HEATHCOTE was recently visited by an Indonesian government delegation to engage with residents and hear stories of community development.
The trip, on Wednesday, November 8, was made possible through a University of Melbourne program supported by the Australian government.
University of Melbourne academic Dr Rachael Diprose was hosting the 15 Australia Awards Indonesian Fellows as part of a 15-day fellowship program.
The group met with council and local community representatives at Heathcote Community House where they were treated with typical warm, friendly country hospitality.
Sandra Slatter said Heathcote initiatives were the primary topic of discussion.
“The delegates were very interested in capacity building within the community, particularly the Heathcote Community Capacity Builders model, together with community banking and how our major employer, Mandalay Resources, contributes to the economy of the town and district,’’ Ms Slatter said.
The field trip to Heathcote and Bendigo was for the fellows to engage with Australian public services such as council and communities, to learn from their experiences in the development of regional areas.
Program leader Dr Diprose said the visit provided a unique opportunity for people in the Heathcote region to engage and collaborate.
“Heathcote has a diverse community and lots of different needs in rural development and has had some innovative approaches in trying to build the area as a tourist destination,” Dr Diprose said.
“The Ministry of Villages is newly formed in Indonesia to provide support to more than 74,000 villages for community development throughout the country.
“We hope that through the visit, experiences in community engagement and consultation can be shared and new relationships promoted.”