A whole of community approach
in operational support for the Logan Together team.
The vision and early stage success of the Logan Together movement provided a compelling case for VFFF to step over the NSW border to provide support for this whole of community, 10-year initiative in south-east Queensland.
The City of Logan is 30 minutes south of Brisbane and represents 7% of the Queensland population, with 45,000 people aged eight years or under. Logan Together is a partnership between three levels of government, private philanthropic funders, Griffith University, community organisations, service providers and the community of Logan to improve long-term outcomes for Logan’s youth.
Coordinating action across each age and stage of childhood, Logan Together is focusing on the things that make a real difference in the lives of young children.
The vision of Logan Together is that by 2025, Logan kids will be as healthy and full of potential as any other group of Queensland kids.
Logan Together is a highly sophisticated place-based model that employs many of VFFF’s key learnings: the importance of having people and place at the centre, taking an integrated and long term approach, using data, research and public knowledge to engage community and prioritise action and delivery with community stakeholders at the table.
Logan Together’s small Backbone Team, led by Matthew Cox, coordinates and organises the efforts of all stakeholders invested in this work. VFFF funding will build the team’s capabilities in business engagement, policy influencing and strategic learning.
‘It is only through the support and belief shown by foundations such as the VFFF that we are able to tackle the systemic problems of place-based disadvantage. The support shown by the VFFF allows us to ensure all parts of the community are engaged in the solution; that we look at evolving the system to support this; and everything we learn is shared for the benefit of others.’
It is widely acknowledged that the aims of population-level change are generational endeavours. There are already promising signs emerging from Logan’s community-led place-based work.
Logan is seeing the first population impacts of the reform projects that the Logan Together initiative has put in place over recent years. Rates of low/poor ante-natal care and birth outcomes in Logan were at 12% of the birthing population in 2014 - way adrift of the state average of 5%. The Maternity Hubs project which introduced a new model of community-based care has been transformative and the Logan figure has now fallen to 4%. Within this outcome are some extraordinary achievements. Rates of smoking cessation during pregnancy are just 15% across Australia. Among the 210 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women birthing through the new hubs model in the past year, the smoking cessation rate is 64%.
The data snapshot shows how Logan is faring on the Australian Early Development Census (2018) compared to similar communities in Queensland. ‘Whilst progress is slow and a bit patchy in Logan, there is a clear and sustained trend to improvement with the “gap” to Australian and Queensland benchmarks narrowing by 1% since 2012.’ Matthew Cox, Executive Director, Logan Together. In Ipswich and Moreton Bay local government areas – both with very similar population profiles to Logan – and also Bundaberg (the next largest population of vulnerable children in QLD), the story is the opposite. In all three comparator communities the trend is going the wrong way.