Community Development

Enhancing Community Development in Neighbourhood Centres
Research Report

Exec Summary.PNG

QFCA and Griffith University joined forces in 2020 and 2021 to research Community Development in the Queensland Neighbourhood Centre context.

This work arose out of discussions with Neighbourhood Centres at the 2019 Community Development Conference in which around 30 sector representatives indicated they wanted the QFCA to explore developmental practice in centres around the state.  QFCA established a CD Subcommittee in 2020, who then instigated a research project with Griffith University researchers.  The report was finalised in 2021 and proposed a number of recommendations to further Community Development in Neighbourhood Centres throughout Queensland.


The Griffith Research team consisted of Dr Ann Ingamells, Helen Betts and Natasha Odgers who have had extensive involvement in the Neighbourhood Centre sector.  Research also featured a number of Community Development practitioners including Maria Tennant, Bea Rogan and Carmel Daveson AM.  The research was supported by QFCA infrastructure, networks and staffing. 


 "Enhancing Community Development in Neighbourhood Centres" was launched by Belinda Drew, CEO of CSIA, at the Ship Inn on 19th October, 2021.


Enhancing Community Development in Neighbourhood Centres
Research Dialogues

Community Development in Neighbourhood and Community Centres - Dialogue 1

22nd July 2020

Webinar 1 Summary Document 

Community Development in Neighbourhood and Community Centres - Dialogue 2

12th August 2020

Webinar 2 Summary Document

Community Development in Neighbourhood and Community Centres - Dialogue 3

2nd September 2020

Webinar 3 Summary Document

Community Development in Neighbourhood and Community Centres - Dialogue 4

14th October 2020

Webinar 4 Summary Document

Dialogue 4 Supplementary Video - Circles of Ownership

14th October 2020

Circles of Ownership Diagram

Community Development in Neighbourhood and Community Centres -   Dialogue 5

4th November 2020

Webinar 5 Summary Document

Dialogue 5 Supplementary Video - QFCA Relationships Diagram

4th November 2020

Progressing Community Development in Queensland: QFCA's relational approach

Community Development Subcommittee

At the 2019 Biennial Queensland Community Development Conference, Bea Rogan (QFCA, Coalition of Community Boards) conducted a workshop to explore the question “Do we want Neighbourhood Centres taking a lead in applying Community Development practice at a locality level?”.  Associate Professor Peter Westoby (QUT) was asked to facilitate the session due to an interest in working with the QFCA.  This workshop attracted approximately 30 participants from local Neighbourhood Centres as well as Community Development experts Dr Ann Ingamels (Griffith University), Anthony Kelly (UQ) and Carmel Daveson AM.    The workshop’s intention was to explore Neighbourhood Centre opportunities to enhance Community Development practice, including integrating developmental practice in service delivery work.  Chris Mundy (QFCA Sector Development Officer)also attended this session.

The workshop indicated unanimously that Community Development practice should be enhanced in Neighbourhood Centres.  Through a series of small group discussions, the participants identified:

1. The increasing focus on service delivery in Neighbourhood Centres has resulted in a loss of skills in Community Development practice.

2. Professional Development in Community Development for Neighbourhood Centres is required in a range of ways to meet the diversity of needs and geographical challenges in the sector.

3. A Reporting framework for Community Development practice is required. Centres which have retained their developmental approach have not been able to effectively report on the outcomes from their work.

4. Service delivery and developmental work should be working hand in hand

A number of ideas were also generated to support the enhancement of developmental capacity, such as reflective practice groups at a local level, mentoring, supervision and technology.

A mandate was issued to the QFCA by the participants to form an alliance with Community Development Queensland to address the Community Development skills deficiency in the sector.

It was suggested that the QFCA form a sub-committee for Community Development practice enhancement in Neighbourhood Centres. 

A Terms of Reference for the QFCA CD Subcommittee was drafted and accepted by the QFCA state committee in 2020.  The committee is comprised of:

Bea Rogan – Chair/Convener

Val Edsall – QFCA Representative/Convenor

Chris Mundy – Sector Development Officer (QFCA)

Caroline Cuckson – Deception Bay NC representative

PJ Humphries - Community Plus+ representative

Carmel Daveson AM – Senior CD practitioner

Emily McConochie – CD Queensland/ First Nations representative

Helen Betts – CD Educator, Griffith University

Anthony Kelly, Assoc. Prof. Peter Westoby, Dr Ann Ingamells. - Consultation

A number of research and training initiatives are being planned by the group to further Community Development methodology and practice in Neighbourhood Centres across the state. 

You can read the Terms of Reference for the QFCA CD Subcommittee here.