Rockhampton is made up of many different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations. We believe it is vital for all of us to be represented at the table when decisions are being made about us, for us and by us. We aim to do this by keeping collective-impact, self-determination and co-design at the centre of it all.
In order for our voices to be heard at the table, we must first feel empowered to speak up. This is why it is important that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices come together in a culturally safe space, free from judgement and shame, so that authentic conversations about important topics can happen.
For the conversations to be authentic and bring about change, it must be community-lead. This is vital as it is community holds the stories, trauma, lived experience and solutions moving forward.
This is why we have established the Big Group Meeting (a culturally safe space to yarn) and the Working Groups (community-lead action/ change spaces).
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rocky Community Meetings was initially started by a group of passionate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, on a volunteer basis. They recognised that something had to be done about the crime and the way our mob were being dealt with at Stocklands Rockhampton and through the Youth Justice system. From there a meeting was held called The Big Group Meeting and through in-depth community conversations different working groups were established. Each working group looked at different barriers and topics such as Education, Youth Justice, Elders, Men and Youth.
After some time operating on a volunteer basis, The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rocky Community Meetings was approached with an opportunity to be funded by government. This was a funding period of 12 months as a part of the Stronger Places, Stronger People collective impact trial sites. The Meetings still currently operate under this funding, which provides secretariate support.