January / February, 2018 Edition
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'Community & Economic Development Matters' Newsletter


Welcome to the first edition of ‘Community and Economic Development Newsletter’ for 2018. What a tumultuous and disappointing year 2017 was from global and national political governance, honesty and justice perspectives, with so many institutions seemingly irrelevant, oblivious or at odds to the changes we are experiencing. Yet, we are encouraged by the words of Oprah Winfrey- “Cheers to a New Year and another chance to get it right!”
We remember the inspiration of those simple words of Hugh Mackay 12 months ago in his address at the International Gandhi Day- ‘the state of the nation begins in your own street!’  Last month we were reminded of the importance of localism and building community street by street. The annual ‘Power to the People Conference’ was buzzing with great illustrations of this in action, as participants shared amazing stories of moving from doing things ‘to’, ‘for’ and “with’ people where they continued to act as ‘clients, customers, consumers and patients’ to opening space for ‘by/of’ the people where people engage as ‘citizens, co-owners and co- producers’ in their communities.  The Australian Red Cross organisation also launched their call to support a five-step, practical ‘Season of Belonging’; namely-
  • Meet the Neighbours
  • Volunteer
  • Say hello to someone new in the neighbourhood
  • Check on someone who may be in trouble
  • Be kind on social media
We are beginning this year with the simple belief that societal and community transformation is truly an inside job! We have also decided that 2018 is going to be ridiculously amazing!
May 2018 be an incredibly positive and sustainable year for you, our planet and its host of diverse communities.                                                              

Go well,
Peter Kenyon  (Director)                    
Maria D'Souza (Executive Officer)

Don't want to wait two months between hearing from us? We are now social. 



‘As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people's ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life’   
 Amy Poehler

The National Sustainability in Business Conference – March 2018 Brisbane

'The 2018 National Sustainability in Business Conference will be held on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 March 2018 at Hotel Grand Chancellor, Brisbane.  The 2nd annual conference will explore sustainability best practice within organisations, creating resilience in business and ways to implement change.  The sustainability topics that will be embraced by our speakers will include integration, politics, technology, automation, future of renewables, procurement, food security, sustainable construction and waste as a resource. The  conference speakers and partners will provide insight into how  they are interweaving sustainability practices within their organisations, navigating change and the differences they are making within national and  multinational companies and small business.' Explore more

Return visit by Cormac Russell - early May, 2018

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) global practitioner and Managing Director of Nurture Development, Cormac Russell will be returning to Australia in early May, 2018.  If interested in utilising Cormac's services for training / workshop opportunities within your organisation, please contact Maria D'Souza (m: 0404 957 780 or e: Click here for a summary of services offered by Cormac. 

SAVE the DATE: ABCD Conference, 21-23 February, 2018, South Africa

Following on from the Blackpool and Goa ABCD Festivals, the 2018 ABCD gathering of ABCD practitioners, community members, academics, government and business partners will take place in South Africa – and will be called an “imbizo” (isiZulu word meaning an important gathering of the community). At this Imbizo, the unifying elements of ABCD across the globe will be explored and debated, in plenary and small group sessions, as well as fun, interactive, skills-sharing events. Click here for more information. Please contact Yolisa Shugu to find out more 


Community Bank National Conference- September 2018

September 2018 will the 20th anniversary of this amazing community economic development movement. A most interesting event to attend and learn about the power of community to create their own economic future. 11th to the 13th of September, 2018 in Bendigo. Explore more

 Rural & Small Town Development 

‘The influence of a beautiful, helpful character is contagious, and may revolutionize a whole town.’ 
(Collier Graham)

Downtown Do-Up

The historic Bricker Price Block in Earlham, Iowa was looking tired and shabby, until the local Iowans moved to restore and redevelop the building – turning it into a beating heart of cultural and recreational opportunities! Explore More

A Matter of Culture

Festivals and the arts can serve to kickstart flagging rural economies. Here are 10 communities where culture means more than just having fun! Explore more 

Applications for the 2018 AgriFutures™ Victorian Rural Women’s Award Now Open

This is a fantastic award acknowledging all the amazing and essential work women do in rural industries, communities and business. Explore more 

The Power of Attraction

How to attract Millennials back to rural towns and communities. Explore more

 Community Building 

'I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.  I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.  Life is no “brief candle” for me.  It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible, before handing it on to future generations. '
George Bernard Shaw

“We Live in a Community, not in Economy”

Community Matters Monthly Markets

“I want to share with you one of the great projects one of my colleagues has been working on – Community Matters Monthly Fair Markets. It is an incredibly simple idea – a monthly fair for services and community organisations to share information about what they do. There is entertainment and children’s activities. The whole event has a festive nature about it. We hold it once a month between November and March in Nowra, NSW, and after that tour it around the outlying communities.” – Alan Blackshaw, Community Development Co-ordinator, Shoalhaven City Council. Explore more 

Asset Mapping Toolkit

“Nine steps for greater impact and results by building on the gifts and assets already present” – By Dan Duncan, Clear Impact Senior Consultant and Faculty Member of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. Explore more

JOB LISTING – Community and Member Services Manager

Senior management job, located in South Hedland & Pilbara region. Initial contract is for 12 months, with options to extend. Explore more

Upcoming Grant Opportunities Australian Government

Check out these upcoming inclusive communities and community resilience grants provided by the Australian Government.  

The Peel Community Development Group Inc (PCDG)

This is an exciting regional network model. It aims to bring both community development practices and community services together, to address issues and opportunities collaboratively. This is achieved through an understanding and articulation of needs, and by raising awareness of issues in the Peel region; whilst maintaining a positive focus on the community sector’s strengths and successes. Considering that support for local community networks is important for achieving wide reaching engagement to develop sustainable support structures and reduce isolation for community development practitioners, its key functions are –

·      Promote collaborative relationships between community, organisations/groups and service providers

·      Identify, articulate and advocate for community need

·      Identify and respond to gaps in social service delivery

·      Support and empower communities to develop their resilience and capacity

·      Increase representation of regional interests and promote the growth of regional initiatives to support vibrant communities within the Peel region

·       Link the five Local Government Areas within the Peel Region, to develop local initiatives, and to negotiate connection with a regional vision

·      Further develop social research data pertinent to the Peel region

For more information, click - 

Leaf the Improvements to Us

An inspiring story of a local community artist and his neighbours fixing what the city council will not – using nothing but fallen leaves and sidewalk chalk – and it’s domino effect through social media. Read The Story


25% Off ‘Our Community’

‘Our Community’ is having an End-of-Year book and bundles sale until the 20th of December. They specialise in publications focusing on improving governance skills, marketing strategies, fundraising, and everything else non-for-profit organisations rely on to function. And best of all? Postage is free! Have A Look


 Localism & Social Connection 

‘The community you want starts at your front door’  
 (Relationships Australia)

Car Sharing – The City Council Lowering Their Carbon Footprint

An insightful article on one Melbourne City Council’s initiative to encourage peer-to-peer car sharing in its community, and the positive effect it has had. Explore More

(Photo Courtesy of ABC)

Community Connection Project

Check out the simplicity of this community connection project – utilising the elements of eat, learn and play classes at a very reasonable price.

Garage Sale Trail: One Big Weekend of Garage Sales

21 & 22 October, 2017. Worlds biggest garage sale? This  garage sale trail involves 150 local councils around Australia. With over 10,000 garage sales and stalls around the country, it's a great community event-you might even find a bargain too! Explore more 

The Love Tree

A great shopping centre activity as a way of engaging local residents about what they love about their community.

The Little Free Pantry

This Little Free Pantry has been set up by the Rainbow Neighbourhood House in Albany; providing those with surplus groceries to share with those struggling with food costs.

Great Initiative by the City of Albany

In partnership with the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. the City of Albany sought to engage local residents in conversation over a 3 day period at the shopping center about what they love and would like to help change – not ‘what’s the matter’ but ‘what matters to you’.

Up the Creek, In the Hills

Click here to read about an amazing story of local residents and groups in the community of Lesmurdie, Western Australia who recognised their unique community asset in the Lesmurdie Falls and envisaged its possibilities. Above all, they implemented those dreams and created a wonderful community building and tourism attraction projection. Congratulations to an inspiring community builder, Iris Jones for her leadership. Explore more

2017 NEW!! Australian Community Advisory Boards

DAVID HAMMOND is a community governance architect who works with Bank of IDEAS in New Zealand, and with MAV in Victoria. David has just trained 27 councils in Melbourne on how to set up a new form of community governance he designed called a “Community Advisory Board”. The pilot Learning Site has been established in Tasmania and he is working to establish a network.  David also developed the “Community Empowerment” model on the Coromandel. 
What is a “Community Advisory Board”?

David is looking to set up Community Advisory Boards in your area. He says, "Community Advisory Boards bridge the gap between councils and communities in a more sustainable way than we’ve had in the past. These are brand new leadership structures led by communities – not designed by council staff. They become the one place councils go to for advice, input and leadership from that community. Not just an issues-based group but a whole-of-community group."
The Boards are a collaboration with councils and have a Board Charter to work through the relationship between community and council. They are local people focused on local community engagement, setting their priorities and delivering an agreed Community Plan with the resources of council in support. The serve as the "go to" local group for council and community.

View or request more on the Hammond Robertson website under “HRL Community”

 Local Economic Development 

“Change is inevitable but progress is truly optional.” 
(Don A. Holbrook)

Reading Material

Direct from the US, comes two excellent resources on community capital and local finance investment.

The first is in partnership with the Washington State Department of Commerce and the Sun Valley Institute; “Washington Dollars, Washington Sense: A Handbook for Local Investment” is free to download. Find It Here

The second is titled “Raise Capital on Your Own Terms: How to fund your business without selling your soul” and can be found Here.

The Social Enterprise World Forum Meeting 2017

During the last week of September this year, social entrepreneurs, investors and community leaders from around the world met in Christchurch to share wisdom, build networks and discuss methods for creating a more sustainable future. Explore More

From the Ashes

In January 2016, a unique and popular local greengrocer/cafe/cycling shop in Goulburn burned down, and now after 20 months has reopened, much to the delight of the local community. Explore More

Citizen-Led Innovation for a New Economy

Wonderful paperback from Alison Mathie and John Gaventa. Its contents detail eleven real life cases of citizens organising for fair and environmentally sustainable change in Canada and the United States. It’s available for purchase worldwide. Read the Full Description Here


‘Travel far enough, you meet yourself.’  
(David Mitchell)

Festival of No Waste

This inspiring community event held on Nov 26th, from the 2017 Environmental Sustainability Award Winners – Fair Harvest (Margaret River), focuses on how a community can come together to help each other, and the environment. Explore More

The Punniest Place on Earth

Footprints of Our Forefathers

Conducted by NTU Tourism and Hospitality Management Club student volunteers, Singapore’s newest Chinatown walking tour is a great example of a community using its story assets. Explore More


 Youth Empowerment & Participation  

“Rather than standing or speaking for children, we need to stand with children speaking for themselves. We don’t need a political movement for children… [we need to] build environments and policies
for our collective future.”

 Sandra Meucci


Neuro-Development Differentiation, and its Effect on our Children

This is a great research paper highlighting the impact optimising brain systems can have on learning.  The paper is written by Andrew Fuller & Vicki Hartley- Explore more 


This is a very useful model for any community and/or organisation wanting to more meaningfully engage their young members. Developed in the small Western Australian town of Denmark by Kim Buttfield, it is worth examining. Check out this presentation and video

The Nebraska Expanded Learning Opportunity Design Challenge

A great article about a group of parents that asked for an after-school program for their children, and how making it happen has helped the whole community thrive. Explore More

 Food & Community Agriculture 

“A garden is a lovesome thing.”

(Thomas E. Brown)

Vinder: An online community marketplace for buying and selling fresh produce from neighbours

Pho Sure – Embracing Multiculturalism in Lincoln

People like to connect over food. This is very true for the people of Lincoln, Nebraska, who connect their histories and cultures through the sales of cultural cuisine. Explore More

Meet the Composters on Bikes!


 Sustainable Development  

I don’t want to help a few people beat the odds; I want to change the odds for everyone’        
(DeAmon Harges)


Packing Up and Shipping Out

Qatar has taken the initiative as it plans for the 2022 FIFA World Cup by building it’s stadium out of shipping containers and filling it with eco-friendly features. Read More

(Photo courtesy of Green Matters)

2017 Sustainable Communities Award Winner

Congratulations to the town of Kimba, SA on being named the overall winners of the 2017 Sustainable Communities Awards in Adelaide! Article Here

Europe's Zero Waste Shops

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in Wellington

An op-shop in Wellington is leading the charge towards a more sustainable future in an amazing way, and teaching sewing to everyone who wants to learn by doing so. Read The Story


 Social Development  

‘There is enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed’.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Storyteller Scholarship for Regional Australians with a Disability

The ABC have recently announced a Regional Storyteller Scholarship, worth more than $20,000, for regional Australians with a disability who are interested in enhancing their storytelling skills and experience. Explore More

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child

Eye-opening article from an African American woman in Chicago, detailing the rough life of the neighbourhood children and the ways in which she and other mothers have made a difference in their community. Explore More

(Photo Courtesy of New York Times)

Indigenous Youth Incarceration in Australia

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory has revealed the shocking statistics about the incarceration of Indigenous children and young people. While less than 3% of the national population, 73% of children placed in detention and 74% of children placed on community based supervision nationally were indigenous.


BNLA: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants

The Building a New Life in Australia (BNLA) Longitudinal Study is a long term project researching how humanitarian migrants settle into life in Australia. It is the first long-term study of humanitarian migrants to Australia and to date has released data from the first three waves. The report provides a quick and easy reference for policy makers and service providers needing evidence to inform their work. It provides a detailed description of migration experiences, settlement experiences and socio-economic characteristics of a large group of humanitarian migrants. It also examines the association between variations in these characteristics and experiences with the settlement outcomes of respondents. Explore more


Playing in the Street



‘Laughter is the language that everyone understands’   
(Peter Kenyon)

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