Birallee Park Neighbourhood House is located at – 39 Emerald Avenue, West Wodonga 3690, Victoria, Australia. View from OTTY community gardens looking back to the outdoor picnic area next to the kitchens where all the food preparation and cooking is done.
Even the kids helped, Elaines grand daughter.
The best corn crop we have ever seen grown on a small patch of ground approximately 3 meters by 1 meter deep.
Our first harvest of beautiful onions
A picture is worth a thousand words
One of our Volunteers (and secretary) Elaine packaging homemade soup for the freezer. The volunteers made enough in the first batch for 80 serves, (2 serves per 1 liter container)
Year 12 students from Victory Secondary College donate a day cooking for the project instead of the traditional ‘muck up day’
From L-R Marg, Di and Sue packing the first of our carrots and peas from the garden ready for freezing. We picked and harvested enough for 65 packs.
Faced with this dilemma, I worked with the Mayor and the rest of the City Council to devise a three-pronged implementation strategy. The first prong recognized that the City was already spending most of its budget in the neighborhoods but not necessarily on the communities ’ priorities. The challenge was to move from business-as-usual to responding to neighborhood plans.
Do No Harm:• Don’t distract the community from its own priorities.• Don’t force the community into the bureaucracy’s silos.• Don’t take people’s time without showing results.• Don’t make the community dependent.• Don’t undermine the community. Follow the Iron Rule.
Build Community Capacity:• Offer leadership training• Assist with outreach tools like translation• Work with associations of all types• Provide forums for networking• Offer non-meeting options for engagement• Share stories of successful communities• Highlight community strengths• Move beyond citizen participation to community empowerment
What makes Matching Fund unique?• Community matches with its assets, including volunteer labour• Community determines priorities• One time projects only• Any group of neighbours can apply• Proposals reviewed by peers• Quantity and diversity of participation key to selection and evaluation
Keys to Success• Ownership by community• Outreach beyond usual suspects• Volunteer match• Small amounts of money• Training and technical assistance• Minimal red-tape and paperwork• Support by the council as a whole• Sharing of stories
Keys to Neighbourhood Planning• Comprehensive plan provides framework• Community initiates the planning• Community engagement must be broad and inclusive• City provides funding & technical assistance• Community hires its own planning expertise• Community defines its own scope of work• Community drives plan throughout process
Value of community-driven planning:• Implementation happens – plans don’t sit onthe shelf• Resources are multiplied – governmentresources leverage community’s• Appropriate development occurs –respecting unique character of neighbourhoodand culture of community• More holistic and innovative solutions result• A stronger sense of community is built
QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS-What are local agencies doingto move towards more place-based,strengths-focused, community-ledways of working?-What more could they do?
WELCOME VASHON PROJECTS Restorative Justice Program Amigos en Vashon Ferry Dock Welcoming Signs Challenge Day at Vashon High School Checkers in Town Breakfast at Sally’s Cross-Ability Friendship for Students Stone Soup Welcome Wagon Hire Vashon Time Bank Homesharing Create Community Center Establish Free Clinic The Wave Campaign