One of our WA ABCDE Learning Sites is a little community called North Pinjarra. North Pinjarra is unique in that it was originally a little mining community built by ALCOA in the 1970’s just 5kms out of the town of Pinjarra. Since then, many of the original residents have sold up. The ‘suburb’ is a little isolated and has a real mix of residents. Surrounded by farmland, North Pinjarra sits just off the highway and has a Handymart cum deli, a primary school and a community hall and recreational complex albeit in need of some renovations. North Pinjarra has an amazing design. Consisting of approximately 400 houses, almost every street is a cul de sac with only 10-20 houses per street with pathways at the end that lead into a network of pathways and green spaces. All the streets are in alphabetical order and are named after native trees. It was designed for community. This community has fantastic physical and people assets. After extensive consultation with residents, and sharing and championing the ABCDE approach, we convened an informal group of residents to drive two key events – a ‘Community Get to Know Your Neighbour BBQ’ and the return of a once famous and well-loved event – the annual Santa Run and Community Christmas Party.
On Friday 28th October, we held the Community Get to Know Your Neighbour BBQ. This amazing event kicked off with an afternoon tea for seniors, followed by a free sausage sizzle. It was a real pooling together of resident time, resources and commitment. Around 100 residents attended, many of them local young people and newcomers to North Pinjarra. You could genuinely see the connections being made and the interest residents displayed in getting to know other residents and getting involved in community. Every resident had a name tag on which they also wrote their street name. Activities included a ‘Communi-Tree’ – this was essentially a tree stuck to the wall and residents used colourful post-it notes which looked like leaves to share what they loved about North Pinjarra, any passions, skills or interests they would share with the community and any social networks or clubs and organisations they belonged to as well as their contact details – it made for a great asset mapping activity. There was also sporting equipment, a craft table and good old fashioned games like tug-of-war, sack races and egg and spoon races. Designed by residents, driven by residents and well attended by residents, the event was a huge success. The Community Christmas Party is set to take place on Saturday 10th December. Looking forward to sharing an update on that event when it happens!
- : Maria D'Souza, Bank of I.D.E.A.S.