Community Champions and STAR Community Services agreement supports vulnerable SMBI residents


Under a new agreement with STAR Community Services, the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) volunteer Community Champions will be able to help even more of the vulnerable residents in their communities.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said that during disasters and local emergencies, the highly regarded Community Champions could now help to support the safety, wellbeing and needs of STAR clients living on the islands.

“As Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group, I am proud of the extraordinary efforts of our SMBI Community Champions in supporting island residents,” Cr Williams said.

“The agreement with STAR will enable the Champions to provide even more support, by allowing them to contact socially or physically isolated STAR clients to check on their safety,” she said.

“Essentially, it allows the Community Champions to help make sure everyone on the island has been accounted for and is being cared for in an emergency.”

STAR General Manager Patsy Wilshire said the agreement would help ensure the safety of their island clients.

“Isolated, elderly people are already vulnerable, so during a disaster we call over 600 Bay Island clients to make sure they are safe, and have access to fresh food and water as well as vital medications,” Ms Wilshire said.

“In any future disaster, if anyone on the SMBI needs immediate help, STAR will contact the Community Champions who will be able to visit the person’s home to assess their needs,” she said.

“We strongly believe that communities that work together are stronger.”

Ms Wilshire wanted to thank the Redlands Foundation for providing a phone and laptop to support communications between STAR and the Community Champions.

“Equipment like this is a basic need during emergencies, so we extend sincere thanks to Redlands Foundation for their generosity.”

Community Champions Coordinator Marie Dalton said the group’s main aim was to care for vulnerable people.

“In emergencies, the Community Champions work together to make sure everyone on the islands is safe,” Marie said.

“Working with STAR will help us identify and reach more vulnerable people more quickly,” she said.

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said the agreement reflected how Redlands Coast organisations are finding ways to work together to assist the wider community.

“STAR has provided vulnerable members of our Redlands Coast community with safe, affordable and reliable services for many years,” Cr Edwards said.

“I am delighted that by working with STAR, our Community Champions will be even better resourced to support their island communities,” he said.

“We know that the very best disaster management programs involve local people, and that’s why our Community Champions have been so successful.

“This agreement will strengthen our SMBIs’ resilience and is a great example of the power of the Redlands Coast community working together.

“If you would like further information regarding the work carried out by STAR Community Services, please call 3821 6699 or the Southern Moreton Bay Island Community Champions on 0423 162 723.