Community Strategy scoops state award

Sunshine Coast Council

The Queensland winners of the Planning Institute of Australia’s Awards for Planning Excellence 2020 have been announced with Sunshine Coast Council’s Community Strategy 2019-2041 taking out the Public Engagement and Community Planning award.

It comes almost one year to the date after the strategy was adopted by council on 14 November 2019.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was pleased to see the strategy recognised for its initiatives in creating a shared community vision for the region and exploring and prioritising social challenges and opportunities.

“The strategy has gone from strength to strength and represents 18 months of innovative collaboration between council, community organisations and government,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The community engagement program resulted in approximately 1600 community members and stakeholders contributing with a strong focus on the community being at the very heart of this project.”

Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said the team behind the strategy thought outside the box when bringing the community together to provide input.

“The community engagement program set out to be contemporary, innovative and inclusive to capture a truly representative picture of our community’s needs and aspirations,” Cr Law said.

“They did this through surveys, pop-up stalls at community events, children’s drawings, photograph activities and even literacy classes.

“It’s terrific to see the strategy taking shape this year with the formation of the Community Strategy Leadership Group working towards the vision – together we thrive – so that people, places and opportunities are connected, inclusive and cohesive.”

The purpose of the Community Strategy is to achieve five outcomes:

Empower our community to live healthy and active lifestyles

Focus on ensuring community places and spaces are vibrant, inclusive, accessible, adaptable and meet the needs of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds

Strengthen connection, inclusion and opportunity for all people in our community

Build capacity in our communities to be connected, resilient and to respond to local issues

Nurture creative and innovative approaches to building a strong community.

The inaugural meeting of the Community Strategy Leadership Group launched in May 2020, with the group continuing to meet regularly. The group is responsible in leading and guiding the delivery of the Community Strategy’s action plan, and tracking and reporting on its progress and impact.

The awards were announced on Friday 6 November.

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