Diverse group aiming to energise Collie

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Collie shire president Sarah Stanley
Camera IconCollie shire president Sarah Stanley Credit: The West Australian

A diverse group of community members attended the launch of Energise Collie last week.

About 40 people packed into the Goods Shed to talk about the project designed to partner owners of empty spaces in town with fledgling businesses.

Collie shire president Sarah Stanley said there were people in the room she had never met.

“We’re starting to get new and different people involved which is a really positive sign,” she said.

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“There were some brand new faces, some young people, other older people not actively involved in any groups, then some business people and council workers as well.

“The two presenters were really good at explaining these are not the forums to say ‘the shire should do this’, but how we can all work to make the community better.”

Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams spoke about the best way for communities to help each other.

“One of the key things Rhys talked about is that we’ll often say ‘please volunteer’ or ‘please help’, but a different question we could ask is ‘what skills do you have to contribute to our community?’

“Usually people are good at what they do because they love to do it and you get a different response from that.

“You also come up with a whole heap of different ideas based on those skills.”

Town Teams chief executive officer Dean Cracknell also ran an interactive workshop.

“He did some quick exercises focused on generating ideas,” Cr Stanley said.

“We then looked to divide those into things the community could do and things others we would need to do.

“Ordering them from cheap to expensive was also important and it was about picking one and just working it through.”

She said the interactive elements of the launch were “energising and empowering”.

“We look at the big ticket things that we think need to happen but we have no control over them and that can disenfranchise people,” she said.

“The little things that we can do can sometimes have a bigger impact than some of the bigger things.

“Projects that we can just get going now are important instead of waiting around for big, game-changing projects.”

Cr Stanley said Mr Williams was able to look at the town with a fresh set of eyes when taken for a tour.

“He was telling us how much potential there was in different spots that we might walk past thousands of times without thinking anything of them,” she said.

Ideas generated during the session were taken away by Collie Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Bec Woods to compile for future development.

“If there are people who want to be involved in any projects – even if they weren’t at the launch – they can let Bec know,” Cr Stanley said.

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