Issue 158 Page 20 North East Area Community Panel News


Who are we?

The North East Community Panel is a group of volunteers working towards improving our community. When it was decided to establish community panels in the rural parts of our Local Government Area, the villages and hamlets along Dunoon Road and the road through Woodlawn were designated as the North East. Our community panel was one of the first to get organised.  But it must not be imagined that it is a “closed shop”. The group was not elected or appointed. It has no constitution or rules. It was simply formed by people who accepted a general invitation to attend some of a series of gatherings initiated by a small group of employees of Lismore City Council. Meetings have been held at Dunoon, Whian Whian, Tullera, and Numulgi Halls as well as Dunoon Club.

Anyone can join a Community Panel. You might like to help with projects and events, become a member of the panel, or just be a helping hand when working bees or activities are taking place. The level of engagement is entirely up to you. Our panel has a facebook group you can join. Search Facebook for North East Area Community Group.

Occasionally we have met in Lismore with other panels. At the time this writing began we were looking forward to our next meeting at Whian Whian. That community must surely be among the most dynamic in the whole district. They are still trying to raise funds to add a deck to their hall but they have gone ahead and built their own outdoor pizza oven. Our event was very well attended and we had our meeting gathered round the pizza oven. It was a real eye opener for me.

I am motivated to write this short report because on Friday 14 October some of our panel attended an inspirational session in the City Hall with Jim Diers. Jim is employed by the city of Seattle as founding director of their Department of Neighbourhoods. But he does not live in the city of Seattle. To reach his home on Vashon Island he has to take a ferry across Puget Sound. Seattle is in Washington State in the North West of the USA, close to British Columbia, in Canada, about as far as one can get in the USA from Washington DC. The two are not to be confused.

Jim was at the end of a long and busy speaking tour. When he left Lismore he was heading home for a few days to see his newly born grandson before heading out on his next tour. It was obvious from the illustrations flashed upon the screen that Jim is familiar with communities scattered far and wide. But his whole life would seem to be bound up with the idea of community. He had a lot of great thoughts to share but they all came back to his central theme. He would rather go to a party than to a meeting. No community is without its own special gifts and no member of any community is without gifts to offer. He preferred to speak about gifts rather than talents. Jim was truly charismatic. He was at the end of a prolonged tour yet his energy and enthusiasm were palpable.

I sense a great energy in our own group and we have started to see some progress. For example we have decided to spend our portion of a volunterer grant on a new computer for the Gazette. The pocket park in Cedar Drive has not been gazetted for sale yet, but when it finally has its status changed so that it can be sold, the Council has resolved that the proceeds are to be spent in improving facilities at parks in Dunoon. It would seem that the panel would prefer most of the funds to be spent in providing an improved playground/outdoor gym  at Balzer Park. Tamarind Park on James Street may get a new set of swings. But it is important for the community to have an opportunity to discuss these matters at a special function very soon.

Denis Matthews

Exercise park for Dunoon

We are very excited to announce a Community Building Partnership Grant of $15,000 towards the cost of building an exercise park at the Dunoon Sports Club.  We hope to complete this by mid 2017 – volunteers needed!

Have Your Say

Catherine Rosenbaum from Community Engagement at Lismore City Council is seeking your feedback on the choice of exercise and playground equipment to be installed at Balzer Park. Concept plans will be on display at the Sports Club and you will get an opportunity to vote for your favourite pieces.


Catherine will be at the last round of Social 6s on Wednesday 14th December, so pop up to the Sports Club to give us your opinion. The drawings will also be available over the following weekend during the Children’s Christmas Party on 17th December.

Write Your Life Group 2 Feb

Create a record of your life and times and share your writings with other members. Meetings 2nd and 4th Thursdays 9:45 am starting 2 February 2017 at the old church on 1 Fraser Road. Coffee/tea provided – bring a plate to share.

RSVP  Bronwen Campbell


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