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The Little Red Car

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Gavin Prendergast(ACON) talks about the challenges of achieving effective health promotion engagement with a geographically dispersed population. This presentation was given at the AFAO/NAPWA Gay …

Gavin Prendergast(ACON) talks about the challenges of achieving effective health promotion engagement with a geographically dispersed population. This presentation was given at the AFAO/NAPWA Gay Men's HIV Health Promotion Conference in May 2012.


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  • 1. The little Red CarAchieving effective health promotion engagement with a geographically dispersed population.
  • 2. Greater Western Sydney Presenter: Gavin Prendergast
  • 3. Two and a half million peopleStretches over 9,000 square kmsComparable to Melbourne in size
  • 4. LHDs
  • 5. HistoryParramatta OfficeWentwothville officeTransition from bricks and mortar and a teamTo one worker one car
  • 6. New obstacles/challengesImmense geographic areaIsolationACONs history
  • 7. So what are the principles of community development?Building the knowledge and abilities of individuals, through leadership , services and supports, and skills developmentCreating relationships among community through which they share emotional, psychological, and material support and can mobilize for collective actionStrengthening community institutions—from formal public institutions and private enterprises to informal networks, associations, and religious, civic, or cultural groups—so they can respond to local concerns and promote general well-beingCreating links between institutions so they can work collectively to improve the community
  • 8. ACON strategic plan
  • 9. It was time to rethink how we operate in the WestPARTNERSHIPS AND PERMISSION are vital We moved away from the model where acon was central to the west, now we play a collaborative role.
  • 10. How I operate today
  • 11. •Utilise existing groups•Interagencies•Community Groups•Local Health Districts
  • 12. Use existing premises• Churches• Councils• Clubs and pubs• SOPVs
  • 13. Be visible at events• Social dances• Pride picnic• IDAHO• Gatherings
  • 14. Be heard•Radio show•Social media
  • 15. Benefits of partnership work •Existing trust •History with the •Cheaper •Less time intensive locals •Improved relationship with the Fostering deep community •Higher public profile relationships •Pool resources and skills
  • 16. Lessons learnt; Key tosustainability and connection • Wait to be invited in • Work collaboratively • Use existing networks • Nurture these relationships • Utilize social media
  • 17. The following principles are used as a guide when thinking about community developmentInclusiveness – Provide the wider community with opportunities to meaningfully participate ininformation gathering, planning, direction setting and decision making regarding outcomes that affect the communities’ development. An ultimate goal is that communities would drive this process.Collaboration – Establish and foster partnerships that aim to achieve positive outcomes for all residents. Council aims to assist communities in finding solutions to issues that are important to the lives of individuals, families and communities. This includes developing networks between people, encouraging different communities to work together and building relationships with and between those different communities.Capacity building – Support and strengthen individuals, families and communities to identifyneeds and develop solutions at a local level. This may involve advocacy, empowerment, education,awareness raising and distribution of resources to individuals and communities.Equity – Ensure that opportunities and resources available to the community are distributed in a justand equitable manner according to community needs. In addition, all communities should have theright to access all Council services and resources without discrimination.
  • 18. Community building is not an abstract concept; it contains concrete elements.Based largely on the experiences of the last decade, practitioners and other change agents have defined community building as encompassing the following core activities:We need to ensure individuals, communities and networks are connected with one another by:• Providing opportunities for people to meaningfully participate in decision making processes that affect their community.• Supporting individuals and communities through the provision of resources and fostering of partnerships between individuals and within communities.• Assisting with the development of strong and resilient communities that have the ability to identify and meet the communities’ needs, achieve self-reliance, contribute to solutions and support their own advocacy efforts.

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