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The 2021 Social Planning Workshops for City of Canterbury Bankstown were held a bit different to previous years. Due to COVID-10 restrictions, a series of fourteen Social Planning workshops were offered face-to-face and online. These workshops were held over three weeks at various locations across Canterbury Bankstown, in order to bring together local community service organisations to meet, network and identify issues that had presented over the past year and to discuss options and possible strategies that may be implemented in order to address them. A total of 167 people participated over the three weeks.
Each session commenced with an Acknowledgment to Country. Then followed with a video address from the Mayor, Khal Asfour who spoke about what a year the past 12months have been, recognising the challenges and unexpected issues organisations faced due to COVID-19. As well as how important these workshops are to gather information from local organisations, giving his thanks for their participation and valuable input. The information collected not only helps assist in forming priorities for Council's Community Grants and Event Sponsorship Program, but also helps shape Council's policy, strategy and objectives to ensure our City continues to deliver positive outcomes to the community.
From there, each workshop consisted of break out sessions where there was opportunity for discussions about current issues and opportunities. Participants were thanked for their involvement and advised that at the end of all 14 sessions, a link to complete an online evaluation of the program would be sent, as we seek to enhance the process in future years.
There were 61 Evaluations received, with 97% people strongly agreeing or agreeing that attending Social Planning achieved their purpose of attending.
The below links provide a snapshot of the workshop discussions:
Our social planning process at Council consists of three related activities:
This includes the production of Demographic and Social Profiles and the regular provision of reports and information on emerging needs and opportunities.
Our social policy documents outline our objectives and broad strategies in each of the following policy areas: Aged, Youth, Disability, Multiculturalism and Community Development. The Branch also reports to Council on emerging issues and drafts policy advice on specific matters of concern to the community and Council. New policy areas are also developed in emerging areas like community protection and community information.
Strategic plans are developed and implemented in consultation with Community Reference groups to enhance program performance and ensure the relevance of strategies to the community. Community Development staff also support community and corporate programs which impact on our social policy objectives, for example Community management, the Community Grants and Event Sponsorship Program and social impact assessment.