Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council sets up information and referral point for vulnerable people

FRIENDLY SUPPORT: QPRC community development officer Kyla Harvey is setting up a call service to put the public in touch with the region's agencies. Picture supplied.

FRIENDLY SUPPORT: QPRC community development officer Kyla Harvey is setting up a call service to put the public in touch with the region's agencies. Picture supplied.

Struggling with stress? Need help with food relief or finances? Worried about a neighbour? Victim of domestic violence? Are the kids bored, and want ideas to keep them occupied? Or just want a sympathetic ear?

By next week, you'll be able to phone a council call service, who will refer you to services in the region, from government agencies and NGOs down to community groups.

QPRC is setting up a referral and information point so vulnerable people and the broader community can get the help they need during the pandemic.

The region has many community-led initiatives, the council's community development officer Kyla Harvey said. "This adds another layer to the strong community networks that occur without any help from council."

The council surveyed all the services in its interagency network, asking what assistance they provide.

That includes services for Aboriginal and aged people, youth, family and children, or disabilities; chaplaincy (religious support); collection of food and medicines; delivering meals; domestic violence; food relief; finance and employment; multilingual services; and mental health support; even down to a friendly chat.

Some smaller groups might not have the high profile of the Red Cross, but they can offer support at a community level.

The database, Ms Harvey explained, is a work in progress; services might modify or add to their services, or unfortunately cease altogether.

The council has had such a great uptake from the organisations that they're still sorting through the responses, Ms Harvey said. Many of the groups come from Braidwood and Bungendore, run by community champions that have stood up for their towns in challenging times. Groups like Vinnies, the Braidwood Life Centre, or the Braidwood Community Association, as well as larger agencies like Campbell Page or Molonglo Services.

The call centre should be running this week, staffed by compassionate council employees. Locals will be able to call the council to be directed to the Community Development team. Until then, Ms Harvey and her colleagues can be emailed at

  • covid@qprc.nsw.gov.au

The council will send a flyer to every household in the LGA, informing the community how to contact them if looking for a particular service or group.

"If we're able to support the services and local community, we've done our job as community connectors," Ms Harvey said.