CREATE Project Newsletter – March-April, 2020

May 14, 2020

CREATE March-April RoundUP

14th May, 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)

As with many other sections of society COVID-19 has directly affected the CREATE project. We recognise the pain that many individuals and communities are experiencing at this time, especially on the back of the summer of bushfires and a particularly heart breaking domestic violence crime in Brisbane. The response so far to COVID-19 lockdowns from many Australians is however heart-warming, especially the recent ANZAC day light up the dawn event (see photo – Fairfield QLD ANZAC Day 2020).

At the recent CREATE Executive Committee meeting on the 20th of April the CREATE partnership discussed the different ways COVID-19 has affected them. From working at home, to developing/adjusting policies in response to COVID-19 everybody has had to make some sort of workplace adjustment (in addition to personal ones). COVID-19 has essentially stopped all data collection by the research team, but we are fortunate in that while not ideal we have enough data to perform the analyses required to answer many of the research questions outlined in the original ARC Linkage application.

Members from Logan Together, the Department of Social Services, Department of Education in NSW, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women in QLD, Department of Communities and Justice in NSW, and Griffith University were in attendance at the CEC meeting in April.

As flagged at the last CEC we discussed dissemination of research outcomes. Given COVID-19 restrictions and the pandemic’s financial impact on many of our partners, the project plenary meeting, previously planned for October in Sydney, will take place as a virtual meeting on October 19 using video conferencing. The focus of the meeting will be on the final report to the Australian Research Council and ‘Where to next for community-based collective impact initiatives in Australia’. Similarly, the presentations planned for the 25th of March at the Department of Social Services in Canberra had to be cancelled due to travel restrictions. The research team are currently preparing a series of online presentations/ webinars highlighting key project outcomes. These presentations will commence in June and run until the end of September.

There was a positive response by CEC members to the shift to online presentations instead of the face-to-face Plenary Event, as it will enable those who normally cannot attend to be present.

We expect the online presentations will be delivered using Microsoft Teams Live Events, which is similar to a Teams Meeting but allows for a larger number of attendees, the sharing of desktops by presenters, recording of the presentations, and a Q&A facility. Importantly, Teams Live Events is much more secure than Zoom.

The online presentations will be limited to an hour – 40 minutes presentation with 15 minutes Q&A – to reduce fatigue on the part of presenters and attendees. These presentations will include an overview of the chosen topic, and how the project activities have added to knowledge about how to bridge the gap between science and service. If after participating in a presentation partners or other stakeholders would like a more detailed or specialised presentation, the research team would welcome the opportunity to discuss options. For example, a more detailed presentation on the use of Parent’s Voice in practice settings could be negotiated.

Currently, presentation topics include:

  • The power of a critical friend – Collective Change Facilitation
  • Coalition Wellbeing – Reviewing the functionality and effectiveness of your collaboration
  • The power of wellbeing data for community coalitions, and the schools and agencies within those partnerships
  • The many uses of child wellbeing data for schools: Illustrations using Rumble’s Quest
  • Demonstration of the capabilities and application of Parent’s Voice – Parental Empowerment and Efficacy Measure
  • Demonstration of the capabilities and use of the new Economic Support and Reporting Tool (ESRT)
  • Strengthening Family-School-Community Relationships – An online Professional Learning Program designed to strengthen Principals’ leadership in forging school-family-community connections to improve student wellbeing and learning outcomes

As you receive notifications about these events, please pass them onto others who you think may be interested.

Before COVID-19 stopping data collection in schools Kate Freiberg began interviewing school personnel about their experiences when using Rumble’s Quest, and what they have done, or are planning to do, to improve student wellbeing in light of their data report. The response has been very positive including these from School Counsellors:

“Having the data showed how the school’s efforts focused on social emotional learning have been paying off” … “The data’s fabulous, and now teachers have actually got backing for what they’re doing.” 

“There was big value in the picture of overall health at the school that the report provided. And then the year level analysis was really helpful for teachers.”

It is hoped that once users in schools are available again Kate will be able continue this important review.

Greer Johnson also reported about the development of the professional learning modules for school principals as part of the Family-School-Community component of the project. This component is ready to begin when research in Queensland schools becomes possible again.

Sara Branch reported that prior to COVID-19 a number of Communities for Children sites had indicated their interest in using the Coalition Wellbeing Survey again. Sara will follow up with these sites shortly to confirm their use of the survey. Unfortunately, Sara also reported that due to teaching commitments related to COVID-19 the finalisation of the CIF Report has been delayed. It will be finalised shortly. Sara was able to update the CEC on the Collective Change Facilitation Community of Practice. On Friday the 17th of April the group came together to discuss the topic of Collective Leadership. This group is made up of former Collective Impact Facilitators and other practitioners from around Australia. The group will meet again in May (15th) and will continue to discuss Collective Leadership. Monthly meetings are planned with topics for discussion emerging from the group.

The agenda, attachments and minutes from all CEC meetings are stored in the Project Management Portal ( The CEC will meet again on the 22nd of June and the 24th of August, 2020.

This will be one of the last newsletters of the project with only one more timed to coincide with the Project Partner Plenary online meeting later this year. We would like to take this opportunity to pass on our best wishes to everybody for the rest of the year. One thing is for sure, 2020 will be a year we won’t forget for a while!

Stay safe and stay healthy,



Despite what has been happening over the past couple of months there has been plenty of things that made us smile:

Volunteers lending a helping hand: We were smiling when we heard about the number of volunteers stepping up to help charities. Charities like Meals on Wheels rely on volunteers to support those in the community who depend on them not just for meals but for someone to connect with. However, many of these volunteers are over 70. As a result, many charities do not have their normal volunteer workforce available to them right now. In response they put out a desperate plea for new volunteers to help continue to provide meals and reach out to people. When a member of the research team contacted them offering to volunteer, they were told they had had such a great response that they do not need any further volunteers at this time. That strangely made us smile!

For more about this go to the ABC website:

A teddy-bears picnic: Shortly before Easter you may have noticed teddy-bears popping up in windows around you. One family in the north of Brisbane has been setting up everyday scenes for the local childre

n, including teddy-bears social-distancing. A local Brisbane teddy bear was seen taking a swing recently (see photo).

For more about this story go to the ABC website:



CREATE 2020 Seminar Series: Starting early in June and continuing until the end of September the research team will be presenting a series of online webinars outlining the outcomes from this 7 year project. The Seminar Series is open to all stakeholders and partners.

Plenary Partner Meeting: On October 19th (time to be confirmed) the project partnership will come together virtually for the last plenary meeting. All partner organisations are welcome to attend. Invitations to the plenary will be distributed via your organisation’s partner investigator. If this person has changed recently please let Sara Branch know.



(Items added since February)

CREATE Executive Committee (CEC)

  • CREATE Executive Committee April 20th 2020 – CEC Minutes – posted 21-4-2020
  • CREATE Executive Committee April 20th 2020 – CEC Agenda and Attachments – posted 14-4-2020

Items of Interest

  • CREATE 2020 Publication Schedule – Working Document – posted 15-4-2020


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:



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