Directed Towards Goals – Council example

Shire Logo smallThis page explains how the Wonderland Shire Cultural Development Department identified goals in the Council Plan and policy domains in which those goals sat, and then selected which of the goals the Cultural Development Plan would address.


2a. Identify goals

Wonderland Shire Cultural Development staff identified that the Shire’s Council Plan 2015-2018 had three major goals:

  • Economy and Growth: Sustainable economic activity, which facilitates employment in the community
  • Community and Support: A connected and healthy community, which is supportive and confident.
  • Culture and Creativity: A diverse culture that expresses its creativity and heritage.

2b. Identify policy domains in which those goals sit

Wonderland Shire Cultural Development Department staff identified the policy domain/s in which those goal/s were sited by considering which of these five domains the goal/s best fitted into. They decided that:

  • Economy and Growth is in the economic domain
  • Community and Support is in the social domain
  • Culture and Creativity is in the cultural domain.

2c. Select which goals to address, and how many

The Cultural Development Department’s first choice of goal was Culture and Creativity: A diverse culture that expresses its creativity and heritage, as this was clearly within their capacity to contribute to.

They considered the evidence about the role of cultural activity in advancing connected and healthy communities and sustainable economic activity, which facilitates employment. References they consulted included Barraket (2005); Barraket & Kaiser (2007); Crossick & Kaszynska (2016) and Dunphy (2009) . These indicated that cultural activities could potentially contribute to both of these goals, so they could both be appropriate to address in their plan.

Then they undertook a situational analysis to decide which of the goals they would be best to address. They considered the context of the Shire, as discussed in the Council Plan, work previously undertaken by their department, their current activities, the challenges they face and their resources.


Wonderland Shire Council Plan – About Wonderland

Context: The Shire

  • has a unique combination of natural qualities and environments;
  • has significant manufacturing, retail, agricultural & service sectors;
  • is of cultural and historical significance;
  • geographically, is strategically placed in terms of economic and tourism potential, and quality of life.

Cultural development resources and activities in the Shire

As evidenced by existing cultural resources and activities in the Shire, there is a strong awareness and appreciation of arts, culture and heritage in the Shire, particularly from people in the retired age group.

Council’s cultural infrastructure

Cultural infrastructure includes a fully operational Art Gallery, the Town Hall,  Domain amphitheatre, many halls in its small towns, plus access to a community theatre located at the Wonderland Education Centre.

The Art Gallery is fully equipped to museum (gallery) standards and able to host touring exhibitions. An active Friends of the Gallery group, with more than 80 members, contributes to the Gallery’s programs.

The Arts Department

Council’s Arts Department was established in 2004 responding to a committee of interested community members. It is currently staffed 1.5 EFT, with a full-time position of Arts Manager who manages the gallery and the final year of a funded participation focussed project. The 0.5 component comprises two part-time staff at the gallery.

Challenges

Australian Bureau of Statistics data confirms that Wonderland Shire has significant challenges – particularly in the areas of household incomes, educational attainment, employment rates and health indices. Council is implementing a significant program to address these challenges

Their decision

They decided that because they have a small team of staff, a modest budget and no immediate likelihood of additional funds, two goals were the most they could reasonably address within the scope of the current plan. They chose those two goals specifically because they believed, based on their experience, the available evidence and considering their resources, that their work would be most catalytic and strategic in addressing those goals.


References

Barraket, J. (2005). Putting people in the picture? The role of the arts in social inclusion. Melbourne: Brotherhood of St Laurence. Retrieved January 13, 2011 from http://www.bsl.org.au/pdfs/barraket_arts_social_inclusion_1.pdf

Barraket, J., & Kaiser, A. (2007). Evaluating the mental health and wellbeing impacts of community-based festivals: Awakenings Festival and Braybrook’s Big Day Out. Melbourne: VicHealth.

Crossick, G. & Kaszynska, P.  (2016). Understanding the value of arts and culture.  The Cultural Value Project. London: Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Dunphy, K. (2009). Developing and Revitalizing Rural Communities Through Arts and Creativity: Australia. In Duxbury, N. & Campbell, H. (2009). Developing and Revitalizing Rural Communities Through Arts and Creativity, Vancouver: Simon Fraser University. http://creativecity.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=239&Itemid=218

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