BRIGHT IDEAS PROJECT SUMMARY
Two Community Plans have been developed by TSWW – one in 2001 and a larger updated version in 2005. The ‘Seymour 2015’ (2005) was based on input from over 300 Seymour residents and groups. The goals listed in the Seymour Community Plans provided assistance to the Mitchell Shire Council, State and Federal governments and agencies by listing what Seymour residents want for their town, and the community plan was also used by local groups and organisations to support their funding applications.
By 2011, the ‘Seymour 2015’ plan was in need of an update – many goals had been achieved and new issues had arisen.
TSWW decided it wanted as many citizens as possible to have input into the new plan – including those not able to attend meetings or who could not access the internet or were intimidated by formal methods of input.
The concept of ‘Bright Ideas’ suggestion slips and suggestion boxes was adopted.
The ‘Bright Ideas for Seymour’ brainstorming exercise sought positive, creative ideas to improve aspects of living in Seymour and was well received by the community receiving at least 30 suggestions each week.
‘Bright Ideas’ sought ideas, big or small, about: health and wellbeing, sport, leisure; the environment – natural or built; education and training – formal and informal; arts, crafts, culture; and the local economy - including tourism.
Anyone of any age was urged to participate.
Ideas were submitted by completing a suggestion slip and posting it in one of the many suggestion boxes around town and at local events such as the Seymour Show and Tastes of the Goulburn.
Slips were also available online and suggestions could be made on the TSWW Facebook page.
‘Bright Ideas’ was an initiative of The Seymour We Want (TSWW), in partnership with: Flavour Gourmet Foods, GMCU, GO-TAFE, Mitchell Shire Council, Seymour & District University of the Third Age (U3A), Seymour Business & Tourism, Seymour FM, Seymour Renewal and was given very good coverage by local newspapers and radio.
‘Bright Ideas’ via suggestion boxes were collected between October 2011 and February 2012 with online suggestions continuing to be received until the Community Planning Day on 21 April 2012.
The Community Planning Day was attended by nearly 50 people who added new ideas and attempted to collate the ideas into themes and goals. This proved very difficult as there were over 625 ‘Bright Ideas’ generated!
The committee together with a consultant have forged the following report for comment and further input from any interested person, community group and organization that is part of the fabric of the Seymour and surrounding community.
This report attempts to be accessible in its form and content. The themes generated directly reflect input from the community and aim to be a framework to inform and inspire individuals, community groups and agencies to take action to develop the Seymour community.
The ‘Bright Ideas’ suggestions from community members between October 2011 and April 2012 ranged from simple requests such as ‘more trees planted’ to grander ideas of a complex of connecting trails and pathways in and around Seymour. The planning day on 21 April 2012 was a chance for more specific input and an attempt to prioritise the ideas already generated. Respondents ranged in age from 5 to 86.
TSWW have categorised these ideas as best they could and created themes around them. The ‘Bright Ideas’ categories reflect the range of suggestions made and differ from the original categories in the Seymour 2015 plan, which took a more organisational approach than the present ‘grass roots’ approach. This is to make real the wishes of the community and to act as a mechanism to promote community action. The Seymour We Want has the task of facilitating this approach, but will not take on any specific project as its role is to engender a spirit of co-operation and action from local citizens not to project manage.