Regional Social Development Coalition
Building Community leadership and capacity to strengthen our regional communities.
STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES IN WHITSUNDAY, ISAAC AND MACKAY
RSDC, Regional Social Development Coalition, originally established in 1974 as MRCSD , works to build community leadership and capacity to strengthen regional communities in the Whitsunday Isaac and Mackay area.
RSDC has a support and advocacy role, rather than a service delivery role. By working with local, community managed organisations, we can provide individual mentoring and support to ensure ongoing sustainability so that organisations can continue to provide those services and activities which are essential for a strong and resilient community.
RSDC is also an advocate for local and regional issues, supporting the collective voice to be heard. Through our relationships with peak bodies, such as Volunteering QLD, Coalition for Community Boards, QCOSS and Community Services Industry Alliance, as well as Federal and Queensland Government departments, RSDC is able to lobby and progress your local concerns by fostering collaboration and regional planning around those concerns.
RSDC’s diverse membership comes from across the WIM region and we offer membership to organisations and individuals at minimal fee
Core Values, Purpose
The Regional Social Development Centre (RSDC) affirms that it is passionate about the CORE VALUES of:
- Social justice and inclusion
- Promoting respect and diversity
- Empowering people to have a voice
- Fostering grassroots action
This will result from social infrastructure investment projects run by the RSDC and the organisation’s advocacy as a regional peak body (in partnership with state and federal governments, regional councils, industry and community based organisations as well as individuals) that aims to ‘fill the gap’ in needs, improve social capital and empower people in the region.
Goal and Future Vision
In pursuit of its CORE PURPOSE of empowering people to make communities better places to live, our GOAL is that the RSDC is recognised as the regional peak body for community and social development issues.
We work towards a FUTURE in which the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac region has a high standard of social well-being and where residents recognise the RSDC as having played a key role in facilitating their efforts to make the region one of the most liveable and friendly.
Until September 2010, the Regional Social Development Centre was known as the Mackay Regional Council for Social Development, or MRCSD. A snapshot of the organisation’s history in this region includes: 1970’s
- MRCSD was formed in 1974 under the Australian Assistance Plan
- MRCSD was designed to allow regional areas in Australia to assess and resource their own social needs.
- Individuals and organisations came together from across the region to raise their issues and work with MRCSD staff to develop strategies to address them
- These individuals and organisations from across the region also determined the future focus and activity of MRCSD
- Funding ceased after an initial 3 year period due to change of (Whitlam) govt
- Evaluation conducted and MRCSD found to be a valuable resource, but funding did not continue
- The organisation continued to function with the assistance of committed local people working on a voluntary basis
- Some funding was received in 1990 from the Qld government
- Since that time, the organisation has continued to operate with grants from both state and federal governments funding specific programs and projects.
- Community Development Worker program implemented, with recurrent funding from Dept of Communities
- Also managed Community Housing and Migrant Settlement Programs
- Commenced Welcome Centre project, Volunteer Hub and Creative Generators Regional Arts project
- Commenced offering training workshops
- Changed organisation’s name to Regional Social Development Centre
Work undertaken throughout the history of the Regional Social Development Centre includes:
- Establishing an Emergency Respite Service
- Fostering the development of Australia’s first Australian South Sea Islander community association.
- Informing government through public forums and submissions of policy gaps and the impact of such on local communities (e.g. increased insurance requirements for community-based organisations, closure of Taxi Transit service in Mackay, participation in development of Whitsunday, Hinterland and Mackay regional plan).
- Working with individuals and groups to establish Disability Enhancement Fund.
- Auspicing many groups and organisations, some of which have progressed to becoming their own incorporated associations (e.g. George St Neighbourhood Centre programs).
- Community Builders project in Pioneer Valley, which supported two individuals to become councillors, then mayors, of the former Sarina and Mirani Shires.