Find Inspiration in a New Place

Social Fabric website
Dear Readers:
This blog has moved.
You’ll now find it within the cosy confines of the Social Fabric website.
Don’t be a stranger, come and visit me there!



Reimagining Our Place: A Creative Place Making Event

The Blue Room Flyer Final

Join me and some other creative place making types at this upcoming event on the 1 September.

Snapshots From the Caring for Country Reconciliation Event

Snapshots from the recent Caring for Country Community Planting Event held as part of the Place of Reconciliation project at Banks Reserve / Warndoolier. You can find this special part of the world on Joel Terrace in East Perth.

The event was hosted by the City of Vincent, with support from the Vincent Reconciliation Group and participation by the Claise Brook Catchment Group.

It was a very chilly morning, but luckily a very heart warming event!

Elders Doolann-Leisha and Walter Eatts preparing to deliver the Welcome to Country, accompanied by Samuel Pilot-Kickett on the didgeridoo

Elders Doolann-Leisha and Walter Eatts preparing to deliver the Welcome to Country, accompanied by Samuel Pilot-Kickett on the didgeridoo

Community members planting out the banks of Walter's Brook

Community members planting out the banks of Walter’s Brook

Community members helping with the final stages of planting

Community members helping with the final stages of planting

Even our youngest community members got involved!

Even our youngest community members got involved!

Enjoying the day

Enjoying the day


Reconciliation Week: Caring for Country Community Planting Event

place of reconciliation

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while might remember that back in May 2012 the people and City of Vincent and Nyungah Elders officially recognised Banks Reserve, a beautiful local riverside park that rests on land known to Whadjuk-Nyungah people as Warndoolier, as a ‘Place of Reconciliation’.

The event was part of a partnership project between the Vincent Reconciliation Group and the City of Vincent. You can read more about the history of the reconciliation project here and here.

Reconciliation Week is rolling around again and this year the City of Vincent is hosting a Community Planting Day to celebrate the completion of one significant element of the ongoing Place of Reconciliation project – the restoration of Walter’s Brook.

Community members are invited to join in planting 800 plants around Walter’s Brook over two planting sessions, followed by a relaxing BBQ.

See here for full event details and to register to attend.

I’ll be there getting my hands dirty! Would love to see you there too.

A CAN-do approach to community-led place making

Have you ever spent time in a local park in your neighbourhood and thought ‘this place would be so much better if…’?

My colleague at Social Fabric, Emma Slavin, has. And she didn’t stop there. As a member of the Ashfield Community Action Network (AshfieldCAN), Emma has been leading a project to transform her local park, Gary Blanch Reserve in Ashfield.

Through community discussions, events and workshops, an inspiring concept plan for revamping the park has been developed. The local council, the Town of Bassendean, recently voted unanimously to endorse the concept plan and to support this community-led place making project with funding and resources. Yay!

A big congratulations to Emma and all the members of AshfieldCAN for getting this project off the ground! And well done to the Town of Bassendean for getting behind positive community-driven projects.


Source: Eastern Reporter Newspaper 18 March 2014

Emma will be speaking about the project at the latest Perth Green Drinks event being held this Wednesday as part of Left of Central. I think the event is sold out but for those of you lucky enough to have registered, make sure you come and say hello!

Do you want to support WA community gardens?

growing communities forum 051

Spread the word…  an exciting opportunity exists for people that are keen to support the development of the WA community garden sector to takeover the administration of the Community Gardens WA website, the WA Community Gardens Network Facebook Group and $5000 funding!

Some online resources and funding have been held in trust for the WA community garden sector since the conclusion of the Growing Communities WA project that I managed back in 2008-2010. The intention of these resources is to provide networking platforms (online/offline) for people involved in, or who are supporters of, community gardens in WA that facilitate:

  • Relationship-building between people with a shared interest in community gardening in WA
  • Information-sharing related to community gardening in WA
  • Discussion about community gardening issues and challenges in WA
  • Coordination of broader activities to support the development of the WA community garden sector
  • Anything else that the people involved in these networks decide is worthwhile and will meet their needs

Expressions of Interest are currently being sort from individuals, groups or organisations that are keen to support community garden sector networking in WA through taking over the administration of these resources.

Full details can be found here.

Why community is important and how to build it

Scoop Magazine

A couple of months ago a journalist from Scoop Magazine came knocking, wanting to chat about why I think community is important and the different ways individuals, groups, and organisations can help to build social connectedness. A subject dear to my heart!

Human beings are social creatures. We survive and thrive through relationships; they bring meaning and purpose to our lives, as well as help us to meet our basic needs.

Whilst family and friendship circles are key sources of relationships, social connection through the realm of community is also important, particularly so for individuals who do not have strong personal networks. We need to be able to cooperate and take collective action at a broader level than family groupings, in order to have our needs met. Social connection at the level of community is one of the building blocks for this.

There are a number of characteristics of modern Western society that have contributed to a decline in the community sphere. Nowadays we have to consciously work on building and strengthening our communities, if we want to reap the individual and collective benefits that flow from them. That’s why I do what I do (plus it’s great fun!).

If you’re looking for some inspiring summer reading, check out ‘The village people‘ article in full in the summer edition of Scoop Magazine that’s out now.