To celebrate the first ever Queensland edition of @ The Coalface, the Components Only and @ The Coalface $500 Community Gift is being awarded to the Dysart Community Support Group, a group of dedicated volunteers who have made it their mission to improve the quality of life of Dysart residents in need.
The group which was first created in 1989 and included founding members and longtime residents Anne Butcher and Judith Rowe, is run by a volunteer management committee and has spent the past 33 years helping to provide resources and solutions for any challenges local residents may face as well as a variety of much needed services to the Dysart community.
These include Welcome to Dysart programs, the Novel Experience Book Exchange and the monthly co-ordination and creation of the Dysart Diary which publishes valuable community information and is distributed throughout the town and surrounding areas.
Some of the group’s funding is provided by the Neighbourhood Centre Program from the Department of Communities Housing and Digital Economy, operating through the Dysart Community Centre however they are also forced to rely on the generosity of local businesses and residents to keep the support group operational.
Community Development Officer Richelle Toshack explained over the past few years, Community Centre’s throughout Qld had seen a significant increase in their delivery of services. This due to a range of issues, most predominantly Covid impacts and the varied pressures it has raised for individuals.
It was during the peak of the Covid Pandemic, that the Dysart Community Support Group was successful in receiving funding from BHP through their Vital Resource Funding.
This funding, in conjunction with additional funds from the Department of Justice and Attorney General, was used to support the Centre’s Crisis Accommodation Program; providing flexible financial support to victims of Domestic and Family Violence to help them find support and safely re-establish themselves.
“It is collaborations between the community sector and corporate business that make it possible to make a meaningful impact in building a more resilient community,” Ms. Toshack said. “I really have to commend BHP for their ability to provide such a valuable and prompt response when our community really needed it.’
The Dysart Community Support Group works very closely with stakeholders in an effort to find collaborative solutions to meet community need. The services they have provided over the past three decades have been invaluable to the community which is why it is so important the group is able to continue its work moving forward into the future.