Some lessons from Australia - Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)

Hi there,

My name's Dee! I have recently connected with Rituu and she has asked me to share some of my stories - I really don't know where to start, there's so many!

So, I'll start by sharing an article that was written when I was working with the Family Action Centre at the University of Newcastle, Australia. I was hired as a community worker, to work with a team of people who would outreach to caravan parks (trailer parks?) in the area where I live and support communities and families with children from a strengths-focused approach.

Many of these families move around quite often and, as you might imagine, there are multiple issues and we could make a big list about all the things 'wrong' with these communities but instead, we start with the skills, abilities and passions of the community members to help them to build community from the inside out - instead of 'experts' coming into community and telling them what they needed!

ABCD is a glass half full approach and there were challenges, at times, when working with  transient communities but what we discovered was, the answer is already IN community, we just had to ask...

So, now I'm a Director at the Jeder Institute (website under construction) and along with 3 other Directors we are working with many organisations and government departments supporting them to create more inclusive and healthy communities! I'm also the Facilitator of the ABCD Asia Pacific Network which is a network of ABCD practitioners from across the globe.

Anyway, here's the article - It's Almost Time To Go

It's a few years old now but my work practices haven't changed, they've just deepened... in addition, the Jeder Institute is a lead partner in hosting large scale community discussions through The Unconference - we might see some of you there, one time!

Thanks for having me! I'm glad to be part of such a wonderful group!



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Comment by Dee Brooks on August 12, 2014 at 6:13am

Hi Rituu,

It's a bit of both - we certainly facilitated the process for community members to identify the strengths and to discover which ones they were passionate enough about to act on although, sometimes there are strengths which community members don't see because they are too close so, we might point them out but in the end, it's really about discovering what people care about enough to act on!



Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on August 11, 2014 at 2:44pm

Dear Dee, 

Thanks for sharing the Caravan story. What I liked most was how doing activities together can facilitate neighbourhood conversations. I have a question. Who identifies community strengths? The outsiders or people within the community? 




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