Council’s Strengthening New Communities (SNC) program runs free local activities including barbecues, family movie nights and bus tours, and supports events like Neighbour Day and cultural events in the growth areas. SNC aims to bring residents together and build those important social networks.
The team has held more than 16 community activities in the last 12 months, attended by over 3,000 residents and overwhelmingly positive feedback from those involved.
Balla Balla Ward Councilor Geoff Ablett said local events were a good opportunity for people to meet new people in the community and local services in their neighbourhood.
“In emerging communities where housing is built before much of the infrastructure arrives, research shows that forming social connections within those neighbourhoods can be more difficult,” Cr Ablett said.
“Throw into the mix limited public transport, greater distances to employment and relocating away from family and friends, and social isolation can become an issue.
“The SNC team usually holds three events in each area and we find that attendance grows with each one as people get to know each other and word spreads in the community. As those local connections develop, we often see residents go on to run their own community events with support from the SNC team, which is a fantastic outcome.”