A place-based approach to building community capacity helps to focus on issues that occur at a neighbourhood level. The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Executive Director, Conny Lenneberg, drew on her extensive experience in community capacity building to relate how the Brotherhood is using a place-based approach throughout Australia. Before taking up her position at the Brotherhood, Ms Lenneberg worked with communities in the Middle East with her work with World Vision.
She said that a placed-based approach put local people, agencies and business at the centre of efforts to tackle disadvantage. She said this bottom-up approach ensured that programs avoided duplication of services and were more sustainable.
Ms Lenneberg cited the Brotherhood’s involvement in the the federally funded Transition to Work program. The program provides jobseekers, between 15 and 21, with assistance to increase their work readiness and move them into employment.
“The program is delived by 13 non-profit providers in 11 places across Australia,” Ms Lenneberg said.
“The Brotherhood works as as an enabling organisation. We provide leadership, support and we enable other organisations to contribute to a shared mission. We do service development, conferences, training and developmental evaluation.”
For more information, view Ms Lenneberg’s presentation here.