Logan Together project launched at Griffith

(l - r) Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of Logan campus, Professor Lesley Chenoweth AO, Logan Mayor Pam Parker, Logan Together director Matthew Cox, Federal Member for Forde, Mr Bert van Manen and State Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, the Hon. Shannon Fentiman.

Griffith University is proudly hosting an Australian first initiative to improve the early development of children in Logan city, particularly in the areas of health and education.

The Logan Together project, a flagstone project from the Logan’s City of Choice Action Plan, brings together all levels of government, community agencies and  the university . The launch at Logan campus coincides with the release of the State of Logan’s Children and Young People report which has highlighted the need for a range of improvements for children across the city.

Improving life outcomes

Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of Logan campus, Professor Lesley Chenoweth AO said the project will target children from birth to eight years old with a view to improving their life outcomes.

“In this city we have pockets of extreme disadvantage and within these neighbourhood or suburb pockets there are children who are missing out on a whole lot of opportunities,” Professor Chenoweth said.

The project, which has  been two years in development , is a collaboration of more than 40 funding and community partners including federal, state and local governments. Led by newly appointed Director,  Matthew Cox, and employing several key staff, Logan Together is  based at Griffith’s Logan campus.

Collaboration key to success

A professor of social work, Lesley Chenoweth says this collaboration and the shared  expertise of all involved this collaboration will be at the heart of the project’s success.

“This will involve the very people who are working directly with families, directly in classrooms, directly in early childhood centres.

“At Griffith it will enable our midwifery, early childhood education and the whole raft of health and human services researchers and students to work alongside our Logan Together staff on campus and in the community

“I believe it will also generate increased research funding to enable specific studies that might look at, for example, pregnant women and then project better outcomes for babies at birth, or early intervention to improve literacy .”

“These important research projects will be very grounded in the local community and deliver solid knowledge and evidence so that people can pick that up quickly and implement change,” Professor Chenoweth said.

Long term benefits

Professor Chenoweth is confident significant change will be seen in just a couple of years but the real long term benefits will be evident at the end of the decade long project.

“But we will certainly see the most significant results in ten years’ time. Those kids who come into the project when they are five will be 15 by then, and they’ll be making their choices for years 11 and 12 and hopefully they will have increased life aspirations and be so much better equipped to make them a reality.”