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May / June, 2016 Edition
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'Community & Economic Development Matters' Newsletter


Introduction

 
Welcome to the May / June Edition of Community and Economic Development Matters. We are already half way through 2016, and the second half of the year is looking as, if not more, exciting than the first in terms of community and economic development opportunities. As we continue to learn from each other, the simple intention of this Newsletter is to contribute some awareness of, some of the amazing events, programs, organisations and initiatives that are making a positive change in the world. Thank you to so many people who take the time to share with us their innovation and/or community building discoveries, so others may leapfrog on that information. Besides the Newsletter, can we suggest you also regularly check out the BOI Facebook page – a regular smorgasbord of community stories and imagination.
 
This Edition we would like to highlight the upcoming launch of the National Network of ABCDE Learning Sites in July, 2016.  In May 2016, BOI, MAV and Nurture Development held the first official planning day for the Initiative with participants from communities across the country in attendance.  There was a real feeling of excitement in the air as we embark on an Australian first with the dream of changing the face of community development for the better (see a picture of the group below). Click here if you would like to learn more about the ABCDE Learning Sites Initiative.
 
We would also like to highlight a unique event – the 2nd International ABCD Festival to be held in Goa, India (15-20 January, 2017). Click here to check out the website and event information including an enticing variety of learning opportunities with seven Masterclasses on offer before the event itself.
 
Finally, the most recent recipient of the Global Community Builder Giraffe Award is Iris Jones. Iris is President of one of the most active rate payers associations in the country – the Lesmurdie and Districts Rate Payers Association (Western Australia).  Iris has tirelessly dedicated herself to bettering her community through the establishment of local community and arts initiatives and advocating on issues that concern residents. We salute Iris as someone who truly epitomises ‘sticking out her neck for the local community’.
 
Enjoy the read!

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

 Events 

Second International ABCD Festival: 15-20 January, 2017 – Goa, India

Have you ever aspired to visit and discover India? Well this is the ultimate low cost opportunity, with the bonus of gathering with others passionate about Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). The Bank of I.D.E.A.S. with a range of other international community development groups are planning this learning  and exchange experience in the beautiful Indian state of Goa – a place where East and West have been meeting for over 500 years. Check out the venue, the International Centre Goa

This will be an amazing event, and very low cost - a Conference fee with all meals less than AUD$350, accommodation below AUD$40 a night and a time of the year with low cost fares and charter flights from many parts of the world. But plan now to be there and think how you may want to formally contribute through a presentation / workshop / Open Space hosting / cultural performance.  Click here to view Festival website and to register.
(Photo courtesy www.khiruna.com)

“If I was asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions,
I should point to India.”

(Max Mueller) 

Uniting Journeys is going to Goa too!! Invitation to join them!

If you don’t have enough time to organise your own visit to Goa, Uniting Journeys can help. You can:

  • Have input into the itinerary.
  • Build a community of fellow travellers before and after visiting Goa.
  • Explore even more communities applying ABCD principles after the conference.
  • Enjoy some very “local” rest and recreation too.

Pre-planned options are available, as are tailor made options and pricing. For more information contact Jim Wakelam on 0403 264 124 or jim.wakelam@victas.uca.org.au
(Uniting Journeys is a community based social enterprise initiative of the Uniting Church VICTAS.)

The Future of Communities: People to the People Conference: September, 2016 – Melbourne
This event will be held 14-15 September, 2016 in Melbourne. Mark the dates of this popular annual Conference, jointly organised by the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. For more details contact Peter Kenyon pk@bankofideas.com.au or John Hennessy JHennessy@mav.asn.au

Visit by Jim Diers and Cormac Russell: Australia

Cormac and Jim are two of the globe’s best communicators regarding Asset Based Community Driven Efforts (ABCDE). Cormac will be in Australia during the first three weeks of August, while Jim Diers returns in early October. If you are keen to utilise either Jim or Cormac for a Workshop event or presentation, contact Peter Kenyon at pk@bankofideas.com.au or phone 0417183719.  

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Masterclass - Launceston, Tasmania 
Wednesday, 3rd August, 2016

Peter Kenyon and Cormac Russell will be facilitating an ABCD Masterclass in Launceston, Tasmania.
More details and registration available on the BOI Website from 11th July, 2016. 

VRCLP 2016 Regional Leadership Summit: August, 2016 – Victoria

 

This event takes place 16-17 August, 2016 in Bendigo, Victoria. Under the theme Innovative, Collaborative, Responsive COMMUNITIES, VRCLP16 brings together some of the top leaders and practitioners from across Australia, each of them ready to share their thinking, their plans and their knowledge with us. Topics will include: Leadership Narrative – Talk on Purpose (Carolyn Tate, The Slow School of Business), Community Resilience (Rob Milton, Flexor), Community Responsiveness Through Advocacy (James Ritchie Thamani Pty Ltd) and Technology: making it work for you (Tim Gentle).

The Regional Leadership Summit will involve an exciting program of information exchange, networking, celebration, stakeholder and vendor relationship development. Click here to visit the conference website and register.

Building the New Economy: Activism, Enterprise and Social Change: August, 2016 - Sydney

This event will be held 16-17 August 2016, Glebe Town Hall, Sydney. Join in for a timely discussion about what types of future economic systems we want to build in Australia.  The two day conference will bring together community activists, social entrepreneurs, economists, indigenous leaders, academics, lawyers and regulators, to discuss, showcase and weave together the explosion of experiments that are bubbling up around peer-to-peer initiatives, commoning, maker movements, sharing, buen vivir, collaborative economies, solidarity economies, localisation and cooperative movements. Over two days, participants will tease out the connections and conflicts between these movements, with an eye to the practical lessons for projects and politics. Click here to visit the Conference website.

3rd Australian Regional Development Conference: September, 2016 – Canberra

This event is being held from 5-6 September, 2016 in Canberra. With the theme Planning, Participation and Progress. This year’s conference highlights what is happening in regional Australia; where it is happening, who is being affected and how planning is informing new projects. The program will feature an extensive range of topics with keynote presenters, concurrent sessions, case studies, Q & A, panels, workshops and poster presentations. 
Click here to visit the Conference website.

Global Social Economy Forum: September, 2016 – Canada

The 2016 Global Social Economy Forum is being held in Montreal from 7-9 September, 2016 under the theme – “Allies for the Intelligent and Sustainable Development of Cities.”  The goal of GSEF2016 is to "facilitate collaboration among public administrators and SSE actors by presenting best practices, whether they be processes, tools, or innovative results emerging from co-constructed public policies. These best practices will be presented mainly by SSE and local government actors, though innovative citizen initiatives and private sector projects developed with the SSE will also be brought to the fore.” Event organisers have issued a call for proposals to showcase existing projects that represent the best practices of collaboration between public authorities and social economy organizations. Click here for more details.

The 2016 World Indigenous Women's Conference: September, 2016 – South Australia

12-14 September, 2016. The 2016 Global Indigenous Women's Conference is scheduled on September 12-14, 2016 at Stamford Grand Hotel Glenelg Adelaide South Australia. The conference is hosted by The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance and Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) with great line up of speakers from around Australia and internationally. The aim is to provide a platform for Indigenous Women to celebrate their achievements in life within their home, family, community and workplace. Click here for more information.

 
The 2016 Global Indigenous Men's Conference: September, 2016 – South Australia

12-14 September, 2016. The aim of this Conference is to provide a platform for Indigenous Men to celebrate their achievements in life within their home, family, community and workplace. The event will focus on empowerment, strong leadership and self-determination. The event emphasizes the positives of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander resilience and determination to strive for a better tomorrow without the constraints of the negative stereotyping which is more prevalent due to social media and bad media coverage. Click here for more information.

The 3rd Indigenous Global SAY NO to Family and Domestic Violence Conference: September, 2016 – South Australia

14-16 September, 2016. The conference primary aims and goal is to work towards stopping all forms of family and domestic violence, not only in Indigenous communities but in the general community. The conference is only one tool in our arsenal to overcome the scourge of family and domestic violence. Click here for more information.

SEGRA Conference: October, 2016 – Western Australia

This event will be held from 26-28 October, 2016 in Albany, Western Australia. SEGRA is the premier Regional Development Conference in Australia and will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2016.  You can keep up to date on the SEGRA website, Facebook or Linkedin Pages. Click here for more information. 

Tonic Conference: November, 2016 – Tauranga, New Zealand

This event is being held from10-11 November, 2016 in Tauranga, New Zealand. Are you looking for a conference that offers something for your whole team? Do you want to get practical ideas, information and advice without all the fluff and jargon? If you want ideas and information about fundraising, volunteer management, governance or non-profit marketing, Tonic Conference is your one-stop shop. Truly practical workshops delivered by people who really know their stuff. Click here for more information and to register.

Commonground Festival: November, 2016 – Victoria

This event is being held from 18-19 November, 2016. Start getting excited, because the 2016 Commonground Festival is only a few months away! Commonground Festival is all about making the world a better place and having one heck of a good time at the same time! It's a celebration of all the people who are working together to create a just, sustainable and nonviolent world. Click here for more information.

 Rural & Small Town  Development 

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

Benalla Street Art

The Benalla Wall to Wall Street Art Festival is an annual event that has established the small Victorian rural town of Benalla as the Street Art Capital of Australia. A small group of like-minded art loving locals from Benalla came together in 2015 with a vision and belief that they could bring Street Artists from around the world to paint murals on bare walls, some over 3 stories high. Over a weekend in March 2015. Victoria's first Regional Urban Contemporary Street Art Festival called Wall to Wall was born.

The event was funded through canvassing local residents and local business who donated over $20,000. The generosity and vision of the locals paid off. The weekend saw thousands of locals and 'out-of-towners' tour the various murals to watch the artwork appear in front of their eyes. The excitement, the buzz, the interest and the spirit of it all was tangible. The results are truly amazing and speak for themselves. 14 high quality colourful murals created by world renowned street artists adorn once featureless walls.

Now an annual event, when this event closes, Benalla will be home to 28 world class street art murals. Click here to check out the art and their website. Click here to read a great story from the ABC.
(Photo courtesy abc.net.au)

Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program

Earlier this year, the Federal government announced its $13.8 million farming co-operative pilot program to be implemented by Southern Cross University. Southern Cross University will announce a national program of work, including establishing an information resource for farmers and farm advisors, provision of expertise to farmers and groups of farmers and support for groups of farmers to get their collaborative project off the ground. Click here to find out more.
(Thanks to Alan Greig for sharing.)

Let’s Build a Pub

In the town of Buchan, East Gippsland is the pub that community spirit built.  After their historic pub burnt down two years ago, local residents launched a crowd funding campaign to rebuild. People from all over the world – including tourists who once visited have contributed.  When it opens in June it will be the world’s first crowd funded pub built by a global community. Click here to visit the website.

NBN Sky Muster Satellite Service Goes Live

Rural communities across Australia should see considerable improvement in their internet connectivity and download speeds through the recent launch of this Satellite service. Click here to discover more. 


City Girl Country Girl by Liz Harfull

The inspiring true stories of courageous women forging new lives in the Australian bush.
City Girl, Country Girl brings together the stories of women who have left lives in the city or another country to build a new future in places where knowing how to milk a cow or drive a tractor stand them in far better stead than an ability to negotiate rush-hour traffic or find a good cappuccino.City Girl, Country Girl is a compelling and fascinating account of these women’s journeys as they struggle through personal tragedy, hardship and self-doubt with grace, humour, perseverance and more than a little hard work. Click here for more information or to purchase.

 Community Building 








‘There are two kinds of power in society - the power of money and the power of people, and if you don’t have lots of money, you had better have lots of people.’   
(Saul Alinsky)
 

'Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are.’
(John W Gardner)

Grant giving doesn't work for small charities - it's time for a major rethink

Click here for some insightful advice from Warren Carter on better ways to do funding.  As someone who runs a small charity, and also sits on a board which distributes small funds, Warren offers a perspective from both sides of the coin.

Community Empowerment: But can you trust the people?

This article presents a case study for a successful participatory approach to the development of a new park and playground in Thames, New Zealand. Click here to read.

The Psychology of Citizenship and Civic Engagement: Great Resource

“The Psychology of Citizenship and Civic Engagement is about people’s connections with their communities, and the profound impact these connections can have on their health and well-being. Being active in a neighbourhood association, volunteering with a charitable organization, working for a political party, fighting for social justice on behalf of a marginalized group, or singing in a community choir all have positive outcomes.” Click here to find out more.

Sharing Stories and the Community Empowerment Network

The Community Empowerment Network in Denmark, WA recently launched a very successful sharing stories initiative around the theme of ‘Living on the Land’. Click here to download a copy of the event flyer and media release leading up to the event that captures well what took place. If you would like to learn more about this initiative, please contact Josephine Lebbing josephinelebbing@gmail.com  

Community Artists - Bob Daly and Kalyna Micenko

Bob Daly and Kalyna Micenko are award winning community artists based in Port Adelaide who have dedicated their lives to empowering people who often have no experience in the arts, to create simple and excellent cultural events in their own communities. For 30 years they have created fabulous arts projects with Aboriginal communities, people with experience of a disability, people in regional and isolated places, people who have little experience in the arts, elderly people, people who speak English as a second language as well as with community organisations, theater companies, young people in schools, tertiary students, district councils and festivals.

Bob and Kalyna strive for excellence while keeping workshops simple and organised. No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm and a desire to create something truly amazing whilst connecting with your community. If you would like to use the services of Bob and Kalyna in your community click here to access their Facebook page or email Kalyna Micenko bk@spinfx.net.au

 Localism & Social  Connection 

'The great lesson is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbours, friends and family, in one's backyard.'
(Abraham Maslow)

Ageing Well Torbay

Ageing Well Torbay is a 6 year UK  project, funded by Big Lottery, which aims to reconnect communities and reduce social isolation amongst the 50 plus generation across Torbay. Consultations with older people demonstrated that a high proportion felt isolated due to retirement, bereavement, low income, poor health and mobility, lack of transport, and fear of leaving the house. The Torbay Community Development Trust and partners believe that old age should be viewed as an opportunity and that older people should be valued and able to contribute to their communities. This is the aim of Ageing Well Torbay. A great ABCD initiative. Click here to learn more or contact Justin Wiggin, Program Manager (email: justinwiggin@torbaycdt.org.uk).

ABCD in 3 Minutes

For anyone from a faith based group wanting a quick introduction to the value and understanding of ABCD, click here to view this great You Tube.

ABCD and the Community Playgroup Movement

Recently, several research studies have been released that illustrate the importance of the play group movement not only with regard to its positive impact on child development, but also its value in terms of building social capital through Asset Based Community Driven initiatives. Click here to read an article from Probono Australia on the subject. Click here to download the document ‘Relationships Matter: the Social and Economic Benefits of Community Playgroups’.  

The words of Dianne Mazzucato, Project Manager, Enhanced Transition to Schools Project summarise that contribution well- “I think the community playgroup movement is a great example of ABCD – they are local playgroups run by the parents who attend the playgroups. Each community playgroup is its own individual community group which makes its own decisions on how they run and what they do. They have usually been initiated by the parents themselves. There is no government regulation, curriculum or standards control. It’s about local families getting together regularly so young children can play and parents can socialise. Kids learn from playing and mixing with other kids and parents get support from mixing with other parents at similar stages of life. Community playgroups inherently involve volunteerism as parents work together to run the playgroup. This can mean parents using skills and talents they already possess as well as opportunities to develop new skills in taking on various roles as necessary."

How to Start a Tool Library in Your Community

Tools are a costly necessity.  A great way to save money, get to know your neighbours, reduce your communities ecological footprint and maybe even start a neighbourhood project together is to start a tool library.  Tool libraries are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. Click here for some great advice on how you can start one in your community.

Journal Street, Nowra East

Alan Blackshaw shared with us a simple but powerful story from Shoalhaven that really encapsulates Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)…
A few months ago the residents of Journal Street approached the Police and Shoalhaven City Council with concerns over crime problems in their neighbourhood. They were after a response from the Police. We decided to work with this community from an ABCD approach. Our approach was to build a Community Pride Group to highlight the strengths they have as a community. The aim of Community Pride is to build a group that works on the assets the community has to grow a sense of pride in the location. This Group has rapidly transitioned from an approach of "come and fix this for us" to a "we can do this ourselves". They became actively involved in Neighbour Day and worked to clean up part of a cul de sac. One of the really great things one of the Group members has been working on is to convert part of the nature strip in front of her house to an edible Community Garden (pictured). She has planted strawberries, tomatoes and kale. She is quite open to people taking what they need. The group continue to work together. They have worked with council to make the cul de sac safer by requesting the installation of bollards to restrict vehicular access to limit "burn outs" and notifying council of repairs needed to council property. One of their next projects is the creation of murals. They will be working alongside a local artist to create these’.

Loneliness and Middle Aged Men

A great ABC Report that highlights the importance of social connection and friendship to health, especially for middle aged men. Well worth reading to better understand the issue and the importance of social capital. Click here to read.

South Alive Art Project

The BOI are great admirers of the folk in South Invercargill, New Zealand and what their volunteer and community building efforts have achieved. As an example, check out this link. It summarises one of their many community initiatives – their Hub Art Gallery and Workspace. What is particularly helpful about this two page summary is their pitch approach to getting volunteers involved. A very helpful summary.

The Welcome Dinner Project

In a previous edition, we featured that wonderful social inclusion program – The Welcome Dinner Project which seeks to break down barriers between Australian residents and newly arrived migrants over a shared meal and conversations. Click here to find out more. Since the official launch of The Welcome Dinner Project in March 2013, over 160 Welcome Dinners have been held in homes and community spaces across Australia. The Welcome Dinner has over 300 trained Welcome Dinner facilitators across Australia and over 3500 people have been able to participate in a Welcome Dinner. This growing Project needs your help and has launched a crowd funding campaign. Click here if you would like to contribute.

 Local Economic  Development 

Christchurch Moves On

This article explores the explosion in entrepreneurial activity born in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake.  Five years on, take a look at the unique ways enterprise has taken root as the city rebuilds itself. Click here to read.

How a Health Clinic Made a Local Grocery Store Part of Its Prescription

This article tells the story of a partnership between a Boston health clinic and a local grocery store that shows what local economic development initiatives can do when making community health a priority. The concept behind the development proves that careful planning and deliberation in terms of co-locating services and businesses has the potential to bring remarkable benefits. Click here to read more.
(Photo courtesy YES! Magazine).

Sealake Community Takes Ownership

Click here to find out more about the community of Sealake who decided to help themselves by investing in themselves.  When the local Mitre 10 hardware store closed down, it didn’t take long for the community to rally around and raise the money to keep a hardware store, and local shoppers, in their town.
(Thanks to Alan Greig for sharing).

Loomio

Have you heard of Loomio?  Loomio is the app designed by a group of New Zealand activists who decided to start a worker owned tech Company by designing an app that allows thousands of groups to deliberate, debate, and make decisions online. What makes Loomio unique is that it represents the beginning of a trend dubbed ‘platform cooperativism’. Essentially, Loomio is taking the cooperative culture online. Click here to find out more.
(Thanks to Yes! Magazine for sharing this article).

Rural Bakeries in the Northern Territory

A new initiative in the NT will see the establishment of 21 new bakery cafés in remote communities across the Territory. The initiative will create better access to quality fresh food and jobs in the bush, in a joint investment of $7.35 million with the Commonwealth Government. One condition of the new bakery cafés is that they must provide certificate training to a minimum of 12 locals in courses such as Certificate I in Food Processing and Certificate II in Retail Baking. Click here to find out more.
(Thanks to Melanie Croke for sharing).

Where’s the Community Accountability in Impact Investing?

Click here to read a brilliant new article on why impact investing needs to concentrate on investing in cooperatives and community ownership.
(Thanks to Alan Greig for sharing).

 Youth Empowerment & Participation  

‘Remember that our children and grandchildren are going to do things that would stagger us.’
(David Burnham)

We call upon our youth to produce, create and make mistakes.’ 
(Sheikh Bin Rashid Al Maktoum)

National Lemonade Day

Click here to read about this national initiative launched by not-for-profit organisation DICE Kids. The idea behind DICE Kids is that in an uncertain and globally competitive world, Australia must grow a generation of DICE (digital, innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial) kids. National Lemonade Day aims to reach 180,000 primary school children over three years in the hopes of inspiring them to starting their own business. Click here to read about the launch of this initiative.

The Collective Action Drama Group

The Collective Action Drama Group is an initiative of the FNTS Movement, WA Aids Council and the WA Police. The Collective Action Program focuses on students devising their own creative performance. Each week students are provided with a different work shop involving a diverse assortment of theatre activities and exercises that aim to provide youth with a hands on approach to drama. The activities delivered are programmed to deliver the specific needs and wants of the group each term. Click here to learn more.

Australian Teenage Expo

The Australian Teenage Expo is currently the largest youth educational event in the country.  Since its inception in 2010, the Expo has had more than 35,000 attendees and has partnered with numerous not-for-profits, corporate and government bodies.  The aim of the event is to connect young people with their potential. Click here to find out more.

How can sports help to promote youth employment?

Click here to read a great article from the International Labour Organization on Youth employment and the advantages of getting kids involved in sports.
(Thanks to Jim Doyle for sharing).

 Food / Community  Agriculture 

“Over the last four years, I’ve seen a shift. People who have never been on a farm are becoming interested in where their food comes from. Towns and neighborhoods that didn’t have regular access to fresh fruits and vegetables are getting them. Farmers and ranchers are tapping into new markets and keeping more money in their pockets by selling locally. And all across the country, innovative local food businesses are starting up and staffing up. Local food systems work for America: when we create opportunities for farmers and ranchers, our entire nation reaps the benefits.” 
(Barack Obama quoted in Tom Vilsack post).

‘I think that food ties us to our community and our traditions, and it’s the thing that makes us feel good and connected.’
(Kathy Feston)

A teacher growing green in the South Bronx

Click here to view a TED talk by the inspirational Stephen Ritz. A whirlwind of energy and ideas, Stephen Ritz is a teacher in New York's tough South Bronx, where he and his kids grow lush gardens for food, greenery — and jobs. Just try to keep up with this New York treasure as he spins through the many, many ways there are to grow hope in a neighborhood many have written off, or in your own.
(Thanks to Local Food News Ontario for sharing)

Food Charters in Ontario and Beyond

“A Food Charter is broad community statement and/or a set of goals that describe how the members of a specified geopolitical community want their food system to be maintained.  By including the voices of various stakeholders, Food Charters encourage a broad base of support, cross-sectorial collaboration, and community connection.  Used as an education piece, Food Charters raise community awareness about food system concerns and weaknesses, and offer a platform for public discussion and advocacy.  Most importantly, Food Charters are not binding policy statements, but instead act as inspiration for how to develop local food policy and or initiatives for the community.”

Click here to learn more about food charters, how to develop one and examples of food charters from all over the world.
(Thanks to Local Food News Ontario for sharing.)

Agrihoods

Essentially suburbs or small settlements built around farms, ‘Agrihoods’ take the idea of farm to table to the next level. The concept is not new and with people becoming increasingly conscious of where their food comes from, agrihoods could soon become the norm. It is believed there are now more than 200 agrihoods across the US. Click here and here to learn more. Click here to read a great article from the New York Times.
(Photo courtesy Shareable).

 Tourism 

Back to Bush

Back to Bush is an initiative born from the Heywire Regional Youth Summit where 45 young regional Australians developed eight ideas for change. The group who identified small towns as an important issue for young people developed the idea, Back to Bush. Check out their idea and consider applying for up to $10,000 to implement it in your community, as part of the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants.

“Tourists drive straight through most small towns, believing there's no reason to stop. Back to Bush gives them the opportunity to see these communities through a local's eyes. Towns are invited to hold a Back to Bush "festival". The festival will showcase the hidden gems of that particular town, featuring the various cultural experiences on offer in the town. This could involve a variety of activities, exhibitions and markets, providing a smorgasbord of attractions for tourists to enjoy. Backpackers, grey nomads and day trippers are encouraged to come and sample what the town has to offer”. 

Back to Bush would be perfect for regional councils or tourism organisations to adopt, to help promote their town. Click here if you are interested in implementing this idea in your community.

Trundle ABBA Festival

Now in its fifth year and expecting 4,000 patrons the Trundle ABBA festival is a roaring success and a much needed source of revenue and morale for the drought stricken town. Started from a simple conversation between residents after attending an Elvis concert, it is a truly inspiring story of what any community can achieve with a bit of passion and gumption. Click here to read more.

Sustainable Development 

Buen Vivir

Buen Vivir is an emerging discourse from South America. ‘Buen Vivir is seen as a new paradigm of social and ecological commons – one that is community-centric, ecologically balanced and culturally sensitive. It’s a vision and a platform for thinking and practising alternative futures based on a “bio-civilisation”’. It challenges sustainable development as lacking and searches for a deeper approach to systemic change. Click here to find out more.

Community Tree Planting Program (City of Stirling)

The City of Stirling (Western Australia) run a well-planned and well executed community tree planting program during the winter months.  The Program really brings together residents around the goal of greening the community and its inherent benefits.  It is an environmental and a social program worth commending – well done City of Stirling. Click here and here to find out more information.

No Fossil Fuel? No Problem

This article explores seven ways Americans are exploring an oil free future.  From cultivating perennial grains to simply ‘putting down roots’ and staying closer to home, click here to read this interesting article.
(Photo by Jennifer Luxton courtesy YES! Magazine)

Some useful websites that help introduce kids to the concept of recycling …

Click here to view The Ultimate Guide to Sustainability & Recycling for Kids.
Click here to view Ollie Recycles.
(Thanks to Amy Forester for sharing these two useful links on recycling).

 Social Development  

The Future is Multicultural: Regenerative Solutions from Sicily

This article describes a truly holistic socio-economic and environmental refugee integration and capacity building initiative from Sicily, Italy.  In light of World Refugee Day (June 20th), it is so important to share positive examples of refugee integration. Click here to read more.
(Photo courtesy permaculture.co.uk)

Accessible Cities Map App

Click here to read about the development of an AccessMap App for Seattle that provides information for people with a disability to better navigate the city. It presents the latest in using information and technology to improve accessibility.
(Thanks to Alan Blackshaw for sharing.)

Nyoongar Past Vital to Future

This is a beautifully written opinion piece from The West Australian by Nyoongar statesmen Richard Walley acknowledging that the activities undertaken by Nyoongar people in the past have not much changed from the current activities undertaken in Perth’s CBD. Walley poignantly states that whilst acknowledging Aboriginal culture through traditional names, signs or art works is important, even more significant is seeing Aboriginal people participating in the day to day life of the CBD as business owners, employees and residents with unique and valuable skills and assets. Click here to read.

Giving Clubs

Click here to read about the new face of philanthropy ‘collective giving’.  Essentially, it involves a group of people pooling their donations and collectively deciding which cause they would like to support.  As most people can only afford small amounts, such an approach makes people feel like their contribution is going further.  The shared decision making nature of this approach also creates a culture of planned, purposeful and thoughtful giving as contributors deliberate which causes to support.

 Inspirational People &  Stories 

 Humour... 

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Click here to read some funnies from the under-fives.


ASKHOLE:
'A person who constantly asks for your advice, yet always does the opposite of what you told them.'


 


'The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.'


 

What is BUSINESS ?

Dad: I want you to marry a girl of my choice.
Son: No
Dad: The girl is Bill Gate's daughter.
Son: then Ok.

Dad goes to Bill Gates.
Dad: I want your daughter to marry my son.
Bill Gates: No
Dad: My son is the CEO of the World Bank.
Bill Gates: Than ok

Dad goes to the President of the World Bank.
Dad:Appoint my son as the CEO of your bank.
President:No
Dad:He is the son-in-law of Bill Gates.
President: Then OK

That's business...!!

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