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What is Community Development?

Community Development involves ways of working which empower people to make changes in their community on issues that affect them. It means bringing people together to work on solutions that will benefit their community.[1]

How does Community Development work at the City of Armadale?

An enthusiastic and committed Community Development team work to empower communities to meet their aspirations and respond to areas of concern. The City’s approach to community development comprises four steps:

  1. Ask residents what they like about their suburb, what they’d like to see and what areas are of concern to identify
  2. Research what projects/services work well in similar communities – known as ‘good practice’ examples
  3. Identify the City’s role in a potential action plan
  4. Explore possible projects/services with the community and local groups/organisations and invite them to be part of resulting action plans 

Identifying Social Priorities on which to focus Council resources

Since 2019 the Community Development team has asked residents across the City to tell us what they love about their suburb and what their concerns are. Staff also collate available data for each suburb from sources such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census, the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC), and crime statistics from the WA Police, as well as district level data from sources such the Department of Communities and the Department of Health. Local services and organisations working within the community also share their knowledge of what is happening for our residents. Identifying social priorities means hearing from community members about the most important issues people are experiencing in their area of residence. This is underpinned by a place-focused approach, determining the social priorities for each locality as a single, Citywide strategy may not meet the needs of people in different suburbs. The City’s Community Development team can with the community to build on their strengths and address the main concerns. These engagement activities, under the banner ‘Growing our Community’, were conducted in 2019 and 2021, and will be conducted again between January and March 2023.

2023 - 2026 Social Priorities

There have been significant changes reported locally in the local community since the 2021 engagement. The long-term social and economic impacts of COVID-19 and other national and international events are having a visible effect on the social priorities of the area. The Community Development team will conduct the Growing our Community survey of residents between 14 January and 31 March 2023. Residents are asked to answer two questions:

  1. What do you love about your suburb and why?

We want to hear directly from residents what they love about where they live. By hearing what works well in each suburb we can identify how others can benefit from these things, places and people, and how we might create together, something similar elsewhere.

  1. What do you think is the biggest social issue in your suburb?

A social issue can be defined as a problem in society that affects a large number of people. They also need many people to work together to fix them. By hearing what issues people see in their suburb, we can identify people and groups we can work with to try to improve those conditions.

Surveys for 2023 have now closed. The results will be published later in the year.

On review of the 2021 Growing our Community report, it was determined that from 2023 onwards the review of social priorities would occur every three years with additional strategies to monitor trends during that time. The next Growing our Community survey will be conducted in 2026.

Good practice examples

Having identified what social issues the Community Development team can address, the team researches what programs and activities are already being delivered in the City, as well as what has been successful here and in other similar communities. Good practice examples are then considered for how they might work here in the City and what would be needed for them to succeed.

Identifying the City’s role in the response

What the City can do as an organisation can be broadly categorised as follows:

Advocacy: To advocate to the state and federal government the need for services, resources and facilities. Please see the Advocacy Priorities Strategy 2022 – 2030 for more information.

Coordination of services: Working with local service networks and specific stakeholder groups including community groups to work collectively to make positive change.

Contracting services: Negotiating with not-for-profit and private service providers to deliver services and programs via a Social Priorities Service Agreement.

Capacity building: Assisting groups with information and links to other organisations and funding sources, delivering that City’s Community Grants program and providing training to staff and volunteers of community services and groups.

2021-2023 Social Priorities

Following community engagement in 2019, Community Development identified the social priorities for the financial years 2021-2023:

Armadale North and South Connection to Community and Services
Camillo Youth Engagement and Education
Kelmscott West Early Years and Family Support
All Suburbs*: Community Safety

*Crime hot-spots (and types of crime) identified by WA Police will be used as a key way of determining the location and type of activities to be undertaken.

See the City's Growing our Community 2021 Survey Results (downloadable below) for feedback from residents on a suburb level.

Service Agreements

2022/2023 Service Agreements

The City of Armadale sought Registrations of Interest from organisations to quote on providing social priority services in the identified suburbs across the City in August 2022.  Organisations were asked to have a proven ability to deliver change making initiatives, with projects operating for 6-12 months, and projects that were inclusive and had a wide community benefit well regarded.

The Request for Quote for Social Priorities Service Agreements 2022/2023 attracted fourteen (14) applications with eleven (11) organisations successful.  The following summaries provide a brief overview of each successful project:

Good Deed Movement – will deliver free fitness classes where participants will be encouraged to connect outside of class times, engage in daily acts of kindness, bring to class essential items for people experiencing hardship, for the purpose of reducing inequalities in health outcomes, increased friendships between participants, reducing isolation and loneliness and improving participants sense of connection with their community. Online resources will also be provided for residents unable to attend classes in person.

360 Health + Community – will provide walk-in comprehensive accredited general practice services at the Champion Centre every Tuesday morning including GP, nurse, pharmacist, Aboriginal outreach worker and Aboriginal Health Practitioner, allied health professionals when available and specialist consultations when required, for the purpose of improving health outcomes, reducing the burden of disease, and improving social and community connections for vulnerable people.

Gosnells Community Legal Centre – will provide an outreach worker to be a source of information, referral and support for vulnerable people at the Champion Centre every Tuesday morning while the Street Doctor clinic is in operation, for the purpose of increasing awareness of community services available, simplifying access to holistic services, increasing legal services and a reduction of family violence.

Stephen Michael Foundation – will deliver skill development and match play sessions in multiple sports, provide meals and access to sports equipment, and connection to local youth services, for the purpose of increasing confidence in self, positive engagement between peers, positive attitude towards sporting clubs and organised activities, and decreased stigma around accessing mental health supports, and anti-social behaviour.

Alta-1 College & Armed for Life – will deliver one mentoring and one activity session each week, to a different group of students each term, for the purpose of increasing confidence in self, positive attitude towards school, school attendance, amount of productive classroom time spent on academic tasks and decreasing unhealthy and anti-social behaviours.

Alta-1 College & Shield Academy – will deliver theoretical and practical sessions to equip students with basic skills to analyse, assess, react, escape or prevent situations as quickly as possible, for the purpose of increasing awareness of personal and community safety, respect between individuals, self-confidence in community, and empowering young people with knowledge, tools and skills to escape and prevent violence.

Culture Care WA – will deliver adult self-defence and swimming lessons, community talks on various safety topics, and design, produce and promote a community safety education video in Mandarin and Punjabi with the purpose of increasing awareness of crime prevention and community safety within Armadale CaLD communities.

Constable Care Foundation – will deliver intensive forum theatre to one secondary school, and performance workshops to primary and secondary schools, public libraries and other youth venues, for the purpose of increasing awareness of personal and community safety, and empowering young people to voice their concerns and ideas about personal and community safety, and health and wellbeing issues that impact them.

Armadale Community Family Centre – will deliver a Tumble Tots Playgroup at Creyk Park, a Dads’ Group, and She Shed workshops at the Family Centre for the purpose of increasing awareness of local support services, social connections, knowledge of strategies to support child development milestones, and parenting confidence.

Multicultural Communities Council of WA – will deliver two family fun days, and child and parent Zumba and dance classes for the purpose of increased awareness of local support services, participation in community activities and sense of community connection amongst people with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds for themselves, their children and their families.

For more information, please contact the relevant organisations directly.

2019-2021 Social Priorities

Following community engagement in 2019, Community Development identified the social priorities for the financial years 2019-2021:

Armadale South: Youth engagement and education 
Brookdale: Early years and family support
Camillo: Community safety
Harrisdale: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse community connection with groups and services 
Seville Grove: Community safety

See the City's Growing our Community 2019 Survey results (downloadable below) for feedback from residents on a suburb level.

[1] This is according to the Community Development Toolkit developed by Kylie Eastley Consultancy, in partnership with Tasmania Medicare Local and Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania.

Page Last Reviewed 19 April 2023