May / June, 2017 Edition
View this email in your browser

'Community & Economic Development Matters' Newsletter


This Introduction is being penned from the wonderful country of Canada, where I am experiencing the privilege of spending time with groups committed to building strong and successful rural communities and presenting/workshopping at a series of small town reinvention conferences and summits. We share so much in common across the globe and it has been fabulous to learn and share with so many passionate community builders.
To share some of my great learning experiences, check out this the following websites full of useful resources which are very transferable to your country and community - 

This Newsletter is another collection of amazing experiences, stories, tools and resources. In particular, can we draw your attention to the events section, highlighting some wonderful skill development, learning and networking experiences occurring over the next nine months. One event we want to draw your attention to is the annual Power to the People Conference occurring from 5-7 December, 2017 in Melbourne, organised through a long term partnership between the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Bank of I.D.E.A.S.
Another important event announcement is that the 3rd International ABCD Conference will be held in South Africa from 21-23 February, 2018 (see below for more details). The 4th International ABCD Festival will occur in Dona Paula, Goa, India in January 2019. This is your chance to visit or revisit two amazing destinations. See below for more details.
Amongst the interesting Newsletter articles, can we recommend reading the Declaration issued by the recent “Future of Local Government” Conference held in Melbourne in May with its strong focus on localism..."Councils have a unique mandate to support, represent and give voice to ‘communities of place’. They can provide an ideal platform for governments at all levels to strengthen their engagement with communities – and there is also a real opportunity to bring about a renaissance in local government itself. But the world is changing fast: democratic legitimacy and trust must be earned." The Declaration provides some very practical first steps.
Be inspired and keep the passion for the power of community

We always welcome any material you might like to share. 

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

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



'Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep
your mind young.’ 

(Henry Ford)

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 


10th Making Cities Livable Conference: Brisbane, July 2017

10-11, July 2017. The 10th Making Cities Livable Conference is an event for academic, industry and government professionals to discuss - sustainability, natural resource management, public health, climate change, biosecurity, transport, urban design and more. Explore more


Building a New Economy for Australia Conference: Brisbane, September 2017

1- 3 September, 2017. Join in three days of fun-filled discussions, ‘unconference’ working sessions, facilitated workshops, site-visits, clinics, training and learning opportunities – as well as presentations, debates, games and more in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

The Conference will:

  • “Bring together hundreds of people and organisations interested in moving beyond the unjust and unsustainable economic system that currently dominates Australian society.
  • Enable people to share, learn, listen, play, and work together to co-create a strong, vibrant economic system that’s fair for all Australians and cares for our precious natural environment.
  • Launch a New Economy Network/Coalition for Australia.
  • Launch powerful new collective strategies for creating positive social and economic change, to achieve long term, liveable economies that fit within the productive capacity of a healthy environment”. 

Information via New Economy Network Australia. Explore more

Youth Out Loud: City of Swan WA, July – September 2017

The City of Swan’s Youth Out Loud public speaking contest entries are now open to young people aged between 12- 25. The competition provides young people with the opportunity to speak about issues that affect them and their community, with councilors and members of the State Parliament. It is an event with big opportunity. 

Explore more

Visit by Jim Diers October, 2017 – Australia

It is a privilege once again for BOI to sponsor the visit to Australia of Jim Diers. Jim has a unique ability to excite and demystify the philosophy and practice of community development. He is also a wonderful storyteller, and is happy to share his Seattle experience as well as a repertoire of global community building adventures and learnings. Jim will be in Australia from October 16-27.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of Jim spending a day in your community presenting and/or workshopping, please contact Maria D’Souza at or phone 0404 957 780.
Click here to access a list of the themes Jim can present / workshop on. 

You can also access his website here.

Spark of Life International Master Course: Perth, October – November, 2017

21 October- 10 November, 2017. The Spark of Life International Master Course is a three-week retreat in Perth, Western Australia for visionary leaders in the fields of healthcare and social justice around the globe. Spark of Life as a whole systems approach and facilitated by Master Practitioners is about implementing the essence of Tom Kitwood's Person Centred Care.

It comes back to the core of what caring is all about; to see the person not the disease and give understanding and kindness, supporting each person as a true individual with a unique personality, biography, physical health status, cognitive abilities and social psychology.

UN Gala Evening 2017: Perth, October 2017

Friday, 27th October 2017. Make sure you save the date for the UN Gala Evening 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Explore more

SEGRA Conference: South Australia, October, 2017

24-27, October, 2017. The Sustinable Economic Growth for Regional Australia Conference, Australia's premier conference on regional issues, is about assisting regional, rural and remote Australia to source and identify the techniques, skills and issues they need to address to achieve successful economic growth and development.

Explore more

ICTC Mainstreet Conference 2017: Melbourne, October, 2017

25-27, October 2017. Innovation, collaboration and leadership. The 17th ICTC Conference together with the 6th National Mainstreet Australia conference is being held at Crown Promenade, Melbourne.

This year’s Conference will shine the spotlight on people, connections and communities and making great places to live, work, play and visit. From those who lead, plan and develop right through to those who activate, program and manage, this event will focus on how innovation, collaboration and strong leadership helps to advance and transform our places into vibrant, liveable centres.

The introduction of new social and digital infrastructure, visionary urban design, creative economic development initiatives and innovative technology is changing how we live, work and play.  

                                                  Explore more

Tonic Conference: New Plymouth, New Zealand, November, 2017

Thursday 9-10 November, 2017. Looking for a Conference that offers practical workshops and engaging speakers without all the 'fluff and jargon'?

Want to get ideas, information and advice about all the aspects of running a non-profit? This year’s Tonic Conference in New Zealand covers a range of topics about running a non-profit organisation including marketing, management, governance, volunteer issues and fundraising.

Check out their speaker list and booking details here

Ship for World Youth Program - Applications close August, 2017

The Ship for World Youth Program is a Japanese Government initiative to create a strong cross-border network. The program encourages participants from a wide range of backgrounds and aims to enhance communication abilities, capacity to interact with individuals from different cultural backgrounds, improve leadership and management ability by creating cultural exchanges with other participants. Applications close 4th August, 2017. 

Explore more

2017 Practice Exchange Continuing Professional Development Programme: South America

Following a highly successful 2016 Practice Exchange professional program in India and Nepal, IACD have teamed up with REDAR Perú, CONDESAN and the Pueblo Likanantay de San Pedro de Atacama de Chile, to organise a programme to South America in October 2017.

Explore more


 Rural & Small Town Development 

"We've got a really strong community of doing-people, you give them an idea and they make it happen….What they've got to do is search for the ideas that can help empower their own communities because nothing's impossible, we've found that one out."
(Jan Winter from the Girgarre Development Group)

Sheffield’s Mural Fest – This year best artist line up yet

The small town of Sheffield in Tasmania is one of Australia’s amazing examples of small town reinvention through the efforts of local people over three decades ago adopting a mural theme. To reinforce their unique international mural status, the community runs an international Mural Fest. To read more, check out a recent ABC story on this year’s focus “Through the Eyes of a Child”.

(Photo courtesy ABC News)

BC Rural Centre

For anyone passionate about rural community reinvention, we suggest you check out the BC Rural Centre operating in British Columbia, Canada.  Led by the dynamic Gordon Borgstrom, the Centre and its website is a wonder source for inspiration and resources, especially about creative community reinvention. 

Explore more

Karen refugee’s arrival in an Aussie country town

This is a great feel good story about the arrival of Karen Refugees in the little country town of Nhill and their positive impact on the dying town. With the help of a local couple, 200 Karen refugees have brought new life to the community. Explore more

(Photo courtesy SBS)

Australian Rural Restaurant named in Worlds Best 5!

This is a great story. Brae, in Birregurra, near Colac, approximately 130 kilometres southwest of Melbourne, has recently been named as number 44 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Great news for this little town’s local economy! Explore more

Thanks to Melissa Dower for sharing!

(Photo courtesy of Seven News)

The Fighting Tiny Town of Girgarre

Like many other rural towns in Australia there has been a loss of jobs in the tiny town of Girgarre. However, after the major industry left the town, the community decided to save themselves and fight for their town. The Girgarre Development Group has introduced farmer’s markets, which have grown from 6 stalls to 150. They utilised the funds from the market to keep the local kindergarten open. The Girgarre Development Group also started a music festival for beginners. Explore more

(Photo courtesy ABC News)


 Community Building 

“Communities are incubators of innovation and are where our can-do spirit resides.  In communities lies hope and new opportunities for citizens to volunteer, celebrate, learn about their responsibilities,
and take action together.”

(John W Gardner, Chairman, Alliance for National Renewal, USA)

Stories Out Loud

Stories Out Loud is a web based series which uses short documentaries to tell the stories of individuals that contribute to their local community and business. The series creators hope to inspire and captivate their audiences to create momentum and social change in their own communities. Explore more

Thanks to Violet Dhu for sharing!

Aussie Life: Your Guide

A guide to help you “do life well in Australia!” This is a great online and print resource to assist EVERY Australian Live Life Well! Explore their website here or check out their pamphlet here.  Thanks Peter Nicholls for sharing!

Unleashing the Power of Place

Check out this great article by the dynamic Canadian planner Rob Voigt. Rob provides a wonderful action strategy for community and economic development. A must read for all working in local government. 

Burrum Heads Progress Association

Check out this amazing community group – Burrum Heads Progress Association located in Hervey Bay on Queensland’s coast. Explore the activities this Organisation is undertaking to advance the progress and development of the local community in their newsletter and online.

Thanks to Chris Loft for sharing!

Podcasts from the ABCD Festival in Goa

Check out these amazing podcasts recorded at the ABCD Festival in Goa by Richard Holmes Soundcloud or Itunes.  Such a dynamic resource with global application and lasting legacy!

Neighbour Power Blog by Jim Diers

This is a great blog by Jim Diers about building community and the power of community. Check out Jim’s latest article on his Neighbour Power Blog “Building 21st Century Community” here . It is a great summary of the creative ways communities around the globe are building and strengthening community.

The Travelling Teapot

The Travelling Teapot

The talented potters at the Living and Learning Centre, Nillumbik have created this fantastic travelling tea set.  The tea set will travel around Nillumbik Shire fostering creative and meaningful conversations.


 Localism & Social Connection 


Parkrun organises weekly 5km timed runs in various locations around the world which are safe and free for participants to take part in. The events allow people of all fitness levels and ages to get involved and track their performance each week.

Click here to find a parkrun near you or to get more information.

Facebook Buy Nothing Project: Reducing Neighborhood Waste

This is a great use of social media to reduce waste by encouraging individuals to donate unwanted household items or anything that is not being used through Facebook groups. With more than 300,000 people joining since 2013, globally this initiative has created community connections and delivered mental health benefits. Explore more

(Photo courtesy ABC News)

Q. Who should lead Community Planning?

Q. Who should lead community planning?
A. Not the Council

This is a great video about community planning and who should be leading it by David Hammond from the Kete Foundation New Zealand.

Cancellation leads to five-star lunch for Melbourne’s homeless

This is a great example of using an unfortunate circumstance – such as a last minute cancellation of a major event – to do something good for people that need it the most. When the Langley Group was forced to cancel their public breakfast at the Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto, a free lunch was held for the homeless and disadvantaged.

Explore more


 Local Economic Development 

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


Check out this great website and recent media release that is a complete outline of the Federal governments new tax regime encouraging employee ownership in startups.  Explore more

(Thanks to Alan Greig for sharing)

Lightbox: Port Lincoln

Lightbox is an amazing co-working arrangement established by a team of passionate young women in the South Australian regional town of Port Lincoln.

Simply inspirational!

The Galactic Cooperative

Check out Australia’s latest worker cooperative located in Perth and one of the first techworkers cooperatives fixing things from laboratory equipment to musical equipment. Explore more

Take back the Sharing Economy with Platform Co-operatives: Trebor Scholz

Check out this great keynote presentation by Trebor Scholz on the latest developments, challenges and opportunities for platform cooperatives and the digital economy.

Kurri Kurri Co-op Society

Born from the tragic Ash Wednesday fires of 1983, was the Kurri Kurri Co-operative. “Kurri Kurri” is the Aboriginal expression for “the very first”. A group of individuals with similar ideas set out to save and purchase the remaining patches of bushland to prevent their development and preserve the local flora and fauna for future generations. Explore more

Thanks to Alan Greig for sharing!

Leadership & Personal Development 

"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."
(Martin Luther King, Jr.)

World Happiness Report

Check out the 2017 World Happiness Report created by John Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey Sachs to support the UN High Level Meeting on Happiness and Wellbeing. Explore more


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

Luck and Tourism

Luck is certainly a factor in creating a new tourism attraction. Check out the story and pictures from the small rural town of Ferryland, Newfoundland, Canada who suddenly had an iceberg drift to its shores! Explore more

(Photo courtesy ABC News)

A Tree with A Difference

Located 20 km south of Cummins and 41 km north of Port Lincoln on an Australian Highway is one of the quirkiest tourist attractions. Since the placing of one shoe, after the Eyre Peninsula bushfires in 2005, travellers have added a boot or shoe to the collection to create this piece of bush art. Explore more


Money Money Money – NSW turns to ABBA

The tiny rural town of Trundle, NSW with a population of 666 has created an ABBA festival to attract tourists. The experiment has been a major success with this year’s ABBA festival to attract the biggest ABBA tribute band –Bjorn Again and a visit from the Swedish ambassador. Explore more

(Photo courtesy

 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


21 Children vs Trump

Passionate about the environment 21 children and young adults aged 9-20 have created a suit against the Federal United States government showing age doesn’t matter when it comes to making a difference! The plaintiffs are arguing that climate change violates their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by causing direct harm and destroying public assets such as coastlines.  Explore more

Australia’s Next Prime Minister – Aretha Stewart-Brown

This driven and outspoken 16 year old Melbourne student is already a voice in the Indigenous community. In January, Aretha addressed tens of thousands of people in Melbourne to change the date of Australia day. Last month, she addressed the National Indigenous Youth Parliament and was elected as the Program Prime Minister. Explore more


Trailblazers is a great initiative set up by the ABC to celebrate the efforts of young regional change makers in Australia. Winning applicants have their work celebrated on the ABC and also have the opportunity to go to Canberra for intensive training and networking opportunities.  Apply now!

2017 Trailblazers: Tiffany Davey and Jake Lloyd

This is a great story about young people coming together for something they are passionate about. It was over 25 years ago since the remote Queensland town of Yaraka had its last Bachelor and Spinster’s Ball. With a population of only 12 people, opportunities for social activities are limited. Passionate about their town, a group of young people decided it was time for the ball to comeback, the group managed to sell over 200 tickets and raise funds for mental health causes and the Royal Flying Doctors Service. Explore more

Young Reporters for the Environment: Be the voice for our environment!

This is a great initiative which in 2017 has over 30 countries participating – including Australia. The Young Reporters for the Environment aims to inspire young individuals to find and discover solutions to the environmental issues in their local community and share
their findings creatively.

Explore more or Join the Australian network here.

13 Children’s Books that Encourage Kindness

This is a great list of 13 books, which encourage kindness towards others in creative and inspirational ways that even as adults we can appreciate and learn from. Explore more


Check out this fantastic Great Southern program Give2Sport. The Program encourages young individuals to try out a role on a sporting club committee to understand how clubs are run and see how they might make improvements. Check out the fact sheet here and for more information contact Kim Buttfield at

 Food & Community Agriculture 

“A garden is a lovesome thing.”

(Thomas E. Brown)

Starting a Community Garden: 13 Simple Steps

How Do I Start A Community Garden? With the popularity of community gardens on the rise, Elizabeth Johnson who runs a successful community garden in Ontario has created a great list of steps to get you started.

Explore more

Find Local Foods

Find Local Foods is a great initiative started in Canada that provides a local food directory service that connects consumers with local food suppliers. Explore more

London Brewing Co-operative

A new London brewing co-operative has opened to sell local organic beer and organic produce. Developed on the ideas of sustainable agriculture, it has become a local food hub promoting its local food. Explore more

3 Models of Community Food Systems: Food Co-Ops

Thinking about starting a food co-op or collective in your local community? This article provides insight on some of the great community system models used in Australia. Explore more

Deep South Community Agriculture

This is a radical approach by African American farming communities in Mississippi who are taking back their farmland and banding together to engage the younger generation and redefine farming as a path to success.  Explore more

Thanks to Alan Greig for sharing!


Sustainable Development 

“We have a duty to care for the environment.” 
(Lailah Gifty Akita)

Australia’s First ‘reused food’ supermarket

The OzHarvest Market is built on the ‘take what you need and give if you can’ model to reduce waste whilst also supporting the local community. The market goods are donated and recused from other organisations including everything from fresh bread to Qantas meals. In the future the market is hoping to serve freshly made soup and food. Explore more

(Photo courtesy SBS) 

Greenship: A self-sustaining food source in Northern Alberta

This is a creative and exciting project in Edmonton, Northern Alberta. A pile of dirt and trees has been transformed into an amazing green living space. The off the grid “earthship” generates its own energy to become a fully self-sustaining greenhouse. Explore more

(Photo courtesy The Huffington Post)

Harvard Turns Prewar Home into Green Building

Check out this retrofit of a pre-1940s house that not only is energy efficient, runs on renewable energy, equipped with smart technology for heating and cooling, it also makes more energy then it uses. Explore more
(Photo courtesy GreenMatters)

Solar Panels are being added to India’s Trains

The worlds fourth largest railway is planning to go solar! To reduce the fuel usage on Indian Railways flexible solar panels and battery packs will be added to 250 trains. Explore more

Australian Shaping of Renewable Funding

This is a great article about the new initiative and crowdsourcing project evolving in the solar energy industry in Australia. Beginning in March 2017, 10,000 Aussie homeowners can engage in a market program deX ( Distributed Energy Exchange) where they can rent out the excess energy from their solar panels. Explore more

 Social Development  

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

U & Me Campaign

The U & Me Campaign showcases five amazing digital stories that explore the friendships of people from different backgrounds. The campaign is live and is aiming to highlight multicultural Australia through friendships to increase inclusion, respect and diversity. Explore more

Thanks to Chris Lacey for sharing.

Sorry Day

A really beautiful event idea. Sorry Day is an important time to remember the past policies of the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families, and the ongoing impact on the Stolen Generations. It is also a day to commemorate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s history, and celebrate their survival, culture and community. Explore More

Airbnb for Refugees

Check out this great UK initiative in which UK hosts with a spare room are matched with a refugee or asylum seeker in need of somewhere to stay. This great article shares some of the stories of these UK hosts and their guests and the lessons they have learned.

(Photo courtesy of The Guardian)

Opportunities emerging: Social change in a complex world by Bruce Meder

Check out this great new book by Bruce Meder – “The world is chaotic and complex and becoming more so. How do you work for social justice or community development in such an environment? Bruce Meder asks the reader to embrace chaos and complexity and to work with emergence. He also suggests you have a cup of coffee.”


This is a great Perth based non-for-profit organisation aiming for a more inclusive and connected world. Since 2010, they have aimed to break barriers and social rules that stop the creation of new friendships. With a network of 6,000 adults from diverse backgrounds and 30+ social gatherings they have become one of the leading innovators in this space. Explore more



"Humour is the weapon of unarmed people: it helps people who are oppressed to smile at the situation that pains them."
(Simon Wiesenthal)


Age Humour

I know I am ageing when –

‘You sink your teeth into your steak… and leave them there”

‘You try and straighten the wrinkles in your socks- and discover you weren’t wearing any’

‘At the breakfast table you hear “snap, crackle, pop” and you are not even eating cereal’

You know you are getting older if you have more fingers than real teeth’
Rodney Dangerfield

‘The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age’ 
 Lucille Ball, Actress

Now I’m getting older I take health supplements: geranium, dandelion, passionflower, hibiscus. I feel great, and when I pee, I experience the fresh scent of pot pourri’   
Sheila Wenz

One of the advantages of being 70 is that you need only four hours’ sleep. True, you need it four times a day, but still’ 
Denis Norden

‘You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than a cake’   
Bob Hope

‘The secret of my long life. Swim, dance a little, go to Paris every August, and live within walking distance of two hospitals’  
Horatio Luro

-What is the secret of a long life? – Keep breathing’   
 Sophie Tucker

‘Grey-haired men look “distinguished”? Surely the word is “distinguished’’   
Julie Burchill

‘I knew I was getting older when the Pope started looking younger’ Billy Wilder

Copyleft Policy                                                                                                                                             Top^
Below is the copyleft statement regarding the use of Bank of I.D.E.A.S. resources:
Resources of the Bank of I.D.E.A.S., either in full or in part, can be copied, quoted, reprinted, given away or circulated. Parts may be torn out, extracted and enhanced. In short, all resources are public property. Please use in any way to build the skills and knowledge of citizens in building healthier communities and more vibrant local economies.     
Bank of I.D.E.A.S. accepts no liability to any person/organisation for use of its information. All persons using or relying upon such content do so at their own risk and undertake sole responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of that content. No responsibility is taken for any information or service which may appear on any linked websites.       

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences Phone: +61 8 6293 1848 Email: