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Summit Reflections

On the 8th of June, we hosted the 2023 Community Leadership Summit alongside Network West at the beautiful Newport Substation.

The Summit was the final event for the ‘Lead the way’ project, funded by the Westgate Neighbourhood Fund, that supported passionate community members to make a difference in their own communities.

Twenty-two ‘Community Connectors’ were part of a broader 169 community members engaged throughout the duration of this powerful initiative.

The Summit showcased a panel of these community leaders who stepped up to present their own projects and inform the attendees of how they could assist such community initiatives moving forward, an active reminder that the work doesn’t stop once the project wraps up and that there are always ways to keep moving and educating ourselves and others around community-led ideas and action.

This beautiful event wouldn’t have been possible without the extraordinary team of talented individuals and local businesses. The eco-floristry of Lilac and the Cat, the incredible spread from Flavours of Syria, the gift bags that were lovingly sewn by the African Women’s Sewing Group in Footscray, and the Gen-Zine representatives who generously shared their gender equity publication.

We were lucky enough to have members from all three levels of government represented in the audience that night, and we hope events like these exemplify the passion, energy and life our communities are willing to invest in building stronger networks with their neighbours, local businesses and government representatives.

The Summit was a celebration of community, by community and a provocation for leaders in positions of influence to listen, connect, support and value the strengths of community and participatory approach to democracy.

Photography by Spase Veljanovski

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