The Highlights of 2022

As the curtains are drawn on a year that saw a mixture of retreat and re-emergence across the globe, we checked in with some of the leaders at Creating Community to unearth their year’s highlights?

The Highlights of 2022

As the curtains are drawn on a year that saw a mixture of retreat and re-emergence across the globe, we checked in with some of the leaders at Creating Community to unearth their year’s highlights?

Jessica Barker, Collective Impact Lead

It’s been an exciting year for Collective Impact at CCA!

We’ve pivoted to working in project sprints for strategy development which has allowed a nimble, efficient and bite-sized team to dive into communities and co-design strategy alongside our clients. As a result, we’ve been able to support communities in regional towns from South America to the top of the North West, from the heart of Pilbara and across to the other side of Australia. We’ve helped communities respond to food insecurity, automation and Industry 4.0, build sustainability, drive growth, and ensure everyone lives in vibrant, liveable communities.

Bring on 2023 – we’re ready, nimble and able to see profound impacts and shared outcomes in the communities in which we work!

Kylie Elsegood-Smith, Community Development Lead

While a host of projects were highlights in 2022, theHedland Heroes project stands tall. Hedland Heroes reflected so much that’s great about Hedland. The project brought together positive stories from a diverse array of ‘heroes’ in the community. Nominated by other community members, we short-listed 24 heroes – an eclectic group of entrepreneurs, performers, activists, seniors, business people and volunteers.

One of the beautiful things about this multi-faceted project was the collaboration between many different groups across the town. From the Town of Port Hedland to the Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce, Port Hedland Industries Council and The Junction Co, everyone worked together to celebrate, include and recognise the diversity of people that makes Hedland a great community.

Zooming back, another highlight has been how the Community Development team worked together in 2022. As we’ve honed our approach to working together, there has been a rejection of silos to embrace greater collaboration. Our team’s diversity of backgrounds brings a broad perspective to the possibilities in community development. Sharing knowledge in a collaborative, sometimes vulnerable, but always cooperative environment has informed outcomes that ensured that our clients’ projects were always the winner – a result of the same collaboration that we commend to communities!

Melanie Billig, Creative Lead

2022 was a year punctuated by many highlights, including celebrating CCA’s 30th anniversary.

Pulling the campaign together was the ultimate teambuilding challenge! With a near-impossible task, fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, collaboration and interviews, our team pulled together a campaign synthesising 30 years of business into 30 days of reflection and celebration. For everyone to dive into the project with passion and enthusiasm speaks volumes. In hindsight, it was a perfect opportunity to strengthen the team and a fantastic subsequent outcome from the campaign.

Diving through 30 years of Creating Communities was a catalyst for appreciating and reflecting on ‘why’ we do what we do. Every project has made such an impact in its own way.

Andrew Watt, Director – Engagement, Planning, Education and Ageing

In the engagement area, I reflect on two significant projects as highlights of our year together.

In 2022, one of our clients, Megara, acquired properties within the existing Sorrento Plaza precinct, engaging Creating Communities to undertake a stakeholder and community engagement process. The goal was to help inform the designs and development of apartments and a variety of hospitality and retail stores. Our team led an engagement process that included stakeholder and neighbour interviews, focus groups, and design concept review workshops. We also established a website and produced a range of communication materials. The designs responded to community input and redistributed the building volume of the permissible building envelope to shift height away from neighbours and create more communal space. Despite the revised building being taller than previously proposed due to the volume redistribution, community support improved significantly compared to previous plans for the site. As a result, the mixed-use development received approval from the WA Planning Commission.

Onslow School in our northwest was another highlight in the engagement context. Creating Communities has worked with over 50 schools in the past, helping them to communicate and engage effectively with their communities to build, support and collaborate to help to create a cohesive school community.

This year, with the funding support of Chevron, we supported Onslow School by providing professional support to their staff and community to form a plan to address issues identified in a social needs analysis we undertook for Chevron in Onslow last year. The approach has led to some key initiatives and partnerships being formed by the school leadership team and their staff, creating mutual benefits for the school, its partners and communities. Key strategies have focussed on increased student attendance and better methods of communicating and building relationships with the community.

Donna Shepherd, Managing Director

As Covid conditions changed, our focus in 2022 was to encourage people out of their homes to engage in their communities again – to bring people “around the table” as catalysts to make their communities better places.


One of the highlights for me was sitting at a table alongside Nyiyaparli and Martu Traditional owners, stakeholders from from KNAC (Karlka-Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation), JYAC (JYAC – Jamukurnu Yapalikurnu Aboriginal Corporation), and PAMS (Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service) as they together defined the change they wanted to see in East Newman as they led the submission of aStructure Plan for East Newman. This is an immense opportunity which challenges all levels of government, corporates and NGOs to come together to ensure that disadvantage and poor health outcomes are addressed.


2023 will present another chapter of sweet possibilities for CCA to do what we do very best: excelling at the nexus of opportunity to create real and lasting change. Happy New Year!

It was with great excitement that Creating Communities recently released the co-created Community Plans—part of our ongoing work with the Yarnangu from across the desert communities of the Ngaanyatjarra lands. ...
Creating Communities Australia has celebrated a significant milestone in our ongoing work in the Eastern Pilbara with the approval of the East Newman Precinct Structure Plan by the Western Australian Planning Commission....
Creating Communities collaborates with Ngaanyatjarra Lands' communities to develop unique plans, identifying opportunities for economic, social, and cultural growth, enhancing their connection to the land....
Creating Communities is proud to share that the First Nations proponents of the East Newman Precinct Structure Plan have been recognised at the Planning Institute of Australia’s state awards for their exemplary co-design methods to create better outcomes for the East Newman community. ...
Creating Communities is leading the way in improving the FIFO village experience, using world first technology. ...
Creating Communities has proudly worked with both Chevron Australia and Onslow School to enhance their social impact and identifying opportunities for the partnership to continue its support of students in Onslow. ...