What strengths are within your community?

It is great to see a local community member Steve portray a different message in reference to living in social housing. ‘…There are a lot of good people living in that block’. This was in reference to a local paper referring to the block of units he lives in as a ‘living in hell’.

 Rather than tow the negative line, Steve focused on the positives, and boy doesn’t Steve have a lot of strengths!

 As Community Workers we all too well know the challenges some communities/families/individuals face. We don’t ignore this, however we also need to see the strengths/assets within our communities/families/individuals. This gives us hope and allows us to use this as a starting block to help facilitate positive changes.

 Sometime these changes come quick, others may take time, but let’s start to tell a different story. Let’s recognise and value these people and their journey within our communities.

 Let’s say thanks to the Ladies Sewing Circle who meet weekly. They provide friendship and laughter to otherwise socially isolated ladies.

 Let’s say thanks to the community gardeners who are reconnecting with the earth and people in ways which are transforming lives.

 What story do you have to tell?



ABCD Illawarra 2014!

Welcome to 2014!

The ABCD Illawarra Network met recently to identify what we will be working on the year. So expect to see some more Walk ‘n’Talks and grass roots ABCD training targeted at community groups & individuals.

If you would like to have us visit your community project for a Walk ‘n Talk then please send us an email at abcdilllawarra@gmail.com

Request for Recipes!

Hi Everyone.

My name is Jodie Pryor and I volunteer at Thirroul Neighbourhood Centre’s Emergency Relief program. I’m collecting recipes to put together a booklet for clients with the emphasis on budget, fast, fresh, nutritious and easy meals.

If you have any recipes you’d like to submit that include any, or all, of the above, please email them to me at:

I’ll be gathering these over the next month or so, with the aim of putting a selection of them together into a booklet to be made available as a free resource at the centre.

Jodie Pryor
Em: jodiepryor@monica.com.au

Project Workshop Notes from 2nd ABCD workshop

Notes from ABCD workshop, 26 July 2013

Project:- Connecting Shoalhaven to ABCD Illawarra
Melissa Hedger, Shoalhaven City Council: hedger@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au

• Organise a “Walk and Talk” in Shoalhaven in 2013.
• Melissa to :
• Champion – Connect to key people
• Create web page
• Introduce in network meetings
• Share information to contacts
• Invite more people from Pride groups
• Collect stories

Place Based
Local Focus

Offer – Vanessa @ the Office of Communities to do presentations with different stakeholders, managers etc on importance of community – spreading the word from a different perspective.
Other contacts: Mike Dove – mdove@wollongong.nsw.gov.au

Project:- How to connect community together? Horsley Community Centre
Rochelle Lansom, Careways: rochellel@careways.org.au

• Expertise of people
o What can they bring: Assets of peoples
o Training people up to facilitate
• Meeting people & Business’s
o What they see as needs
o Potential Partnerships
• Community use of Centre
o Advertising
o Awareness of facilities, Identifying assets in the community
• Start Small

Project:- Make ‘wellness’ available to everyone
Naomi Deck, deck.naomi@gmail.com

• Everyone wants it! I Can get it! Want to know how?

Project:- Interactive Street Art Project – Bomaderry

• Connect with access community group (Sam Kettlewell – Shoalhaven)
• Present ideas to other community members
• Get help to do an ABCD workshop in Bomaderry (Vanessa Ford)
• Who do they see themselves as?
o Connectors
o Collectors
o Communicators
o Doers
• Intergenerational – Get youth & older people involved
• Find people in community who can relay history or pics, whilst they ask for names of 3 people who know about Bomaderry I can talk to – as I progress ill find recurring names…..

‘Walk & Talk’ with Thirroul

Monday 2nd September, 2013

Meet at Thirroul Neighbourhood Centre, inside Thirroul District Community Centre and Library (352-360 Lawrence Hargrave Drive), Thirroul.
Wear your walking shoes for an afternoon of walking and talking with Thirroul Neighbourhood Centre (nothing too strenuous, just a light stroll!).
We will have a walk & talk around the centre, then visit the streets of Thirroul through to the Thirroul Community Garden in High Street to hear how the Centre has harnessed the strengths and skills of the community to run programs and activities in partnership.

Numbers are limited. Please RSVP to emily@thirroulnc.org or by phone 4267 2500.

Insight Conference

Insight Poster

For the past five years, Insight Community Conference has brought together thinkers and doers who are passionate about making a difference in their communities.

We’re excited to invite you and your team to join us again on the 10th – 11th September at Lighthouse in Wollongong NSW.

This year’s conference will help you navigate the maze to pioneer sustainable change through your organisation and around your city.

Be prepared to soak up ideas, digest them and execute them.

Insight Community Conference challenges your mind to start you thinking about what you’re not yet thinking about.

No matter how big or small, your ideas could impact your community. Our obsession is to lift those ideas off the ground.

• Understand how community development actually works.
• Create a plan and action steps to move forward.
• Discover how to present your new and exciting ideas.
• Connect and build relationships with thinkers and doers alike.

In 2013, Insight Community Conference is proud to host some amazing community development innovators including Peter Kenyon, Andre Van Eymeren, Janette Malcom, Rabbi Dovid Slavin, Karen Anstiss, Russel Deal, Gary Hourigan and myself.

For further information regarding our speakers, the conference schedule and to register for Insight Community Conference please visit http://www.insightconference.com.au.

Workshop 2 with Peter Kenyon

Last Friday 26 July Peter Kenyon was in Wollongong once again to reconnect with the ABCD Illawarra Network. Community members and organisations from Stanwell Tops to Nowra came along to hear about some of local community led projects like Queen St Servo and Thirroul Neighbourhood Centre’s Regener8 and share their own big ideas. Some of the ideas that people discussed on the day:
• Growing the network and its messages to the Shoalhaven
• Engaging local community members at West Dapto Community Centre
• Interactive Street Art in Bomaderry
• Supporting Wellness for people with a disability through advocacy and support
• Engaging local community members in Berkeley Town Centre plan
• Support for young refugees in the Illawarra

Thanks to everyone who came along, it was great to see such enthusiasm and support for community led initiatives, and be sure to keep us updated on how your projects are going.