Power to the People: Building Citizen Driven Communities, Canberra 2019


This Conference  brought together people from across Australia who share a personal or professional passion for building citizen driven communities to learn how to–

  • discover the power of social capital to help bring about positive economic, social and environmental change within our communities;
  • discover the power of local, ‘bottom up’ and asset based approaches to strengthen community;
  • discover the innovative ways in which other communities are striving to create that sense of belonging and connection that has been steadily eroded by globalisation and technology;
  • discover how to draw on the unique wisdom, passions, skills and interests of residents to activate citizenship in creating healthy communities;
  • explore the institutions and structures which both impede and enhance citizen driven efforts;
  • explore a range of tools and methodologies that will inspire and empower people to believe, behave and act like citizens in control of their community and their destiny;
  • discover like-minded people with whom to network with and create a lasting legacy of peer-to-peer learning.

The Nation’s capital provided the ideal setting for a National Community Engagement Conference. Effective community engagement and active citizenship are the cornerstones for achieving social change. For those of us who believe in the power of community, this was a chance to capitalise on the ultimate political setting. An opportunity to shine a light on the importance of building citizen driven communities for policy makers who create the legislation and political environment that strongly influences the ability of Australian communities to tackle social challenges at the local level.

Videos of Presentations

Communities@Work, Canberra’s largest not-for-profit community organisation, partnered with the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. to deliver the ‘Power to the People’ conference in Canberra in 2019. We thank them for their generosity in funding the development of a series of ‘Power to the People’ Conference videos that capture so well the passion, commitment and knowledge of the Conference speakers to building citizen-driven communities with an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach.

View Power to the People Conference videos here :


Keynote Presentations

Introduction to Conference

Peter Kenyon, Bank of I.D.E.A.S. & Lee Maiden, Communities at Work

ABCD Power to the People Handout

Conference Handout

ABCD Masterclass

Peter Kenyon: Bank of I.D.E.A.S.

How To Be A Citizen Who Makes Change Happen

By David Engwicht: Creative Communities International

Call it a Trial: The Power of Prototyping

David Engwicht: Creative Communities International

Ordering from the Kid's Menu

By Rhys Williiams: Mayor of Mandurah, W.A.

Community Building Innovations Emanating out of Disasters

Vicki Buck: former Mayor of Christchurch N.Z.

Connect! Don't Collect!: The Art of Community Mapping

Dee Brooks: Jeder Institute

Principles of Social Inclusion

By Denver D'Cruz: Inclusion Solutions

Inspiring Community Building Stories from New Zealand

By Emma Sherie: CommuniTea and Robyn Hickman: South Alive

Canberra's A Close Knit Community

Molly Rhodin: Down to Earth Practical Solutions

The Story of Scullen

Bill Caddy: Belconnen Community Service

Creating a Connected Neighbourhoods Movement across Australia

By Irene Opper: Neighbourhood Connect

Community Development Starts Inside the Organisation

Nick Maisey: Befriend

From Ownership to Custodianship of the Commons

Emma-Kate Ross & Robert Pekin: Food Connect

Community Minded Kids Workshop

Zizi Charida: Community Minds

Playful ABCD Gamification

By Rev. Will Nicholas: Geelong Uniting Church

Befriend Profile Facilitation Guide


Befriend Profile