Enabling Communities 2017


The Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program (LMCLP) visited Charlton on Monday 6 September to hear from some inspiring community leaders around the theme of ‘enabling communities.’

The day kicked off with an inspiring and chilly session with Shaun Blackie, head engineer at the Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm who shared the Windlab story and gave the group a tour of the facilities.  Windlab received an award for community participation and excellence for their work in community engagement with their project.  Shaun spoke passionately about how building infrastructure in the right locations and strong community education, is key to changing community perceptions around wind energy and more broadly sustainable power options.

The group appreciated the expertise of Community Leadership Loddon Murray’s Executive Officer, Julie Slater during a workshop on Community Governance.  “Good governance is about the processes, not the decisions,” said Julie, and reiterated that the culture of an organisation will be influenced by the conduct and actions of the board and individual directors.

Buloke Shire were venue sponsor for the day and the group were joined for lunch by Councillors Ellen White, John Shaw and Daryl Warren, key supporters and sponsors of our leadership program. Matt Bennett, who is the recipient of the Buloke Shire Council scholarship, said: “It was a wonderful opportunity today to celebrate and showcase my local community.  I am proud of our region and how we enable our community to thrive.”

Mark Remnant, community development officer from the Buloke Shire joined the group to share the Transitioning Towns Toolbox. Mark’s passion shone through as he shared his community development knowledge, saying: “we, as community leaders, are not the experts.  We are just there to enable the community experts – their opinions, their experience and their ideas. That facilitates community change.”  Wayne Bell, said he “learnt a lot about the importance of having a patient passion to drive and see change in the community, and the importance of stories which help us see the value in ‘stuff’.”

The group finished the day with a tour of The Rex Theatre with Mayor David Pollard (also a LMCLP graduate, along with Councillor Ellen White), and learned about the revival of the community cinema.  After having been saved from closure, the community used the floods as an opportunity to upgrade and update this gorgeous and successful cinema.  Participant Angela Roney said: “I used to come to this theatre when I was a little girl – the way they have turned this around is so inspiring and I hope I can bring future generations of my family back to see how this community has enabled this theatre to be the success story it is.”

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