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Local Government Community Health and Wellbeing Project

Local Government plays a key role in providing for the health and wellbeing of Tasmanian communities.  This  three-year  project supports councils in this role by informing and inspiring local strategic planning and actions for health and wellbeing.

About the Project.

Local Council Officers Working for Community Health and Wellbeing

This section shares, acknowledges and celebrates the work of Local Council Officers working in their roles, variously described as Community Development, Community Engagement and Health and Wellbeing. It includes officers describing and reflecting on their own work and the case studies explore the joys, challenges, strengths and barriers they experience. Striking themes across each unique contribution include the shared skill set of adaptability and responsiveness and the values of deep respect for the wisdom in their communities and dedication to service. While these presentations may focus on a particular officer, the fundamental importance of partnerships and shared ownership is another theme.  Shared understanding of their work will deepen as more stories are added.  

Some Emerging Threads

Understanding the real work is a priority for the Project and that is developing as more voices are heard and shared. This paper is a work in progress towards an accurate and realistic picture and I invite your responses. Does any of it resonate with you, are there misunderstandings, what is missing, what needs to added? Further forums, visits to Councils, and more individual case studies are helping to develop that picture. I am looking forward to listening to your unique story so please contact me on to discuss possibilities.

Working for Community Health and Wellbeing(187 kb)

Richard Muir Wilson.  Waratah Wynyard Council

Richard’s presentation, Diversity in Abundance, describes his work as a Community Development Officer over 9 years. He notes the importance of adapting with optimism to changing circumstances and inclusion of pictures of lots and lots of people to illustrate some projects accurately represents what is most important.

Richard Muir Wilson Presentation(10449 kb)

Devonport City Council's Square Peg Project

This presentation notes and illustrates some important principles for effective projects. They include:

  • There is opportunity to re-scope a project to fit both emerging needs and realistic capacity to deliver a worthwhile program.
  • The importance of practical plain language project statements.
  • Local discussions about best ways to make a project work with available resources are essential.
  • Being alert to unexpected outcomes as they arise and build on them as they happen.
  • Focus on the benefits to specific participants.
  • Build on the learning and success of one project to try similar activities.
  • Sustainability is important. The officers who run the program noted in this presentation that local resources, people and organisations now work together to continue the original project on a small financial budget.

Devonport Square Peg Presentation(372 kb)


Finding Treasure: The Power of Community in Rural Health and Wellbeing. Fae Robinson

Fae Robinson’s paper reflects on her work with communities in the Huon Valley. Her paper offers an inspirational framework of practical action and a philosophical context for everyone engaged in community grounded change. Fae is also working with the Central Highlands Council on a similar approach to developing strategies for community health and well being, supported by LGAT’s Local Government Health and Wellbeing Project funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Finding Treasure - Fae Robinson(226 kb)


Councils Working for Community Health and Wellbeing.  Lynden Leppard

This Powerpoint presentation at the LGAT 2019 State Conference is based on conversations at the June Health and Wellbeing Forums in Devonport and Hobart and with individual officers. These observations are thinking in progress as part of LGAT’s Health and Wellbeing Project to support the work of Local Council Officer’s working in community participation, engagement and health and wellbeing. I am keen to hear more about how individuals see the strengths and barriers influencing their work. Please contact me on

Councils Working For Community Health And Wellbeing Presentation

Collective Impact and Local Government

An increasing number of Local Councils are working with the approach to community engagement known as Collective Impact. Burnie City Council and Clarence City Council have been working with the model for some years and six or more are in development across Tasmania. Clarence has provided the following introduction and the presentation about the Clarence Plains approach shared at the recent Health and Wellbeing Forum.

Please let Lynden at LGAT know if you are interested in hearing more about Collective Impact and what it is, and is not. We will organise local forums when there is enough interest.

Clarence City Council Officers have provided this inroduction to the presentation

Big issues need big thinking and big effort. Sometimes that can feel overwhelming, can’t it?

What if there was a model that helped tackle that big issue and actually made a difference? Collective Impact is not a magic wand, but it is a framework that can help a group of interested stakeholders take on a long term population-level issue and create change. It takes time. And it takes commitment. But the model also provides shape to a way forward.

Local Government can play a strong role in leading change using a collective impact model. In Clarence Plains, Clarence City Council is one of many partners, organisations and community stakeholders working together on the project: “One Community Together… Supporting our welcoming, proud, safe and attractive Clarence Plains Community”. Five years in, it is providing a great way to work with the community and achieve change in new ways that we hadn’t previously tried. We’re really pleased to be involved in this way of working together with the community.

Collective Impact and Local Government Presentation

Sustainability depends on Confidence and Trust. Lisa Rudd Glenorchy City Council

Lisa Rudd is a Community Development Officer with Glenorchy City Council. She has recently researched and developed The Safer Communities Framework 2019 -2029, a valuable and practical collection of community engagement and participation principles. Lisa reflects nature of effective community consultation, place based,  sustainability, and potential negative community reactions to the phrase 'health and wellbeing'.

Sustainability depends on confidence and trust. Lisa Rudd

A Special Culture in Small Councils

Adam Wilson has worked in 10 councils across Tasmania and is currently Deputy General Manager at Central Highlands. He reflects on some particular ways councils work with smaller communities that are responses to their history and culture. His insights and experience suggest why diluting top down models designed for cities may not work everywhere in Tasmania.

A Special Culture in Small Councils. Adam Wilson 

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