Outback Futures


Outback Futures




Children & Youth Specialist Clinical Capacity Support

Year of grant:

2020 - 2022

Supporting Outback Futures will mean three part time clinical specialists (Learning and Literacy, Speech & Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist) can provide much needed allied health support for children and young people in Cloncurry and McKinlay Shires.

September 2020

Children and young people living in rural and remote areas face a unique set of social, emotional and economic circumstances resulting in poorer mental health outcomes and increased risk of suicide (ReachOut Australia and Mission Australia, 2018). It is widely acknowledged that Early Intervention is the most effective way to manage developmental delays and mental health issues, and to prevent further challenges in the future.

Children living in the Cloncurry and McKinley Shires were already facing high levels of vulnerability exacerbated by years of crippling drought which was broken in February 2019 by a catastrophic flooding event. Outback Futures were invited by Mt Isa School of the Air to implement their Community Facilitation Model by partnering with the communities to identify and co-design solutions to the key issues facing children and young people through face-to-face assessments at Resilience Clinics and remote support via their ‘Stay With Me’ remote therapy program.

The Outback Futures Community Facilitation Model requires a high level of collaboration between individuals and agencies within each partner community. This ensures the community engagement team understands the intricacies of each community which informs the response throughout the co-design process.

Brent Sweeney, CEO of Outback Futures can see the positive impact the Stay with Me program is having on children and their communities. “We are very pleased with the uptake of our program which has been built on the back of our community engagement, collaboration and strong partnerships with local schools and medical centres, local and state government bodies and service providers. We have made significant headway with many young people in the Cloncurry and McKinley Shires by using a mix of face to face and telehealth for occupational therapy, speech therapy and psychology, along with community training and engagement. JVT  has made these vital face-to-face interactions with these children in country Queensland a possibility, “

With the help of the JVT grant, Outback Futures have employed 3 health professionals who provide support to  young people in rural, regional and remote areas of Queensland the opportunity to avoid these long-term disadvantages and risks by providing quality and consistent, early intervention support.