Smith Street Community Plan – Framework for Action In 2009, the Yarra City Council conducted an extensive community engagement project to develop a ‘vision’ and ‘framework for action’ for the future of Smith Street. Participants included representatives from Aboriginal organisations, the broader Aboriginal community including the Parkies, community agencies and organisations, State and Federal Government, Victoria Police, local businesses and the local community. The result, after much consultation, creative conflict and debate, is the Smith Street Community Plan – Framework for Action (the Plan). The Plan will guide Yarra City Council and its many partners in working towards the vision developed during the project. The Plan is cognisant of the Smith Street Structure Planning process and shares many of the same aspirations. Vision The following Vision has been developed from the work of the participants in the Smith Street Community Engagement Project over a number of consultations and engagement activities. The Smith Street of 2030 will: • value and protect the diversity of the street: its Indigenous and multicultural people, its different uses, its various services and facilities, its heritage and multiple, concurrent histories; • engage people in a wide range of different cultural and artistic expressions that help to celebrate the street and its people, and spark imagination, understanding and connection to the area; • embody a mix of “local, eclectic, welcoming and inclusive” street life, and be a good place to live, visit and do business, is safe and feels safe and is attractive and well cared for; • have updated facilities, including a community cultural centre, that are vibrant, relevant and beautiful, and respond to the needs of groups that have been under- serviced in the past and the Indigenous community in particular; • have better health and wellbeing outcomes for all people in the street and provide health-giving environments, health-giving opportunities for work and leisure, and outreach services that support good health and wellbeing; • value and protect the natural environment and endeavour to introduce more green and natural features to the area, and promote conservation behaviours; • have a vibrant and diverse economic environment with suitable employment and training opportunities available to local residents. Local enterprise, in 2030, will be supported and fostered by government and the community; and • offer a place where community members can actively participate in public life and decision making, and work constructively and creatively with their Council as well as other partner agencies and departments on a shared plan for the community. Themes - Smith Street Community Plan The key themes for the community as developed through the engagement project in 2009 are represented as follows: Theme One Community Belonging & Strengthening: celebrating the different peoples and experiences represented in and around Smith Street, working in ways that will not exclude people, building resilience amongst the most marginalised community members, honouring people’s contributions to participatory and consultative processes: we will respect and advance a sense of ‘belonging’ that includes: • connection • inclusion • a sense of family/history/self/place • comfort • identity • a place where you can be yourself; we want to help people find common meaning; we will promote a love for the name Smith Street and what it means; we will work to foster deeper understanding of, and awareness of, Aboriginal culture; we will avoid exclusion of low income community members and retain businesses that can cater for all; and we will value people knowing each other, awareness, embracing and understanding differences. Theme Two Health and Wellbeing: protecting the health of chronic drinkers, addressing people’s needs in health and housing, and developing a health-giving environment in Smith Street: we want to ensure that the Smith Street environs will protect and support health and wellbeing; we want a harm minimisation approach to alcohol and drug use in Smith Street; we do and will acknowledge that there are other health issues aside from those that are drinking-related; we will seek to answer the broad questions of “whose health?”; we will advocate a perspective on health that is holistic -- physical, social, emotional, environmental; we want more comprehensive alcohol and drug outreach services; and we want information dissemination as a critical means to facilitate/empower through knowledge. Theme Three Sustainability: greening the street, making it and the community more environmentally sustainable, protecting the social fabric of the area and ensuring that it doesn’t become impossible for a range of people to live in the area, and being a place people can afford to do business: we will seek to address, within our influence, the concerns about gentrification and the pressure on lower income residents; we will advocate to minimise the impacts of traffic and congestion; we will work to include more green space and green features in Smith Street; and we will seek to avoid exclusion of low income community members and retain businesses that can cater for all. Theme Four Arts and Culture: promoting local arts, creating celebrations for, and in, the street and for, and with, the communities here, installing art works, celebrating and sharing the cultural make-up of the community, providing opportunities for cross-cultural education, fun and sharing: we will advocate for public art (multicultural); we will seek to celebrate Indigenous culture with an annual festival (e.g. ‘be careful where you put your feet ‘cause under the pavement, Koori history sleeps’); we will strive to help create a sense of place through activities that celebrate local identities across all cultures; and we will embrace local and outsider contribution and participation in the arts and culture activities. Theme Five Image and Amenity: making the street a more attractive place to visit, do business and gather, cleaning up the physical environs of the street and repairing damage in a timely way, and projecting a positive image whilst maintaining the unique character of Smith Street: celebrate the histories of Smith Street – people, places and memories are all a part of ‘heritage’; beautify the street (e.g. by removal of graffiti/tags and other cleaning); reflect the calm, comfort, heritage of the street and protect from further “up-grade”; address safety via image, amenity and ‘ownership’ of the street; reflect the history of migration and the multicultural profile; and support people getting around and navigating the street (e.g. with signs and directions and information). How we will work together In addition to the themes that emerged from the community engagement process there were also clear views on how to work together to create the changes envisioned. Holistic View: taking a coordinated and holistic view to providing services in ways that are: creative; synergistic and efficient; and ‘lateral’ in their application with partnering across sectors and between agencies. This is an over-arching theme that should influence others to: work as a coalition to improve service coordination; work with conflict and the clash between the positive and negative aspects of the street, acknowledging it rather than denying it exists; explore public/private partnerships to promote employment opportunities and vocational training; and take advantage of synergies (e.g. around Charcoal Lane and MAYSAR in Gertrude Street and the partnerships that support the Billabong BBQ and the outreach services to the Parkies). Smith Street Community Plan – Framework for Action The Framework for Action that follows takes the work of the Smith Street Community Engagement Project, as well as the views and work developed collaboratively by the participants and the consultant, to determine what can be achieved, with what resources and by which agency/partner. Not all of the content of the vision is within the scope of Council’s powers or resources, e.g. the business community will need to partner and take a lead in some of the economic aspirations, and the State and potentially Federal Governments will need to continue to fund appropriate services. Within these practical constraints however, there are a multitude of opportunities and the action plan aims to capture these so they can be negotiated (with the nominated players) in order to achieve the desired outcomes. The actions table uses the following symbols: champion/s timing $ funding sources connection to other policy/programming The table arranges actions into themes, however, many actions run across multiple themes. For practical purposes these are not all notated, but the full consultants report makes these connections in detail. YCC = Yarra City Council DHS = Department of Health and/or Dept Human Services Theme: Health and Wellbeing Success will look Who, How, like… When? Work collectively to realise the the establishment of the MAYSAR, YASN, vision of a Community Cultural cultural centre in the services, YCC, Centre, based initially at MAYSAR MAYSAR facility with (Community appropriate re-design work Planning and and reflecting the following completed to facilitate new Advocacy, priorities: uses; Planning, Economic secure funding for Development). Aboriginal governed; operational and program built on community development $ Aboriginal Affairs costs; principles; Victoria funds the achieving the mandate of: creating Indigenous employment; architectural “providing and promoting central point for community to access design work and physical, social, emotional services and activities; and refurbishment. and spiritual well-being of versatile spaces that can be flexible and Victorian State Aboriginal women, men, meet different needs (as detailed in the Government. youth & children of the Addendum in some detail – for example a Partnership Melbourne metro region”; learning centre, culture-reviving activities, funding from COY MOUs for outreach services space for children, referral/access to Community Grants among relevant local accommodation and health services, etc; for programming? services (YASN to be a mechanism for this?); $ DHS continue expanded enterprise funding outreach opportunities for the program. Aboriginal community; expanded arts and culture Yarra Municipal opportunity for the Public Health Plan Aboriginal and non- (MPHP) Aboriginal community to be NJC and YCC to involved in; and lead advocacy and improved cross-cultural negotiation with understanding and state govt for more knowledge. coordinated sector. NOW onward (ongoing over 5 years). Auspice a ‘shop local’ campaign. better retention of Smith YCC, Street traders due to Traders/BOSS expanded retail $ Community opportunities; Enterprise funding? cohesive ‘branding’ along the street; and SOON (1-2 expanded enterprise years) opportunities. Expand the shop local activity with affordable, fresh food to YCC, NYCH, the establishment, longer term, of a promote good health in MAYSAR, central and permanent Smith Street; Traders/BOSS, better retention of Smith Friends of the food/arts/Koori market that is: Street traders due to Earth, Cultivating expanded retail Community co-run by the community if possible; opportunities; sheltered and accessible; creative partnerships $ Community visible and well promoted; and between local agencies and Enterprise funding? affordable. local traders with in-kind in kind, grants supports; link to Office of Housing and Yarra Municipal Cultivating Community to Public Health Plan extend market gardens to (MPHP) promote fresh food Theme: Health and Wellbeing Success will look Who, How, like… When? production and explore local NYCH, MAYSAR, enterprise options; and Office of Housing, expand social enterprise Cultivating opportunities. Community Both now and Later (2-5 years) Develop comprehensive information people needing help, are YASN as a resources: referred to the right place coordinating (in a crisis and otherwise); mechanism, YCC fridge magnet guide to services for expanded network of (Community use by business, community; ‘shopfront presences’ (e.g. Planning and services booklet; the visitor centre, Advocacy, bi-annual forum; Collingwood Community Planning, Economic shopfront presence (e.g. MAYSAR); Information Service, etc); Development), business pack with fact sheets and and NYCH, info; information updated Homeground, community handbook; regularly (e.g. via the bi- VAHS service seeker website. annual forum). $ Funding partnership NJC in kind, YCC Yarra Municipal Public Health Plan (MPHP),Economic Development Strategy NOW ONWARD (ongoing development over 5 years) Local Law 8 protect vulnerable people $ NJC, YCC, through MOU with Police Victoria Police Post project note: using other successful local Funding government models as partnership and in- The City of Yarra introduced LL8 in appropriate; kind December 2009 and it will be activated 1 continue Cultural Awareness Jan 2010. Council is working to develop Training for Police and Victoria Police, an effective way to monitor the impacts examine how local Aboriginal YASN as a of the law including an independent people can be engaged in coordinating evaluation. the delivery; mechanism, YCC evaluate the impacts of LL8 (Community on vulnerable community Planning and members. Advocacy, Planning, Economic Development) Yarra Municipal Public Health Plan (MPHP), Economic Development Strategy Theme: Image, Amenity and Success will look Who, How, Sustainability like… When? Make streetscape and amenity a streetscape that is YCC (Planning improvements to improve the welcoming, consistent, and Economic environment of Smith Street. attractive, sheltering, Development) comfortable, safe and well $ Funds already maintained; committed via: Street trees planting and Smith Street water sensitive urban Structure Plan and design projects for the Tourism Strategy. area; and commitment of capital Smith Street works funding to Structure Plan and implementing the Smith Municipal Strategic Street Structure Plan Statement (MSS), Yarra Tourism Strategy guide the work. NOW and ONWARD (ongoing over 5 years) Establish a “Visitor Centre” (real or a sense of welcome for YCC (Planning virtual) that can play multiple roles, visitors; and Economic including: a visible and easy to find Development) ‘one stop shop’ for $ Funded via the information; engage visitors in activities; Tourism Strategy creative partnerships be a launching point for local tours and between local agencies Yarra Tourism stories; and local traders with in- Strategy provide information; and kind supports referrals. (information, etc.) and consider role of CCIC in LATER (3-5 yrs) provision of information to this community, (NB some state funding is from AAV) through the upcoming evaluation project. Build heritage/local story ‘signifiers’ improved understanding YCC (Community into the footpaths as part of a walking of local cultures, heritage Planning and tour (e.g. may be permanent or and histories; and Advocacy, Planning) visually interesting and temporary art works). $ Structure Plan? unusual street art. Grants? Capital Works program LATER (3-5 years) Develop a symbolic reference to the improved understanding YCC (Community multicultural community and their of local cultures, heritage Planning and contribution to Smith Street through and histories; and Advocacy), visually interesting and Neighbourhood public art. unusual street art. Renewal, Community members $ ? Grants, Capital Works Program SOON (1-3 yrs) Theme: Community Belonging Success will look Who, How, and Arts and Culture like… When? Establish a mentoring/welcome new people in the MAYSAR and program as part of the community community are made YCC (Community cultural centre operations. welcome and are given Planning & support settling in to the Advocacy) plus area; other agencies, people needing help are able Community to access peer support and mentors. will be referred to the right $ Community place (in a crisis and Enterprise funding? otherwise; and consider role of CCIC in this SOON (1-3 community. years) Create a series of digital Indigenous multimedia arts product. MAYSAR, ACES stories and extend the Plaques. improved understanding of and YCC local Indigenous culture, (Community heritage and stories; Planning and Preserving the historical Advocacy), knowledge and memories of Community Elders by combining members traditional oral storytelling $ NJC, COY with modern digital forms. Up-skilling Indigenous Youth SOON(1-3 yrs) in photography, filmmaking, editing and other digital storytelling techniques. Stage a Smith Street festival over a improved understanding of YCC(Community week that would have: local cultures, heritage and Planning and histories; Advocacy), BOSS traders having shopfront displays and visually interesting and and Gertrude activities; unusual street art; and Traders’ exhibit (e.g. photos, art); celebration and promotion of Association, street demonstrations; local culture, shopping, Agencies (MAYSAR, link to the City of Darebin Koori community, etc. etc), Arts Victoria, Market?; Community a smoking ceremony; members, Victoria a walking tour; Police fun consultative activity; $ Arts Victoria? flags and banners; and Community performance art and music. Grants? VicHealth grants? SOON (1-3 years Develop a symbolic reference to the As above in the Image and As above in the multicultural community and their Amenity theme Image and contribution to Smith Street. Amenity theme Theme: Holistic Approach Success will look Who, How, like… When? Develop an on-going Community improved understanding of YCC Planning Group for Smith Street that local aspirations, values and (Community would play a role in: needs for a wider range of Planning and community members; Advocacy) to expanded opportunities for facilitate initially liaison and accountability between skill development and (with eventual different sectors interested in the enterprise (as researchers / handover to future of Smith Street (community, facilitators) opportunities for community) ATSI organisations, Council, the Smith Street business, agencies, investors); $ In kind community; mediating complex “public interest” contributions from improved cross-sectoral and issues in non-adversarial, problem- partners cross-cultural understanding solving oriented ways; and and knowledge; and The on-going reviewing and updating the Smith expanded range of development and Street Community Plan periodically community engagement and monitoring of this using community facilitators. community decision sharing Plan with links to opportunities for the Smith Smith Street Street community to be Structure Plan and involved in. Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) and the Yarra Municipal Public Health Plan (MPHP) SOON (1-3 years) Thanks to project participants and reference group members: Lead consultant Andrea Cook and the team of facilitators; Aboriginal Elders; Councillors of the City of Yarra; Agency and Organisation representatives; The Yarra Aboriginal Support Network; The Aboriginal Advisory Group; Reference group members; State and Federal Government representatives from FaHCSIA, DHS, NJC, DPCD, AAV and local members for Parliament; Victoria Police; Business on Smith Street representatives; Residents and other community participants; The Parkies; and special thanks to: Denise Lovett, who sadly passed away in August 2009 and Lorina Lovett, who has picked up the mantle of her mother’s leadership.
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