Our hearts are full and our heads are still spinning after the whirlwind of collective impact amazingness that was the Logan Get Together. On Thursday October 5 more than 330 people streamed into the Logan Entertainment Centre making the Get Together the largest gathering held as part of the Logan Together movement so far.
It started out as an idea to hold an event to thank everyone who has been part of the Logan Together journey. It quickly became a must attend opportunity with a speaking line-up featuring 30 of the best and brightest collective impact, child development and social policy minds in Logan, Queensland, Australia and the world. It’s a testament to the work being done in Logan, that these experts were so keen to attend and share their work.
In true Logan Together style, the Get Together attracted attendees from the length and breadth of the community sector. Local grass roots volunteers rubbed shoulders with leading international funding organisations, senior Government policy makers got front line feedback from service providers and political representatives from all three levels of Government shared the stage to loudly and proudly voice their continued support of Logan Together.
In fact, Senator Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Queensland Minister for Communities Shannon Fentiman and Logan City Mayor Luke Smith all used the event to announce a continuation of funding for Logan Together. The Queensland Government and the Australian Government both committed $1.2 million each over the next two years and Logan City Council will provide $367,000 over three years. This funding secures our work – enabling us to continue to harness and facilitate community energy and effort to empower people to make lasting change in their lives.
Throughout the day we were capturing guests’ aspirations for their learnings from the event. The most common theme? The desire to soak up as much information as possible from other guests and the amazing speaker line up. And soak it up they did. Every session was alive with energy and focus from our heavy hitting key note sessions from Professor Sharon Goldfeld and community empowerment juggernaut Rich Harwood, to our table talks where local stars shared grassroots ideas that were flourishing. The energy spilled over to our networking breaks where the room was abuzz with connections being made and revisited and ideas being shared. The enthusiasm and openness of each and every guest made the day the success that it was – it was truly an example of collective impact.
The format of the event allowed guests to experience the morning’s key note sessions as one and then follow their own personal and professional interests through the table talks and breakout sessions that followed. Many attendees chose to broaden their horizons by participating in sessions on topics that were new to them, embracing the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the field. All registered guests have been sent an evaluation survey so we can capture what worked and what didn’t, what people want to see more of and what concepts or ideas we may have missed.
While we’re still awaiting those results we’re thrilled to say that, since the event, our inboxes have been overflowing with messages of positivity from so many who have already found ways to incorporate their learnings into their daily work. Everyone who worked on the event are proud as punch that we seem to have hit the nail on the head in terms of what you wanted to experience.
So at the end of the day what was achieved? We shared evidence based research that backs our work to provide kids everywhere with an equal opportunity at a great start in life. We heard all levels of Government put their money where their mouths are and continue their already substantial support of Logan Together. We went on a ride with a people’s hero who helped us identify the keys to unlocking community potential. And we were inspired by passion projects and real life success stories that show it can be done – we can make a difference.
But perhaps most importantly, everyone present reaffirmed their commitment to doing everything it takes to make life amazing for kids in Logan. And that is what Logan Together is all about.