Loud & Clear Conference 2022

12, 13, 14 OCTOBER, 2022

Loud and Clear Qld has had a conference the last 2 years at the Alex Surf Club on the Sunshine Coast.

Are you thinking about what a Conference is? Well, a conference is when important people talk to you about what they do to make us feel safe.

It all started in 2021 when we couldn’t go to Geelong to the Having a Say conference. We decided to hold our own conference.

We also wanted to find new members and spend time together which we couldn’t do because of Covid lockdowns.

After our first conference we all decided that in 2022 it needed to be bigger and better. Did we do that? Yes, we did.

Because the conference was in October, we all decided to have a Spring theme. Spring means colour and warmth and new life after winter. We also wanted to ‘spring into action’. Everyone liked the Surf Club where we held our conference in 2021, so we went there again this year.

We had over 70 people come to the conference. They came from Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Gladstone, and Hervey Bay.

The conference let us go away on our own, with help from our support workers.

Rob Brough with conference attendees

What we did on day 1

It was a fun day. We did a Green Screen Magic session with Hing and Esther from AESOP Media. We got to pose with our visitors in lots of different poses. This is important because it will give us photos to tell more people about Loud and Clear and what we do. We all felt like supermodels.

We also had Lyndon from the Gubbi Gubbi people tell us about what springtime means to the aboriginal people. He kept us interested with his great stories and showed us how he plays the didgeridoo.

That night was the concert. About 300 people came and it was very exciting. It was good to see all the performers having a great time and having so many people dancing and enjoying themselves.

It was important to us that we help run our event from the start to the end. Tim, Mitch, and I were MCs and introduced the performers. Loud and Clear Members helped with ticket sales and raffles. Anthony was the stage manager to let everyone know what they needed to do and when it was their turn. Dame Sheila didn’t come to the concert this year but the Queen did. I performed with Sunshine Troupe, that is why I was dressed up.

I really liked the Gubbi Gubbi dancers who started the conference. The dance floor was so crowded as we danced to the Spiral Theatre Band, The Outsiders, and the highlight of the night was MC Wheels.

What we did on day 2

Thursday was our day of learning. We had really good guest speakers. Rob Brough from Channel 7 News talked about his “journey to success”. It was exciting to meet someone we watch on TV.

We learnt about keeping safe online from the ladies from the Office of Fair Trading.

MC Wheels came next and told us about how he got famous as a rapper. And he made Loud and Clear their own rap. We hope he comes again to the next conference.

Next was Catherine from Inclusion Australia who told us about what she does and how they can help Loud and Clear. Then we had Lorraine from Perth show us her presentation about Making Decisions Real.

To finish the day we had P2P’s project teams share their work with us. They told us about the Stand by Me Project, Primary Care Enhancement Project, and Towards Inclusive Practice Project.

This year the Stand By Me team presented a showcase about their work. In the weeks leading up to the conference the teams decided on a small scripted performance skit to engage the audience and give an overview of the project’s achievements. The skit was written to be a fun small play where each of the groups talked about what was great about their region but also what could be improved. They talked about improvements that their group members identified. As narrator, I introduced the regions. Each region has been working within their groups to look at solutions to the issues they identified. The skit was presented accompanied by the instrumental version of the Ben E King song Stand by Me. This was a way to give off a fun vibe and make the connection to the namesake song. The skit went well with many people enjoying the vibe from the Stand by Me crew. I noticed people in the audience singing and dancing as the song played in the background. Drew – Sunshine Coast Stand by Me team

Art workshop

What we did on day 3

Our last day was about having fun. Matt from P2P showed us how to make a Butterfly Effect and candle holders.

We painted large sheets of cardboard and Matt helped us cut it out at different angles, and then fold it to make an art piece. It was fun to show our skills and spend time together.

To finish off the conference we did Tai Chi. Some of us were better than others at balancing.

Before we finished we sat around and talked about the three days and thanked the people who helped us run the conference. Of course, we all agreed it was a great success and YES we will do it again and that we want it to be BIGGER and BETTER.

So what did we achieve:

  • Teamwork
  • Friendships
  • Learning new things
  • Being away from home
  • Being independent

We had fun!

Tai Chi

We would like to thank:

  • Leanne, Loud and Clear Coordinator
  • Jodi, Erin, and P2P for their ongoing support
  • Heather and Spiral for their ongoing support
  • Steph from Equity Works
  • The wonderful support workers and volunteers without whom it wouldn’t have been possible
  • Ashley Robinson and staff at Alexandra Headlands Surf Life Saving Club
  • Hing and Esther from Aesop Media
  • Alexandra Beach Resort and Oaks Sunshine Coast Seaforth Resort 
  • Anita and Katrina for the photography
  • Ryan Giles Music
  • Our Loud and Clear Qld members for all of their hard work in organising and running the conference and concert

Our presenters and performers:

  • Lyndon and the Gubbi Gubbi Dancers
  • MC Wheels
  • Rob Brough – 7 News Sunshine Coast
  • Office of Fair Trading
  • Catherine McAlpine (CEO Inclusion Australia) and the Inclusion Australia Making Decisions Real Project team
  • Shin Ru – Tai Chi
  • P2P Stand by Me teams
  • Robbie and the Towards Inclusive Practice team
  • P2P and Primary Health Network (PHN) Primary Care Enhancement Project teams
  • P2P Matt and Beth for our art day
  • The Outsiders
  • Sunshine Troupe
  • Spiral Theatre Band
  • Spiral and We Can Do TV (WCDTV)
  • and our performers who amazed us with their talent for our GOT TALENT show – Allycia, Connie, Chelsea and Jess, Tim and Graham