My name’s Brad Perry and I’m the Site Manager at Stanwell Power Station just outside of Rockhampton. I started my career as an apprentice electrician in the CQ Coal fields where I progressed to a supervisor level before deciding to widen my experience by moving into the Power Generation industry. I have been able to work across the length and breadth of Queensland for over 30 years. You may be surprised to see a blog by someone like me on what looks predominantly like a health website.
Well I’m sure you would all agree – health and well being is everyone’s business.
In the middle of last year, Stanwell was approached by liveWELL CQ to have a conversation around the Every Child Deserves Every Chance initiative.
This is an ambitious initiative that seeks to make systemic and long lasting change to health and life outcomes for all Central Queensland children. Partnership members including Mick Shearer (Chair) and Suzie Christensen (CEO from Anglicare) as well as Roxanne Hodda their Partnership Broker told me about the issues facing our Central Queensland kids – these included low school scores, nearly double the rate of teen pregnancies, high youth unemployment and increased levels of domestic and family violence… just to name a few!
It became immediately clear to me that these issues would have a long term effect by placing pressure on maintaining a pool of resources that will meet our future workforce requirements. Firstly I may not be able to recruit highly trained workforce members because of the low school scores and secondly I may not be able to retain staff if the community is not one in which people are healthy and happy and contributing to society.
Stanwell agreed to sponsor the launch of Every Child Deserves Every Chance and in February this year. I was provided the opportunity to speak in front 120 people mostly from the health and human services sector about why it is important the whole community gets behind this initiative. As I looked around the room – I was shocked by the extent of community commitment to ensure our young adults are given every opportunity to succeed. I was only able to achieve what I have been able to in my career because people provided me with hope and an opportunity to develop myself. I was disappointed to see that there were not many industry leaders at the launch to also offer support. The children of today are our future leaders. As a community, we need to be concerned and we need to take appropriate action for the success and happiness of our future.
I believe that for every child to be given an opportunity then we as a community must take responsibility to provide that opportunity at every stage of our young people’s development in what ever small way we can. What do you have without hope and opportunity?