2019 Wrap Up

By Donna Shepherd • Managing Director
• News

It’s been another big year at Creating Communities, as our work continues to evolve and expand through our collaboration with a range of partners on an increasingly diverse array of projects.

This comes against a global backdrop of change in all the areas in which we work and specialise – the health and wellbeing of communities, the way we plan our cities and towns and how we find meaning through work and broader engagement as Industry 4.0 becomes a reality.

Already, artificial intelligence is transforming processes, automation is disrupting transport and manufacturing paradigms, and technologies are blurring lines between the digital and physical worlds.

This will continue to profoundly affect institutions, industries and individuals.

Many see this as something to fear, but previous industrial revolutions have shown that change doesn’t just bring challenges but also opportunities.

We see opportunities to unite global communities, build sustainable economies, modernise social models, reduce social inequalities, and to commit to values-based leadership. This revolution is not a prediction but a call to action.

This is why Creating Communities’ work — which centres on helping organisations build connections and trust with their communities — is becoming increasingly relevant and important.

Our insights and methodologies, built over more than 25 years, are applicable to any organisation which wants to foster a more empowering, collaborative and sustainable foundation for social and economic development.

We’d like to thank all our partners, collaborators and the communities in which we work. In this wrap up 2019 we share some of the projects that have broken new ground.


2019 Wrap Up

A small collection of some of the projects we've worked on over the course of 2019.

Newman Charts Inclusive Future

As a new industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0, changes the nature of work and how workforces need to be equipped, towns such as Newman are considering how they position themselves for the future. Creating Communities worked with BHP, the Shire of East Pilbara and Newman stakeholders to co-design a strategy for building a sustainable, inclusive economy. The strategy was launched in November after more than 600 consultations, meetings and events resulted in broad endorsement of a new way forward.

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Youth Find a Voice

The hopes and aspirations of the young indigenous people of Newman have been given a higher profile thanks to a short film produced by Martu artist and filmmaker Curtis Taylor and Fremantle filmmaker Nathan Mewett. Youth Voices was screened publicly for the first time at the Newman Futures launch, highlighting the key role that Martu youth will play in fulfilling the town’s potential.

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QEIIMC’s Healthy Outlook

Working closely with the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre Trust and stakeholders, Creating Communities helped build a set of principles for a 50-year master plan that went beyond the traditional scope of the process. We created podcasts, blogs and other communications involving global thought leaders and researchers, sparking meaningful conversations in the community and positioning QEIIMC as an innovation hub.

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Subiaco Oval Gates (Image source: Development WA)

Subi Heritage Tells a Story

We started research and community engagement on Subi East, one of WA’s largest urban regeneration projects. We will be using an innovative engagement process to delve into the history of the site by creating opportunities for the public to share their stories about Subiaco Oval, Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth Modern School, Mueller Park and Kitchener Park. These stories and the rich history and heritage of the area will inform its future urban design.

Getting In Early

The Early Years Initiative, a joint project between Telethon Kids Institute, Minderoo Foundation and the State Government departments of Communities, Health and Education, seeks to recast the way families are supported in their children’s crucial early years by shifting the emphasis from simply providing services to equipping all parents with the right tools and skills to access support when they need it. We took on a key role in the 10-year initiative by conceptualising outcomes and guiding engagement with the communities in a test area in WA’s Central Great Southern.

Connecting with Freo Harbour

In Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour, we are working with AMB Capital, PwC, Hames Sharley and CLE Planning to develop a plan for a large waterfront site next to Little Creatures. There is a huge opportunity for the development to allow the community of Fremantle and visitors to better connect with the much-loved harbour. We have engaged with the community, fishing boat harbour traders, maritime industry representatives and others through surveys, meetings, focus groups and workshops to guide design principles and concepts for the site, while retaining and celebrating a world-famous working harbour.

Woolies’ Fast Lane Approval

Creating Communities led community and stakeholder engagement on Woolworths’ plan for a new Inglewood supermarket. We conducted extensive public consultation, including one-on-one meetings with the neighbouring community, flyers and brochures and an open night which captured views from a cross-section of people. The project was the fastest ever development application approval for Woolworths in Australia, after the process showed strong public support.

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16 Years of Building Community

At The Village at Wellard, we worked to rethink the traditional relationship between residents and developers. We put early purchasers and the surrounding community in direct dialogue with the developers and supported the community’s growth. Sixteen years on, The Village at Wellard is a multi-award-winning development for planning, design, inclusivity and sustainability. The community is home to more than 6,000 people, creating economic and social prosperity.

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Urban Density Done Well

Through the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage’s 'The street where you live project', we are producing the first case study to understand how communities feel about development in established urban areas. The project, which focused on Carlisle as a pilot study, is the first of its kind to explain the need for greater density; determine community perceptions of density and infill; gain community feedback on where low, medium and high-density buildings could be located; and provide a greater understanding of the benefits of density done well.

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Power of the Collective

We teamed with BHP in Port Hedland to support the Hedland Collective, an ambitious venture by local organisations and individuals that was in need of a clearer purpose and sharper focus. We helped refresh the Steering Committee through a call for more members, and worked with members to refine the vision of the Collective and develop a communications strategy. The Collective is now getting results as it narrows its focus to a few key projects, including school-based traineeships and greater access to child care.

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Improving the FIFO life

We worked with BHP to look at ways to improve life at its nine remote FIFO accommodation sites, with the aim of creating villages with a sense of community from what used to be regarded more as work camps. Central to this was improving the quality of meals and providing better opportunities for social engagement.

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Lakelands’ Beating Heart

We teamed with Peet to create a social heart in the emerging Lakelands community in the City of Mandurah that enabled it to thrive despite an initial lack of resources and facilities. We worked with the community to help form the Lakelands Heartbeat Group and create initiatives like the ‘Think Lakelands’ campaign to encourage engaging local events and community projects, an environmental strategy and youth development programs.

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Global Contribution:

CCA is proud to announce that our Managing Director, Donna Shepherd, has been re-elected as Chair of the World Vision International Board. Donna will continue to act as Managing Director, enabling the CCA to bring a unique global perspective to issues concerning local communities.


CCA team expands

As CCA’s work becomes more relevant in a wider range of contexts, we are excited to announce that Tim Costello is joining the team as a specialist consultant. Tim is recognised as one of Australia’s leading voices on social justice issues.

Internally, Gemma Bothe has filled the Research Lead role, shaping the way our unique insight can benefit the communities in which we work. With a keen interest in the environmental aspect of our projects, Joseph Sollis has become Specialist Lead: Environment & Sustainability Engagement. Edwin Visser is bringing his unique perspective of design and communications to explore the way connect with those around us.


CCA launches its new website

To mark society’s, and our, ongoing transformation, we have undergone a brand refresh. Having a strong brand is about creating a story that has coherence and shape in a changing world. The new look and feel is symbolic of our ongoing mission to help organisations and society at large move forward, today and tomorrow, together.