Connecting Communities Through Spaces

Published on 18 May 2018

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Council is seeking to engage local communities to help shape a new Shire-wide Community Hubs Strategy.

The strategy, a first for Baw Baw Shire Council, will inform decision making and recommendations on community spaces and provide a framework for future improvements to local spaces. The strategy will address facility upgrades, improvements to existing public spaces, re-energising underused areas, and support for community-led initiatives.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Cr Joe Gauci is encouraging the community to get involved in the conversation and share their thoughts and ideas at upcoming pop-up sessions.

“It’s all about taking a fresh look at our community spaces and how they can best connect communities”, said the Mayor.

“Community hubs can be unique to different communities in what opportunities and activities they provide and how they respond to that community’s needs. They aren’t necessarily formal Council spaces. In fact, they might not even be physical spaces at all – even an online community message board could be considered a community hub just as much as the local footy club, park or library.”

West Ward Cr Jessica O’Donnell said Council was committed to supporting the vibrancy and character of our local communities through good planning, provision of community focussed services and facilities, and through support for local people, groups and organisations.

“We know that community spaces play a huge role in all these goals. That’s why we’re in the process of developing the Community Hubs Strategy. We are continuing to grow into a more diverse community. This strategy is looking to recognise and build on that diversity, avoiding a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy”, said Cr O’Donnell.

Central Ward Cr Mikaela Power said the Community Hubs Strategy will help pave a new way to work together with residents and community groups, providing a place-based approach to strengthen community connections. 

“Through a series of consultation pop-up sessions, we want to provide an opportunity for you, as a Baw Baw Shire community member, to define the role that spaces play in connecting, supporting and nurturing our unique communities”, said Cr Power.

East Ward Cr Michael Leaney said Council was working hard to support smaller and remote communities in meeting their needs for vibrant community life.

“Often, these smaller communities are the ones who would benefit from designated community spaces the most. We want to really tap into the insights from these communities and get them involved in the conversation early on”, said Cr Leaney.

Residents who would like to be updated on the progress of this project are encouraged to register their interest on Council’s website at www.bawbawshire.vic.gov.au/CommunitySpaces

Development of the Community Hubs Strategy is outlined as a key initiative to support vibrant communities in the current Council Plan 2017-21.

Upcoming community consultation pop-up sessions will be held at:

Yarragon

Saturday 26 May, 8.00am - 1.00pm
Yarragon Market, Yarragon Public Hall

Hill End

Saturday 26 May, 2.35pm - 4.35pm
Hill End v Thorpdale (Mid Gippsland Football League), Hill End Recreation Reserve

Trafalgar

Saturday 2 June, 9.00am - 12.00pm
Community Garden (behind Public Hall)

Ellinbank

Saturday 2 June, 2.10pm - 4.10pm
Ellinbank v Nyora (Ellinbank and Districts Football League)

Longwarry

Sunday 3 June, 8.00am - 1.00pm
Longwarry Fire Brigade Market, Bennett Street

Noojee

Sunday 3 June, 12.00pm - 2.00pm
Noojee Hotel

Rawson

Thursday 7 June, 10.00am - 1.00pm
West Gippsland Mobile Library, Knotts Siding Road

Drouin

Saturday 16 June, 8.00am - 12.30pm
Drouin Craft and Produce Market, Civic Park