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Building Community Wealth in Ballarat

by | Jan 27, 2022 | Community Wealth Building

Written by Meaghan Burkett

Community Wealth Building is a fast-growing regional and economic development approach in Australia that can improve the prosperity, wellbeing, self-reliance and resilience of regions and local people. It is an established and successful approach to economic development with countries like the UK, USA and Canada leading the way. It has proven to bring real benefits to local towns and people with tangible improvements in economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes.

The City of Ballarat is exploring the potential benefits and opportunities that community wealth building offers the Ballarat region and community.

In 2021, the city engaged Ethical Fields to:

  • Engage, inform and inspire the City of Ballarat and key regional partners in regional and economic development via community wealth building, including the role of the Council and the particular functions of the Economic Development Team and regional partner organisations in community wealth building
  • Provide strategic advice, insights and facilitation on developing a community wealth building plan.

True to the heart of community wealth building, the council invited partners and stakeholders from across Ballarat to join the local economic development team in the following activities:

Stage 1 – Community Wealth Building Regional Scan

This stage involved participants completing Ethical Fields Community Wealth Building Regional Scan. The scan draws out insights relating to interest, potential, opportunity and barriers to community wealth building in the region.

Stage 2 – Engagement & Capacity Building

This was a workshop style session to engage, inform and inspire participants in regional and economic development via community wealth building. Topics included: what is meant by community wealth building?; fundamental principles and approach to community wealth building; opportunities for the region, community and constituents; current examples from Australia and internationally; the role that council and other partners can play; the role-specific areas of council and partner organisation can play, such as the Economic Development Team.

Stage 3 – Strategic Insights & Planning

This involved an interactive strategic planning session to enable the participants to explore the strategic insights from the scan, experiment with their new knowledge and determine the next steps to progress the development of community wealth building in the region.

Stage 4 – Summary report

Summarising the insights and opportunities from earlier stages into a report for consideration by the Council.

Where to next?

In 2022, the City of Ballarat plan to review the insights and opportunities and determine next steps.

As a place-based model, every local application of community wealth building is different. To that effect, we are excited to see how community wealth building evolves in Ballarat through the leadership of the council and with the participation of wider community.

How to learn more?

If you’re interested to learn more, please contact Meaghan Burkett via phone on 0407 024 036 or email at [email protected].

About Ethical Fields

Ethical Fields is a local development and transformative ventures partner. We work with local councils, development agencies, business and the community across next economies, community wealth building, regenerative industrial transitions and environmental markets. We convene partnerships that work together to design and scale interventions that foster local autonomy, resilience and prosperity; build local and regenerative industries and enterprises and transform the economy to enable local people & places to thrive. Our team combines unique expertise to offer creative solutions and breakthrough strategies that catalyse action while remaining practical and tangible. We have undertaken projects with local authorities and government applying community wealth building principles to regional and economic development. We have a number of resources and programs for community wealth building including:

  • Local engagement, capability building and strategic planning initiative
  • Course – Introduction to Community Wealth Building for Council
  • Course – Introduction to Community Wealth Building (for all stakeholders)
  • Community Wealth Building Scan
  • Community Wealth Building Regional Leadership Program
  • Regional Impact Funds

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