The Centre for Rural Communities

Community building is about local people working with government to strengthen their communities and improve the places in which they live.

It is also about government listening to what local people have to say and supporting them to develop projects that achieve their goals.

The Centre for Rural Communities works to support communities – and provide training for community development workers – to build skills and confidence to develop solutions to local issues.

The Centre continues to iniitiate and participate in a range of projects that help to transform rural communities.

Lakes Entrance

Facilitator: Di Rumble Lakes Entrance is a coastal community dependent on tourism and fishing. The group began through personal contacts with young parents including Indigenous. Formal networks had few links with this group and word of mouth proved more successful. The group began by compiling a scrap book of activities and groups that they found […]

Facilitators, Study Circles


Facilitator: Naomi Gordon Mallacoota Study Circle identified community strengths as a place that was safe for families, a clean environment, a caring community and a strong capacity to achieve projects. However, some women felt isolated from the support of extended families during children’s early years. The local playground was seen as inadequate. Improving the public […]

Facilitators, Study Circles


Facilitator: Judy Ireland All participants identified a desire to get involved, or remain involved in the community – and to ‘give something back’. Joining the Study Circle was seen as one way to do this. Members of the group found connections across age groups – young families moving to a new area, ageing grandparents and […]

Facilitators, Study Circles


Facilitator: Michelle Theobald There are 6 women in the Orbost Study Circle. ‘Women on the Move’ – they are a diverse group with common – and varied – interests. Sharing stories about other communities led them to reflect on great Orbost projects such as the Exhibition Centre, the Rainforest Centre, the Mosaic Pathway, Forest Park […]

Facilitators, Study Circles


Facilitator: Fiona York The Goongerah Study Circle proved a good mix of interests across the nine members. Common themes identified by the group included education, employment and housing. Although anticipated ‘outcomes’ did not occur immediately, most felt the experience to be valuable – learning facilitation skills, the need for ground rules and recapping – they […]

Facilitators, Study Circles


Buchan facilitator: Paul Harper 2 Study Circles were drawn from the Buchan district. The first group involved 16 people – all with ‘under 5s’. Lack of childcare delayed the start of this group and became an immediate focus. Initially there was frustration, even anger over the urgent need to improve family services in the district. […]

Facilitators, Study Circles


Facilitator: Kate Cartwright The Boolarra Study Circle provided a way to nurture local knowledge. Mutual love for our beautiful rural environment, and the safety and health of our family were core values connecting this group of individual, thoughtful women into a mutually supportive network. In this safe, comfortable environment we learned to value each other’s […]

Facilitators, Study Circles


Bairnsdale facilitator: Judy Ireland The Bairnsdale Study Circle was set up as part of the “Stories My Community Told Me” project. This is one component of the larger “Communities for Children” project which is being coordinated by Kilmany Uniting Care. One of the “stories” from the Bairnsdale Study Circle culminated in offering a dress-up box […]

Facilitators, Study Circles

Cape York Institute Leadership Academy

Noel Pearson is Director of the Cape York Institute  ( and, as enterprise is a central platform in progressing/promoting Indigenous ownership of ventures, Neil was invited to be guest speaker on community enterprise at the Leadership Academy dinner.  The East Gippsland Shire supported his involvement. The invitation to share skills and knowledge of collaborative engagement […]