Victorian Regional Community Leadership Programs Secretariat (VRCLP)

The Victorian Regional Community Leadership Programs Secretariat (VRCLP) was established with support from Victorian State Government in 2012 to support the Regional Community Leadership Programs (RCLP). VRCLP was established as an Incorporated Association in June 2013. Their vision is to support the development of Victoria’s Community Leaders and their mission is to develop leaders capable of positively impacting their communities.


Asset Based Community Development Institute  (Jody Kretzmann)   

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD), established in 1995 by the Community Development Program at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research, is built upon three decades of community development research by John Kretzmann and John L. McKnight. The ABCD Institute spreads its findings on capacity-building community development in two ways: (1) through extensive and substantial interactions with community builders, and (2) by producing practical resources and tools for community builders to identify, nurture, and mobilize neighborhood assets. Kretzmann & McKnight are co-authors of the very popular ‘Building Communities from the Inside Out’.


Imagine Chicago (Bliss Browne)    

Imagine Chicago is a non-profit organisation that helps people develop their imagination as city creators. It offers everyone, especially young people, the opportunity to invest themselves in the city’s future. Imagine Chicago works in partnership with individuals and local organisations – schools, museums, churches, businesses, and community groups. Together, they design and implement innovative civic projects that build meaningful connections across generations and cultures and have lasting institutional and community impact. Imagine Chicago encourages individuals and organisations to focus constructively on their capacities and opportunities to make a difference as they: understand what is; imagine what can be, and create what will be.


Our Community    

Through the Our Community Centres of Excellence, they provide the one-stop-gateway for practical resources, support and linkages between community networks and the general public, business and government – building capacity to strengthen the community in every Australian State and Territory.


Neighbour Power

This is the website of Jim Diers – an international champion of Asset Based Community Development. Jim Diers has a passion for getting people engaged with their communities and in the decisions that affect their lives. Since moving to Seattle in 1976, he put that passion to work for a direct-action neighborhood association, a community development corporation, a community foundation, and the nation’s largest health care cooperative. He was appointed the first director of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods in 1988 where he served under three mayors over the next 14 years. Currently, Jim teaches courses in community organizing and development at the University of Washington and serves on the faculty of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. He travels internationally to deliver speeches, present workshops, and provide technical assistance to community associations, non-profit organizations, and government.


Nurture Development

This is the website of Cormac Russell – an international champion of Asset Based Community Development. Nurture Development is the only strategic partner of the ABCD Institute, in Europe. Their combination of thought leadership, research expertise and extensive experience in the practical implementation of ABCD, is unrivalled. Nurture Development was established by Cormac Russell in 1996 to redefine how people think about and act together to effect social change. They always work in ways that are citizen-led, relationship centred, place based and that start with the strengths of local people.


Bang the Table

Bang the Table are community engagement specialists that offer two digital citizen engagement software solutions to government, public sector and private enterprise clients. This website is also the hub for sharing trends, tips, and stories about best practice community engagement. If you have a question, there is a very good chance that other people have been thinking about the same things.

Rural & Small Town Development

Action for Market Towns (UK)    

Action for Market Towns is the national membership organisation dedicated to: promote the vitality and viability of small towns, support and assist small towns in tackling the challenges they face and provide a national focus for action on issues affecting small towns


Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) (Canada)   

The Rural Ontario Institute develops leaders, initiates dialogue, supports collaboration and promotes action on issues and opportunities facing rural Ontario.


The Association of Town Centre Management    

Town Centre Management is a co-ordinated pro-active initiative designed to ensure that town and city centres are desirable and attractive places.  In nearly all instances the initiative is a partnership between the public and private sectors and brings together a wide-range of key interests. Today there are more than 500 towns and cities in the UK that have some form of management initiative. As locally developed initiatives working across centres of different scale, they are naturally varied in terms of their remit and activities. What they have in common is their increasing effectiveness in promoting the vitality and viability of a centre and maintaining its key role as the heart of its community.


The Small Town Renewal Kit

This publication by Peter Kenyon and Alan Black provides some a very useful overview of successful small town revitalization and case studies to illustrate. Click here to download.

Local Economic Development

Business Retention + Expansion International (BREI)

Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) is a non profit professional association of economic development professionals who are working for the advancement of business retention and expansion as an economic development strategy for communities.

The BR+ E program is a service provided by the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. Contact us for more details.


Centre for Innovative & Entrepreneurial Leadership (Canada)    

CIEL assists in creating vibrant, vital communities – CIEL does this by using unique assessments and community processes to bring communities to action. They develop innovative tools and services to help communities, organizations, and individuals become more dynamic and entrepreneurial and to foster strong, responsive


The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (USA)    

The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship helps community leaders build a prosperous future by supporting and empowering business, social and civic entrepreneurs. The Center’s mission is to be the leading national resource for rural communities and regions interested in building more sustainable economic development frameworks around entrepreneurship.


Mainstreet Australia

Mainstreet Australia is a highly respected and energetic association, providing valuable networking, education, support and strategic direction for all stakeholders, to promote and ensure that Community Business Centres remain the beating heart of our communities. Mainstreet Australia organises and runs information seminars, workshops, networking events, and other forums relating to strip shopping and the issues faced by traditional centres. Mainstreet Australia also has a key role in coordinating the popular MainStreet Conference that is held in Melbourne and supports interstate bodies to host the MainStreet Conference in their state.


Pop Union

Pop Union is the destination for all things pop up. Pop Union connects people with everything they need to pop up successfully. They also design, deliver and manage pop ups on behalf of clients. Through their platforms and services, Pop Union are streamlining the current pop up movement to transform it from a ‘trend’ to a ‘trade’ so our users and clients can embrace the power of pop up for their properties, businesses, brands, shopping centres or communities. Pop Union also has an online directory for all things pop up and an industry trademark – The Pop Dot. It has been created to help anyone easily recognise, activate and promote pop ups and pop up opportunities.


The Stutterheim Development Foundation

One of the great global examples of LED is the rural community of Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It provided one of the inspirational stories of community and economic transformation in the new South Afica. To learn more of its story and lessons, click:


Retail Development

Just About Retail (John Stanley Associates)    

For over 25 years John Stanley has been consulting to retailers, growing businesses and profits, as well as inspiring and motivating retail teams to achieve excellence in their daily lives. John has authored several industry specific books, with his retail management book, Just About Everything a Retail Manager Needs to Know, a best


Terrific Trading (Jurek Leon)    

Jurek Leon is a speaker, author, trainer and consultant. He presents courses and addresses seminars and conferences on marketing, motivation, selling and customer service.

In over 15 years as a consultant and trainer, Jurek has assisted clients in a diverse range of businesses in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and England.


Youth Development

MoHow (Michael O’Meara)  

Michael O’Meara is a youth,community and business development facilitator. Michael, through his company MOHOW, provides tools, resources and facilitation within a framework that focuses on positive outcomes and assets rather than problems.
Contact details: (M) 0418 505 519 (E)


Kamel Nabulsi    

Contact details:



r.u.MAD? stands for ‘Are You Making A Difference?’ and was developed by the Education Foundation (Melbourne). The Bank of I.D.E.A.S. is embracing the r.u.MAD? concept in its own community of Kalamunda W.A. and as a key C.R.E.A.T.E. Initiative resource.

r.u. MAD? is an innovative learning framework that allows students to develop a project in response to their aspirations and concerns about their community or the wider world. Following the steps – discussion, research, action and evaluation – students come up with ideas and implement their project. It allows schools to deliver on the Essential Learning in a way that is very powerful for students.


The National Youth Agency (UK)      

The NYA aims to advance youth work to promote young people’s personal and social development, and their voice, influence and place in society.



YouthGAS is a leading Australian (and world!) networking and communication service focused on young people and communities.


Lead On      

Lead On Australia is a community enhancement model (or community enterprise structure) designed to enable young people to engage and become involved in real life business and community activities in communities across


The Australian Government’s National Youth Site


National Youth Week (Australia)

National Youth Week (NYW) is the largest annual celebration of young people in Australia. Thousands of young people aged 12-25 from across Australia get involved in NYW each year. Each year has a different theme.


Australian Clearing House for Youth Studies (ACYS)     

ACYS is a not-for-profit organisation that receives funding from the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). For over 20 years ACYS has been collecting, synthesising and disseminating information about youth research, policy and practice to a multidisciplinary audience. ACYS products include a quarterly peer-reviewed journal, Youth Studies Australia; a monthly newsletter, Youth Field Xpress; and a website:


Resilient Youth Australia

Since January 2013, Resilient Youth Australia has surveyed 38,761 students (18372 females and 20389 males) in Years 3 to 12, in over 200 government and independent schools, across Australia. Resilient Youth Australia collects highly relevant and valuable, strategic and validated information on the psycho-social resources that promote resilience during the adolescent years. Visit the website to access tools and information related to building resilience in young people.



Volunteering Australia

Volunteering Australia is the National peak body for volunteering working to advance volunteering in the Australian community.


Go Volunteer (Australia)

Go Volunteer is a non-profit initiative designed to make volunteering easier. Go Volunteer brings Volunteers & VolunteeringOrganisations Together.


Community Service Volunteers (UK)        

CSV involves people in high quality volunteering and learning opportunities that tackle real need and enrich


Online Tools for Community Engagement


Dear City

Dear City is a simple concept allowing a citizen to leave (anonymous) messages to the city they live in. This web-based framework creates a social cluster of opinions that express the thoughts of the people on the street. Dear City becomes a documentation of contemporary life and its ups and downs. Dear City was created by those who believe change is achieved through all levels of communication. The original platform was designed for Copenhagen in 2009 and expanded to the rest of the world in 2013.


TownHall Social

TownHall Social allows people to collaborate on decisions in an easy, simple and fun way. This online tool makes surveying easy and approaches it in a fresh way For any local government, community group or government agency interested in finding a simple, inexpensive and multi functional social media tool for engaging community opinion and ideas, look at TownHall Social.


Plan Big

Plan Big is an online community planning tool developed by Bendigo Bank.  It allows community members to plan a community project online through discussions and pledges of resources, support and funds.



This website will lead you to a range of software tools for community engagement that allow communities to share stories, give feedback and analyse responses. EngagementHQ, is a platform for deep level online community engagement and Budget Allocator, is a participatory budgeting solution.



An excellent crowd funding site, Pozible provides the platform for project creators to present their ideas to a connected audience, worldwide. If people love what you’re creating, they can support it by pledging money. In return, project creators offer rewards matched to the level of funding commitment. Pozible can also be a gateway for discovering and supporting inspirational projects and thinkers directly. By becoming actively involved in bringing more attention to bold new ideas, art, products and the talented people who conceive them, project supporters become a vital part of a true creative community.


Heritage Development

Heritage Futures International (New Zealand)    

Heritage Futures International specializes in bringing local people together and developing the heritage resources in a particular place to meet the needs of that place. The focus is on working with ‘bottom-up’ development rather than ‘top-down’, with the goal being improved incomes and services, an increase in the number and quality of jobs and an enhanced quality of life.

Contact details: David Wilson (e)  


Art Deco Society Inc    

Art Deco Society Inc. (ADS) is an incorporated not-for-profit cultural organisation, operating in Victoria and throughout Australia. It is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of aspects of the Art Deco era such as architecture, landscaping, furniture, industrial design, fashion, graphics, art, jewellery, entertainment and transport. A major objective is to raise the awareness in the community of the importance of Twentieth Century buildings.

Contact details: Robin Grow (e)