March / April, 2017 Edition
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'Community & Economic Development Matters' Newsletter


Probably the most important question to pose to community residents and members is simply "What do you care enough about to act upon?" The answer to this question represents the most important set of assets to be found in any community.

Increasingly, the mission of the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. relates to this question.  We are committed to highlighting its importance in community conversations, and identifying and promoting ways it is being asked and acted upon.  

Over the last six weeks, we have been hosting community conversations with this central question across New Zealand, the Pilbara (Western Australia) and the Fraser Coast (Queensland).  Such conversations have reinforced the centrality of this question in terms of igniting citizenship and community engagement.  Such conversations have also encouraged us in our role in collecting and circulating best practice in fostering and sustaining citizens and community engagement.  Three practical contributions we will implement over the coming months are - 

  • Coordination of a National Roadshow - great IDEAS and resources to foster citizenship and community engagement - in October, 2017.  
  • Publication of 'The Ten Book' - that contains the ten best ideas across a variety of themes associated with citizenship and community engagement. 
  • A continuation of this Newsletter as a resource that captures the creativity of communities across the Globe committed to building caring, engaged and inclusive places and local economies.

We always welcome any material you might like to share. 

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. 



'Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.'
(Benjamin Franklin)


Activate: Locally led and making it work – Auckland, April 5th and 6th 2017

Activate Auckland in April is an inspiring and innovative community event that showcases neighbourhoods in Auckland that are leading community change and providing a platform for individuals to exchange great ideas and learn new skills. Scholarships are available for individuals who belong to community organisations or who are community volunteers in the areas of Auckland and the Bay of Plenty to attend Activate. To find our more Click here

Salt Festival – South Australia, April 21st-30th 2017

The Salt Festival in South Australia is an exciting event which allows community artists and contributors to share and showcase their knowledge around the topic of community. Presenters will also share their practical ideas about how to build new and innovative communities. As part of this festival, Peter Kenyon (Bank of I.D.E.A.S.) will be doing a one-day workshop.

Click here to visit the event website or check out the flyer here

Belonging: What’s your story?  Perth, April 2017

This is a great initiative which will be held in Perth over April (2017) that invites young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to explore their identity and cultural roots through stories and creativity. Individuals are invited to take part in free story collecting workshops. The stories collected will be exhibited at the end of April. Explore more

Upcoming cooperative and employee ownership events – Australia Wide

The Future is Co-operative: Making Mutual Enterprise Happen - A seminar on cooperatives and the new economy in Melbourne  on 29th April, 2017 – see the registration and program details click here

Creatives Get Cooperative – Seminar - As part of the Vivid Festival in Sydney on 4th June, 2017 – for registration click here   

Creatives Get Cooperative – Workshop - As part of the Vivid Festival in Sydney on 5th June, 2017 –  for registration details click here

Organic and Regenerative Investment Cooperative (ORICoop) - You may have noticed the launch of this excellent new cooperative earlier this week and the extensive press coverage on it (including in “The Australian”), such as that at The Pozible crowd funding campaign for the coop is also underway explore more (You might wish to contribute). 

EOA 2017 Conference: A Real Sharing Economy: Employee Share Ownership at Work - The National Conference of Employee Ownership Australia is on Friday, 19 May 2017 from 7:45 am to 1:30 pm in Melbourne – for registration and program details click here

Social Accounting Webinar – Prove Improve Account - To see the registration details for this webinar click here participation is Australia wide. 

Thanks to Alan Greig for sharing!

Drum Circle Facilitator Training by Arthur Hall – Melbourne, June 29th-July 1st

This musical event held in Melbourne over three days provides participants with 20+ hours of training to facilitate and lead their own drumming circle for a variety of populations. 

Click here to explore more.

Global Coworking Unconferences

These events are defined as:

A Worldwide Explosion of COWORKING AWESOMENESS." 

For short, people call the Global Coworking Unconference Conference “GCUC” and pronounce it “juicy,” because that is exactly what its subject matter is: a big, juicy wave of awesomeness that is changing the face of work as we know it. 

Click here to learn more about these events.

Peter Kenyon in Canada: Mid-June, 2017

Peter Kenyon will be in Canada in mid-June, 2017.  If any community or organisation would like to utilise the services of Peter as a presenter or workshop facilitator, please email Peter Kenyon at For more information on Peter Kenyon, please visit the BOI website

10th Making Cities Liveable Conference 2017: 10-11 July, 2017 - Brisbane

The 10th Making Cities Liveable Conference will be held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane on Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 July 2017.

This successful conference grows with importance each year as a platform for innovative discussion on what approach to follow and the actions to undertake in making our cities liveable and healthy urban communities. Following the commitment by world leaders to adopt the New Urban Agenda and thereby setting a new global standard for sustainable urban development, the 2017 Liveable Cities Conference aims to focus more deeply on key areas addressing how we plan, manage and live in our cities. We are also looking beyond major capital cities to successful liveability in regional centres. 

Click here to explore more.

BREI International Conference – Edmonton, Canada

This is the annual event of Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI), an international organisation committed to local economic development and especially community led initiatives that seek to retain and expand the local business base. 

Click here to see program and other details.

Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 – Christchurch, September

The Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 (September 27-29) is an exciting international event that lets social enterprises from around the globe share their ideas, wisdom, build networks and start important discussions about how we can create a more sustainable future.

Click here to explore more.

ICTC Mainstreet 2017 Conference: Innovation, Collaboration & Leadership – Melbourne, October

Hosted by: International Cities Town Centres and Communities Society (ICTC) & Mainstreet Australia
Call for Speakers: Deadline 7 April
Dates of Conference: 25-27 October 2017  Venue: Crown Promenade, Melbourne

ICTC Mainstreet 2017 is a chance for you to share and learn about key issues in urban revitalisation and place making and to inspire and inform new thinking and approaches.
The event will focus on how innovation, collaboration and leadership helps to advance and transform our places into vibrant, liveable centres. Join your peers and have your say when it comes to highlighting the importance of place making activities and what it can do for your community. Don’t miss out on the event that will shine the spotlight on people, connections and communities and making great places to live, work, play and visit.
There are many other opportunities too: have a stall and show off your services and products; become a part of the Special Interest Group Sessions; explore the sponsorship opportunities; treat yourself to a few days in Melbourne.

For more ideas on how to be involved, information or to submit an abstract, please go to

 Rural & Small Town Development 

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

From Pub to Hub

This short video tells the story of the Nyabing Community Progress Association Pub to Hub project. In order to stop the decline in their local community, the Association turned a local pub into the community hub to enhance the future of their unique town. Explore more


Old Guard vs. New Old Guard

This is a great article about the generational challenges that can be encountered when trying to break down the ‘Us vs. Them’ myth and change the future of a community with different views about the right ways and practices of doing so.“The time is past when a few people could gather in a room and decide the future of your town. The future of your town is determined by the everyday actions of the individuals based on what they believe about the future of your town and their role in it.” Explore more

Nyngan NSW Big Bogan Statue

Adding to Australia’s list of ‘BIG’ tourist attractions, Nyngan, New South Wales, have erected a giant five-meter-tall Bogan statue to their town landscape. The statue is complete with a mullet, singlet, esky, thongs and the Southern Cross tattoo creating an eye-catching town entrance. Explore more

Annual Melon Festival in Chinchilla, Queensland

This is a great story about how one event can help stimulate the economy of a small town. The Annual Melon Festival in the small Queensland town of Chinchilla brings in $3.5 million to the local economy and an amazing time for locals and visitors. Explore more

(Photo courtesy of ABC)

Harrow: ABC Back Roads

This is a great ABC Back Roads episode about a country town that took on the “reinvent or perish” mantra and transformed their small town. Watch it now

Rural Mingoola Social experiment: African Refuges provide vital boost

The Rural farming town of Mingoola has undertaken a radical resettlement plan to transform their ageing community by bringing together two very different groups – local farmers and African Refugees. By bringing the two groups together, the plan was to help solve the problems both groups faced - farmers who couldn't find manual labourers and African refugees who were missing their rural backgrounds and upbringing. The success of the program has brought 29 families to the area with a further 205 on a waiting list. Those involved in this social experiment now hope the Mingoola model can be replicated in other dying rural communities. Explore more 

(Photo courtesy of ABC)

Creating a Town Attraction: Five Grain Silos

This is a great story showing the positive impact creatives and art can have on small town revitalisation. The residents of rural Coonalpyn, Victoria wanted to put their small town on the map, and they did so in a big way. By using the talents of Guido van Helten, they turned five silos into eye-catching murals. Explore more

(Photo courtesy of Advertiser Adelaide Now)

 Community Building 

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
(Henry Ford)

Expo + Community Family Festival  (Whakatane, New Zealand)

This is a great example of ‘network weaving’ which saw co-organisations come together for a few hours and share local organisations and their gifts to the wider community. 2000+ local residents turned up. The event was enriched with lots of family/children activities, making for a truly fun and inviting experience. To find out more about this event contact Rev Daniel Christoffel Barnard at the Whakatane Presbyterian Church, Email:

Whakatāne Ki Mua

This is an excellent example of a community-wide vision initiative by the Whakatāne District Council in New Zealand. Click here to read its comprehensive approach in formulating the community vision. For more details contact Cashy Ball, Team Leader of Strategic Policy, Email:

Creative Waikato Toi Waikato

Creative Waikato is another great New Zealand example of community networking! Creative Waikato is an exciting organisation which aims to support creative individuals and groups and their artistic dreams by providing training, information, development, promotion and funding.  The aim of Creative Waikato is to integrate the creative side of Waikato with the rest of the community.
Explore more or follow them on social media.  

ABCD DePaul University Website Launched!

The DePaul University has launched a new ABCD website which has created a flexible platform for the ABCD community to participate in a forum, share news and connect with the University. Explore more

Straua, Czech Republic

Click here to read this story from Ostraua in the Czech Republic where a rusty industrialised site has been successfully transformed into an arts and cultural hub, challenging traditional ideas of heritage aesthetics and adaptive reuses in the process.

(Courtesy of Heritage New Zealand)

Verge Rule Book Thrown Out - Get out there and do it

This is a great story about a council in Perth Australia, who has decided to throw out their verge rulebook and instead encourage community members to create a veggie patch and/or native strip on their verge. The council has reduced the red tape and given back ownership and responsibility of verges back to residents. Explore more

(Photo courtesy of WAtoday)

Eumundi’s First All-Indigenous Markets

An exciting social enterprise project led by the Indigenous community development organisation SevGen has led to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland opening the first all-Indigenous market - Eumundi Cultural and Creative Market. The market operates on the last Friday of every month and sells bush tucker, plants and traditional and modern Indigenous art and fashion. Now with 17 stalls running and a crowdfunded bush tucker restaurant opening it’s just the start. Explore more

VANessa's Journey (the Communi-TEA Caravan)

This is a fabulous initiative from ABCDE Learning Site Sunbury Community Health to connect the community. Sunbury Community Health is pleased to share with you the journey of VANessa, a Communi-TEA caravan created for the purpose of inspiring conversations over a cuppa. VANessa will be out and about at community events in Sunbury and is available for the community to use. Explore more
VANessa's Journey (the Communi-TEA Caravan)

Radio WA: Stories of people and places in WA

Radio WA is a proud Aussie radio station in Perth WA, that shares the stories of the people and places in WA. Listen to Radio WA on 87.6 FM Perth or online. A great channel for sharing community stories. Thanks to Barry Green for sharing!

 Localism & Social Connection 

90-year-old Derek’s Tips to Battling Loneliness

After losing both his partner and sister, Derek Talyor was overcome with extreme loneliness. Derek was determined not to be isolated for the rest of his life and decided to do something to change it. After undertaking this goal Derek is now experiencing great happiness with the new friends he has made at his coffee and gardening clubs. To share his story, Derek has written a list of tips to combat loneliness which has been used in the “Age-Friendly” outreach pamphlet by Machester City Council.
Explore more

Do you need some help?

‘Help Me With It’ is a smart initiative, which links seekers (community members seeking assistance) for $9 with helpers (local volunteers). The website uses a simple system to allow community members to get the help they require:
1. Join for free
2. Post a task
3. Connect with a Helper to get it done.
(Photo courtesy of Help me
ATOH 2017 hype reel recut Master

Taste of Harmony

This was a wonderful event held in March, 2017 encouraging workplaces to celebrate their cultural diversity! The ‘Taste of Harmony’ campaign allowed staff to come together over a meal to share stories and swap heritage across Australia. Explore more

Community Health: Boyer Lecture Series on Social Justice and the Health Gap

This is a great lecture series by Professor Sir Michael Marmot (President of the World Medical Association) on exploring and solving health inequality challenges communities face. Access the series here.

The Footscray Hotel Choosing Community Over Developers

This is a great story about the compassion and community passion of the owner of a popular Melbourne Pub who has turned down numerous developers because many of the tenants of his Pub would have nowhere else to go. For several years, Owner, Brian Kramer, has opened the doors of his pub to struggling individuals to rent a room or work behind the bar in exchange for discounted accommodation creating quite a pub family. Explore more 

(Photo courtesy of ABC)

Cinderella Project: Donations allow girls to attend their high school ball

This is a great initiative started by Butler High School who now have racks of donated ball dresses which have allowed their students to attend their Year 12 ball. The school launched the project after many families in the community were hit hard by the downturn in the mining industry. Explore more

(Photo courtesy The West Australian)

 Local Economic Development 

“Typically, policy has privileged the biggest corporations. Yet a growing body of research is proving something that many citizens already know: small-scale, locally owned businesses create communities that are more prosperous, entrepreneurial, connected and generally better off across a wide range of metrics.”
(The Institute for Local Self-Reliance)

Shared Ownership ToolKit

This is an excellent resource established by The Alliance for Local Living Economies in the US and co-founder Michael Shuman. Click here to access The Shared Ownership Toolkit. It is very useful for social enterprise development work. Also, to hear more from Michael Shuman this is a great presentation on YouTube about “Pollinating Prosperity”.  Thanks to Alan Greig Coordinator at Social Enterprise Legal Models Working Group for sharing this story.

Coaching Migrants-Starting a Business

Created by two Sydney locals Jake Muller and Usman Iftikhar the Catalyst Initiative aims to tackle unemployment in Australia's migrant community by coaching migrants to start their own business. Explore more

Leadership & Personal Development 

 'I prefer the word 'work-life harmony' rather than 'work-life balance'. If I'm happy at work, I'm better at home. If I'm happy at home, I come into work more energised'
(Jeff Bezos, Thrive Global)

52 Notes By Marissa Brassfield

Looking to increase productivity? Every week during 2017, Marissa Brassfield Founder and CEO of Ridiculously Efficient will send out a tip to increase productivity. Each note will come with one thing to master such as a minor habit or routine change that could increase your productivity. Subscribe here.

Restoring the Kaiser’s Personal Railway Station

Click here to read the story from Heritage New Zealand, about the vision, commitment and passion of New Zealander Peter Mackay who uses the summer months of every year to restore a railway station, south of Berlin in Germany, which the German Kaiser in 1865 had built as a personal station.

The Gender Gap in Agriculture Linked to Low Rates of Women in Leadership

This is an insightful report and article providing gender equity insights into one of the worst industries for equal pay - agriculture. A new report has found that one of the main ways gender gaps were reduced was through the balance of leadership. Explore more

(Photo courtesy ABC News)


'Tourism provides employment to the poorest of the poor. Gram sellers earn something, auto-rickshaw drivers earn something, pakoda sellers earn something, and tea sellers also earn something.'
(Narendra Modi)

Helsinki Tourism Signage

This is a perfect example of using the assets of place. Finland’s capital Helsinki has used its identity for cooled weather to attract tourists. The Capital has used clever signage to sell its average 1 degree Celsius temperature as an endurance test for tourists. Explore more

Vanuatu Underwater Post office

In 2003, Vanuatu developed a unique tourist attraction by creating the world’s first underwater post office. The underwater post office sits 3 meters under the surface of the ocean among the Hideaway Island Marine Reserve where snorkelers have the opportunity to post special waterproof cards. Explore more

Soviet Union’s Creative and Bizarre Bus Stop Designs

In a time where decisions and details in the Soviet Union were largely controlled by directives from the government, freedom of choice was limited. However, architects seem to have found a way to express their artistic side — through the design of local bus stops. Captured by Peter Ortner, these unique bus stops around the country have been unearthed. Explore more

Food Trucks: Tasmania’s Potential

This is a great story about exploring new ways and assets to attract tourists. The food truck vendors in Hobart, Australia believe that there is potential for increased food trucks that offer a variety of food to attract more tourists, with vendors wanting Tasmania to become the place known for its exciting and different food trucks.  Explore more

Jurien Bay’s Snorkeling Trail

The costal town of Jurien Bay, Australia has created a unique family friendly snorkeling trail to attract more tourists to the town. The community has harnessed its incredible physical assets to create 78 man-made Reef Balls made by the Jurien Bay Men’s Shed volunteers and Reef Ball Australia to create an underwater habitat for marine life. Entry to the trail is free however to raise some money, the community has also created swim cards which snorkelers can buy to help them identify fish. Explore more

 Youth Empowerment & Participation  

'There’s a radical – and wonderful – new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world. Its an idea with revolutionary implications. If we take it seriously.' 
(Deborah Meier)

Voices of the Next generation:

This is a great website which provides a unique way to share the stories of young people and the issues they are passionate about. Explore more

Family Vacation: Happiness Anchor’s for teenagers

Psychologist Dr Sunderland, has determined 5 reasons why taking your kids on vacation - even just a day long family outing - is better for your kid's happiness than expensive toys. Explore more



 Food / Community Agriculture 

Diversify the Farming Landscape by Diversifying Who Works for it

The way to re-diversify the landscape is to re-diversify the people in agriculture. There are some interesting points in this article that are also relevant outside the US context. Explore more

Urban Wheat Footpath

This is a great story about using creative and diverse thinking to solve a problem! Guy Roth of Narrabri, New South Wales was tired of all the weeds growing on the footpath in front of his urban home. To stop the weeds Guy, his sons and neighbours decided to plant some wheat seeds. The wheat not only improved the quality of the soil and attracted local birdlife but also provided a fantastic crop, which they hope to use to make “Narrabri Selina Street Bread". What's next?  With a wedding happening in the street in 2017, the family now plan to grow sunflowers or sorghum. Crop rotation – even better!  Explore more

Sustainable Development 

Bega’s Bend Eco-friendly Neighbourhood

This is a great story that shows what is possible when people with shared goals and passions collaborate.  10 years ago a group of individuals came together on the South Coast of New South Wales to establish a community housing model on 13 hectares of land that was based on social and environmental suitability. The community now has 19 households with nine owner-occupied and 10 community lots and is still growing. Explore more

(Courtesy of ABC)

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, 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)

Wild Beasts - Alpha Female (Official Video)

India’s Skateboarding Women Challenging Gender Norms

A video created by Sasha Rainbow has featured young women skateboarding in India to the latest single from Wild Beasts album Boy King: "Alpha Female" in order to challenge gender norms through skateboarding which is usually a sport reserved from males. Explore more  

This Is Our Story: Now Nazareth Outreach Work

This is an amazing story of the Nazareth Community and their strong spirit and hard work, which have supported underprivileged communities in Timor-Leste since 2012. Each year the Nazareth community through fundraising and donations assists a group of young adults and staff from the Nazareth Catholic Community to volunteer in Timor-Leste. Each year, the group assists a different community and fundraises to supply each village with resources they may need. In 2017, a sixth group will travel to Triloka to deliver computers and conduct PE, Dance and English classes. Click here to explore more or find out how you can support this inspiring initiative.

‘67 Bushfires Story Map

This is a clever initiative by the Tasmanian Fire service who have instigated a year-long project to create an online portal which catalogues community members stories of the 1967 devastating bushfires. Community members can add their stories and images about the horrific bushfire event. The aim is to provide an educational tool to raise bushfire awareness. Explore More

Beach Wheelchairs for Inclusion

This is an amazing Project from Shoalhaven City Council. The Council employed an ABCD approach to enhance the recreational experience of wheelchair-bound residents and tourists in the Shoalhaven.  A very well designed and executed Project.  Thanks to Alan Blackshaw for sharing. Explore more

Tiwi Islands Sistagirls-Indigenous LGBTIQ

This is an inspirational story of a group of Tiwi Island Aboriginal Transgender women who have vowed to spread their story and journey of hope and resilience. The Sistagirls hope to wow the Sydney Mardi Gras Festival to spread their message and fight for acceptance. Explore more

Coming to Australia: Social Accounting

The Mercury Cooperative is aiming to bring back to Australia the concept of Social Accounting (find about social accounting here). If you are interested in the initiative and would like to register your interest click here.  Thanks to Alan Greig for sharing!

 Inspirational People and Stories  

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.'
(Samuel Smiles)

Lisa King: Social Entrepreneur of “Eat My Lunch”

This is the exciting and inspiring story of a social entrepreneur who has mixed business and altruism together within her organisation "Eat My Lunch". Lisa King aims to make sure no child in New Zealand goes to school hungry even if that eventually means feeding 100,000 children and also earn a living. The Eat My Lunch initiative is unique in that it is a hybrid solution to Lisa’s aims. Every time someone buys a meal, the organisation sends another meal out to a student that needs one. The employment aspect of the organisation is also split in the same way with staff making paid customers lunches and volunteers making the students meals. Within 18 months, the organisation has had great success. The social enterprise has given out over 325,000 lunches and raised $820,000 in crowd funding. Click here to find more about Lisa and Eat My Lunch.

(Photo courtesy Waikato Times)


Chris Mitchell: Passionate and Active Broome Community Member

This great article highlights the impact one passionate community member can have. Chris Mitchell is a hard working Broome community member and council member, who has been involved in numerous community activities and groups such as the Lions Club and the Broome Dance Night. Chris aims is to make sure the Shire is community focussed and represents the community with great passion. Read his story here.


'To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.'
(Reba McEntire)

Sign Humour: Credit to Gerry Osborne

Sign in a Shoe Repair Store in Vancouver:
We will heel you
We will save your sole
We will even dye for you. 
Sign over a Gynecologist's Office:
"Dr. Jones, at your cervix.” 
In a Podiatrist's office:
"Time wounds all heels.
On a Septic Tank Truck: 
Yesterday's Meals on Wheels
At an Optometrist's Office:
"If you don't see what you're looking for,
You've come to the right place.
On a Plumber's truck:
"We repair what your husband fixed.” 
At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee:
"Invite us to your next blowout.”
In a Non-smoking Area:
“If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire  and will take appropriate action.” 
At a Car Dealership: 
"The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment.”
In a Restaurant window: 
"Don't stand there and be hungry; come on in and get fed up.” 
Thanks to Franco for sharing!
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