Connection to Hedland

Hot days and balmy evenings, watching the world's biggest ships sail into a heave at port, one hypnotic motion.

Connection to Hedland

Hot days and balmy evenings, watching the world’s biggest ships sail into a heave at port, one hypnotic motion.

Red dust, salt lakes and mangroves. Blue with an orange hue. The sea lapping at the shore. Tin houses, big machines, little bungalows, reminiscent of old town Broome.

Hedland is a community we have come to know well, having worked with partners and stakeholders in the iron ore capital for more than three decades.

We’ve worked on more than 100 projects in Hedland, some of which have shaped the way local governments approach community planning and others that have physically improved the community with new housing, infrastructure and creating a general sense of community pride.

The South Hedland New Living Project began in 2006 and was a partnership between the Department of Housing, Jaxon Construction and the Town of Port Hedland. The project saw CCA conduct community consultation, developing a strategy that took out the UDIA Award for Excellence in the Urban Renewal category on three occasions.

Creating Communities Founding Director Allan Tranter has worked with the Hedland community since the 1980’s and said the South Hedland New Living Project transformed the town.

“The rich lifestyle was promoted, as far as the arts scene, the outdoor lifestyle, the sporting lifestyle – it’s quite a rich place, it’s just sitting in a harsh environment,” he said.

“The South Hedland New Living Project changed the way the town looked and built pride, and I think that’s the thing that has made the most difference.”

This project saw new housing developed, good facilities built and Hedland beautified, developing a tight knit community which has continued through to today.

While our work on Hedland Today saw a whole new way of doing community planning and was what we think was the precursor to Strategic Community Plans that Local Government Associations are now required to produce.

Creating Communities Managing Director Donna Shepherd was involved in the drafting of Hedland Today.

“The Hedland Today document we wrote resulted in millions of dollars of investment into much needed community programs and facilities in Hedland,” she said.

“Central to its success was capturing the aspirations of the community as well as the opportunity at the nexus of government, business and community interests.

“This is the core to our work – plans that reflect community aspirations which map the path to bring parties together to deliver much needed community investment.”

Like all regional and remote communities, opportunities for young people present a challenge to the local government, industry and local community.

Creating Communities Director Andrew Watt drafted the first Youth Strategy for the Town of Port Hedland, while also establishing the Hedland Youth Stakeholders Action Group, with the aim of creating a network of service providers who could work together to support young people in the community.

Our work also involved consultation for the development of a youth precinct, which is now a colourful and vibrant community hub.

“With my background as a school principal and having worked in the education system, I knew the importance of working as a collective when it came to youth interests,” he said.

“It was really about empowering and connecting the local community to work together, creating more opportunities for young people in terms of employment, education and recreation.”

Part of the challenge in Hedland is the “boom and bust” cycle, which sees the economy go up and down like the tides.

“In boom, you try and put in place things that will allow the community to thrive, so that when it goes down to low tide (bust) those things are still there,” Allan Tranter explains.

“The base lines will always be there, so the challenge is to create a vibrant place in a time of boom, that can still operate in a time of bust. And that is where our work isn’t quite finished, as we look to the future of Hedland.”

We continue our work in the Pilbara with the Hedland Collective, which was established with the support of BHP to provide a platform for the community to work together for the betterment of Hedland through a collaborative model. You can read more about the Hedland Collective here.

As our reflection of thirty years of our clients, people and history draw to a close, we found time to chat with Managing Director, Donna Shepherd, to hear her thoughts on the road ahead for Creating Communities....
As our reflection of thirty years of our clients, people and history draws to a close, we caught up with Founding Director, Allan Tranter, for his take on the next logical step on the road ahead for Creating Communities....
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One of the things we attribute to our success as a consultancy is the diversity of the people we employ. There’s a reason we connect so well with communities – it’s the depth and breadth of our experience....