Inner North Report #2: Who We Want to Be

The Inner North Report #2: Who We Want to Be was launched on Thursday 24th March 2022 at North Fitzroy Library (Bargoonga Nganjin), with over 80 local people attending.

At the launch of the Inner North Report #1, Who Are We, we asked people to join us in becoming the eyes and ears on the ground so that at the end of phase two we would have:

This year we tackled the problem of understanding what our community believed about what should be done to make the Inner North a better place.

This report, The Inner North Report 2022: Who We Want to Be, details how people want their community to develop and improve.To gather this information, we developed a process for listening to the conversations happening in the normal chatter that occurs in a community every day. This is not a survey nor a consultation process – it is a way of listening to normal conversations between people discussing their concerns, their observations, and the things that they think are great in the area where they live.

We recruited 35 organisations to be our eyes and ears on the ground. These organisations included businesses, not for profits and community organisations, all of whom had regular, frequent contact with the public. In fact, they had contact with around 3,500+ people across 29 suburbs. They reported on what people were talking about and saying over a 8 week period and, although our process was limited by COVID lockdowns, we got an excellent response.

The conversations generated 48 topics of discussion and we sorted the top 25 into priority order. These priorities come directly from the community – these are the things which people talk about and worry about in everyday life.

Understanding the community in this way can help us to see if we are investing in our community where our community wants us to invest our efforts or, at least, see where our commitments to change will have broad community support.Remember that we did not set an agenda for this and we did not ask a single question, we just listened to everyday conversations. 

We know that the top priorities are big issues and cannot be completely solved locally. However, there are many ways to improve the impact they have on our community. We just need people to try.

In order to help this, we’ve worked with local business and individuals to launch a grants round, with grants of $5,000 now available (total pool $35,000)

For more detail and how to apply, check out our Current Grants page. 

Many thanks to the steering committee that helped guide the project. Led by Kevin Sharp from the Jumpstart Fund , locals Lee Chia from the Bendigo Bank, Kerryn from Nelson Alexander Foundation, Michael Van Vliet and Nina Collins from Yarra Council, and Carolyn Phiddian and Craig Kenny from the Foundation board all chipped in time. 

The report and funding round was supported by: The Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy Community Bank of Bendigo Bank, City of Yarra, Jumpstart Fund, MP Consulting, Nelson Alexander Foundation, the Victorian State Government and Northlink.