Newpin Queensland’s first centre opens in Cairns

Above: Queensland Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad during her visit.

Queensland Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad during her visit.

The Newpin Qld Social Benefit Bond (Newpin Qld SBB) launched at the end of June 2017, and Uniting Care Queensland (UCQ) opened the first Newpin centre as planned in Cairns in January. In December, the Cairns centre was visited by Queensland Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad, alongside local MPs from Far North Queensland.

Under the Newpin Program in Queensland (Newpin Queensland), parents and children will attend the centre for a minimum of two days per week for up to 18 months, as part of working towards family reunification. The new centre has been fully refurbished and now features a family room, children’s play room, individual and group therapy rooms as well as a new playground.

Program lead appointed

UCQ has appointed Jo Goodwin as the Newpin Qld SBB program lead. Jo is a descendant of the Wonnarua & Kamilaroi peoples and has a strong commitment to progressing reconciliation and exploring the practice of cultural competence in service delivery. She has an extensive background in early childhood education and care and social inclusion.

Children's playroom and dining area at the Newpin Queensland Cairns facility.
Children’s playroom and dining area at the Newpin Queensland Cairns facility.

An important element of the program’s implementation is a community partnership that UCQ has entered into with Wuchopperen, a Cairns based community-controlled Aboriginal health service provider. Wuchopperen will facilitate the delivery of culturally appropriate play sessions between children and their parents.

Wuchopperen is also represented on the Newpin Qld SBB Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group, which has been established to help guide the cultural integrity of the program and to support collaboration with key partners. The Reference Group also includes representatives from The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Partnerships, Secretariat National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, The Department of Child Safety, Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service, a Torres Strait Islander elder and an Aboriginal elder.

Planning is underway for a further two centres which are scheduled to open in early 2019 and 2020. Caboolture has been identified as the preferred location for the next centre, and the search for a suitable property is underway.