Town launches Community Benefits Strategy

Published on 06 December 2019

Anthony Vuleta, Karen Vernon, Trevor Nisbett and Troy Cook.jpg

The Town of Victoria Park, along with project partners the West Coast Eagles, Wirrpanda Foundation, and Perth Football Club, has launched a jointly-developed Community Benefits Strategy, which outlines four programs to be delivered to the Town of Victoria Park community over the next five years.

The launch of the strategy is the culmination of a partnership put in motion back in September 2013, when the West Coast Eagles and the Town of Victoria Park signed a heads of agreement to develop a new home for the Eagles at Lathlain Park.

The agreement included the development of a strategy with far-reaching community benefits.

The aims of the strategy are to deliver lifelong learning opportunities, empower local community members, improve local amenities, and foster leaders and encourage collaboration.

Town Mayor Karen Vernon said the project partners wanted to make sure the benefits being delivered aligned with community expectations.

“To achieve this, the community were engaged at three distinct stages, with one being the most deliberative process the Town has undertaken – using a stratified community panel.

“A random sample of 30 residents made up the panel to reflect our community’s demographic profile and represented a variety of ages, genders and ethnicities.

“Thanks to the process we took with the community panel, we gained clear insight into what the community felt was most important to achieve via the Community Benefits Strategy.”

West Coast Eagles Chief Executive Officer Trevor Nisbett said the club was delighted to see the programs being implemented.

“The Community Benefits Strategy is a key pillar of our partnership with the Town of Victoria Park, the broader community, Perth Football Club and the Wirrpanda Foundation,” Mr Nisbett said.

“As part of our partnership with the Town we made a number of undertakings focused on our community engagement and I’m confident we will not only meet those obligations, but will exceed those promises.

“In the five months that we have been located at Mineral Resources Park we have been thrilled with the level of engagement with the local community and we look forward to building on that platform, working collaboratively and enthusiastically with all of the stakeholders.”

Troy Cook, General Manager of Community and Employment Engagement at Wirrpanda Foundation said: “The Wirrpanda Foundation has been delivering a broad range of community-based programs since we started back in 2005.

“As a foundation we’re proud of our success in working cross-culturally in WA to build capacity, with a focus on utilising our strong mentors, community consultation and collaboration so we see this aligning well with the Community Benefit Strategy Youth Engagement Program.”

The four programs to be delivered in the first five years of the Community Benefits Strategy, as guided by the community panel recommendations, are:

Supporting Local Community Organisations – This project will support four community organisations and see the Eagles giving back to the organisations’ communities.

Healthy Relationship Awareness – The Town is a high-prevalence area for domestic violence and is adjacent to the highest prevalence areas in the Perth metro area. This program will provide much-needed support to positively advocate for domestic violence initiatives.

Recreational Groups and Sports Club Development – This program draws on the strengths of the West Coast Eagles to provide positive support to recreational groups within the Town. Sustainable clubs increase well-being and having a healthy and connected community will reduce antisocial behaviour and increase community pride.

Youth Engagement Program – Addresses key priorities of the community by engaging youth and reducing antisocial behaviour by helping to build healthier and more engaged communities.

Beyond these programs, there are other benefits to the partnership, including boosts to local business with increased visitation, cultural and mentoring support for community members, infrastructure funding from the Eagles, and State and Federal Governments, and community use of the new amenities and facilities.