What is a community? Are we involved in a community? Yes, we are, we used to be involved in a school community, we are involved in work communities, neighbourhood communities, church and sporting communities, and the list can go on forever!
A community is a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. It is firstly broken up into the demographic and the geographic. The geographic is more of the region category, while the demographic is more of the people, for example, age and gender.
I guess the way we look at things in todays society is by breaking it up into community groups and the opinion leaders. We look at the community groups, for example there’s cultural, business, social and religious groups and then the other side where we automatically think of opinion leaders as ethnic leaders, bankers and educators.
For example, when I first started University this year, I looked at the demographic side of things, as in I automatically spoke to people who were girls and looked in a similar age group range to me.
Fae shared with us information about a really amazing disability not for profit organisation she used to work for called Minda. There plan is to identify the public (families, volunteers, association members) and the opinion leaders chief executive) and get them involved in the campaign.
Ways, in which people can help to get involved or really find out about not only Minda but also other organisations like it, is by obviously having some part of participation in it and getting involved. By making sure they are aware of it from the company from awareness raising strategies’ such as newspaper advertisements, social media, word of mouth and even talk back radio.
Minda got an agreement of their plans last year which is fantastic for the organisation. Before the plan got approved there was a lot of people having their opinion on why they didn’t like the idea. What Minda have to do and show the public was that they’re providing this plan not only for people will disabilities but a mix of how the community will benefit from it. For example, once they have their plans built, the community can enjoy it by combining lifestyles. The plan will offer things like a public leisure centre and the wetlands. When you want to get your ideas out into the public, it is all about identifying the right people and saying the right things.
In out tutorial we looked at the issue of the eastern suburbs building a not-for-profit organisation, which supports homeless people providing accommodation, shelter, and counselling services.
Obviously, people would see that as a HUGE issue, firstly, having a school near by and just thinking about how stereotypical people would be about homeless people, and be very frightened by them. Also, the local community and neighbourhood and parents would probably all have an issue with it. I guess, there are so many issues and people who would be affected by it and there would be soooooooo many people who would come up with ideas to not let the plans go through. I think we need to see it as appositive and actually helping people who aren’t as fortunate as us to even have food or a roof under them. The best idea would be the school thinking of it positively and having people talk to them and just really helping out as a school community, who then the students could tell their parents as a community who might think differently of it as well.
Being a school leader, I was part of the student council community and we worked along side with the Social Justice Group. We did a Winter Sleep Out where we tried to involve as many students as possible from Year 6-12. The event was to raise money and awareness of how many homeless people they are, and in doing that it was our duty to sleep in school grounds outside in cardboard boxes for the night. We all really connected as a school community talking about the issue of people being homeless and how to be aware of it and the ways of helping them even if it is in the littlest of form. We had soup for the night and it was really amazing to see how many younger students got involved and how their parents helped out by bringing packets of spaghetti and canned food to donate to homeless people.