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Community 1st - Discussion and Interaction


26 May 2003 at 1:05 pm
Staff Reporter
Community 1st has been set up as a catalyst for adventurous people who want to make a difference and it's the brainchild of social entrepreneur Nic Frances, the Executive Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Staff Reporter | 26 May 2003 at 1:05 pm


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Community 1st - Discussion and Interaction
26 May 2003 at 1:05 pm

Community 1st has been set up as a catalyst for adventurous people who want to make a difference and it’s the brainchild of social entrepreneur Nic Frances, the Executive Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Community 1st is a place where people go to gain a deeper understanding of current social issues and have the opportunity to participate in some of the solutions by way of projects run by the Brotherhood. It is an ongoing forum that is open to all members of the community and it is a place for open discussion and interaction.

The BSL has appointed Leisa Kent to manage the project under the banner of the BSL’s Corporate and Community Engagement.

Kent describes Community 1st as a place for young professionals to come together, to be inspired and to establish pathways and a network of leaders to create action in the community.

She says that in a trial program last year Community 1st participants supported several fantastic initiatives that changed the lives of many people in the community.

Kent says she understands that many professionals may not have loads of spare time, so this year Community 1st will focus on profiling short-term projects that can share their passion, energy and talent.

She says Community 1st offers the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of current social issues and to engage with the Brotherhood of St Laurence which favour actions over words in working towards an Australia free of poverty.

Nic Frances says with Community 1st there’s potential for new territory. It lies between business, charity and government.

He says that from different perspectives it’s described as ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, ‘Triple Bottom Line’, ‘Social and Community Enterprise’ and a ‘Whole of Government Approach’.

But he says the truth is, it’s none of these. It’s a new paradigm and it’s waiting to be conquered.

The Community 1st project will be officially launched on Tuesday June 3, 2003 at 6-8pm at the Australian Centre for Moving Images (Federation Square) in the Cinema Foyer & Function Room, Level 1.

At the launch the BSL’s Innovation Manager Gareth Williamson will be presenting plans for an Innovation Hub which will help staff develop more efficient programs and new social enterprises. Many of these projects are in the early stages and could benefit from mentors, advice, contacts and other opportunities.

Kent says participants on the night will be profiling and working on some of these projects and then providing support to get involved afterwards.

If you would like any further information please contact Leisa Kent at community1st@bsl.org.au or phone 03 9483 2431.



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