Future of Communities: Power to the People Conference, Melbourne, 2015

Another year, another fabulous Conference with participants and presenters from all over the world sharing a wealth of knowledge in the field of community building.

This year, our keynote speaker was Cormac Russell of Nurture Development in the UK. Cormac is one the world’s best in terms of demystifying and sharing what is at the heart of asset based community development. Other special guest speakers included Rob Hunt, former Managing Director of the Bendigo Bank, Andrew Leigh, Federal Opposition Spokesperson on Treasury Matters and Author of ‘Disconnected – The Need to Build Social Capital’ and Tom O’Toole, founder of the Beechworth Bakery, Australia’s best example of rural business success. We also had a great selection of community builders, entrepreneurs and place-makers running workshops and Q & A panels as well as cartoonist Simon Kneebone graphically recording key themes and insights. Thanks to all participants for their enthusiastic contributions which made for a really great atmosphere and learning experience.

Below is a list of presentations available for download:

Future of Communities 2015 Introduction

By Peter Kenyon, Bank of I.D.E.A.S.

Cormac Russell, Nurture Development

Keynote Presentation Download

Revitalising Communities, Street by Street

Shani Graham, Ecoburbia

Q & A Panel: “Saving Small Towns from Fading Away

Jan Smith, Girgarre, Victoria, Max Kau, Talbot Action, Victoria, Greg Hadlow, Kulin Shire, Western Australia, Katie Bowen, Wairoa District, New Zealand.

Q & A Panel: “Place-making: Reclaiming the Street

Shani Graham, Ecoburbia: Take a street and build a community, Western Australia, Gilbert Rochecouste, Village Well, Victoria, Lucinda Hartley, Co-Design, Victoria, Lachy Ritchie, Sprout Ventures, Western Australia

Q & A Panel: “Integrating Community Input into Council Planning

Slides from Lenny Jenner and Edith Farrell

Q & A Panel: Social Enterprise – new way forward for community

Slides from Russell Deal


Clifford Eberly, Wyndham City Council, Jan Bruce, Casserole Club, Maria D’Souza, All We Need Is Right Here, David Pyke, Meandering


This graphic above really captures the main themes of the Conference.  Thanks to Craig Midgley from Moyne Shire Council for this great piece.