A picture of West Belconnen

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A Picture of West Belconnen

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Strategic Implementation

November 2014


Contents 2

Executive Summary 7

Data highlights 8

Infrastructure and Services Highlights 9

Community Engagement Highlights 10

What does this mean for the Local Services Network? 12

Background 14

Map: West Belconnen 14

Chapter 1: Data Profile 16

Introduction 16

Population size and structure 16

Disability 20

Population age 20

Living arrangements 22

Families with children 22

Lone person households 23

Group households 23

Mortgage - median monthly repayment 24

Renting – median weekly payment 24

Marital Status 26

Marriage and de factor relationships 26

Widow 26

Divorce 26


Method of travel to work 31

Five most popular occupations 31

Indexes of relative disadvantage 35

Time spent in unpaid domestic labour 35

Time spent caring for children 37


Attending an education institution 39

Completion rates, year 12 or equivalent 40

Higher education qualification 41

Australian Early Development Census 42


Volunteering 43

Internet connection 44

Motor vehicles 44


Healthy Lives 45

Safe Community 45

Inclusive Community 45

Educated Community 45


Chapter 2: Infrastructure and Services 47

Introduction 47

Areas for future analysis 47

Planning and Land Release 48

Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate 48

2012 ACT Government Election Commitments 49

Social Infrastructure - Public and community housing 49

Community Facilities 49

Flynn Community Centre 49

Holt Regional Hub 49

West Belconnen Child and Family Centre 49

Education Infrastructure 50

Child care 50

Pre-schools 50

Primary and secondary Schools 50

School Networks 51

Non-school education 51

Canberra Institute of Technology 51

Health Infrastructure 52

Aged Care Facilities 53

Infrastructure to support people with disability 53

Disability ACT Group Homes 54

National Disability Insurance Agency 54

Therapy ACT 54

Arts Infrastructure 54

Infrastructure – Territory and Municipal Services 56

Playgrounds 56

Sports Fields 56

Canberra Nature Park 56

Public library access and services 57

Swimming Pools 57

Roads and Public Transport 57

ACTION services 57

Canberra Connect 57

Other infrastructure and services 57

Retail services 58

Religious organisations 58

Community events 58

Community Safety 58

Services for Children and Families 60

Emergency Services – West Belconnen Ambulance and Fire & Rescue Station 60

Belconnen Community Service 60

Overview of Services for Children and Family 63

Services for Young People 65

Overview of Services for Young People 67

Services for Adults 69

Overview of Services for Adults 73

Services for Retirement 76

Overview of Services for Retirement 78

Chapter 3: Community Engagement 82

Overview 82

Engagement Activities 83

Engagement Outcomes 88

Improved Services 88

Community Facilities 89

Building a Sense of Community 89

Education and Employment 90

Transport 90

Children’s Engagement Outcomes 91

Engagement with children 91

Engagement with Children Reponses 91

Kindergarten, Year One and Year Two Responses 91

Year Three to Year Six Responses 93

Children’s Engagement Themes 94

Links to Broader Engagement Themes 95

Continued Engagement 95

Attachment A Consultation Outcomes Table 96

School Surveys ages 9-12 Survey 106

Executive Summary

Between July and October 2014, the Community Services Directorate undertook a process to understand the needs and priorities of the West Belconnen community.
This involved analysis of demographic profile data relating to the nine suburbs that form West Belconnen; mapping of infrastructure and services available to people in West Belconnen; and intensive engagement with people who live and/or work in

West Belconnen.

This report brings together the key findings across these pieces of work and will be used to inform the Local Services Network in developing a Network Plan in early 2015.

Simultaneous work was also undertaken to understand how the Network would operate which involved a Local Design Team comprising 15 local service provider representatives that assembled to translate the detailed Blueprint Technical Specifications, into a locally relevant, yet scalable Local Services Network (Network).

The results of this process are captured in the Local Services Network Operational Model (the Model), which provides a detailed description on how the Human Services Blueprint (Blueprint) will be implemented in West Belconnen and has been developed based on advice received from the Local Design Team. The Model should be read in conjunction with this report.

The Blueprint brings together services provided across health, education, justice and the community sectors, regardless of provider type or funding source. This means that implementing the Blueprint is the joint responsibility of government and community partners who will work together to realise the benefits of a joined up and

person centred service system.

The West Belconnen Local Services Network is an example of government and community working together as a Network of services committed to improving outcomes for people in West Belconnen. Ultimately, it will be through the combined efforts of Government Directorates, non-government service providers, business/philanthropists, and West Belconnen residents that change will occur.

Data highlights

In 2013, a total of 37,026 people lived in West Belconnen, with a growth rate of 8.4
per cent over the previous five years. This growth is largely attributed to the development of Dunlop and Macgregor and is anticipated to expand by approximately 22,000 people with the establishment of the Riverview development over the next
15 years.

Of the total population in West Belconnen, 584 people identify as Aboriginal or

Torres Strait Islander, with 6,287 people identifying as speaking a language other than English. The top five languages other than English are Spanish (13%), Arabic (8%),
Greek (6%), Vietnamese (5%) and Mandarin (4.5%).

In 2011, 1,186 residents in the West Belconnen area identified as having a profound or severe disability needing assistance in one or more core activity

The largest age cohort in West Belconnen is 30-39 year olds, followed by 0-9 year olds, with females comprising just over half the population.

In 2011, 8,471 West Belconnen residents attended an education institution, with 35.5

per cent in primary school, and 26 per cent in secondary school.

Areas requiring potential supports

In 2011, 25 per cent of all families with children in West Belconnen were lone parent families, with 81 per cent of those households being lone female households.

In 2011, 2,886 people in West Belconnen lived alone, with 34% of those people aged over 65 years. Furthermore, 1,004 people in West Belconnen were widowed, with
80 per cent of those people being females over the age of 70.

While rent in West Belconnen averaged $35 per week less than the ACT average in 2011, household weekly income was $115 less than the ACT average. For families with children, household weekly income was $384 less than the ACT average.

In 2011, there were 702 people in West Belconnen reporting that they were unemployed and actively seeking employment. Of this group, 40 per cent were aged 15-24 years.

In 2006, six of the nine West Belconnen suburbs received a relative disadvantage ranking higher than the Belconnen average of 13.7 per cent in the most disadvantaged group (SIEFI data).

In 2012, higher proportions of vulnerability were evident in five of the nine
West Belconnen suburbs on one or more of the below Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) domains:

  • Physical health and wellbeing

  • Social Competence

  • Emotional Maturity

  • Language and Cognitive Skills

  • Communication Skills and General Knowledge

In 2011, 12 per cent of properties in West Belconnen reported having no internet connection at home, with the highest proportion of those households being in Holt- 335 households.

In 2011, four per cent of properties in West Belconnen reported having no motor vehicle registered. Holt recorded the highest number of households without a

motor vehicle- 138 households.

Infrastructure and Services Highlights

There are two service hubs in West Belconnen, one in Holt which comprises Carers ACT, Anglicare, Sharing Places, National Brain Injury Foundation, and Sexual Health and Family Planning; and one in Flynn which currently comprises an early childcare centre. Marymead and Belconnen Community Service have been allocated space at the Flynn Hub, with an expression of interest process underway to allocate the remaining spaces.

The Kippax Library is located in Holt and provides free WiFi and computer access. The West Belconnen Child and Family Centre is also located in Holt.

There are no free swimming pools in West Belconnen, although there is one privately opened pool available for swimming lessons.

There is only one MyWay recharge agent in West Belconnen at the Charnwood Newsagency.

There are three childcare facilities in West Belconnen, nine preschools, eight primary schools, and one high school. There are no colleges located within West Belconnen.

There are 53 playgrounds in West Belconnen with two of those playgrounds listed as high priority for renewal.

There are a range of services for children and families, including those delivered by the Child and Family Centre, Maternal and Child Health, and Women, Youth and Children’s Community Health Programs-nutrition service.

Anglicare, Belconnen Community Service, Canberra City Cares, and UnitingCare Kippax all deliver programs to support children and families in West Belconnen. A range of other government and community based services are also available for people living in West Belconnen.

There are a range of services available for young people in West Belconnen, including programs for young carers, the Junction Health Service for young people, and the PCYC operates a program in the broader Belconnen area. Although there are no youth centres located in West Belconnen, the Belconnen Community Service operates a youth centre in Belconnen.

As at 31 May 2014, there were 1,104 Housing ACT properties in West Belconnen, including public housing and properties leased to community services.

There are a range of services available to adults living in West Belconnen, including financial supports, pharmacy services, and in home supports. Financial and emergency aid is available through UnitingCare Kippax. A food bank and clothing op-shop is also available at Canberra City Care in Charnwood.

The National Health Co-op has two locations in West Belconnen, providing bulk billing medical services to the community. Although not located in West Belconnen, the Belconnen Community Health Centre was recently opened in Belconnen, including a walk-in centre open seven days a week. Five health projects have also been funded in West Belconnen through the Health Promotion Innovation Fund.

There is one aged care facility in West Belconnen. Australian Red Cross provides meals on wheels and a range of in home supports to help people stay in their home in West Belconnen. Capital Chemist Charnwood also provides a range of services and home help equipment to people living in West Belconnen.

Cranleigh school for children with disabilities is located in West Belconnen. The school has a school holiday program operated by Belconnen Community Service.

Pegasus Riding for the Disabled is also located in West Belconnen, along with the Branch Out cafe- a social enterprise for young people with a disability, Anglicare Shaw Possibilities and Disability Services.

Disability ACT has five disability group homes in the West Belconnen area.

Community Engagement Highlights

Engagement with the community highlighted five key themes that matter most to the people of West Belconnen. It is noted that further engagement is required to test the key themes with the broader community in order to determine the Network priorities.

The key themes included:

  1. Improved Services- this theme included improving access and promotion of services, ensuring services such as healthcare and housing are affordable, and providing specific focus on services for young people, older people, and gender specific services.

  2. Community Facilities- this theme focused on new facilities that are desired by the community (e.g. a public swimming pool, sports centre, dog parks, and adventure playgroups), making facilities more accessible for people with disabilities, older people, and ensuring safety for children, and the protection of Indigenous land when planning new developments.

  3. Building a Sense of Community- this theme focused on reducing barriers to community owned solutions (e.g., allowing community to maintain public spaces, hold community gatherings-like street parties), creating opportunities for volunteering to help other members of the community, and ensuring community feedback is used to inform Network priorities. This also included involving business in the Network and addressing bullying (including cyber-bullying) as a community issue, especially for people with disabilities and people from

    non-English speaking backgrounds.

  4. Education and Employment- this theme focused on improving access to information in schools, creating more education options for high school and college in the area, and establishing local job networks and employment opportunities.

  5. Transport- this theme focused on improving access to public transport
    (including creating more MyWay recharge points), improving active transport options by creating safer foot and bike paths, enhancing community transport options (especially between service hubs), and ensuring enough free parking is available near vital services.

In addition to the key themes outlined above, this report also assesses the engagement methodologies used in this initial phase in order to inform further engagement activities. The following recommendations have been provided based on the findings of this phase:

  1. The roving community storyboards should be continued as a consultation method, but it is recommended that there is someone there to encourage people’s contributions.

  2. Mail box drop (postcards) and newspaper advertisement were widely distributed around the West Belconnen area and provided the community with information of the Local Services Network and the different method which residents may like to contribute. It is proposed that this format was not as successful in disseminating information as initially thought. Of the two formats, the newspaper advertisement was more successful than the postcards.

  3. Social media was used to reach those individuals with Facebook and Twitter accounts. This engagement format is free of charge, is not difficult to use or time consuming and has the potential reach thousands of people. It is proposed that this method continue to be used.
  4. While neighbourhood forums provide in depth conversation and information gathering, it is recommended that future forums be limited to mid week forums rather than weekends or evenings.

  5. Targeted focus groups should be conducted throughout the Local Services Network with a particular focus on disadvantaged groups that may not attend a neighbourhood forum or engagement activity.

  6. Based on successful examples of individual client journey mapping, it is suggested that training and support be provided to workers in the Local Services Network to build capacity for engaging hard to reach community members.

  7. Online survey should be used to provide an easy means to collect data from the community however it should not be exclusively relied upon to provide feedback from the community as a whole.

  8. Personalised invitations to West Belconnen residents who are actively engaged and motivated to improve the outcomes for their community.

  9. Previous and new consultations relating to West Belconnen should be collated and made available for future reference, to avoid over consulting particular groups, and to ensure key themes are shared across multiple stakeholders.

  10. Child specific surveys can be of great assistance in gaining a whole of community view on service delivery and connectedness. Due to public school policies and clearance requirements, additional time is required if the surveys are to be extended to public schools.

  11. Youth specific surveys could be delivered through ACT public high schools, colleges and youth services. Due to public school policies and clearance requirements, additional time is required if the surveys are to be extended to public schools.

What does this mean for the Local Services Network?

The initial task for the Network is to form and establish a strong leadership and governance structure and develop a Network Plan. The Network Plan will compliment the functions outlined in the Operational Model to provide the strategic direction for the Network, ensuring a common agenda that leverages and aligns existing effort to achieve Network priorities.

While further engagement with West Belconnen residents is required to develop the Network Plan, initial consolidation of outcomes arising through this report, suggest the following eight themes as potential priorities for the Network to consider:

Integrated Service Delivery Themes:

  1. Supporting lone parent families- with a focus on gender specific services.

  2. Improving early childhood development outcomes- including through universal and early intervention approaches.

  3. Addressing youth unemployment- including through enhancing education and employment opportunities.

  4. Supporting older people experiencing isolation- including through neighbourhood volunteering and community based activities.

Capacity Development Themes:

  1. Improving access to information- including through internet access and community notices

  2. Maintaining and improving community facilities- including establishing new facilities and enabling community action

  3. Community Building- including through volunteering and community events

  4. Improving transport options- including public, active and community based approaches

These themes have been determined through cross referencing of the data, infrastructure, services, and community engagement findings to ensure reliability.

For example, 40 per cent of unemployed people in West Belconnen are young people. This theme was captured in the community engagement and services scans where people indicated that young people need more opportunities to participate in West Belconnen, including through enhanced education and employment options.

Involving the community in developing the Network Plan will be an important element in not only ensuring the Local Services Network responds to community identified needs, but also in building the capacity of the community to ultimately support itself.

A key role of the Local Services Network is therefore to ‘facilitate the capacity of the community to drive and sustain its own shared value’.1 This concept draws on the significant achievements of ‘Placemaking’ approaches that leverage the capital within a place to enhance the overall wellbeing of the people that live there, while ensuring sustainability into the future.

Placemaking approaches have shown that 80-90 per cent of community success is based on how well a place is managed, including by supporting communities to engage in and self-manage community projects. This includes removing barriers to community driven action, a key theme emerging from engagement with the West Belconnen community.

Placemaking approaches also align with the co-design and co-production methodologies that have proven successful in recent ACT initiatives such as the Strengthening Families Initiative.

It is therefore recommended that approaches that develop the capacity of the community to drive local activities are adopted by the Network through both the development and implementation of the Network Plan.

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