Where It All Started

SMBI Listeners Inc.

The Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) are a group of islands that sit about a 20-minute ferry ride off the coast of Redland Bay in Southeast Queensland. SMBI is home to a small community of approximately 750 families and about 10,000 residents. It is a naturally beautiful, peaceful, and secluded place to live.

However, the Islands’ secluded lifestyle can also be isolating – the only way on or off the Islands is by ferry, barge or personal water transport. This separation from the mainland makes it challenging for the SMBI community to gain equitable access to all the health and social services available to their mainland counterparts.

Many of the children and families living on the islands are vulnerable, with child development issues and rates of domestic and family violence being some of the worst in south-east Queensland. The level of trauma experienced by a large percentage of SMBI children and family members is significant.

In 2018 SMBI community members were presented with an idea to work differently, and this is where the SMBI Community Impact Initiative began. Two community members were mentored in the Harwood approach and asked community 3 simple questions.

What are your aspirations or hopes

for your children?

What do you see are the barriers

to achieving those?

What ideas do you have to be able to

move your ideas forward?”

Where It All Started

Over 1000 community conversations were held utilizing this approach with individuals, local groups, and stakeholders, at community events and online. This was such an important piece of work, as the SMBI community hadn’t felt listened to for many years.

We didn’t make any promises, but we did ensure that every person we spoke to understood how important their voice was and that they would be contributing to positive changes for SMBI children and their families. After these conversations were held, we read, captured, and themed each one into themes and they were then into ages and stages.

Following this, we were able to understand what the priorities for SMBI children and families were across each age and stage from community voice. This became our key foundational data set of Community Priorities which was then shared at our first Community Governance Group alongside our Foundational Report in July 2019.