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Finding a group that suits you

Joining a community group is a great way of strengthening your community.

An active and diverse civil society promotes social cohesion and public trust. If you want a community that supports your ideals, you have to be prepared to put something back.

Joining in means just that. It involves working with people and communities, not just for them - becoming involved in their activities and committed to their goals. It involves identifying what matters to you and throwing all your enthusiasm behind it.

Joining in and joining up is about engagement, working with and listening to the people you're supporting, making connections, using all of yourself in a good cause.

That's good for the community, and it's good for you. On a personal level participation with a community group helps you to develop your skills, build your social networks, and feel the satisfaction of knowing you've made a contribution to your community.

Analyse the situation. Ask yourself

  • What are your priorities?
  • What do you have to offer?
  • What's needed?
  • What are the restrictions on your participation?
  • Do you have internet access?

Priorities

You want the world to be different - perhaps a little different, with a new bus stop at the end of the road, or perhaps completely different, with a new heaven and a new earth, or perhaps something in between. Think out the changes you want to see, and find out who's working for them now.

Needs

Sometimes there's an overriding priority, and everybody has to jump on to the fire truck or raise money for flood or fire victims. Some things are urgent and important but you'd just be in the way. Look around for something that needs to be done where your contribution can make a difference.

Talents

Are you a leader? A clear thinker? A warm and loving person? An expert on trains/birds/scones/laws/posters/cows/whatever? Do you have a strong back, or a medical degree, or a lifetime of experience in the real world? Think a bit about what side of yourself is going to be brought to the front in your involvement with a community group.

Restrictions

The contribution you make can be restricted by

  • geography (if you live in Alice Springs you can't join in a surf club)
  • resources (if you haven't got a car you can't join up far afield, if you haven't got a computer you can't offer to edit the annual reports)
  • internet access (if you don't have a fast link you can't be a virtual participant)
  • other commitments (if you only have a hour a week free from work and children you shouldn't try and take on the club presidency)

Finding your Opportunity

All these matters can influence your choice of where you want to join in and join up, and picking your ideal group can be quite complicated. Sometimes the right cause recruits you, and at other times you have to go out and look for it.

Start by looking in our Join in, Join Up Directories of Community Organisations. There is a group out there waiting for your involvement now!

 

Our Community Pty Ltd   www.ourcommunity.com.au   ABN 24 094 608 705
National Headquarters: 51 Stanley St, West Melbourne Victoria 3003 Australia
(PO Box 354 North Melbourne 3051 Victoria)
Telephone (03) 9320 6800   Email service@ourcommunity.com.au