Rubbish, graffiti and a sense of danger are the hallmarks of a space which could be so much more to the Westpark community.
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service understands that a community's physical spaces can contribute to that community's view of itself. Community members must also feel safe. So we posed a question by writing it on the wall of a local milk bar (a wall that had seen its own share of graffiti over the years): "If you could change what's in the Westpark reserve, what would you like to see?" We then invited responses, to be written in chalk on the wall.
Locals responded in their droves. Some wanted play equipment for kids. Some wanted bike jumps or skate ramps. Others wanted seats, tables, barbecues. There was general agreement that the space needed revitalisation.
These responses supported a successful application to the Victorian Government's Neighbourhood Renewal fund. $120,000 will now be spent on the reserve to spruce it up and make it more accessible for families. We helped people and families speak out on behalf of their community, and achieve genuine change.