Civil Society Australia
 Australia's Peak Body for Civil Society
 



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CIVIL SOCIETY LEADERSHIP  PROGRAM

A 12month program for community people to develop and exercise social leadership.
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SELF-DIRECTED
SERVICES AND PERSONAL BUDGETS


You can take charge of your social support, education and health care through a personal budget.
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for further information.
REFORMING OUR NOT-FOR-PROFITS

Making a difference in our not-for-profits.
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for further information.
STREET BY STREET

Linking
up people who live in the same street or nearby to build community by doing amazing things with and for each other - on a national scale.
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CONSUMER POWER
CLICK HERE to find out more.
 

LEFT AND RIGHT?

"The Left and Right have been as bad as each other. The Left has allowed its distrust of markets and endless faith in government to obscure the importance of civil society. The Right has been so focused on replacing the state with markets that it has forgotten how to cultivate a trusting society.

This is the politics of the absurd. The Left identifies with the good society but rarely talks about the mutualism and trust between people. The Right recognises the importance of moral obligation but gives the impression of trusting market transactions more than civil society.

Few things seem to happen anymore without a government law or market transaction to guide them. This is how record levels of GDP in Australia now sit alongside record levels of crime, social stress and family  breakdown. The political balance needs to swing back towards civil society.

This task, in fact, requires a new type of politics."

Mark Latham, Mutualism: A Third Way for Australia," 1999.

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CIRCLES OF SUPPORT

Circles of Support are a tool to make social inclusion work for people with disabilities, mental illnesses, vulnerable children and families, single young parents, and others struggling with social isolation.
CLICK HERE to join us.

 
 
 
 

Community building NATIONAL NETWORk


A NATIONAL NETwork of community builders

 

NEIGHBOURHOOD POWER

Neighbourhood Power
is an initiative of the City of Wodonga in north east Victoria. It is a practical exercise in devolving power to neighbours that deserves to be replicated in communities around Australia.

Tracey Farrant coordinates Neighbourhood Power in Wodonga. This is how she describes the project:

"Imagine a city that is rich with neighbourhoods  – I:\Community Development\Community Planning\Neighbourhood Power\Project Management\Website\Photos\Tree Planting.JPGParents help each other with child minding, potluck dinners on Friday nights, at a different house each week. Families take turns at updating the neighbourhood notice boards with local birthdays, activities and bits of news. A street that owns a set of pink plastic flamingo’s that turn up in a different front yard each week and children make great detours walking to school to include this street in the journey because it’s so  much fun finding the flamingos. Adults and teenagers working together to fix the neighbourhood children’s broken bikes. Young people giving impromptu concerts in local parks on weekends.

In Wodonga, we acknowledge that the potential for this fantastic picture already exists within the imagination, skills and capacities of our local neighbourhoods.

But instead of the traditional approach of “harnessing” all this potential and “leading” our people forward, Neighbourhood Power is putting the leadership and power firmly back into the hands of our residents. It’s up to our residents to come forward with their visions and dreams and plans – our role is to walk along side our community people and act as guide, enabler, facilitator and capacity builder. Quite a different approach!

One of the key tools to this new development approach is our matching grants scheme. The concept of matching grants is acknowledging that communities are full of fantastic assets, skills and talents.  With a few dollars, and courage on council’s behalf to get out of the way and let people get on with their own projects, not only does the city get infrastructure and community development outcomes, but also improved relationships, real community ownership of the city and a higher level of democratic involvement.

What is a matching grant?

To qualify for a matching grant, a group of neighbours come up with a project, request a grant, and match the grant dollars with a contribution of their own.

For example, 4 neighbours decide that there are a number of new people in their area that they don’t know. They get together one Saturday afternoon and plan a bbq event...They can apply for up to $x from the matching fund to supply food, entertainment, decorations etc.

This same concept works for activities such as playground upgrades, traffic calming activities, environmental projects, public art projects. The list is as long as the imagination.

We are thinking long term with this project and so have also developed a young neighbour fund to build and motivate the interest of young people in civic engagement. The fund provides funding for young people to receive education, training or mentoring that will give them the skills and confidence to participate in their local neighbourhood.

We have received some great advice and support from Jim Diers from the Department of Neighbourhoods in Seattle and are motivated and enthusiastic about growing this program into a way of life in Wodonga."

___________

We would like to hear from individuals and organisations around the country interested in pressing their municipality to introduce Neighbourhood Power.

Our aim is to get 50 local councils across the country to take up Neighbourhood Power.

Further information will be posted in the members section of the Community Building National Network, including resources and contacts for people sharing this interest and wanting to work together.

Register your interest in participating by using the form below.Community Building National Network

Further information:

Vern Hughes
03 9824 4713
network@civilsociety.org.au
 

NEIGHBOURHOOD POWER
Registration Form

Name  

Email  

Phone  (bh)     Phone (ah) 

Organisation  

Address  


  I would like to participate in Neighbourhood Power in my community.

  I would like to participate in a campaign to get 50 local councils
(including mine) to take up Neighbourhood Power.

Municipality
  



Tell us about yourself and your interests





 

 © Centre for Civil Society 2007-2009
COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA'S 665,000 VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY GROUPS

Australia's 665,000 voluntary community groups need our own voice.
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to become involved.

EMPOWERED COMMUNITIES

The Empowered Communities model is right for black and white Australia.
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for more information.

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE COOPERATIVES AND MUTUALS

Ausstralia's social enterprises, cooperatives and mutuals are without our own voice in public affairs.
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formore  information.
  

PARENTS FAMILIES AND CARERS

We are the basic unit of society and the key to belonging and care, but we are unrepresented in public life.
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TRANSFORMING OUR SCHOOLS

Innovation from grassroots parents and teachers to transform our schools.
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for more  information.
 

THE VOICE OF AUSTRALIA'S VOLUNTEERS

A public voice for Australia's  6.4m volunteers to speak for ourselves about volunteering and it's importance.
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CONSUMER-CENTRED HEALTH CARE

The National Campaign for Consumer-Centred Health Care aims to generate transformational change in health policy towards consumer-centred health care
.
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