Building community engagement requires real, tangible steps. Discussion and consideration are important, but it is action which takes a great idea and turns it into reality. These are our tangible dimensions which need to be put into practice when nurturing strong community engagement.
Australia is not a poor nation in terms of community. A study carried out by Australian Unity and Deakin University released in 2016 showed that Australia is becoming happier. The research identified several aspects as contributing to happiness – safety, future security, living standards and community connection.
Building an engaged and diverse society is one of the biggest challenges for Australia today. Australian citizens have always acted voluntarily to build the communities they are part of. They have created organisations both formally and informally, which have been committed to various issues.
One of the most frequent questions that a leader must ask in a disadvantaged areas is "is it practical?" This is because leaders in such areas do not have the luxury of experimentation or trial and error. They must first understand if a suggestion is going to provide a genuine, practical benefit to them as they seek to do the best job they possibly can.
The concept of 'belonging' in a certain area, city or country has been a key political driver for decades. Whether we are displaced refugees searching for amnesty, teens starting school in a new suburb for the first time, or proud community members who still live down the street from where we were born, a sense of belonging and feeling at home is what we aim for. This is what makes us feel secure and linked to something greater than ourselves.
In Australia, the most advantaged and the most disadvantaged people tend to live almost side by side. Take Sydney for example; the New South Wales city is home to Emerton and Busby, which rank among some of the most disadvantaged areas in the country, yet these are just a few kilometres from areas such as St Ives and West Pennant Hills, which rank among the most advantaged.
The Goldilocks Zone – the situation in which everything is ‘just right’ and running smoothly – is so rare that it may as well not exist at all. Instead, almost all of the decisions we must make are fraught with compromises, and with unforeseen variables which exist beyond our control.
Leadership. It seems like a pretty straight forward concept. There are good leaders and bad leaders. In order to be a good leader, one must do certain things. It is an easy recipe for success. Right?
The Kafka-esque nightmare of the traditional employment ladder just does not cut it anymore. Being forced to navigate shifting goalposts, opaque promotion structures, favouritism, nepotism and all manner of other hallmarks of an uneven playing field has no place in the modern workplace.
Step forward, Millennials; now it is your time. Thirty years of development, growth, understanding and tutelage have taken us to this point. Now, it is time for the Millennial generation to take over at the driving seat.
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