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Welcome to Community Exchange

Community Exchange is all about supporting local communities to be places where people are connected, supported and help each other. We support communities to achieve this through mobilising local initiatives to get people together and connected.

Community Exchange is about developing genuine connections and relationships within a community based on trust and transparency. We walk together with community to bring about solutions that will benefit the lives of everyone.

We are on the ground, so we come to you and take time to truly listen to what you and the community needs to thrive.

We work in partnership with social enterprise BeFriend and are funded by the State Government through the Department of Communities.

We work towards:

  1. People have social connections within their community
  2. People participate in their local communities
  3. People learn new skills and knowledge
  4. People contribute to their communities
  5. People feel safe in their community

Community Exchange

Where do we work?

Wanneroo:

  • Burns Beach
  • Clarkson
  • Merriwa
  • Mindarie
  • Quinns Rocks
  • Jindalee
  • Butler
  • Alkimos
  • Eglinton
  • Yanchep
  • Two Rocks

Swan:

  • Bennett Springs
  • Brabham
  • Caversham
  • Dayton
  • Henley Brook

Who do we support?

We are inclusive so we work with all sorts of community organisations and individuals, building on existing strengths to create vibrant and connected communities. We have worked with grass roots and established community groups; individuals wanting to connect with a group or build their own; and potential and existing community leaders and businesses.

What do we do?

Community Exchange isn’t about a list of services, but rather ways we can help build community capacity and make connections. Some of the ways we have been doing that include:

  • Lending a hand to find, write and apply for community grants
  • Connecting community groups and businesses together for mutual benefit
  • Building capacity and skills within community groups
  • Helping build skills to host successful events
  • Helping identify service gaps in consultation with the community so together we can find ways they can be filled
  • Help community groups plan their growth to make their idea achievable and sustainable

Meet Us

Matt Aitken

Community Development Coordinator - City of Swan

Explaining to family and friends what Community Development professionals do each day can be a tricky task. I’ve encountered a few interesting analogies such as a jack-of-all-trades/gun-for-hire for community groups, as well as an approach of explaining what I do through running a community 5-year visualisation session. It’s a bit like playing Mine Craft or the Sims but in the face-to-face ‘real life’ community of a particular area. 

Key words for the tasks in my regular work are scaffolding, piloting projects, leveraging community resources, working on shoe-string budgets to make impressive projects. 

I love this kind of work because it allows me to combine my tertiary studies in Cultural Anthropology to do deep engagement in the grassroots community, but unlike in University research environments I get to work on a grassroots and pragmatic action level. Working in the independent music and visual arts industry for 11-plus years has provided me with many tangible skills in low-budget governance, community-led marketing and fundraising strategies, co-designed and co-owned projects.

Working with the Bennett Springs Residents Association to put on their first ever community Event at their local park was about much more than a fun event and some free kids face painting. Standing around chatting to locals, councillors and police/fire-fighters you could feel a strong sense of emerging community spirit. These moments re-affirm why I get up in the morning and push myself to turn more brief lightbulb moments into reality. 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology, Indonesian & English)
  • Bachelor of Arts Honours (Anthropology)
  • Graduate Diploma of Education (Primary)

Experience

  • Educator, Live and Learn Program – New Migrant/Refugee Youth
  • Primary School Teaching
  • Science Presenter
  • Performer or Co-founder at Koondarm, Swamp Clubb, Ten Canoes Paddle Talks, Walyalup Water Walk, Karla Wangkiny
  • Community Arts Projects, Collectives and Mentoring, Education Art Residencies

Tracy Tuari

Community Development Coordinator - City of Wanneroo

As a local resident within the City of Wanneroo’s northern growth corridor, I have a vested interest in seeing this local community thrive.

I’m passionate about community development and making communities more inclusive and welcoming places to live.

For me, it all comes down to creating genuine relationships and working together.

Qualifications:

  • Teaching Diploma Early Childhood Care & Education
  • Diploma in Community and Social Work
  • New Zealand National Nanny Certificate
  • Post Graduate Diploma Business Administration
  • Completing Thesis/Research Paper – Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Experience:

  • Early Childhood Practitioner – 10 years
  • Statutory Social Worker (Child Protection) 10 years – Frontline worker, Supervisor
  • Community Social Worker 10 years – various roles – Practice Manager/Team Leader/Frontline social worker
  • Tutor – Certificate of Social Work (Biculturalism Of Practice)
  • Management roles – Practice Manager of Tribal Service, Team Leader and Manager of Intensive Family Services Program, Service Centre Place Manager.

Connecting People

Bennett Springs steps up

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be tough time for many communities. However, during this time the Bennett Springs Resident Association, with support from Community Exchange, were able to step up to provide hope, reassurance and support for its community through community care packages filled with goods and services sourced from local businesses.

Though representatives from sporting clubs, faith communities, schools, dog walking groups and neighbour door-to-door conversations community members of highest need to receive a care package were identified. Call-outs for residents to nominate a worthy recipient of a care package was also used to great effect.

By buying local items for the packages, we were also able to help strengthen the #SpendInTheSprings campaign, started last year by the committee members as a way of promoting residents to support local businesses and promote cross-pollination amongst the local business community.

Working together with Bennett Springs Resident Association, Community Exchange was able to assist with helping secure funding and rolling out of the project through:

  • Planning and strategy
  • Assisting in grant draft and budget
  • Assisting with collaboration and feedback for the grant
  • Connecting with City of Swan
  • Project updates

Let the games continue

After losing the venue where the Daytonian Board Game Club hosted its catch ups, Community Exchange Community Development Coordinator Matt Aitken was a conduit for the club to link with the nearby Riverlands Montessori School, who had a space within the school grounds for community groups to meet. The facility had been funded on the proviso that it would benefit local community groups, so Matt putting the two in touch has been beneficial to both parties.

How to get in touch

Wanneroo:

Tracy Tuari, Community Development Coordinator

cxwanneroo@mercycare.com.au

0481 004 210

Swan:

Matt Aitken, Community Development Coordinator

cxswan@mercycare.com.au

0436 916 538

Get in touch