ADVANCE Heathcote was one of four community groups selected from across Australia to present at the 2018 Future of Local Government Summit in Melbourne recently. The summit celebrated local groups who are leading the way in driving their communites forward, and how they’re doing it.
The group was nominated by City of Greater Bendigo’s Deb Simpson, coordinator for strong communities, and selected and invited by the Municipal Association of Victoria.
The focus was on ‘the game has changed, now it’s about: Community-led governance (Community co-leadership and co-design) cooperation and collaboration between community and council’.
There were presentations from local governments, corporations and community organisations from around Australia and the world.
Heathcote was up there on the stage with them — not bad for a small community.
Sandra Slatter and Sherrie Coote added their bit of ‘incredible’ by telling the audience how Advance Heathcote, the facilitators/enablers of the Community Plan, has developed an overarching philosophy of asset-based community development (community capacity building).
They explained Advance Heathcote’s community planning process and how through its plan, the community has decided what is important and what they want in Heathcote to continue to make it a great place to live.
The presentation was met with many nods, smiles and acknowledgements from around the room.
“We felt proud to live in Heathcote and tell our story of renewal and amazing developments being initiated and accomplished over the past five years,’’ Sherrie said.
‘‘How our collective passions, skills, partnerships and collaborations are making our visions and dreams become a reality by transitioning Heathcote to a healthy, vibrant, resilient and enterprising community and economy. I hope our story will inspire and influence other local governments to support small rural communities to prosper.”