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Sharon Jervis, Jane Ponting and other locals thanked for East Gippsland Community Vision 2040 contribution
East Gippsland residents who contributed to the development of the Community Vision 2040 earlier this year were on Tuesday celebrated for their contribution to the community.
Joined by Councillors and Council staff, the community panel members planted trees and marked the occasion with the unveiling of a plaque at Howitt Park, Bairnsdale. Mayor Cr Mendy Urie said Howitt Park was a fantastic area to plant the trees and will be a reminder for those who had input into the key strategic documents that will help guide Council and the community over coming years.
Jane Ponting, Mayor Cr Mendy Urie, Cr Kirsten Van Diggele, Cr Mark Reeves, Peter Giddings, Sharon Jervis, Belinda Stewart, Carina Turner and Cr Tom Crook. Ms Ponting and Ms Jervis also shared how valuable participating in the community vision was for them
Achieving the new vision
Mayor Cr Mendy Urie said, "I'd like to congratulate the community panel members for the invaluable support they have provided to council and look forward to working towards achieving our new vision, which will see our people, place, environment and economy connected, in balance and resilient."
Community vision 2040
In 2040 our people, place, environment, and economy will be connected, in balance and resilient. Our unique and diverse communities will be accessible, inclusive, well connected and safe. We will value and care for each other and our natural environment. Our economy will support existing and emerging industries by being agile, innovative, and sustainable.
The community panel consisted of 15 people from across the shire who met multiple times weekly over a 10-week period to make recommendations to Council. As the community evolves, the vision will be reviewed and updated to reflect community aspirations, to ensure it maintains relevance.
Life changing community engagement
At Tuesday's tree planting, panel members Sharon Jervis and Jane Ponting both shared their experiences about the process. Ms Jervis said it had been previously very difficult to seek employment or be engaged in the community, however the community panel was "life changing".
Ms Jervis said, "The whole experience was mind blowing and was totally out of my comfort zone, but I learnt a lot. Thank you for taking this rough around the edge's deaf girl out of the too hard pile to give me a chance to have my say and feel valuable again. It has led me to have confidence and led me to be part of the Twin Rivers Lions Club where I really feel at home,"
Genuine desire to listen to the community
Ms Ponting said the community vision can be used to make sure the people of East Gippsland do more, learn more, dream more and become more. "There were 15 of us, from different backgrounds and geographic places. There was a genuine desire to see a vision and sense of aspiration for people in East Gippsland to really make the most of such a wonderful region, and that is what bound us together through quite a long process."
"I know it was a regulated process for council, but the way it was managed was not regulated and it showed a genuine desire for this council to listen to the community and really work through some of the pieces of the puzzle that will help provide, facilitate and advocate for the things that we need to get to where we want to go for our vision." Ms Ponting said.
Appreciating the contribution of everyone
Cr Urie said council appreciates the contribution of everyone who took part in the consultation process. "For anyone who hasn't read these two documents, they will provide you with a good understanding of the council's direction and what we aim to achieve," Cr Urie said.
The Community Vision 2040 and Council Plan 2021-25 are also available to view at Customer Service Centres.
Pictures from East Gippsland Shire Council Facebook page.
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