Written by Susan Low

On Sunday mornings, I enjoy browsing through the local newspaper. I often see words and phrases, such as ‘community’, ‘get involved’ and ‘your opinion matters’.  I read some of these articles and then flip to the Sudoku puzzle at the back.

Recently, I had a discussion with another member of the Friends of Mount Colah (FOMC) group about community ideas. She mentioned Mount Colah and the term “Community Engagement.” As I wasn’t fully aware of this term, I decided to look it up.

According to the Australian Government Institute of Family Services, Community Engagement is described as “people working collaboratively, through inspired action and learning, to create and realise bold visions for their common future”.

I thought about this definition and how it could apply to Mount Colah and the Friends of Mount Colah group. What was our bold vision and common future? I did some further reading and I found some great reasons why Community Engagement is so important. Here are just a few:

  1. Community opinions are important
  2. The more perspectives the better
  3. Community knowledge matters
  4. Inclusion in decisions often leads to better outcomes
  5. Individual and community empowerment
  6. Greater confidence for those in decision making.

The FOMC Mission statement is: ’Bringing the Mount Colah community together’. As a community group, we’ve been doing this by facilitating various events like the FOMC & Hornsby Connect Christmas Appeal’, and most recently by hosting ‘Mount Colah’s Biggest Morning Tea May 2017’. These events have been well-received – but despite this recognition, I kept asking myself: “How can we do more for our neighbourhood and community?”

We need your help. We need your opinions. We need your community knowledge. The more you’re included in the decisions that the FOMC group has in their future initiatives, the more that we can work to bring the Mount Colah community together.

If you have any ideas or thoughts about anything related to living in Mt Colah or for more information about FOMC, attend one of our meetings, visit our Facebook page or send us an email: friends.of.mtcolah@gmail.com.

See Monthly Chronicle website: http://monthlychronicle.com.au/2017/08/25/community-engagement/