The saying ‘Nothing About Us – Without Us’ reminds us of the importance of working in respectful partnership with consumers of programs and services to transform the wellbeing of children, families and communities. This is especially reflected in the Uluru Statement from the Heart (May 2017) and the more recent ChangeFest 2018 Statement (November 2018). Both of these statements assert the primacy of community co-design and control in the creation, implementation and evaluation of actions that occur within communities. However, coming together to plan and implement appropriate supports for children, families and communities can be a challenge, due not to any lack of good will but rather to numerous barriers embedded in our organisations and communities, and in how we think about ‘what is needed’. A very practical challenge is that organisations, schools, and communities frequently lack the tools they need to understand and respond to local problems.

At the Community Based Prevention and Implementation Symposium and Implementation Science and Practice Workshop, leading Australian and international practitioners and researchers shared their perspectives on emerging knowledge about system transformation and how evidence-based services can be implemented to achieve measurable improvements in the wellbeing of children, families, and communities.

On the 30th of October the GCI hosted the Community Based Prevention and Implementation: Achievements and Challenges Symposium. The symposium was opened by a Welcome to Country from Tribal Experience. Speakers included Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter, Associate Professor Geoff Woolcock, Professor Greer Johnson, Professor Bev Flückiger and Dr Brian Bumbarger. Sixty practitioners, researchers and government personnel attended the symposium.

On the 31st of October the GCI also hosted the Implementation Science and Practice: Introduction to Key Concepts Workshop. The workshop was opened by a Welcome to Country from Tribal Experience. Facilitated by Dr Deborah Ghate and Dr Brain Bumbarger, 53 participants explored concepts such as change, systems thinking, implementation drivers, implementation stages, causal thinking, fidelity, and adaptation.