“… One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”
So, we’ve altered the quote a touch here for our own purposes, but this timeless Neil Armstrong quote continues to speak volumes in 2015.
Often, the hardest part in terms of driving change is that first step towards something better.
As for the residents of Charleville, a town located in south-western Queensland, they’ve recently embarked on the first step in developing a five year action play to re-invigorate the town and in turn, build a stronger and healthier future for residents.
This move towards a better future for all came after an initial community meeting that was held in March that delivered a mandate to better respond to the needs of young people.
Project H.O.P.E – Harmony, Opportunity, Pride, Empowerment – took the next step through a 2-day workshop in which key members of the community were called upon to voice their opinion as to what it would take to achieve positive outcomes for the community.
Driven by myself and my colleague Peter Shearer, the workshop delivered 21 key goals with business enterprise and community wellbeing both being focal points.
My many years in helping to drive positive community change has taught me to never underestimate the capacity of a small group of like-minded citizens in helping to SHIFT an entire community (I talk about SHIFT here in my TED talk).
By creating a solid vision for the future based around core values such as respect, a positive attitude, a combined vision, trust and community ownership, we’re really driving the community forward.
It’s been fantastic to work alongside H.O.P.E’s Project Manager Rachel Pearce as she has a real passion and enthusiasm for the project.
Meanwhile, I’m so proud of the fact that a ‘think tank’ of the best and brightest minds within the community will come together to drive this. They’ll be investigating clever ways to build economic opportunities for Charveville and its surrounds.
As they say, good things don’t happen overnight: we’ve planned the phases of this project to be implemented over the next five years but after spending so much of my time within the community, it’s clear that all of its residents are on the same page, singing the same songs.
After all, stronger and healthier communities equate to thriving communities. What we were able to achieve in the Napranum community is living proof of this.