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Weaving Tapestries

"It seems that everyone is talking about the need for ‘a greater sense of community’. What does that mean? And, more importantly, how do we achieve that. How can each of us, through our lives and work, help build the capacity of ‘communities’ to support themselves?"

This handbook is aimed at anyone interested in building community. There are many of us. Faith groups, neighbours, sports clubs, schools, businesses, local agencies, Councils, government departments and policy makers can all be a part of genuine community building. And we need to be part of it together, rather than working against each other.

Local Government is able to be the ‘linch-pin’ of community building, bringing all these groups and many others together. What we notice, though, is that there are widely differing understandings of what ‘community development’ or ‘community building’ looks like and how it should be done.

This is why the Local Government Community Services Association has produced this handbook. We hope that it can provide a ‘gathering point’ for common dialogue around community development. Everyone will work in their own unique way to develop the potential of community. But in doing so, we also need to speak and work together. We in the Association hope the simple handbook helps all of us do that.

The handbook offers simple frameworks for guiding our work. Of course, there are far more comprehensive books and tools that are available to you if you are interested in community development, and many of these are listed at the end. But few, we think, provide the sort of ‘snapshot’ that this handbook offers. We hope that it helps you feel more confident, and even passionate about the work- paid and unpaid – of community development; work that is crucial to the well-being of all of us, now and in the future.

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