Engaging a concept through a Community Events Plan
The Cooktown Multi-Purpose Event Centre (working title) is a integrated community development goal.
For the people of this Shire it is a challenging regional and local strategy for promoting local and regional Civic Engagement.
Cook Shire is changing rapidly and our residents need an Multi-Purpose
Event Center, a joint facility, a place to meet and engage with other
members of our inter-regional community.
The Cooktown Multi-Purpose Event Centre plan supports a strategy that
promotes the functioning of our local regional society, as it will help
people connect through community, business, families and individuals.
We, who live in this community, need a community engagement site that supports community activity and builds on social cohesion
The promotion of Civic Engagement should not only result in decreasing
levels of some social ills, but also in improving physical wellbeing.
The Cooktown Event Center plan offers outcomes of increasing
educational performance of children in school, increasing productivity
of workers in business and industry, and improving relationships within
families and reducing crime.
By promoting spaces for social connectedness, we will encourage the
promotion of valuing tolerance, differences and diversity, through the
involvement of all sectors in our community.
If one advocates the need to develop 'prevention' against community
breakdowns, through the promotion of civic engagement, then one is
almost automatically responsible for dealing with many social problems.
See the ID Boom Approach - A local snapshot of what's required in rural
and isolated regions, as Cook Shire. With a spatial population, Cook
Shire is the largest geographical Shire in Queensland. Social planning
is extremely under-resourced and difficult.
Support for Inclusiveness
The Cooktown Multi-Purpose Event Centre planning initiative is an
inclusive concept. It would help to provide locals and regional people
with an opportunity to learn how to inter-engage with all sectors in
society, which is inclusive and 'everyone's business'.
Through an Cooktown Multi-Purpose Event Centre, we can develop a
framework for better understanding and operationalising strategies of
Determinants of Civic Engagement include planning for events that
increase social connectedness, freedom from discrimination, economic
participation, event promotion action and activities, that involve key
population groups and life stages e.g. families through early childhood
to elder age groups, ethnicity, social and economic status, location,
The Cooktown Multi-Purpose Event Centre provides a settings for action
e.g. sport and recreation, community, local government, semi-rural and
rural environment, arts, culture, entertainment, as well a economic
sustainable assets in health, education, and the workplace.
Intermediate Engagement Outcomes
Positive outcomes will transfer benefits to the individual, community
and organisational levels. Key well-being concepts include the reduced
isolation, through capacity building and building local partnerships,
which will help directly alleviate social anxiety and individual
Long-term Cohesive Benefits
Decreased levels of social isolation; will improve connectiveness;
improve productivity in workplaces; improve learning outcome for school
students; improved family, personal relationships, as well as present
positives in other areas for individuals in this inter-regional
In relation to social connectedness, evidence suggests that lower
levels of social integration relate to higher prevalence individual and
We know that young people reporting poor social connectedness are
between two and three times more likely to experience depressive
symptoms when compared with peers who reported the availability of
out-going and confiding relationships. I.e.: Team peers, group leaders,
connecting others who are engaging in community events.
Counter Action against Social Drift
The Event Center plan will help counter-act social drift in areas of
complex interactions between these specific determinants and other risk
behaviors such as substance use, sexual behavior and eating disorders
Trusting relationships - by building community capacity through Civic
Engagement have been identified as one of the important underlying
elements needed to promote social cohesiveness and social wellbeing
Social Cohesiveness and the Community
With the growing numbers of our youth and ageing population spending
more time alone, it seems that Civic Engagement programs, such as those
planned for the Event Center as a place to meet, will naturally work to
overcome isolation which should be made a visible and clearly
actionable component of integrated social policies.
This is because communities are made up of private structures such as
families and friends, and the more public institutions that are
encouraged to engage i.e. such as schools, sports clubs, local
government, religious organisations, service groups, youth
organisations and arts and cultural groups, and who have a role to play
in maintaining and enhancing our sense of connectedness and inclusion.
Building Teams that help to counter-act Bullying.
Finding new ways to counter-act bullying is national goal and local
priority. Community membership, by participating in community events
can function as a protective factor against isolation and
Policy concepts, in researching this developmental event plan sought to
improve our community development goals, with aims that work across a
number of different sectors between these structures, to encourage
partnerships to improve opportunities for people to connect with others
in the inter-regional community.
This is an example of how we as a community wish to address the issue
of valuing diversity and freedom from discrimination, and this can be
felt in the development of our underlying premise which is; 'By Working
Together' - 'We Can Do It Better'.
This key aim alone, is one that will help us attack issues of vilification and bullying.
Bullying in any society has a negative impact, and has a highly
determental effect on our sense of community wellbeing. On a national
and regional scale bullying is a major problem identified in schools,
work places, the public services, in the media and in sport as well as
in our civil and political institutions such as parliament, which
affects overall and individual and community health.
Through the Cooktown Multi-Purpose Event Centre we plan to take local
action that require us to improve partnerships between organisations
from a multitude of sectors including business, government and
Building Economic Participation by building on Civic Engagement
Economic participation was the another we found as a key determinant of social cohesion.
Improving capacity, inclusiveness, engaging social capital by working
together, by doing it through the events plan, can be identified by
helping to create strategies that build pathways of social and Civic
This counteracts the present form of isolation experienced by many
residents within the Shire, where evidence demonstrates, that poverty
and unemployment impacts upon general well being through community
health, and more particularly, as ways to alleviate depression, anxiety
and lower self esteem. (Also see ABS, 1998).
Projects which monitor impact of involvement in economic activity by
engaging other sectors which helps to build understanding amongst
institutions and organisations about the effect of employment,
unemployment and underemployment, can be assisted through active moves
to improve places that encourage social cohesion.
Support Cook Shire Council'sM ulti-Purpose Event Plan
Candoo Research and Development (NGO), believes the Cooktown
Multi-Purpose Event Centre plan affronts at all of the above mentioned
social determinants by;
1) Working with partner organisations within community;
2) Creating programs with encourage locals to share ownership and
responsibility of the local and regional community engagement issues b;
3) Encouraging new pathways that help local people engage with one
another, from where they live and work, with each other better. I.e.:
In sport we will learn to play better, and through the creative
activities we involve ourselves in, a set of goals based on
understandings that are shared by everyone, by engaging in local events.
We, the residents of inter-regional Cook Shire ask for your support to build a Cooktown Multi-Purpose Event Center.
We urgently need a local place where we may engage more constructively
with one another within this regional Shire, as well as with State,
National and International sectors.
Ms Maria Karolina Altmann, MPhil
Candoo, Research Training & Development
Cooktown, Cape York.
Phone (07) 40695 849
27th September 2006
Write a support letter for the Multi-Purpose Event Centre