Communities where all citizens can act on their desire to create, build, to organise and experiment are healthy, resilient and constructive ones. People need to be able to shape the communities that they live in by what they do and not just by what they spend. Marcus Westbury, founder of Renew Newcastle and author of Creating Cities
Town teams are positive and proactive organisations that include businesses, landowners and residents working collaboratively with their local government to improve a place or area, often a town centre or ‘main street’. Town teams are ‘doers’. They:
- Provide vision and leadership for their place
- Are positive and proactive
- Are apolitical in their approach
- Get stuck in and have a go rather than waiting for “someone else” to do “something”
- Independent from governments
- Run by the community for the community
Each team has different priorities and focuses, but all share this common approach, which is outlined in the Town Team Charter. Town teams are catalysts for change in their local area. The town team model breaks down the barriers that often divide businesses, residents and local governments, and helps everyone to better understand the challenges and the opportunities to improve places. Every action is important!
What is the Town Team Charter?
The charter is a shared story of what Town Teams are and how they are expected to act. It’s a summary of the ‘Town Team Way’. The movement is bigger than all of us!
This is a positive movement of citizen-led action focussed on creating connected, resilient communities and better places. Town Teams are proactive, non-profit organisations that include businesses, landowners, residents and others working collaboratively with their local government (or equivalent) to improve their local place or area. The Town Team approach is innovative, creative and fun! “The imagination, the sweat, the enthusiasm, and the efforts of its people are the greatest resource that any place has”. Marcus Westbury in Creating Cities
The Guiding Principles
Town Teams are positive influences in their community and lead by example. They foster a can-do culture and build beneficial relationships wherever possible.
Town Teams are action-focussed and take some responsibility for improving their community and place. They help deliver actions, events or projects. They don’t wait for governments or “somebody else” to do “something”.
3. Apolitical and Independent
This approach is beyond politics. Town Teams do not advocate for or align with political parties or candidates. They are independent from governments, but work closely and constructively with them. They work for the benefit of their communities, not for individual or factional advancement.
Town Teams are open and inclusive to all, including people who live, work, run a business, own property or visit their area. They celebrate diversity.
5. Resilient and Sustainable
Town Teams help to create resilient, connected and sustainable places for current and future generations. This includes environmental, social, economic and governance components of resilience and sustainability. They also help create healthy and vibrant ‘places for people’.
6. Integrity, Honesty and Respect
Town Teams and their members operate with integrity, honesty and respect at all times. You can download the Town Team Charter.
There are currently 46 town teams spread across 25 local government areas in Western Australia, 1 local government area in New South Wales, plus the City Renewal Authority precinct in Canberra, Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney and Christchurch, New Zealand. Here is a list of the current teams.