2020. A year to forget with the hardships experienced, but also to remember and be proud of. It was a year that reinforced the need for a positive movement of action like ours.
Firstly, thank you to all the Town Team volunteers and to the growing band of supporters of our movement! There are now 55 registered Town Teams across Australia and New Zealand, with more to come!
The resilient spirit of Town Teamers was highlighted by ‘making it happen’ in a crazy year. Town Teams were quick to respond to the conditions brought on by Covid lock down and post-Covid recovery. During Covid we had teams organizing online initiatives to support their local communities.
In Doubleview, The Bend in the Road team had “Bend Connections”, encouraging locals to connect with each other while supporting a local take-away business. Inglewood on Beaufort promoted “Take-out Tuesdays” also promoting local businesses. The Beaufort Street Network hosted a series of hugely popular virtual quiz nights, which not only connected community but also supported their local businesses.
Over in Bayswater, the team capitalised on their neighbourhoods love for verge gardening during lock-down and hosted the Baysie Verge Garden competition. In Fremantle, the South Freo Corner Pocket hosted Porchfest, a socially distance micro music festival featuring local musicians.
In Dalyellup, the Dalyellup Collective hosted the South West Virtual Art Exhibition, featuring talented local artists from throughout the south-west.
As we have slowly been able to start meeting face to face again, our teams have continued to show their resilience, continuing to create fun and innovative ways for their community to reconnect and activate their local places. A look at our monthly newsletter shows a huge variety of events and initiatives which bring people together and support local town centres. We have had music events in Morley thanks to the Morley Momentum, food trucks and markets in Clarkson brough by one of our newer teams, East Keys Collective. The Midland Junction Collective put on the recent Really Really Free Market, and The Vic Park Collective brough the hugely successful Car Free Day to Victoria Park. Too many wonderful events to list them all.
Town Team Movement continued to ‘do the thing’ through the COVID pandemic. From Porch Placemaking Week, to Action in Isolation, the SHIFT Digi Conference and the Community Convergence, it was another big year! A huge thank you to Kylie, David and Jimmy for all you hard work, innovation and laughs. Emma Gibbens was also pivotal in taking TTM digital and ensuring we thrived. Thanks Emma!
The movement spread to two new states: Tasmania and Victoria and now includes communities across dozens of local government areas.
Our partnership with RAC in Western Australia continued to develop. RAC has now provided more than $100,000 to help fund Town Team projects in W.A. across two rounds of the Connecting Communities fund. It also provides some core funding to help our non-profit social enterprise. Thank you to RAC for your fantastic support!
We are deepening the understanding of our journey. With the expertise of our graphic designer, Tessa Collins, we came up with this new graphic to illustrate the process and roles of building a movement.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. Margaret Mead
Keep on making it happen!