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NAME: Graeme Lewington 31426728 TUTOR: Richard Beavitt CLASS: Wednesday @ 4.30pm Journal ONE. Reading: Lathouras, A.

. (2010) Developmental community work: a method. In Ingamells, A., Lathouras, A. Wiseman, R., Westoby, P. and Caniglia, F. (Eds). Community Development Practice: Stories, Method and Meaning. p. 11-28. Australia: Common Ground. My first reading Developmental Community Work chapter 2 by - Athena Lathouras lays the foundation for entering into community development learning. Most importantly for me the importance of community collaboration at the grass roots level. Lathouras uses the Nambour Community Centre situated in the Queensland Sunshine Coast hinterland as a living example example of the developmental method that she explains as underpinning the framework for the work undertaken. Lathouras does not provide a succinct definition of The Developmental Approach rather she cites philosophical (Rabrindranath Tagore, Martin Buber, Paulo Freire) meanings and ethical values that frame her approach and give rise to a definition. The combination of these values are staged in three outcomes:1. Making connections by seeing through the eyes of another. (Tagore 1861-1941) 2. Building relationships through dialogue. (Buber 1878-1965) 3. Mobilising action by listening for keywords. Heauristic logic. (Freire 1921-1997) Cumulatively Latherous defines The Developmental Approach as a method in which the people affected by the particular circumstance are intergral to all aspects of the developmental process. This approach requires active participation that seeks the truth as she describes as the Gandhian tradition. As Lathouras asserts the aim of the work is for people to be empowered and skilled up throughout the processes used, and to make connections with others. Which is achieved collaboratively by working with small groups. This inclusivity of all participants is

proactively engineered to bring about social change. Lathouras contends by doing this practioners and community members can be working at two levels at the same time with the one issue. The Developmental Approach is then divided into three distinct areas being method, values and principles, as an overarching framework set in the public domain. In this case the work 1|Page

is shaped towards the bottom-up approach as the community members feed the decision making process as a whole of community approach. Separate to the top-down down approach, which is driven by social policy and government agendas where workers are seeking pre-determined outcomes.

Lathouras then moves into a critical area that is creating meaningful working relationships that can be sustainable in the longer term. The emphasis here being, a sustainable community is one that has strength, resilience and capacity to act. This helps to prevent outside forces from undermining the work undertaken as it is shaped for longer term success. Another element considered is that community activism is recognised and supported as the infrastructure is built from acquired skills, resources and knowledge. This empowerment of the community enables the community worker to step away from the project as it becomes more sustainable in the longer term. Finally Lathouras introduces us to the 0-1-3 relational method. This method facilitates the moving of a private concern to public action. The essential criteria being that three people are required to move a private concern as shared issues become public issues. Lathouras uses the transient community on the Sunshine Coast as an example of this method being used. The key outcomes for this method are that:1. It reduces social isolation that cause health issues. 2. Builds relationships that create working groups for public action. 3. Therapueutic groups are established working with a facilitator. 4. Strong relationships are established so that groups are self-sustaining. Stories drawn from practice in particular from culturally and linguistic diverse (CALD) backgrounds demonstrate the use of the relational method and developmental community work. These stories reinforce that up-skilling and education are key ingredients that have shaped these sustainable communities.

To have an appreciation of this reading I have considered my own worldview and position from life experiences primarily as a police officer of 23 years where I have worked throughout regional Western Australia. I did not discuss the implicate-method, micro method; mezzo-method; macro-method and meta-method as Lathouras does relate them to the Nambour Community Centre project by establishing sustained connections with community members and internal and external stakeholders.

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In relation to principles and values I see these as ethical guidelines and good governance of a project. I would have liked to have heard from Lathouras what were the issues? and more importantly the why? And if there was resistance to change and how then was success achieved. Lathorous talks about others which in Indigenous circles is called othering. Lathourous merely touches on the issue yet I see it as crucial to empowerment when she uses reconciliation as an underpinning value. This is where cultural awareness of the community worker is important when working with those marginilised. The reading by Ife, Jim (2010) Principles and dimensions of community development, argues these dimensions as critical to community development.

After reading the article by Lathouras (20010) I can understand the approaches that must be taken when carrying out community development. For instance Lathouras discusses the method of dialogue as a key concept of community development, using the (I) + (You) + (We) as a guide to mutual respect dialogue, where knowledge is exchanged and acknowledged. Lathouras also discusses the 0-1-3 approach to community development, which illustrates the role of relationships and the importance of shared relationships (three people or more) in community development, building trust.

Ife (2010), discusses how community development is vital for the success of maintaining sustainability, (environmentally, economically and socially), to successfully meet the needs for humans now and in the future. Community-based structures provide an apparatus for change to achieve sustainability, through a bottomup approach based on local knowledge and capabilities from within the community itself. Further, Ife argues community participation and empowerment is the key to the bottom up approach and to the overall success of community development.

A popular feature that is consistent to the notion of community development is the bottom-up approach, where decisions are made from a community level rather than an organisational level. This reflects my own perception of community development, along with my perception that community development is one, which comprises of capacity building, local participation and empowerment.

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