COMMUNITIES across Australia are drawing on Bendigo’s experience to develop reports on the state of their children.
St Luke’s chief executive David Pugh was in Queensland this week to speak about The State of Bendigo’s Children report, which was released in March 2011.
Bendigo is the first city in Australia to produce its own report.
“Victoria produces the State of Victoria’s Children report, and that has a rural and regional focus,” Mr Pugh said.
“So when Victoria produced one in 2009 or something I looked at it and thought, ‘interestingly there’s no evidence that local communities are really using this data’.
“At the same time, Bendigo had been declared a child-friendly city.
“I went and looked up what is a child-friendly city, and it’s an international framework put out by UNICEF. One of the key elements of a child-friendly city is they regularly produce a report on how well its children are doing.”
Mr Pugh said various indicators were selected for investigation and The State of Bendigo’s Children report was born. “We said we’d do it every two years,” he said.
“I’ve got someone working on producing the next one so we’re just starting to pull together the performance data on how we’ve gone those two years, and how have these indicators changed.”
Mr Pugh expects to release the second report in May.
“A number of these indicators have become quite important to the community – local councillors have quoted figures out of it and they’ve really driven some fantastic responses because data, I think, is only particularly useful if we work out what we want to do in response to it.
“I’ve just come back from Brisbane last night because two communities in Queensland wanted me to talk about how they can do this.
“I also went to Launceston a few months ago because they’re looking to become a child-friendly city and lots of communities are approaching us and saying, ‘how do we do this?’ ”.