CREATE Project Newsletter – January-February, 2020

March 4, 2020

CREATE January-February Newsletter

4th March, 2020


The CREATE Project acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.



From the Directors’ Desk – Professors Ross Homel and Greer Johnson (Co-Directors):

Given the bushfire and flood events over summer across the country we would like to acknowledge the pain that many communities in Australia are still experiencing and will be experiencing for some time to come. Whether it is about the climate or family violence we need to continue to talk about what can be done, especially after emergency services have moved on or when our attention moves to the next crisis! While there is dialogue there is a chance at solutions and actions being developed.

The CREATE Executive Committee came together on the 24th of February for its first meeting of 2020. Members from Logan Together, the Department of Social Services, the Benevolent Society (as NGO-FP Representative), Department of Education in NSW, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women in QLD, and Griffith University were in attendance. At this meeting Geoff Woolcock indicated his willingness to continue as the Chair of the CREATE Executive Committee. We are very thankful to Geoff for his leadership in this regard. Geoff has also provided a commentary below on his reflections from 2019 and hopes for 2020.

The CEC acknowledged the good news in February regarding the extension of the Communities for Children initiative for another 12 months. This was good news for the CREATE Project because it not only enables sites to continue their exceptional work until June 2021 but also because a number of sites had put off considering use of the Coalition Wellbeing Survey in 2020 until this notification.

With this being the last year of the 8-year CREATE project the research team here at Griffith University and the Australian National University will be wrapping up data collection and focusing heavily on dissemination of research outcomes, which was a focus of discussion at the CEC. The CEC will help with planning the end of project plenary meeting and presentations by acting as a Steering Committee. Current thinking for the plenary is that we will have two sessions – an Outcomes Seminar in the morning which will be open to a wider audience including stakeholders and partners, and a second session in the afternoon which will be for project partners only and will focus on ‘where to next.’ The Outcomes Seminar will be a combination of presentations from partners and the research team, as well as reflections by some discussants who have not been directly involved in the project but who can offer a critical perspective on the project and – more importantly – the lessons learned for future prevention-oriented work in local communities.

The research team are currently exploring with project partners opportunities for delivering partner-specific events (subject to capacity). For instance, on the 25th of March at the DSS in Canberra a presentation by Matthew Manning and Gabriel Wong (from ANU) on the Cost-Benefit App for Community Coalitions is planned. If you are in Canberra on that day all partners are very welcome (please contact Sara Branch for more details).

The Research Team informed the CEC that CfC communities where a number of schools have taken up the invitation to use Rumble’s Quest will be invited to participate in the next stage of the project. This will involve sharing their experiences with the implementation process and what they have done, or are planning to do, to improve student wellbeing in light of their Rumble’s Quest data report. These schools will also be invited to participate in a free online Professional Learning Program designed to strengthen the Principal’s leadership in forging school-family-community connections to improve student wellbeing and learning outcomes. This innovative program, developed by Project Chief Investigators Greer Johnson and Beverley Flückiger, is a tangible resource that the CREATE Project can offer to schools to help them take practical steps to boost student wellbeing.

Kate Freiberg also reported to the CEC that the Coalition Wellbeing Survey is available to all CfC sites for use. As we noted above, communities had been holding off on whether to use it until they knew if CfC would be refunded. In addition, Kate remined CEC members that the online version of the Parent Empowerment and Efficacy Measure (PEEM) – called Parent’s Voice – is available for use and includes capacity for bulk uploads and use by clients in a space suitable to them (such as their home). As the PEEM is an approved outcomes measure by AIFS, Carmel Sefian (DSS) and Kate Freiberg (GU) will meet to discuss other potential avenues for dissemination

Sara Branch reported that the Collective Impact Facilitator report is at the point where the conclusions and recommendations can be finalised. It is expected the report will be available to the CEC by the end of March. The CIF Community of Practice is also continuing, with a workshop on the topic of Collective Leadership planned for the 17th of April. Anybody who is in the Brisbane area is welcome to attend. Contact Sara Branch for details.

The agenda, attachments and minutes from all CEC meetings are stored in the Project Management Portal (

Yours sincerely,



Geoff Woolcock – CEC Chair

On the 1st of November, 2019, I chaired CREATE’s annual face-to-face Plenary meeting in Brisbane. It was terrific to have a number of project partners and colleagues in attendance along with discussants and project friends Brian Bumbarger (CREATE Consultant) and Deborah Ghate (visiting guest – Colebrooke Centre for Evidence and Implementation).

As this meeting followed the Community Based Prevention and Implementation Symposium and Workshop hosted by the Griffith team 30-31 October, we all discussed the impact of the two events on people’s thinking. It was agreed that both days were stimulating and provided people from a wide range of organisations and roles the opportunity to share and learn. The first day especially challenged attendees’ understanding of data sovereignty and why and how we collect data, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ data. The intention of the symposium steering committee was to stir things up by asking Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter to present first, and this she did! Professor Walter fundamentally challenged what we mean when we engage in “co-” processes (ie., co-creationco-design, etc.), highlighting if all parties were not in the room when the problem was initially discussed then it is not co-creation. The importance of keeping the voice of vulnerable communities at the centre of all our work especially resonated throughout both days.

The Plenary meeting also enabled us to sketch a timeline of CREATE’s progress, assisted by our invited guests’ summaries of the project (Deborah Ghate: this project is world class, ground-breaking, and highly innovative; Brian Bumbarger: reminded us that it took Communities That Care in the US ten years to scale up – and that CREATE also needs time for its full potential to be realised). As part of the research team’s progress report, we also heard about exciting developments with PEEM Online (PEEM stands for Parental Empowerment and Efficacy Measure). This system incorporates Parents’ Voice (the online version of the measure), and a comprehensive support structure that includes an enhanced user management dashboard, guides for use, and system for data storage, management, and export. More information about PEEM Online can be found at

In 2020, CREATE will be particularly focusing on dissemination and is currently planning for the end of project Plenary (proposed for October in Sydney), alongside other events with individual partner organisations. For example, in March, Matthew Manning and Gabriel Wong from ANU will present their service provider economic app to the DSS in Canberra. (If you would like to attend please contact Sara Branch for more details). All CREATE data collection, including Rumble’s Quest in schools, will cease at the end of Term 2, allowing time for the preparation of reports and papers by the end of the year. Please contact the research team if you have any questions about your use of the Coalition Wellbeing Survey, or any other resources available via the project. We’d also welcome your ideas about any other dissemination avenues you would like to explore.

In the wake of summer’s torrid but largely preventable bushfires, the window of opportunity to seriously invest in early intervention and prevention for children’s wellbeing seems to be significantly opening and the CREATE learnings promise to be a substantial contributor to such investment.

Dr Geoff Woolcock

Chair – CREATE Executive Committee


Contributions WelcomeContributions from project partners to the RoundUP are welcome. If you have an idea for a feature, event or just something that made you smile please contact Sara Branch ( for inclusion in future RoundUPs.



This is where we share great things to read, listen to, attend and more! Let us know if you discover anything you would like us to share in our next newsletter.

Extension of Communities for Children: We were all smiles when we heard about the extension of Communities for Children until June of 2021.

Malcolm Elliott from APPA was heard on Local ABC Radio in Brisbane this week talking about the wellbeing of children in schools as part of a story about therapy dogs in schools. To hear Malcolm go to the Mornings with Rebecca Levingston show for the 25th of February ( – go to 15 mins).



CREATE Q&A Teleconference: Members of the project team will be available at a Q&A teleconference for anyone interested in continuing the conversation. Each month we discuss a specific topic. This time we will focus our discussion around the various strands of project activity and data collection, most of which will conclude by June 30, 2020.

March’s Q&A details are:

2pm (Brisbane; 3pm Sydney) Monday March 23rd

Call: 1 800 896 323 and enter Participant Code: 96583305#

CREATE Executive Committee (CEC) Meeting: The CEC will meet on the 20th of April. The agenda and minutes from the February 24th meeting are stored on the Project Management Portal.

Save the Date –Seminar and Plenary: In mid-October (19th or 20th of October – TBC) we are planning to hold the project’s last all-day plenary meeting in Sydney. As part of the Plenary meeting we will have, as noted earlier, an Outcomes Seminar plus discussant commentaries, with a focus on what we have all learned about future practice in disadvantaged communities. The Outcomes Seminar will be open to all stakeholders and partners. Following the Outcomes Seminar, project partners will meet to explore project outcomes and discuss ‘where to next.’ The plenary meeting is open to all project partners.

More details to follow.



(Items added since November)

Project Governance

  • CREATE Project Plenary Meeting – Brisbane 1st November 2019 – Summary Notes – posted 22-11-19

CREATE Executive Committee (CEC)

  • CREATE Executive Committee February 24th 2020 Minutes – posted 3-3-2020
  • CREATE Executive Committee February 24th 2020 Agenda – posted 10-2-2020
  • CREATE Executive Committee Membership as at January, 2019 – posted 20-1-2020

Items of Interest

  • ANZ Society of Criminology 2019 Perth presentation: Homel et al. A scalable Australian methodology for constructing community-level risk and protective factor profiles for children aged 5-12 years – posted 20-1-2020
  • American Society of Criminology 2019 San Francisco presentation: Homel et al. A scalable Australian methodology for constructing community-level risk and protective factor profiles for children aged 5-12 years – posted 25-11-19


Please go to the Project Management Portal to view these and other project documents. All project partner representatives have access to view these documents. To access the portal:


Posted by Creating Pathways Support

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