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Queensland Fires 2019 Appeal


Sunshine Coast Council appreciates the generous offers of assistance from the community to volunteer and donate goods and funds.

Council and Emergency services on-the-ground are currently assessing needs and are working with the necessary organisations to deliver critical and immediate support, as well as longer recovery support to re-establish homes and help communities recover.

The community’s needs are our first priority. The staff and volunteers currently working on-the-ground are highly skilled and trained. At this time, additional volunteers are not needed.

If you would like to offer assistance, please refer to the following information:


Sunshine Coast Council asks residents to please direct their offers to volunteer to Volunteering Queensland’s EV CREW online registration portal. To register your interest in volunteering please visit: and Volunteering Queensland will contact you if your assistance is required. 

Donations and funds

Council requests that residents wishing to donate to please register their donations through GIVIT, as unregistered donations are impacting emergency and support services on the ground.

GIVIT is the QLD Government’s official disaster charity donations partner. Residents are encouraged to register their donations through their online ‘Queensland Fires 2019 Appeal’ to best coordinate on-the-ground assistance to affected communities.

Please visit to donate funds, goods or services.


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Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance – Business Mentoring Program


The Business Mentoring Program is a not-for-profit program to benefit small and medium-sized businesses on the Sunshine Coast to fulfill their true potential. Applications from potential mentees and mentors may be made now and will be assessed for selection by the end of July.

After being paired, mentors and mentees will identify needs, brainstorm solutions and have meaningful conversations about operating and growing their business.

Mentors, who provide their skills and services on a voluntary basis, will also receive support and assistance at fortnightly meetings structured to share knowledge, discuss issues encountered and fine tune mentoring methodology.

The initiative will be implemented across the various Sunshine Coast chambers of commerce and will be coordinated centrally by the Sunshine Coast Chambers of Commerce Alliance education committee.

Interested mentors and mentees are invited to register their interest or seek further information at

With Volunteering Sunshine Coast (VSC) and the Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance (SCCA) having a common goal regarding the provision of a mentoring service, VSC views this partnership as the ideal opportunity to assist in providing suitably qualified mentors from their extensive volunteer base.

Drawing from a large, experienced and growing pool of volunteers, a natural extension and utilisation of extensive skill sets, is to undertake mentoring services in collaboration with individuals, community groups or businesses. These volunteering assignments may also expand to being skilled, temporary, replacements or even Board members for NFP organisations.

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Held at the Ettamogah Pub, the day got off to a cracking start with lively music and a spectacularly lit venue.  As the guests arrived, a mass of youthful energy filled the space. In a corner, a group of “young fairy-girls” started a spontaneous dance.  There was an equal mix of genders and it was great to see a number of parents and grandparents also participating.

It proved to be an entertaining and enlightening day for youth and adults alike.   The incentive of course was the free entry to Aussie World for the young participants after the program. The presentations gave much inspiration for handling life’s challenges as we evolve.  Some very moving personal stories were shared. The sincerity of the speakers must be commended, in expressing their experiences and in involving the audience with some interactive activities.

Vicki Magic, the founder and host and provided a steady stream of energy, enthusiasm and community spirit from start to finish.  The speakers were equally inspiring and had a wide variety of backgrounds. What was unanimous, was the strength of character each person had exhibited in spite of trying circumstances, either in their own lives, or in those close to them.  The speakers encompassed fields such as wedding planning, finance, athletics, aromatherapy, chiropractic, and emotional management. We had the opportunity to hear significant parts of their life stories, as well as strategies to handle our own lives.

Having self awareness, looking within and drawing strength from within, was a central message.  We were encouraged to view difficulties as challenges that arise at various times and to be assured there will be a beginning and an end.

The speakers presented useful practical techniques and encouraged us to use them moment by moment.  All presenters spoke from the heart and were willing to admit their weakness, which made their presentations even more engaging.  After each speaker finished, time was provided to discuss key questions raised by the presentation, with the guide of the facilitators at each table.  Some important issues were thus raised and explored. Counsellors were on hand to provide more specialised assistance if need be.

It was commendable to see the male presenters setting an example and openly expressing their emotions.  Amy from McGrath Estate Agents spoke from her experience of moving forward as a young person in an unhappy situation to a much better place and the importance of being yourself.  Kim from Twenty8 spoke of her time as an Olympic long-distance runner and of her son’s overcoming his adolescent hurdles. Dan from Fox Finance spoke of his story of a colleague and friend from his youth who took his life due to financial issues and called for greater financial education for youth.  Paula from Suncoast Cleaning Solutions gave an incredibly moving account of her personal journey of empowerment in losing a limb.  David from Hendry Chiropractic spoke from personal experience of being bullied, as well as being a bully and covered techniques to handle this key issue.  Chris from Sunny Kids children’s charity, gave a brutally honest account of his difficult childhood, which brought a profound calm to the room. Blase from Experientia provided a show-stopping presentation, aimed at encouraging people to manage their emotions more constructively, through engaging exercises.  Congratulations on setting such a great example to males.

Some of the feedback from the day included:

Food for the soul



Builds self-esteem

Takes you out of the familiar and into opportunity

Positivity, success, expansion, connection

Allows you to experience your inner potential, power, unity, joy, peace, bliss, harmony, power  

Gives you a role to play

An outlet for all your energy in a constructive manner

Opportunity for learning on many levels and at all stages of life

Water the flower of good action

The day wrapped up with a presentation from Vicki, including many inspiring ideas to help us nurture our self-awareness and draw from the strength within.  She emphasised that real magic is “believing in yourself” and that “when you are happy, things will change.  She encouraged us to “start watering the flowers, not the weeds.”

What are your thoughts on youth issues, particularly on the Sunshine Coast and how can these be addressed?

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Modern Australian Communities Report


The Modern Australian Communities report was produced earlier this year by Australian Seniors Insurance Agency as part of their The Australian Seniors Series. It sheds light on the impact the voluntary contributions of seniors have on their local communities, as well as their concerns about the future of the sector.

The positive relationships people create in their local communities strengthens the social fabric that keeps our society healthy. This fabric connects people across many different lines through shared regional values. Volunteering plays an important role in maintaining the social fabric as people donate their time and skills for the benefit of others.

See some of the major findings in the infographic below:


Modern Australian Communities – The Australian Seniors Series [infographic]

Produced by Australian Seniors Insurance Agency

Read the full report


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Disability Expo Sunshine Coast


The inaugural Disability Expo Sunshine Coast will be held at the Lake Kawana Community Centre on Friday 14 September. The Expo will be the Sunshine Coast’s most comprehensive gathering of product and service providers in the disability space.

The Expo will be the ultimate one-stop-shop for local families, carers and people with a disability. There will be a wide range of exhibitors from various fields including:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Employment and Education
  • Transport and Vehicles
  • Post School Options
  • Advocacy
  • Social Activities and Recreation
  • Independent Living Services and Products
  • Assistance Products
  • Support Services Providers

Thinking of becoming a sponsor or exhibitor? Download the Exhibitor and Sponsor Booklet

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Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards 2018


Volunteering Sunshine Coast was honoured to be nominated for a Sunshine Coast Australia Day Award in the Community- Group or Organisation category. The ceremony was held on 23 January at the Events Centre, Caloundra and was emceed by Creek to Coast’s Scott Hillier.

A welcome to country was given by the Gubbi Gubbi Dance Troupe who performed a number of dances that provided insight into the indigenous cultural heritage of the Sunshine Coast region.

The Daniel Morcombe Foundation ultimately won the Community Organisation award in recognition of their tireless advocacy for child safety and their work with schools and parents providing resources to start a discourse around these important issues.

Denise and Bruce Morcombe were also joint winners of the Citizen of the Year award to celebrate their extraordinary strength in using the tragedy they suffered to take action through the creation of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. Their work with Government and other interest groups has contributed profoundly to increasing general awareness of the issue of child safety.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Citizen of the Year: Bruce Morcombe/Denise Morcombe

Senior Citizen of the Year: Donald Moffatt

Young Citizen of the Year: Olivia Lindsay

Community – Group or Organisation: Daniel Morcombe Foundation

Creative: Judy Pippen

Environment and Sustainability: Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors

Sport and Recreation: Sunshine Coast Lightning


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Queensland Government trialing new online platform


The Queensland Government is currently trialing the new ‘My Account’ online dashboard that will allow Queenslanders to interact with government in a more efficient and user friendly manner, with development prioritising senior services.

The online senior services, developed by the government’s ‘One Stop Shop’ team, form part of the Queensland: An age-friendly community action plan which was the product of an online survey and consultations with various stakeholder groups.

View the full action report

The streamlined platform aims to consolidate and personalise information and application processes for ease of use. One trial service will enable seniors to apply for a seniors card and other concessions in one place. The Queensland Government is currently seeking feedback for this service.

More broadly, the ‘My Account’ platform will enable all Queenslanders to manage their details across multiple government departments, track the progress of applications, discover services they may be eligible for and more.

Check out the platform

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Have Your Say – Dementia Consumer Support Consultation


In 2016, The Australian Government consulted with stakeholders on potential improvements to dementia consumer supports. Discussions arising from the Ministerial Dementia Forum held in December has led to the creation of a consultation paper outlining a range of redesigned consumer supports.

This consultation paper is the final stage of public engagement on the issue and, after all feedback has been received, the Government will proceed with finding a suitable service provider to deliver the redesigned national dementia consumer support services.

This consultation runs until 15 November 2017. If you would like a have your say on the proposed reforms, download the consultation paper here. 

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Proposed amendments to hurt mature-aged jobseekers


The Federal Government is considering amendments to the Social Security Act 1991 which would change the compliance requirements of job seekers aged 55-59. ‘Schedule 9’ of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 requires people aged 55-59 dedicate a minimum 15 hours per fortnight to job search or other job-related activity, such as work for the dole. Currently, their mutual obligation to serve at least 30 hours per fortnight engaged in an approved activity may be fulfilled entirely through voluntary work.

Volunteering Australia has raised a number of concerns regarding this proposal:

  • Mature-aged workers are already a disadvantaged group, who face specific challenges in securing employment. This new compliance requirement will force them to spend considerable effort engaged in what is often fruitless job seeking. This time could be better spent in voluntary work, which provides professional development and a reliable pathway to employment.
  • This age group is an invaluable part of the volunteering sector, contributing a significant amount of time and energy to volunteer work. These changes would likely move people away from volunteer positions, having a detrimental effect on the sector.
  • Fewer mature-aged volunteers would affect the quality of services provided by volunteer involving organisations and volunteer support services, as well as their long-term financial viability and workforce capacity.

This proposal is a worrying sign that the government does not appreciate the value of volunteering to our communities and the prospects it provides jobseekers.

Read Volunteering Australia’s full response the the bill here.

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Positive Ageing Survey


The Sunshine Coast Council’s commitment to a strong, connected and vibrant older population was the focus of its Sunshine Coast Positive Ageing Strategy 2011-2016. Looking forward, the council’s Community Planning and Development Branch will continue this work through the Positive Ageing Action Plan.

The Council is asking local seniors to have their say by completing a short survey. This survey will provide important insights that will shape council’s priorities for the future. Residents under 65 are also welcome to fill out the survey.

Find the survey here.

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