Community Building in Regional Australia: the Creative Volunteering Training Program.
Leader-Elliott, Lynette Frances
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1. Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia 2. Regional Arts Australia, Port Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Many of the community organisations that sustain cultural life in regional Australia are run entirely or mostly by volunteers. They are a vital part of the nation’s cultural capital and they increasingly need skills in planning, marketing, obtaining resources and building networks to survive. A specially designed program to train community-based volunteers in these and other essential skill areas was developed and run successfully through 500 workshops in 125 Australian regions over 2003–2004. Funded by the Australian government and led by NGO Regional Arts Australia, the Creative Volunteering project has succeeded in developing community capacity and active citizenship in the regions where it has operated. Critical success factors included training content and format designed to suit the needs of volunteers in small, often isolated communities; selecting trainers for their ability to work with community organisations and with people from diverse backgrounds; building on the skills and knowledge of all participants; encouraging active involvement and structuring workshops so that participants were encouraged to collaborate with people from other organisations. Administrative systems and training were both designed to allow different modes of operation to suit each state, while ensuring quality was maintained. Strong partnerships between regional arts organisations, registered vocational training organisations and Flinders University were central to success. "Creative Volunteering" has strengthened existing organisations, and encouraged extensive community networking between organisations and individuals. New cultural and other community activities are planned or underway. The program has proved suitable for a wide range of community organisations as well as small businesses.
Lyn Leader-Elliott, tourism, heritage, cultural development, community wellbeing, human capital, social capital, cultural capital, Gauntlett, Hird, Sandeman, lobbying, grant applications, ABS, networks, community leadership, leisure, unpaid, community heritage collections, cultural organisations, arts councils, theatre groups, music groups, festival, events, sponsorship, government grants, door sales, box office, planning, marketing, Regional Australia Summit, policy making, collaboration, Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Australia, community pride, regional distinctiveness, Arts NT, Country Arts SA, Country Arts WA, Queensland Arts Council, Regional Arts NSW, Regional Arts Victoria, Tasmanian Regional Arts, local artists, audience development, Ken Lloyd, Department of Family and Community Services, Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Flinders University, Rod Kemp, Mount Gambier, training methodology, cultural practitioners, local government, national training accreditation system, decentralised delivery mode, employment opportunities, planning, management, consultation, hands-on work, business planning, marketing, generating income, networking, collections, flexible outcomes, core modules, elective modules, facilitators' guides, workbooks, strategies, action plan, in-class learning materials, resource books, Carry Out Business Planning, Greenwood and Russell, local examples, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, questionnaire, management issues, satisfaction and facilitation rates, community networking objectives, Plan and Program Events, Network within Communities, Develop Funds and Resources, Undertake Marketing, Work with Collections, benefits, theatre companies, historical societies, women's organisations, welfare organisations, youth organisations, indigenous organisation, organization, interest groups, Northern Territory, non-government agencies, arts, heritage, volunteering sectors, viability, sustainability, Reference Advisory Group, workshop methodolgy, training resources, program evaluation, Australian National Training Authority, Community of Practice, service clubs, Community Cultural Development NSW, Community Arts Network SA, Ausdance Victoria, Volunteering Queensland, Western Australia COuncil of Social Services, Community Arts Network of Western Australia, Registered Training Organisations, collaboration, governance, risk mangagement, grant applications, promote community agendas