5 July 2022

Grants help Ginninderry neighbours connect with community and cultural events

| Katrina Condie
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People doing crafts

A range of community-led events is bringing neighbours together at Ginninderry. Photo: Ginninderry.

Ginninderry residents are doing their bit to help build diversity and strengthen community connections by sharing their skills, leading a project or hosting an event in their town.

Whether it’s hosting a street movie night, painting a mural or conducting cooking classes, the Ginninderry Community Grants Program offers financial assistance and support for individuals or groups that may want to kick-start a new project.

Launched this year, the first round of grants will fund an African drumming workshop, the Ginniderry Jog, and an Indian art and nature workshop, all being run by local residents.

Ginninderry Community Development Manager Tulitha King says the grants are a fantastic way for residents to get creative and engage with their neighbours in the sustainable township.

“We are always looking to hear from people who have ideas about projects that will bring the community together and allow residents to share their skills and knowledge,” she said.

“That could be, for example, a neighbourhood cookbook, a public art project, a plant library or a community chook pen.

“Or it could be something as simple as a movie night for the street which is very low cost, but might require $500 to get off the ground.”

Everyone in the community is encouraged to get involved and think about creative ways to bring their neighbours together and share their culture with the community.

“We hope to attract interest from a whole cross-section of the community and would love to have people of different ages and backgrounds share their skills and coordinate workshops or events,” Tulitha said.

“We have an open-door policy in terms of listening to ideas from the community.”

READ ALSO Ginninderry joins innovative housing initiative for vulnerable women

While the first grants round has closed, there are opportunities to support community-led initiatives before the grant opens for applications again in April 2023.

Ginninderry residents are re-discovering a sense of community lost in many of our towns and cities as people get caught up in the hustle and bustle of their busy lives.

Whether it’s kicking a ball around, bushwalking at dawn, or sharing a few laughs in a craft group, they’re discovering that being part of an active community builds social connections and provides them with a sense of belonging.

Tulitha says residents are embracing opportunities to get involved and have found the freedom to start their own social groups and activities, such as the Paddy’s Park Play Day, which runs seasonally on the last Saturday of the month.

“Many people have told me one of the reasons they moved here is because of the strong sense of community,” she said.

“As the Community Development Manager, I provide the scaffolding for people to build their community on their own terms, whether that’s connecting to a playgroup, a Sunday night social soccer competition or a cultural group.

“These sorts of things are wonderful because it means that people feel comfortable taking ownership of these spaces and claiming them for the community.”

Ginninderry already offers a huge range of social activities, including yoga, pilates, fitness groups and a community choir.

“A Repair Café brings together volunteers from local sustainability action group SEE-Change to provide repairs on clothing, electricals and furniture, as well as the Kippax Uniting Church ladies who share their expert knitting and sewing skills to help build a circular economy,” Tulitha said.

Ginninderry has been designed to promote community engagement and inspire residents to enjoy their natural surroundings and connect with their neighbours.

Green spaces and active travel routes were incorporated to encourage people to head outside, and the placement of green spaces throughout the suburb creates opportunities for incidental interaction.

“We deliberately tried to keep our streets pedestrian-friendly to make sure kids can actually get outside and play safely with good routes to the park,” Tulitha said.

“We’ve included community spaces, which are public areas that exist outside the home where people might be drawn together, like parks, ponds or viewpoints.

“Creating appealing neighbourhoods helps give people a sense of place and a feeling of belonging.”

She says being part of an engaging community improves our physical health and mental wellbeing and contributes to our life purpose.

“The more we feel like we identify with our community and the people around us, the more we’re connected with them,” Tulitha added.

With the mighty Murrumbidgee River on one boundary, Ginninderra Creek on another, and the Brindabellas providing a majestic backdrop, Ginninderry is a truly inspiring place to live.

The emerging region will consist of four suburbs and around 30,000 people will one day make their home in Ginninderry, extending across the ACT and NSW borders.

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Where does the money come from for these grants and all these activities?

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