House debates

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Statements by Members

Queensland School of Hard Knocks

1:34 pm

Photo of Jane PrenticeJane Prentice (Ryan, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I recently spent an entertaining morning at the launch of the Queensland School of Hard Knocks, hosted by the remarkable Jonathon Welch and his Queensland chairman, Dr Christian Rowan. We workshopped, we clapped our hands, we stomped our feet, we chanted, we danced and—yes, finally—we even sang.

Colleagues may have seen the inspiring documentary about Jonathon setting up the original Choir of Hard Knocks in 2006 for people experiencing homelessness or disadvantage. From this ongoing commitment, Jonathon has now established the School of Hard Knocks, which runs a number of different arts, cultural and wellbeing programs.

The primary participants of the program are people experiencing mental health issues, addiction, unstable housing, disadvantage or social isolation. The school helps to create a different pathway into mainstream society and another rehabilitation opportunity for those working to recover from substance dependencies. It will help members to reconnect with employment and educational opportunities, and provide social and emotional wellbeing.

The choral program will be the first of four arts programs to be implemented over the next two years. I am proud to be involved with this initiative and look forward to hearing more about the school and its progress. Congratulations to everyone involved. Jonathon, if you are watching: toe knees chest nuts nose eye love you!