Youth Affairs Network Queensland (YANQ) is calling for unity amongst NGOs across Queensland and is proposing an MOU that could be signed committing organisations to collaboration and rejecting the competitive business model of relationships amongst NGOs.
Whilst YANQ recognizes that members of the Futures Forum have a need to develop working relationships with the government, there is also a role for members to take up its leadership role and speak as a collective, giving a voice to marginalized members of our communities. This is why YANQ initially proposed this MOU at a meeting with a number of peak bodies, after the LNP assumed power in Queensland earlier this year. At the time, there had been no budget cuts announced and the need for such an MOU was seen by majority of the peaks present at that meeting as premature.
Prior to the funding cuts, there was an opportunity for all peaks and state wide organizations to ask that marginalized people in our communities be quarantined from the LNP ‘fiscal repair’. This opportunity was not seized and now the voices of marginalized Queenslanders have all but been silenced and the responsibility of advocacy for these people abdicated. Where is the united voice of NGOs speaking out on behalf of marginalized people? Why doesn’t the sector put out a strong statement demanding that LNP exempt cuts to services for the marginalized?
The proposed MOU is a simple 4-point commitment, which can be further expanded by those who decide to work collaboratively under this framework. To build the necessary trust and allow for genuine engagement and collaboration the signatories to the MOU will commit to:
- Respecting the autonomy of each organistion, its members and communities they represent. This will mean that no organisation will work in a competitive way with others and would not in any manner undermine the role of other organisation with current role and responsibilities in that area.
- Social justice and the role of advocacy as a key responsibility of representation of the marginalized.
- Standing united and supporting every individual organisation, project or programs that are being targeted for funding cuts.
- Protecting the diversity of the sector with a particular focus on the need to assist small NGO’s in their struggle for maintaining viability and to work in a true collaborative manner.
This simple MOU is a starting point for interested NGOs who want to continue working collaboratively. Do you want a collective community sector voice?
All you need to do is to send an email to YANQ (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject line indicating that you agree with the MOU and are willing to participate in developing the MOU with other organisations. We hope we can rebuild the trust necessary for the sector to reassume its collective advocacy role for the marginalized Queenslanders.
Thanking you in advance,