Projects help strengthen community

Projects help strengthen community 

The Chronicle 

29 March 2016

In last month's column, I talked about the evidence that Australians have become increasingly disconnected, and the need to encourage more community engagement.

Like most Canberrans, I believe it's vital that we're honest about what the data are telling us, but optimistic about our ability to turn things around.

Many people wrote to me with stories of their organisations. Today, I'll share three of them with you.

Sam McKeon wrote of volunteering for Computing Assistance Support & Education (

By providing computer support for community organisations, CASE allows them to devote more of their resources to service provision. Sam also pointed out that it's a better way of using volunteers: "The existence of CASE meant I could take my natural interest (web development) and apply it in a volunteer context. A targeted approach let me be more effective (rather than door-knocking for money, for example) and this encouraged me."

Garry Reynolds, a volunteer at Canberra Railway Museum, wrote about the value of the museum in building community and telling the story of our city's past. "Essentially, we are trying to recreate elements of what it was like in a much smaller Canberra community of the past, when the railway was an important focus of community interaction."

Rod Taylor volunteered for Radio 1RPH, which serves people who are print handicapped. Some are in nursing homes, but others, like me, just tune into AM1125 because they enjoy having someone read papers to them as they drive to work.

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