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    Community engagement

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    People's Question Time

    During 2010-11, the department continued to deliver regular People's Question Time forums to give community members the chance to put their questions directly to the Premier and other panellists on topical Queensland issues.

    People's Question Time is different from traditional community forums as its unique format enables people throughout the state to participate in a live panel discussion with the Premier by going online at their home, workplace or local library. When an upcoming forum has been announced, people - no matter where they live - can submit questions online to the panel at, and tune in to watch the live-streamed one hour question and answer panel discussion on the scheduled date.

    The department delivered four People's Question Time forums in 2010-11. One forum focused on the reconstruction of Queensland, following the floods and Tropical Cyclone Yasi; another on sustainability; and two open forums included discussions on education, housing, population growth and disability service issues.

    People's Question Time continues to be a popular avenue for the community to engage with government, with live-stream views averaging 1000 per forum, with an average of 160 questions submitted for each People's Question Time.

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    Community Cabinet

    Community Cabinet provides a forum for members of the public to participate and engage through a deputation process with relevant Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and senior government officials.

    Community Cabinet meetings are held throughout the year at different locations. During 2010-11 eleven meetings were held at Roma/Mitchell, the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) Show, Logan, Mount Isa/Cloncurry, Everton/Pine Rivers, Camp Hill, Whitsunday, Gold Coast, Toowoomba/Oakey, Ecosciences Precinct in Brisbane, and Carrara.

    All departments provide valuable support for Community Cabinet meetings. For example, the department works with the Department of Communities to advise local community groups that Community Cabinet will be in their area.

    For each two day Community Cabinet meeting an information brochure is handed out at the forum that gives participants tips on how to get the most out of the days.

    The newsletter 'Community Cabinet News - Your Voice Where You Live' is distributed after Community Cabinet meetings providing information on announcements that were made over the course of the event relevant to each community. This newsletter can also be accessed online.

    Community Cabinet meetings are one of the ways that Queenslanders are able to meet and talk with government and they will continue to be a priority. Please visit for further information relating to Community Cabinet meetings.

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    During 2010-11 the department was involved in a diverse range of community engagement activities that encourage community participation and engagement in government initiatives. These projects provide an opportunity for Queenslanders to connect with each other, their government and their state.

    Australia Day

    Each year the department coordinates Australia Day activities. Events held included:

    • the annual Australia Day lunch attended by over 600 representatives from the business, government and not-for-profit sectors to celebrate our achievements as a nation
    • the Australia Day Flag-Raising Ceremony was held in defiance of the devastation caused by the Brisbane floods, and relocated from its original flood ravaged site to the Kangaroo Point cliffs
    • the Australia Day AusSounds concert featuring local bands Charlie Mayfair and Ball Park Music and Australia's multi-platinum artist Guy Sebastian
    • the Australia Day Ambassador program which captures the true spirit of Australia Day by encouraging communities across Queensland to come together and celebrate this important national day. On Australia Day, 36 high achieving, inspirational Queenslanders from diverse fields and backgrounds joined 24 local council celebrations across the state
    • Visions of Australia flag project - primary school students across Queensland were asked to creatively interpret their vision for Australia in 2020 on specially prepared flags. Finished designs were incorporated into bunting and sent to local councils and other organisations for display at Australia Day events.

    Queensland Week

    Each year the department hosts Queensland Week to celebrate Queensland's official separation from New South Wales as an independent colony. It was on 6 June 1859 that Queen Victoria signed the Letters Patent authorising Queensland's separation - this day 6 June, is known as Queensland Day.

    In 2011, Queensland Week was dedicated to the heroes of the Queensland floods and Tropical Cyclone Yasi. Celebrations included:

    • the Queensland Disaster Heroes program, where more than 3500 individuals were nominated for demonstrating community initiative, bravery, courage, resilience and strength during the 2010-11 natural disasters, and were recognised for their efforts with a commemorative medal at recognition ceremonies throughout the state during Queensland Week
    • a Citizenship Ceremony where more than 500 candidates became Australian citizens
    • the Queensland Greats Awards which honoured five individuals and one institution for their lifelong contribution to Queensland
    • a Multi-Faith Ceremony, which was postponed as a result of the Queensland floods, bringing communities together to experience a diverse and vibrant gathering of religious faiths. The theme was 'community' to reflect on the spirit of giving and sharing that united Queenslanders following the floods and Tropical Cyclone Yasi
    • Queensland's Day out - a community event with free entertainment, activities, workshops and live music
    • Dress as your Queensland Hero day - on Friday 10 June primary school students were encouraged to join in the celebrations by coming to school dressed as their Queensland hero. Teachers could then enter photographs of their students, with prizes awarded to the best dressed students
    • Queensland Week sponsorship program - encourages Queenslanders to celebrate and commemorate Queensland Week in a way that reflects the unique culture, heritage and aspirations of their own community. Applications for sponsorship of up to $10,000 per event are available with a total funding pool of $100,000. Queensland Week events sponsored as part of the 2011 program were:
      • Queensland Week Showcase of Local Arts and All Things Creative, Hervey Bay
      • The Curry Feast, Cloncurry
      • Evening Light, Barcaldine
      • Party at Charlie Trouser, Charters Towers
      • Woodgate Beach Queensland Week Celebrations, Woodgate Beach
      • Queensland Week Sports Day, Boulia
      • Past, Present and Future of Queensland, Brisbane.

    Other key community engagement activities included:

    • Queensland Reconciliation Awards
    • Queensland Premier's Literary Awards
    • Premier's Seniors' Christmas Concerts
    • Government pavilion at the Ekka.

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    Arts and Culture

    The department, through Arts Queensland, engaged with the arts and cultural sector and the wider community to undertake detailed evaluations of arts portfolio initiatives to ensure they continue to contribute to Queensland's growing cultural reputation and improve current programs.

    Major evaluations and community engagements included:

    Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2010 evaluation

    An evaluation of Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) 2010 was conducted to identify artistic, industry, community and economic outcomes of the event. With input from over 630 key stakeholders, the evaluation comprised attendee, exhibitor, sponsor and CIAF staff surveys, interviews with artists and Traditional Owners as well as surveys of participants in CIAF satellite events. Recommendations from the evaluation were used to guide the implementation of CIAF 2011.

    Indigenous theatre and dance forums

    During CIAF 2010 Arts Queensland hosted the National Indigenous Theatre Forum, in Cairns, with participants representing the national interests of Australia's Indigenous theatre community. The forum drafted the Cairns Consensus, a document that recognises the theatre as integral to Indigenous cultural identity and sets out five strategic priorities for further collective action at a national level. An Indigenous dance forum was also held at CIAF, which brought together local dance practitioners to foster professional development and promote Indigenous dance in North Queensland.

    Backing Indigenous Arts evaluation

    In 2010 a mid-term evaluation of the Backing Indigenous Arts (BIA) initiative was conducted to assess overall effectiveness of the first two and a half years of a four-year implementation timeline and guide the next phase of the BIA initiative from 2011-2015. The evaluation analysed a range of data on the BIA initiative including applications and outcome reports, surveys and interviews with program recipients, Indigenous Arts Centre coordinators, as well as program partners. It highlighted the artistic, social, community, industry and economic outcomes of BIA.

    Queenslanders and the arts

    In partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts (Australia Council), Arts Queensland conducted a comprehensive analysis of Queenslanders' participation in and attitudes towards the arts. The Queensland study complemented a national study conducted by the Australia Council. The findings confirm that Queenslanders strongly value the arts with 94 per cent of Queenslanders attending or participating in the arts in the previous 12 months. On the whole, the state survey data is comparable with the national findings which demonstrate that like other Australians, Queenslanders are strong supporters of the arts.

    Open IDEO

    In 2011 the Ideas Festival expanded its focus to also work with government agencies to address complex public policy challenges. Through an innovative online platform, known as the OpenIDEO Challenge, the public was invited to contribute solutions to a significant policy challenge - how might we better connect food consumption and production? The online challenge resulted in over 690 submissions from more than 30 countries.

    Critical Mass

    Through the Critical Mass blogging project, arts experts, audiences, amateur critics and the general public were encouraged to write about their experiences and perceptions of the Brisbane Festival's 2010 program. Using social media, including Twitter and Facebook, 23 Critical Mass bloggers were invited to participate and uploaded a total of 104 posts. The Critical Mass blog attracted 2622 readers over the festival's life of five weeks.

    Low Fi forum

    In April 2011, Arts Queensland in partnership with The Edge Digital Cultural Centre at the State Library of Queensland, hosted Low Fi, an industry forum on digital opportunities and issues for the arts and culture sector. The forum attracted 100 participants from arts and cultural organisations, local governments and cultural businesses and identified key areas for future collaboration and development.

    Arts and cultural festivals and events

    Festivals and events celebrate shared experiences and values, offer an opportunity to experience arts and culture in fresh and creative ways and develop a deeper sense of community and shared identity. In 2010-11 the department, through Arts Queensland, supported key festivals and events across Queensland including:

    • Unlimited: Designing for the Asia Pacific - the inaugural design triennial was held in the Cultural Centre precinct from 4 to 10 October 2010, placing Queensland at the centre of conversation about design thinking and its role in finding the right solutions to challenges in the Asia Pacific region. More than 10,200 people attended Unlimited in 2010, which featured an Asia Pacific symposium, public exhibitions, education program, lecture series and business workshops.
    • Brisbane Festival - in its second year as an annual event, the Brisbane Festival presented 330 performances and 62 events that enthralled and captivated audiences of more than 750,000 people. Held over three weeks in September across Brisbane city and suburbs, the festival offered a taste of the best international and home-grown performances including experimental and emerging artists through Under the Radar. The festival was a launching pad for Queensland's critically acclaimed physical theatre company, C!rca's premiere of Wunderkammer which has since played across Europe. The Spiegeltent saw the premiere of Cantina which has since sold out performances in Adelaide and Melbourne with a tour planned to the United Kingdom.
    • Cairns Indigenous Art Fair - the second Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF), held from 20 to 22 August 2010, built on the success of the inaugural event to position CIAF on the national and international arts calendar. More than 10,500 people attended the program at Tanks Arts Centre and Cairns Regional Gallery and over 9000 people enjoyed satellite events. The event included a performance and workshop program, children's art workshops and, for the first time in 2010, CIAF played host to a National Indigenous Theatre Forum. The three-day showcase for emerging and established Indigenous artists saw more than $730,000 of ethical artwork sold, an increase of 46 per cent on CIAF 2009, and $1.8 million of tourism expenditure generated for the Cairns region.
    • World Theatre Festival - in a three-year partnership with Events Queensland, the department and Arts Queensland invested $500,000 to present the World Theatre Festival at the Brisbane Powerhouse commencing in 2011. Staged in February 2011, the inaugural festival presented innovative and experimental theatre from Australia and around the world.

    Other festivals and events supported in 2010-11 included:

    • the Australian Festival of Chamber Music
    • Brisbane Writers Festival
    • The Dreaming Festival
    • Queensland Poetry Festival
    • Swell Sculpture Festival
    • Torres Strait Island Festival
    • Woodford Folk Festival.

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    Last updated:
    18 May, 2016
    Last reviewed:
    26 October, 2010