The leading rugby league player joins the call for nominations for Reconciliation Awards

Premier Campbell Newman

Premier Campbell Newman

Premier of Queensland

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Nominations are now open for the 2013 Queensland Reconciliation Awards and I’m very pleased to have Johnathan Thurston as this year’s ambassador for the awards. As a leading rugby league player and proud Indigenous Australian, Johnathan will be an excellent advocate for the awards, with reconciliation close to his heart.

He’s already out and about promoting the awards, recently describing them as “a step forward in highlighting the action being taken every day to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

I’m right there with him and I’d like to see as many businesses, community organisations, councils and educational institutions as possible nominated for projects which have made a difference in Queensland.

Reconciliation is about building respectful relationships and partnerships within the broader community, providing new opportunities and promoting fairness in all Queenslanders. The awards program offers a total prize pool of $25,000 across five categories. Nominations close Friday 12 April 2013 and winners will be announced at a ceremony during NAIDOC week in July.

Police Adopt-a-School program
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) and schools across the state are now working together to make our communities safer through the new Adopt-a-School program. It builds on the good work already happening in the Adopt-a-Cop program and it will help build a closer relationship between police and local schools so we can create a safer environment for our children.

While they’re spending time in our schools, police will educate students, teachers and parents about local concerns such as safety in school zones, graffiti, property damage and ways to help children who are victims of violence or abuse. At the moment, we have more than 960 Adopt-a-Cops working in 1000 schools throughout Queensland and this new program will make sure that, wherever possible, all schools have access to their own Adopt-a-Cop who will work with students, teachers and parents.

Open forum on government information
For the very first time, Queenslanders will get their say on how public data can benefit the state as part of an interactive forum being held on 3 April. The Opening the Vault: Open Data in Queensland forum will build bonds between industry, government and the community so we can create more social and economic opportunities for Queenslanders.

We all know the government regularly collects, generates and stores data from an array of fields – but this is the first time a Queensland government will make this information publicly available. All this data can be used by organisations, businesses and individuals in a variety of ways to benefit Queensland and all who live here, and this free forum will get everyone in the same room to talk about how we can do that.

The forum will be held at The Edge at the Cultural Centre, South Bank and people have the chance to pitch ideas as part of a pre-event competition. A number of pitches will be chosen to present live at the forum and prizes will be awarded for creative ideas that can potentially be developed into applications that benefit Queensland.