At the Regional Arts Victoria AGM and Members’ Celebration in May 2014 Tracey Lawson from Ouyen shared their project’s manifesto. It was so wonderful to hear how this town has been coming together to frame their transformation, it is our pleasure to share it with you.
The Mallee Up in Lights Small Town Transformation aims to transform a place, a space and a community through the power of “art”. By building on the assets and aspirations of the community we will create a lasting legacy and ensure that art always has valued place in our community.
Through “rethinking” our community we aspire to the creation of new options by reconsidering old issues and problems with new assumptions.
We acknowledge that every person has a valuable contribution to make, and community members are welcomed and encouraged to join in at any level.
We will ensure members of the local community are actively involved in decision making and have ownership of the project.
We aspire to a process that values and enhances people’s ability to have control over their lives and their community.
We will build and support the capacity, personal skills, knowledge, abilities and resilience of the local community, and foster leadership, entrepreneurship and altruism. We will invite external facilitators and to work with us, rather than for us. We believe external resources have a responsibility to challenge and suggest, but we should make our own decisions.
We value the diverse contributions people make, regardless of their background or varying abilities. We will acknowledge and address the needs of individuals and the local community.
We believe that changing attitudes and networks can be as important as material outcomes. We will work to strengthen and grow the “soft” infrastructure of the community. We acknowledge that external networks are essential to ensure the project’s success, sustainability and legacy.
Success, no matter how small, will be recognised and celebrated.
Developed and endorsed by the Project Management Committee, March 2014.