The local social movement we can all get behind

Being part of an engaged, connected community gives us an important sense of belonging, provides support and safety,, and contributes to our well-being. And while we all know this, many of us lead busy lives or are isolated, and that sense of community can fall by the wayside.

That’s why the Town Team Movement is an active social movement we can all get behind. It enables local communities and governments to connect, organize and act to regenerate their neighborhoods’ fabric and create better places.

And the best part? Anyone can start a Town Team!

The Narembeen Town Team

Narembeen is a close-knit community town in the heart of the Wheatbelt. When locals noticed areas of the city that needed some TLC, the ladies decided to act. In 2021, five local Narembeen ladies formed the Narembeen Town Team to make positive changes in their community.

Narembeen Community Resource Centre Manager and Town Team member Vanessa Wittstock said the team spent five months planning before implementing the community improvements.

“It doesn’t take much to get a group of people together to help make a positive change and difference in your community,” Vanessa said.

social movement

“We found a few big projects that we knew we could do something about it, instead of us looking at it and saying, ‘that’s someone else’s problem’.”

They hoped that actively trying to change and engage the community would cause a ripple effect and make more people proud of their town.

The Town Team sought to unite the Narembeen community and surrounding regional towns by bringing Main Street to life with a lively street festival. A roaring success, the festival saw more than 250 locals enjoy many activities, from bouncy castles, obstacle courses, face painting, live entertainment, local food vendors, and a “Paint Storm”.

“It’s a really good way to bring everyone together and showcase what we are about,” Vanessa said.

Camera IconThe Narembeen street festival. Credit: Supplied.

In the lead-up to the main event, the team had a few projects up their sleeves.

“We completed the Barlow store renovation, an old shop on the main street that was full of an old newspaper; it was one of the things that many community members complained about,” Narembeen Town Team member Hannah Bald said.

As a farming community, they decided it would be important to visually educate any tourists traveling through their homehomeshe second project was the Churchill Street mural,”

“We’ve got an amazing grain discovery center, and we thought if people saw it on the outside, the different types of grains we grow around here, that would draw them in,” Hannah said.

Camera IconThe Churchill Street mural. Credit: ./Supplied.

“It’s a really good way to bring everyone together and showcase what we are about,” Vanessa said.

How funding plays a huge role

Funding can help bring communities to life and better connect their neighborhoods.

RAC has been the Principal Partner of Town Team Movement since 2018, providing up to $80,000 annually in funding to support community placemaking projects. Since introducing the RAC Connecting Communities Fund, they have helped over 40 individual Town Team projects across metropolitan and regional WA.

“RAC’s funding is more than 50 percent to achieve these projects, so it pretty much covered the cost of the mural,” Hannah said.

“I don’t think it would’ve happened without the support of RAC.”

Hannah and Vanessa said they already noticnoticedttitude a shift in the community.

“We’ve had so much positive feedback,” Vanessa said.

“The mural had over 15,000 reaches on Facebook overnight,” Hannah said.

“It just shows you don’t have to be a professional. Any improvement can make a massive difference.”

Community and connections are important, and RAC want to help empower locals to inject vibrancy back into their town or suburb and feel proud of the places where they live, work, and play. Visit the website for more information.

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.