Students put heads and hearts into tackling homelessness

Published:19 August 2019

CQUni students design solutions during the Gladstone Social Innovation Workshop.

More than 20 students will converge on CQUni Gladstone to tackle big issues for Queensland’s young people, as they explore and design concepts for tackling homelessness in the future.

The three-day workshop is on 19-21 August and hosted at the Gladstone Marina campus, in partnership with local not-for-profit Roseberry Qld.

The Gladstone-based organisation provides a range of services for young people and families experiencing difficulty, and is challenging students to design youth homeless shelters with its Shelteristic2025 project.

Program managers from CQUni’s Office of Social Innovation will support the students to develop social innovation skills, connect with relevant organisations, and then develop concepts for practical and innovative homeless shelters to meet needs in 2025 and beyond.

The workshop is an annual event for CQUni Gladstone, with the first social innovation studio held at the campus in 2015.

Program manager and co-facilitator Ashley Clarke says the three-day intensive is offered free for students who demonstrate their passion for changemaking.

“Addressing homelessness is an issue that students are really keen to grapple with, and we have students travelling to Gladstone from our campus regions across the state,” Ms Clarke said.

“The workshop is a practical way to explore social challenges like homelessness, but also think creatively about how different parts of our community can provide solutions.”

“At the same time, students are showing and growing their leadership, problem solving, empathy, team work, and so many more skills that are needed in every workplace – and needed to change the world!”

Roseberry has developed the Shelteristic2025 challenge in response to the Queensland Housing Strategy 2017 – 2027, which has a key focus on creating “a greater range of housing options whatever a person’s age or circumstances”.

Considerations for youth shelter design should include space, safety and security, belonging, and access to support.

CQUni is supporting students to travel to the workshop from as far as Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as from Rockhampton, Mackay and Bundaberg.

The event follows a series of CQUni workshops across Central Queensland to support local social enterprise ideas, presented in partnership with the Queensland Social Enterprise Council.

The initiatives support CQUniversity’s role as Australia’s only Ashoka U Changemaker Campus.

Ashoka U is an exclusive international network of universities committed to social innovation and impact, dedicated to inspiring and developing the next generation of global changemakers.