The Gympie Region

Here at CHSN we are passionate about the Gympie region – we think it has it all: Coast, City, Country and a great community!

We have some fantastic resources available: people, community assets, organisations and ideas.

We think Gympie region is a great area in which to live, work and play, however we recognise that not everyone participates as much as they would like in our community. This is why we are passionate about breaking cycles of disadvantage in our area.

From the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), produced by the ABS, we know that we we have some challenges. The Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (IRSD) indicates we have: …

  • higher than average unemployment
  • lower than average incomes
  • lower than average education levels
  • higher than average support needs
  • lower than average labour force participation
  • higher than average incidence of households with no parent working
  • lower than average levels of internet access

From the MySchool website, we see that some of our children struggle with schooling while many of our schools have lower than average ICSEA (Index of Community Socio-Educational Disadvantage) scores.

The ‘Gympie Gap’

There is a phenomenon we see which we dub the ‘Gympie Gap’.

It manifests in what can’t be seen, rather than what can. It results in our region lacking services that would be expected in towns our size.

The ‘Gympie Gap’ occurs:

  • when funding directed for Gympie is packaged with services from the Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay or Fraser Coast, and is either not delivered at all, or delivered on an outreach basis.
  • when outreach workers see visiting Gympie as a chore, and find every opportunity not to come, breaking a trust with our community.
  • when outreach services don’t respect the Gympie region.
  • when funding bodies assume that because services say they will include Gympie, and are funded to do that, that they actually meet our needs. But neither the funding body nor the funded service check in with us.
  • when government departments don’t have common boundaries – and swap Gympie between the Wide Bay Burnett and Sunshine Coast at the stroke of a pen.

If you are a service with a mandate to deliver in the Gympie region, you can help us overcome the ‘Gympie Gap’.

You  can do this by:

  • familiarising yourself with the region
  • consulting us respectfully
  • employing local staff where possible
  • arranging to have your staff introduce themselves and their program to the community
  • joining CHSN

When you are prepared to take the time to get to know us you will find a bunch of people who are innovative, forward thinking, positive and solution focussed. We are happy to work with you, but only within a practice framework that is respectful, inclusive, consultative and collaborative.

When you understand that jokes about guns, red necks, two heads and country music are not at all funny, indeed may be deeply offensive, and so’last century’, you are part of the way there.

When you understand that Gympie’s geography makes flat land hard to come by, or you have experienced our community in action during a flood, you may understand that we are an innovative bunch and you will work with us to find solutions that suit our unique circumstances.

How does CHSN assist the community?

"Cooloola Human Services Network is unique. It connects individuals, groups and organisations with common interests and purpose. It finds the linkages and common ground. It brings people together to clarify issues, solve problems and create solutions that really work in our commUNITY".  

Fiona Neagle

CHSN President 2014-2016