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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 the residents what they like about their suburb, what they’d like to see and what areas are of concern  to identify
  2. Research about 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

In early 2019, the Community Development team asked almost 1000 community members across the City’s 19 suburbs about what they love about their suburb and what their concerns are. The team also collated data sets for each suburb including Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016, the Australian Early Development Census 2018, crime statistics from the WA Police and district level data from the Department of Communities. Over 59 local services and organisations working within the communities also presented their insights into what is happening for our residents.

The following four priorities across five suburbs have been identified for the Community Development team to focus on for the next two years with a view to replicating successful projects in other suburbs:

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

Good practice examples

What has worked well for communities with similar demographic characteristics and social issues locally, nationally and internationally? Officers have researched case studies, local experiences and key principles from a review of the academic literature available. The team has also continued speaking with local stakeholders about their experiences with what works well in particular communities including asking the question, ‘what can change the story?’

Researching what has worked well elsewhere is a vital aspect of developing the best response for all stakeholders, including the City.

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; the City has an Advocacy Strategy for this purpose.
  • Coordination of services: Working with the existing networks and specific stakeholder groups including community members to generate collective action
  • Contracting services: Negotiating with a service provider to deliver services/programs via a Service Agreement
  • Capacity building: Assisting groups with officer advice and links with other organisations and funding sources, the Community Grants program and providing training where relevant

Registrations of Interest for Service Agreements

Informed by comprehensive community engagement with 930 residents and the analysis of a range of data sets to identify social priorities in our suburbs; the City has identified good practice projects in response to these priorities to be established in the suburbs of Armadale South, Brookdale, Camillo, Harrisdale and Seville Grove.

We are seeking passionate, competent and outcomes-focused service providers to contract to deliver these initiatives for the benefit of our communities.

Contact the Community Development team on 9394 5000 or email info@armadale.wa.gov.au to register your interest and obtain an application form.

Applications close 4.30pm Friday 29 November.

 

[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 1 November 2019