City vision shared

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City vision shared

Acommunity panel comprised of 28 local people from all walks of life have come together to develop a draft community vision for the city’s future for the next 11 years – Mount Gambier – 2035.

The Mount Gambier – 2035 project is currently in phase three of five.

The first phase occurred late last year and involved canvassing the broader community to hear about what local people value, what we want to be known for and what we can do together in the next decade.

The second phase explored the key themes that emerged as part of the community consultation and involved targeted conversations and interviews with several different community groups and individuals.

Mount Gambier City Council Strategic Projects manager Tegan McPherson said an independent community panel was established to draft a community vision during the third phase of the project.

“Forty-four community members were initially selected for the panel and made up a representative sample of the community,” she said.

“These individuals really brought their diverse experience, ideas and life experience to the table to review and reflect on a lot of information and feedback provided by our community.”

Council chief executive Sarah Philpott said three sessions were held last month to draft a community vision statement to 2035 and to define the broad strategic priorities that are required to achieve the vision.

In addition, the panel drafted an identity narrative which summarises the stories, values and unique qualities of what it means to be from ‘the Mount’.

“A community vision is a collective agreement about what we want our community to be like in the future. This vision projects to 2035, and it’s a shared commitment among everyone who lives, works, and enjoys our city,” she said.

“While council are the custodians of this process, the community vision, the strategic priorities and the identity piece are about the community, not about council. – It’s about thinking about what kind of place do we want to be for the future? What do we love now, what do we enhance, what do we see for the longer term future of this community.”

Elected Members asked the panel to consider:

– What are the key elements that will inform the vision for Mount Gambier – 2035?

– What should the strategic priorities for our community as we approach 2035?

– How might we describe our cultural identity as a city?

The group was split into three groups to explore and address the individual topics: the overarching vision, strategic priorities, and cultural identity.

To assist the community panel members with their work, three experts were engaged – Regional Australia Institute Chief Economist Dr Kim Houghton, Brand Tasmania chief executive Todd Babiak and Urban Futurist Stephen Yarwood – to provide participants with some context to consider the shape of regional cities and how to think about identity.

A local cultural identity survey also provided feedback for the panel to reflect on and explore.

Representatives from each group presented their proposed thoughts and ideas to Elected Members at a briefing session held last week.

Mayor Lynette Martin OAM said the passion the community panel showed in their presentation to council showed how invested they were in their role.

“What they have produced is absolutely fantastic. It was really powerful, and they should be so proud of themselves and what they have done for the future of Mount Gambier,” she said.

Council discussed the recommendations from the community panel this week to inform a final draft of the community vision, which will then go to the June council meeting to be endorsed for community consultation and then final endorsement in July 2024.

Council will then consider its role in responding to the community vision with a strategic plan to be developed and adopted by November 2024.

Visit for further information about the Mount Gambier – 2035 project.

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