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Champion Program

Queensland Government Champion Program

The former departments of Main Roads and Queensland Transport have been involved in the Government Champion Programs since 2003. The current Government Champion Program is coordinated by the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and provides a direct conduit between discrete Indigenous communities and the Queensland Government to enable systemic issues to be escalated, support joint problem solving and build cultural capability within Government. The Government Champion Program provides an opportunity for Chief Executives of Queensland Government agencies to work together with identified communities towards improving life outcomes for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, in a collaborative partnership.

Timeline 

  • 2003 – Main Roads' Director-General, Steve Golding, Government Champion for the communities of New Mapoon, Umagico and Injinoo.
  • 2007 – Queensland Transport Director-General, Bruce Wilson, Government Champion for the Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Community in Cape York (co-champion with Department of Tourism, Fair Trading and Wide Industry Development Director-General).
  • 2008 – Main Roads’ Director-General, Alan Tesch, Government Champion for 3 Cape York Aboriginal communities – Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon.
  • 2009 – Queensland Transports' Director-General, David Stewart, Government Champion for the Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Community in Cape York.
  • 2014 - current – Department of Transport and Main Roads' Director-General, Neil Scales, Government Champion for Woorabinda Aboriginal Community.

View the current Ministerial and Government Champions.

Director-General Neil Scales, Government Champion for Woorabinda Community

Our Director-General, Neil Scales, is honoured to be Government Champion for the Woorabinda community since 2014. Woorabinda is located about 170km south-west of Rockhampton and situated on the traditional lands of the Wadja Wadja/Wadjigal Aboriginal people.

Our Director-General is passionate about improving the economic and social outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and we are proud of the great progress we are making. As part of the long-term vision to reinvigorate a community outpost and develop a training facility, we continue to support the community’s Blackboy Camp, recently supplying additional accommodation cabins. We are also delivering projects such as the BlackBoy Creek Bridge works, under the Memorandum of Understanding between Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council, Central Highlands Regional Council and us. This partnership has delivered some wonderful outcomes for the community—increasing local employment and traineeships, improving the capability and capacity of Woorabinda Council and improving the community’s infrastructure.

We also entered into a 2-year partnership, facilitated by Australia’s CEO Challenge, with the Woorabinda Gumbi Gunyah Women and Children’s Shelter. The shelter offers a safe place for women and children escaping domestic and family violence, who may be at risk of homelessness.

Over the years the relationship between our Director-General and Woorabinda has grown and matured allowing achievements that come from working in true partnership.

We are now a key partner in Woorabinda's journey to self-determination, with our relationship now having longer-term, more strategic focus. This focus has fostered work programs and a Memorandum of Understanding that has created training opportunities and jobs and will help underpin a successful workforce for many years.

The new Mayor, Councillor Josh Weazel, and his team of councillors, have a vision and plans for Woorabinda's success and our Director-General is supporting Councillor Weazel and the community to help them achieve this for the community.

  
Director-General, Neil Scales (second from right) on his recent visit to Woorabinda in February 2021 with Mayor of Woorabinda, Joshua Weazel (far left)
Director-General Neil Scales on his recent visit to Woorabinda in February 2021. Pictured above Neil Scales DG (second from right) and Mayor of Woorabinda, Joshua Weazel (left)
Director-General, Neil Scales, meeting with members of the Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council and its Chief Executive Officer in 2014.
Our Director-General, Neil Scales, meeting with members of the Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council and its Chief Executive Officer in 2014

Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council member of Bowen Basin Regional Roads and Transport Group

Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council is a member of Bowen Basin Regional Roads and Transport Group. They have set the benchmark for collaborative participation in the Roads and Transport Alliance.

Their achievements include:

  • a joint reseal project
  • undertaking an asset condition assessment and gap analysis for project identification
  • a trial program to support learner drivers to receive driving lessons which involves a part-time road safety officer in the community
  • developing a 10-year plan for roads and other projects.

In March 2017, we established a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council and Central Highlands Regional Council. The MoU formalises arrangements for the provision of road construction and maintenance works to support the development of a sustainable works program. It also includes contracts for seal and resealing projects, a contract for weed spraying along the main infrastructure and job shadowing opportunities. As a result of the MoU and ongoing partnership with all parties, Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council now has a long-term plan for roads and other projects, which is delivering improved road infrastructure in the community as well as increasing local employment trainee opportunities.

Gumbi Gunyah Centre

As a part of his role, our Director-General is very passionate about supporting the Gumbi Gunya Women and Children's Wellbeing Centre. The Centre has been operating for 20 years and responds to community requests for a safe place for women and children escaping domestic and family violence and who may be at risk of homelessness. This centre provides an incredibly important service to the families of Woorabinda.

We have been a proud supporter of the centre for over 3 years and continue to fundraise to support the centre.

The Government Champion Program

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