal and professional development and said she is excited to take on her next journey.

“I’m excited about bringing my skills and experience to the team to help grow the programs Integreat Queensland provide to the community,” Kristy said.

“Working alongside people and providing my assistance not only brings me happiness but also aligns with my belief in spreading kindness and offering aid, whether within the circle of family, friends, or in the broader community.

“By working together, I believe we can make a bigger impact and ensure our programs are making a positive difference in people’s lives. Whether it’s brainstorming new strategies, helping with logistics, or offering a fresh perspective, I’m here to contribute and collaborate.”

Born and raised in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa, Kristy made a life changing decision and moved with her husband and young son to Australia in 2019.

“As of now, we have been living in Gladstone for three and a half years and our affection for our new home and the community around us has only grown stronger,” she said.

“Australia is such a beautiful country. Moreover, the warm and welcoming nature of the people here has made our experience even more wonderful.”

Welcome: Kristy Niemand is our new Gladstone program coordinator at Integreat Queensland.

Healing Men’s Minds.

Those who feel they need to be strong for others at whatever cost to themselves are most at risk of becoming depressed. And when depression takes a hold, suicidal thoughts may develop. Men often find it embarrassing to talk about how they feel. Especially when they don’t see themselves as being ‘strong enough’. After all, aren’t they supposed to be the ‘strong’ gender?

A national study by not-for-profit the Black Dog Institute has found men are more likely to discuss suicidal thinking with trusted acquaintances like family, friends, or partners rather than health clinicians.

Based in Agnes Waters, the Outback Mind Foundation supports regional men around Queensland to reduce the risk of mental health challenges and acts of domestic violence and help men to overcome isolation with the aim of creating more conscious, connected, emotionally aware communities.

In collaboration with Free Flow Films, the Outback Mind Foundation have created a short film titled, Healing Men’s Minds. Due for release in September, the film concentrates on brave men sharing their stories and to highlight how there is a better way to go through life if they have the tools and support to do so.

For a short preview of Healing Men’s Minds, connect here to view and book your seat at the Gladstone Cinemas on September 1st, connect here now.

Healing Men’s Minds: A film highlighting men sharing their stories.

Assisting others to gain independence is Brenda’s passion.

Having a passion for working with and around people, Brenda Spedding began working as a support worker to assist the older generation to live independently. It wasn’t until a couple years into her position as an individual support worker at Simple Solutions, that she was tapped on the shoulder to inspire others.

“I originally came from a hospitality background, so I’ve always been very good with people,” Brenda said.

“However, I wanted to help people more specifically and due to a career change a couple of years ago, I became an individual support worker assisting older people to live independently.

“I was trained through Simple Solutions in community aged care and when I went back to update my first aid certificate with them, they offered me a position to train other people.”

Brenda now trains people to obtain their qualifications in community aged care across the community services sector and is currently delivering Certificate III in Individual Support at Integreat Queensland in Gladstone.

“I really enjoyed working and supporting those in need so it was hard leaving the support worker job, but I found training other people to move into the sector even more rewarding because it allowed me to share my personal experiences and navigate any of the obstacles the trainees may be experiencing,” Brenda said.

“I also found it really rewarding watching the trainees develop and grow in their own confidence and gain the knowledge needed to work in the industry. Most of all however, it has allowed many of the trainees to gain their own independence which has been fantastic to watch.”

Passionate Teacher: Simple Solutions Industry Trainer and Assessor Brenda Spedding.

See how you can be involved: