All of the town teams were so committed, many of their members volunteers who wear many hats (as is the way in small communities) and the strength of their plans is a testament to their willingness to sit in the process and to challenge traditional ways of thinking about mental health and wellbeing.
The initiative was originally designed to include funding for three communities (including Kangaroo Island) but after witnessing the amazing work of the towns this year, the Fay Fuller Foundation Board committed resources for an additional town to be funded before the Advisory made the selection on 11 December.
While Kangaroo Island, Kimba, Ceduna/ Far West and Cummins will be continuing as funded partners we hope that all of the towns will come together in The Network, where they can continue to support and learn from each other and where they can use their collective power to advocate for their communities. The Network can also be used to share the work of Our Town to other regional and rural communities. The Our Town initiative is dedicated to working with all towns to secure funding for their communities, and seed funding will be made available at the start of 2021 to continue the momentum for each town not selected to date for a long term commitment.
This past year is a testament to the benefit of listening to community and the transformative change that comes from respecting that community knows best. We are so excited to embark on this ten-year partnership, where we can learn and grow together building community capability and creating regenerative, community-determined responses to mental health and wellbeing.
The Our Town initiative is a partnership between the Our Town Communities; Berri, Ceduna/ Far West, Cummins, Kangaroo Island, Kimba and Mid Murray and a Support Team; the Fay Fuller Foundation (FFF), The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) and Clear Horizon (CH).