GO GOLDFIELDS – NEW BEGINNINGS, AND A FAREWELL

Local child enjoys a Bush Kinder outing

In my previous blog, I wrote about this year being a year of possibilities, an acknowledgement to the extensive review and refinement work across the Go Goldfields collaboration over the past 18 months, together with some reflection on the legacy of the past year. 

IT IS WITH PRIDE THAT I HAVE BEEN A PART OF THIS PARTNERSHIP FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS, AND IT IS NOW TIME FOR ME TO MOVE ON TO NEW BEGINNINGS.

As I reflect on the past 2 years, we have seen many shifts in the evolution of this initiative including changing memberships of our partnership groups, the sunset of one of our funders after many years, and more recently the welcoming of a new lead for the backbone organisation in this work. Adaptive leadership, initiating, facilitating and navigating change in complex environments is our role as backbone facilitators, and so we wholeheartedly embrace all the opportunities and uncertainties that these changes bring.

I reflect with enthusiasm on how much has been achieved since I picked up the reins of Go Goldfields in 2018. We have engaged broadly in the work with the partnership groups to review the theories of change, modifying and recommitting to the long term aspirations as established by the extensive consultations conducted as a part of the earlier HATCH community engagement processes some years back. It is affirming that we have been on the right track in honouring the voices of many in the community to be working together towards achieving the vision of ‘Our community aspiring, achieving and living a full life’.

The review of Go Goldfields over the past 18 months has demonstrated that commitment to this vision and the four impact areas remain strong and that there is now a readiness by community groups, services and local organisations to embed this work as business as usual. This commitment is reflective of the community’s and Go Goldfields maturity.

In the past 6 months alone we have seen much evolution in the work as we transition to the refined focus.

GO GOLDFIELDS DATA PACK 2020

Earlier this year we released 4 renewed data dashboards with information that helps to explain how and why we set our indicators. Engagement with each of the partnership groups was extensive from July 2019 to May 2020 to develop these community-driven indicator sets. This in-depth and readily available information ensures that we are building a greater understanding of evidence-driven work that will, in turn, build opportunities for local activation and investment in social change at many levels.

NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH MURDOCH CHILDREN’S RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Most recently, I am pleased to announce that we have signed off on a 5 year partnership agreement with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Centre for Community Child Health to work with Go Goldfields partnership as we develop the next phase of the work. The goal of this partnership is ensuring all children in Central Goldfields Shire achieve the best possible health, wellbeing and development outcomes in the early years. This is a significant achievement and brings with it the resources of the Restacking the Odds project work, the Solutions Project and other opportunities to engage expertise on strategic learning, evaluation and guidance.

The strength of Go Goldfields lies in its ability to provide a connection and forum for community leaders, service leaders, business leaders and key decision-makers to come together to better understand local needs and innovate to address local issues. This has been clearly evident in the collective response to the community’s needs in the current times of pandemic. There are many strong examples of collaboration in the Shire bringing a new sense of invigoration as work begins on new opportunities and funded projects.

THE STAGE IS NOW SET FOR THE NEXT PHASE OF GO GOLDFIELDS TO EMBRACE THE REFINED FOCUS WHICH WILL BE ANNOUNCED MORE FORMALLY IN OUR UPCOMING BLOG UPDATES.

I extend my gratitude to all who have been a part of the Go Goldfields journey to date. To the small and talented team who have worked with me along this journey, you know who you are, I say thank you for your commitment and the fun times. To our collaborators across the initiative, I say thank you for lending your expertise and commitment.

AND MY THANKS, ESPECIALLY TO THE MANY MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY WHO LEND THEIR VOICE AND SHARE THEIR COMMITMENT TO ENSURING EVERY CHILD AND YOUNG PERSON, CAN ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL.

You have continued to give voice to families as we work together to ensure that they are supported and provided with access to high-quality services in a community that is connected and embraces diversity.  

Best wishes for the next phase of the Go Goldfields journey, and farewell.

Sandra Hamilton
Manager Social Inclusion & Go Goldfields
Central Goldfields Shire Council, Victoria, Australia

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