“Inspiring and educational speakers” shared lived experience

Same Same but Different Inclusion Forum

WorkUP Queensland ran the first of two online forums yesterday on 21 April, 2020. Same Same but Different provided an opportunity for participants to hear sector leaders and those with lived experience talk about the positive impacts of inclusive practice!

The focus of the full day workshop was inclusion for people with a disability, those who identify as LGBTIQ, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse populations (CALD). Dr Brodie  Evans, Men’s Program Coordinator at Micha Projects gave a keynote addressing practical tips to embrace and celebrate diversity within our workplaces.

We also heard from Aunty Elsja Dewit, Cultural Healer at Murrigunyah Family & Cultural Healing Centre. She shared the importance of understanding and establishing key relationships in community, with personal insights for how achieve this.

Karni Lidell imparted knowledge as a person with a disability and engagement manager for Disability Connect QLD. Karni’s role is to increase employment of People with a disability across the Public sector. Her story highlighted ways we can create more holistic and responsive services for those with disability.

The voices of CALD survivors were also heard at the forum, providing participants with practical strategies for improving practice.

We received positive feedback from participants at Same Same but Different including:

“Inspiring and educational speakers”

“A great deal to digest, so thought provoking and informative”

“When I look at the lists… they are all things we do well…which gives me some encouragement”

“I liked Aunty Elsja’s message…to bring it back to the heart”

To find out how you can be part of our next forum or other initiatives around inclusion please visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/same-same-but-different-inclusion-forum-online-sw-nq-m-se-cq-tickets-90906468695




Blog #2 - Self-care planning

Self-Care planning

A self-care plan can help you to respond to existing or new stressors in your life. Embedding self-care into your routine can help you to maintain your wellbeing, even when life is relatively less stressful.

We have prepared a self-care plan that is simple to use and easy to customise for your specific needs.  You can also download the slides from a workshop that we presented on Self-Care planning.  

Please feel free to download and share these resources with your friends and colleagues.  

Self-care plan instructions

Self-care plan worksheet

Self-care plan workshop slides

Blog #1 - Facilitating online delivery

Facilitating online delivery 

The last few weeks has really pushed us out of our comfort zone.  We have had little choice but to embrace different ways of working together and it has gone surprisingly well.

We have a daily meeting online with our team and we are all involved in various meetings with a range of stakeholders.  We have delivered our first Virtual Knowledge Circle, a Statewide Reference Group Meeting and recorded an online workshop.  In a few weeks we will hold the first of our Same, Same but Different Inclusion forums, online. Register here

When we deliver face to face consultations, meetings etc, we are intentional about process, keeping people safe, and engaged.  We are continuing to grapple with how to do this in an online space and would like to share with you what we’ve learnt so far.

TIP 1:  Jump in 

Adapting to online delivery can be scary, but it is vital to keep connected with teams and stakeholders so jump in and give it a go.  We are all learning together, some things will work, and some things won’t.  Think of it as undertaking an action learning project; testing, reflecting, adjusting and improving over time.

Importantly, be kind to yourself if things go a little awry.  You don’t have to be the best or do the best, just do the best you can and improve as you go.

TIP 2:  Creating the space 

Just like a face to face meeting or workshop it’s important to have a facilitator or meeting host.  This person keeps the process moving along, keeps people engaged, starts and ends the meeting and manages the conversation.

To begin our sessions with bigger groups we use an introductory slide which explains the various features people can use to engage and sets some simple ground rules.  For example, some people are not comfortable with speaking online and prefer to use a chat function to contribute, sometimes people accidently talk over each other.  A ground rule such as, everyone is muted, please signal that you wish to speak, and the facilitator will unmute you is helpful in managing these challenges.

TIP 3:  Check in - Check out 

Posing a simple check in question and asking each participant to respond sets the tone for the meeting and supports people to feel comfortable with speaking in the group.  With external groups this also ensures that people know who is in the room which helps them to feel safe to contribute.  A check out question to end the meeting well is just as important – this supports people to contribute any closing thoughts or questions.  A couple of examples below:

Check in – what will enable you to feel safe to contribute today?

Check out – what are you taking away from our session today?

Of course, the size of the group needs to be considered and for larger groups a poll or quick breakout session to end the meeting might be best.  A slide to let people know how to provide feedback, how to get in touch etc is also helpful.

TIP 4:  Engagement 

It can be tricky to keep people engaged in online sessions.  We find that two hours is the maximum length that people can stay engaged and a ten-minute break in the middle is useful.  Whatever online platform that you use it will have a range of functions.  Developing a simple session map that includes mixing up the way that you’re engaging people using the various functions is helpful. We like to use polls to gather quick feedback, break out rooms to allow for small discussions and the whiteboard to collaborate ideas.

TIP 5:  Back up

The facilitator or host of the meeting needs to focus on keeping people engaged and running the session effectively.  It can be very stressful trying to do this and to manage any technical difficulties or challenges that participants may have.  A backup person to do this is useful and probably essential if you’re working with external groups of more than five.   The backup person can also provide trusted feedback to help improve sessions in the future.

TIP 6:  Breath in

Find a way that works for you to keep calm and carry on if things go wrong.  Stopping and taking a couple of deep breaths helps me to focus so that I can figure out what needs to be done.

Also, just be honest, we are all learning together, and people understand if we let them know something isn’t working and we’re trying to sort it out.

Stay tuned for more WorkUP Queensland blogs about ways to stay connected.


WorkUP Queensland is pleased to announce the second successful practice studio host!

Second successful practice studio host announced!

Congratulations to Women’s Health Queensland who have an innovative and creative plan to embed support for women across the state. Working with women in local communities on a range of health and wellbeing interventions, these support people will use the ‘partnering with women’ element of the Safe and Together framework as a model for engagement and interaction.  

Practice studio host organisations will be testing the implementation of three separate pieces of evidence and learning what it takes to bridge the research to practice gap. Information generated from the practice studios will form a resource for the sector, so we can all learn together.  

WorkUP will keep you posted via our website, our Facebook group (WorkUP Qld) and our newsletter on the progress of the studios. We’ll share news and updates and sometimes individual spotlights or case studies. 

Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to get regular updates. If you work in the sexual assault, domestic and family violence or women’s health and wellbeing sector and are on Facebook, please make sure you seek us out and request to join our private Facebook group.  

Action learning series  

Action learning series

WorkUP Queensland is passionate about ongoing learning and  will  launch our first Action Learning Series at the inclusion forums. Action learning is an inclusive and accessible form of professional development where people explore an agreed topic and work towards achieving growth and change in practice over time.

Action learning involves cycles of questioning, gathering information, reflecting, deciding on a course of action and implementation.  The process is strength based and as people work through these phrases, they are guided by a facilitator and coach. Throughout the action learning series not only do people work together to achieve growth and change but they develop the skills within themselves and their organization, to replicate the action learning model.  This supports long lasting change and builds capacity within teams, and across the service.

Regional and Statewide Workforce Plans

Regional and Statewide Workforce Plans

Workforce plans play a pivotal role in guiding the workforce capability and capacity delivery at both a statewide and regional level.

Throughout January and February WorkUp Queensland engaged with the sector to share how the workforce plans have shaped up and to determine the main priorities for delivery over the next year. These consultations and Knowledge Circles with regional and sector groups highlighted six priorities areas across the workforce spectrum.

The Workforce plan consultations and Knowledge Circles with regional and sector groups highlighted six priorities areas across the workforce spectrum.

These included:

  • Growing the workforce
  • Retaining the Workforce
  • Developing the workforce
  • Supporting the workforce
  • Connecting the workforce
  • Sustaining services

Our statewide plan, in conjunction with regional implementation plans will enable us to make impact across the whole workforce spectrum in 2020-21 and to deliver on the five-year strategy co-designed with the sector.

Thanks to all who have contributed to date and we look forward to working with the sector to bring these plans to life.


Inclusion forums, same same but different

Inclusion forums - now online, same same but different

One of our first transition to online delivery will be the Same Same But Different, Inclusion Forums.

At its best what does inclusion look like, sound like and feel like?  There is increasing evidence that inclusive organisations lead to better productivity, innovation and enhanced client outcomes.

Online inclusion forums will be held in April - May 2020 providing the opportunity to explore inclusion in the sexual assault, women’s health and domestic violence sector.  The forums will share and explore stories of authentic inclusion from both a lived experience and service perspective.

Using an appreciative inquiry model, participants will be invited to dream and design a plan to enhance inclusion in their own service.

Register for one of the following dates through Eventbrite:

April 21
May 8 

These forums will be held on Zoom, an online platform.  WorkUP Queensland can support you to connect to the platform. The forum will consist of three sessions across the day and include different modes such as keynote, stories and reflection; group work and planning.


Zoom is the platform we will be using as it is user friendly and accessible from any device. There is no need to download an app, simply follow the link we will provide after you register. To find out more go to https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/covid19.html

Please contact our team if you need assistance with ZOOM at workforce@healingfoundation.org.au

The first practice studio host announced!

WorkUP Queensland is pleased to announce the first successful practice studio host!  

Congratulations to the Cairns Sexual Assault Service who were inspired by the Trauma and Violence Informed Framework, to propose a practice studio to embed this model within their service and within other local services. The framework developed through the Women’s Input to a Trauma-informed systems model of care in Health settings: The WITH study.  

Cairns Sexual Assault Service will be testing the implementation of evidence and learning what it takes to bridge the research to practice gap. Information generated from the practice studios will form a resource for the sector, so we can all learn together.  

We are close to announcing a further two practice studio hosts and more information will be coming about those soon.  

We have also commenced consultation with the sector via the Reference Group to determine the round two practice studio topics. WorkUP will keep you posted via our website, our Facebook group (WorkUP Qld) and our newsletter on the progress of the studios. We’ll share the latest news, updates and individual spotlights or case studies. If you haven’t connected with us yet, head to our website and subscribe to get regular updates.  

If you work in the Sexual assault, Domestic and family violence or Women’s health and Wellbeing sector in Queensland and are on Facebook search  WorkUP Queensland  

Latest news and events

COVID-19 Update

The Healing Foundation with ANROWS have made the decision to cancel all WorkUP Queensland’s face to face events from 16 March until official health advice permits. This in light of the World Health Organisation’s declaration of the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and advice on social distancing to manage the spread of the virus.

If you were intending to go to one of our workshops, refunds will be given to those who have registered for face to face events.

The domestic and family violence, sexual assault and women’s health and wellbeing sectors continue to provide services across Queensland with many services exploring different ways of delivery in this rapidly changing environment.

During this period WorkUP Queensland will progressively make professional development available through online platforms. In the meantime other important work such as practice studios and workforce planning will continue.

If you have any questions please contact the WorkUP team on workforce@healingfoundation.org.au or phone on 0437 022 792.

We wish everyone a healthy few weeks ahead and take this time to remind us all to support one another, and check in on those most at risk in your community.

Thanks and warm regards,


Fiona Petersen
Chief Executive Officer
The Healing Foundation
Heather Nancarrow
Chief Executive Officer