Community members from the regions of Lancefield, Romsey, Cobaw, Benloch and Baynton gathered together to Celebrate Community Outside the Square at the Lancefield Mechanics Institute on the 5th of June.
Celebrating Communities is the first of three events to raise awareness and activate participation, facilitated by Make a Change Australia.
“We had a fantastic turn out,” said Karen Corr of Make a Change Australia. More than 70 people participated on the day and over 100 people contributed to the What Do You Reckon Campaign.
“We create events where people in the community decide what is important and then work out ways together to make it happen.”
DELWP Loddon Mallee Regional Director, Graham Phelps, said it was great to see a diverse range of people from different backgrounds and experiences coming together to share success stories and new ideas.
“At DELWP, we are committed to working with Victorians to build liveable, inclusive and sustainable communities, and thriving natural environments,” Mr. Phelps said.
“There was a lot of good will in the room and it is important to understand that programs like these succeed when they are community – driven and people are genuinely interested in positive change,” he said.
Local leaders from sport, youth, fire prevention, community hubs, environment and street development addressed the audience.
They shared how their projects have created change by “thinking outside the square”.
Guest speaker 11 year old Arie Sawyer of The Field Trip, pictured below addressed the audience: “People need to feel like they belong to community and are valued, even if they’re kids or have a quiet voice. I’m not a loud voice but I am making a change here, and you’re listening to me!”
A gym for Lancefield, roof top Christmas decorations, new resident’s welcome pack and community gardens were just some of the opportunities and ideas audience members contributed at Celebrating Community.
Jenny Stillman of the Romsey Region Business and Tourism Association presented on their key learnings for the Romsey Streetscape Project;
1.Regular communication to stakeholders
2. Council is key to getting things done. Work out ways you can collaborate together
3. Projects bring out new networks in a small community that were hidden
4. Most of all you need persistence!
Community members will have the opportunity to work with skill mentors, who are experienced in all aspects of project development, at the next event ‘Let’s Nut It Out’.
To be held on the July 14, the event will build momentum for the next step for the participant’s group, project or initiative. “Celebrating Communities is just the beginning,” explains Karen. “Let’s Nut it Out is for people who are starting a project, exploring an idea or those who have established projects underway,”
Let’s Nut it Out is taking place on Thursday 14th of July, at the Romsey Library. Everyone is welcome and registrations are essential.