Maribyrnong & hobsons Bay Lead the way

A community leadership project for the inner west

In 2022/23 Network West was funded by the West Gate Neighbourhood Fund to work with emerging community leaders and neighbourhood houses in Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay, to build a more inclusive and resilient local community.

The project was about amplifying the voices of emerging leaders from diverse communities and making sure we can all engage more readily with one another, not just with those who are the most visible or the closest. It was also about unpacking and learning about the systems and processes that govern us. If community members understand the systems they live within, and how they can influence those systems, they can feel more capable and confident to take action on issues that are important to them and their community – such as social justice, food security, climate change, social inclusion, First Nations solidarity, and mental health and wellbeing.

Network West collaborated with some amazing partners to deliver a suite of programs and networking opportunities to build community resilience. These partners included Hot House Community Projects, The Avaivilla Group, Track C Consulting, and Jeder Institute. We also worked closely with different departments from Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong City Council’s to create opportunities for meaningful connection and to promote and enable active citizenship.

We embedded First Nations Knowledge Building within the learning activities delivered throughout the project. This included participation in ceremony and yarning with Elders about cultural protocols and First Nations history…
Aunti Di Kerr performing a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony at Yarraville Community Centre (Footscray)
Terori Hareko-Avaivilla, Aunty Di Kerr OAM and Maggie Mildenhall at South Kingsville Community Centre
Uncle Mik Edwards and Uncle Shane Clarke performing a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony at Walker Close Community Centre
We created spaces for emerging community leaders to connect with staff from local neighbourhood houses, Councils, community organisations and advocacy groups to discuss aligning passions and workshop project ideas…
Community Leaders discussing their project ideas with World Cafe guests in November 2022
Community Leaders participating in the Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong Community Connector program were given the opportunity to apply for seed funding to undertake small projects and actions on issues they care about…
Community Leaders Pierre & Angela conducting community consultation around the future of the old Footscray Hospital site
Visual of the 13 projects undertaken by Community Connectors in 2023
Community Leader Ione with Hobsons Bay Mayor Cr Antoinette (Tony) Briffa JP at the Anderson Play Street in June 2023
In June 2023, together with project partner Hot House Community Projects, we hosted the 2023 Community Leadership Summit. This was the final event for the Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay Lead the Way project. The Summit showcased a panel of Community Leaders who spoke about their projects and inspired the guests, including local Councillors and State and Federal MPs…
We were treated to a feast made by Nayran Tabiei from Flavours of Syria
Some of the marvellous Community Leaders who were celebrated at the Summit
Over 100 guests attended the Summit, including local Councillors and State and Federal MPs
Click here to see our beautiful project booklet where you can meet all of the Community Leaders who took part in the Community Connector program, and learn more about their passions and projects. The booklet also describes our overall project thinking, and includes our Theory of Change, the principles by which we work and the ecosystem approach we took.