Big Ideas Night a Success - Six New Community Groups Formed!
On Monday 4th April, over 100 community members came along to Coffs Harbour Showground to participate in council's 'Community Big Ideas Night". One of the aims of the night was to encourage members of our community to get involved in the Coffs Harbour 2030 Plan, by volunteering to join new community working groups.
The first half of the night involved talks by some of our inspirational community groups already working on amazing projects in Coffs:
and Fiona Hyland
from Deadly Sista Girlz Aboriginal Corporation spoke about their Aboriginal Women's Group that runs healthy lifestyle and fitness programs, including fitness and healthy cooking classes. Their weight loss program has been such a success - one member has lost 40kg and now no longer needs to take insulin for her diabetes.
For more info www.deadlysistagirlz.com.au
from Coffs City Rotary spoke about the inaugural 2010 Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge, which attracted 200 riders and aims to become as big as a similar event in Lake Taupo, NZ, which attracts over 10,000 bike riders to it's town each year.
For more info www.coffscoastcyclechallenge.com.au
spoke about the Coffs Regional Community Garden Association, which is creating Coffs's first community garden at Combine Street. Adam played a 3D virtual walk-through of just how beautiful the garden will look over coming years, and explained how their association had formed with assistance from Council but are now operating autonomously.
For more info www.coffscommunitygardens.org.au
New community working groups
Then, in a facilitated session (or what some may describe as organised chaos), everyone separated into groups based on the five themes of the Coffs Harbour 2030 Plan to discuss their ideas and form groups.
By the end of the night, six new community working groups had formed around all five themes of the Coffs Harbour 2030 Plan. These groups have a total of 89 members, with community members co-ordinating each group with support from Council Liaison Officers.
See the Community Working Groups
Feedback showed that 80% of people rated the night as moderately-highly to very highly meeting it's main aims of facilitating opportunities for like-minded people to form new groups; to foster community enthusiasm for the 2030 Plan; and to communicate how council can support new and existing groups to deliver community projects.
Attendees felt the strength of the night was that it brought the community together to discuss their ideas and that it was a well organised event. Attendees also felt the night could have been improved by having more time to discuss their ideas.
- "It was great to have people come together as a community";
- "The opportunity to mix with enthusiastic community members from diverse backgrounds (was one of the strengths)";
- "Connecting people - sharing ideas and learning about existing projects (was a strength of the event)" and
- "I thoroughly enjoyed tonight's meeting"