(L—R) Wesley Mission Queensland CEO Geoff Batkin, Queensland Synod general secretary Rev Heather den Houting and director of property and finance Peter Cranna at the launch. Photo by Wesley Mission Queensland.
(L—R) Wesley Mission Queensland CEO Geoff Batkin, Queensland Synod general secretary Rev Heather den Houting and director of property and finance Peter Cranna at the launch. Photo: Wesley Mission Queensland

What’s in a name change?

On 24 August, community-service provider Wesley Mission Queensland hosted a launch event on the Wesley House rooftop in Brisbane City to celebrate its name change from Wesley Mission Brisbane. But what’s in a name change and why does it matter? Journey reports.

For over 100 years Wesley Mission Queensland (WMQ) has reached out to Queenslanders, striving to make a difference.

From the seeds sown by Brisbane’s first Methodist minister Rev William Moore in 1847 to today, WMQ manages over 2500 staff and 1500 volunteers who every year support over 100 000 seniors, youth and families, people living with a disability and people experiencing unemployment, disadvantage, homelessness and isolation.

With more than 60 locations across South East Queensland, WMQ CEO Geoff Batkin says the organisation’s new name change “better reflects our geographical reach” and “provides clarity for people connecting with our organisation”.

“Over the last 15 years we’ve seen significant growth in the community services sector, and we have responded to unmet need within Queensland communities through the establishment of more than 60 community-based programs,” says Geoff.

“Our footprint is well and truly outside of Brisbane—we operate Headspace in Hervey Bay, we are the largest provider of youth services on the Gold Coast and we support the 7000 members of the deaf community across Australia through our Auslan Interpreting Services.”

To these activities he adds accommodation services for people living with mental illness at Mitchelton and people living with an acquired brain injury at Wynnum, as well as the opening of Hummingbird House, Queensland only children’s hospice, at Chermside.

At the launch, Geoff reiterated to his 70 guests—among them Rev Heather den Houting, Peter Cranna and Albert Street Uniting Church elders—that this is a change of name only and will not affect the delivery of services or support the organisation currently provides on a day-to-day basis.

The change will however, strengthen WMQ’s position as they rise to meet the increasingly competitive aged care and community services sector.

The WMQ team has taken a staged approach to the roll out which kicked off on 1 August, with plans to have the name fully incorporated by the end of this year.

Geoff says he felt it was “important to mark this new chapter in the life of our organisation with some of the people who have shared that journey with us so far and help us to continue our mission”.

WMQ superintendent minister Rev Lyn Burden closed the evening reminding guests, “This is not a revolution for Wesley Mission—it’s an evolution.

“We are not starting over, we are simply continuing to grow and change as we carry on God’s good work. We give Him the glory: great things he has done in our midst!”

wmq.org.au

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