At the Rosebank Peninsula Church on Wednesday night, ACA and ourselves hosted the first Advisory Group meeting for the year. The Advisory Group was created late-2016 so that stakeholders in our community could have ongoing input into the direction of Together we are Avondale and to support us with their own networks and resources.
About 20 people came through on the night, covering a diverse range of stakeholders. Among those in attendance were representatives from Encounter Christian Centre, Avondale Baptist Church, TYLA, Avondale Islamic Centre, Avondale Primary School, Plunket, Community Waitakere, The Creative Souls Project, The Green Party, Avondale Lions Club, Department of Internal Affairs, Avondale Library and Cain Tattoo Studio.
Notably, many of the people who came to the very first Advisory Group meeting late last year didn’t come to Wednesday night’s one. It would’ve been great to have some of last year’s attendees – Rosebank School, Avondale Intermediate, Rosebank/Waterview Neighbourhood Policing Team and Rosebank Business Association for example – at this month’s meeting too, but of course people lead busy lives and it’s difficult finding a date and time that suits everyone.
Wednesday’s meeting began with Silvia and Simon from ACA explaining the background of Together we are Avondale and the governance structure around it. Myself and Leilani led the second half of the meeting where we talked about the aims of our project and shared what we’d been up to so far. This was mainly networking, supporting existing groups and their initiatives, and working on our own plans for Neighbour’s Day and a community food service called Feed the Streets (more details to come).
We ended the night by asking everyone to contribute to our project in the following ways:
- Do you have any upcoming public events to add to our events calendar?
- Do you have any resources or networks that would benefit Feed the Streets?
- Would your business/organisation be interested in sponsoring a Whau Youth Award?
The response and contribution from many of the people at the meeting was really encouraging, and the networking we were able to do has opened up some new relationships and opportunities for us going forward. In one conversation I had someone observed that there’s usually too much focus on entertaining people rather than initiatives that have long-term benefits like teaching budgeting skills, upskilling, self-employment opportunities etc. That’s something we really want to tackle. What was also pleasing was many of the attendees spoke amongst each other as well and I saw a few business cards being exchanged. This helped reinforce to me that these meetings are not only about Together we are Avondale, but a chance to meet and connect with others in our neighbourhood. Mean!
These Network Group meetings will happen several times a year and are open to anyone from the community, including ordinary residents. If you’d like to attend the next one please register by commenting on this post or emailing Silvia Spieksma at: email@example.com
Photo: Jody McMillan, Whau the People