Community Regeneration offers hope to small communities in 2016

Temora, NSW Riverina

Temora, NSW Riverina

After more than 15 years of personal research, development and trial, Bob Neville’s quest for a sustainable process for social, economic and environmental regeneration of small communities is now becoming a reality through what he calls the “Community Gold” Program ~ a key part of Community Regeneration collaboration with Starfish.

Program MODELS are currently being established in two NSW Riverina districts ~ New South Wales’ smallest Shire, Urana, which comprises five small communities; as well as in two communities in Temora Shire. Also, the community of Tara is the first Queensland location for the Program and has been supported by Regional Development Australia Darling Downs and South West.

Mouse Spider

Mouse Spider sculpture by Andrew Whitehead, Urana (Picture: The Border Mail)

In addition, Initial Program Assessments have been completed for 5 rural communities in the West Australian Wheatbelt Region and others are being considered including in New Zealand and Norfolk Island.

The Community Gold Program is based upon three important facts:

  1. No amount of money handed to communities can change underlying social realities or make them sustainable,
  2. The only Small Communities that can sustain liveability in the future will be those which grow strong Community-Inclusive foundations and nurture them continually,
  3. A community’s sustainability does not relate to its SIZE but to its “liveability” ~ regenerated from its micro-diversity of “Community Gold” and its spirit of Community Inclusiveness.

For convincing support of the above three facts, see Bob’s article: Small Communities – Thriving Towns or Zombie Towns?

Bob also believes that “Regionalisation of Councils” through Amalgamation is contributing to the demise of many small communities which become “lost” in the shadow of larger and more centralised regional growth centres.

This article published in the December edition of the New Zealand Geographer Journal provides convincing insight into understanding the downside of Council amalgamations: Understanding the downside of Council amalgamations – A possible solution for the ‘zombie town’ syndrome.

Find out more and get involved ~ Community Regeneration

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