Local, Independant and Effective
October 27, 2015

The Indi Way - Making Stronger Communities

The community has produced practical and achievable outcomes at the inaugural Indi Summit. “This will guide me in my role representing the people of Indi for the next three years,” Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said.

More than 220 people packed the Lakeside Community Centre on Saturday, October 24, for the Summit. Topics from the pre-discussion papers guided conversations in each group. The Summit attracted people with an interest in small business, transport, telecommunications, education, agriculture, arts, social services, heritage preservation, community building and environment.

In excess of 2000 people in the past 18 months have contributed their ideas and solutions for Indi. Ms McGowan said the Summit’s aim was to turn these into strategies and actions to build a better Indi.

“It was an historic day, congratulations to everyone who took part in the Summit. They can be proud of being involved at the start of a significant community process,” Ms McGowan said.

“Feedback on the day was positive. All the outcomes were community inspired and driven, it was empowering, voices were heard and respected, and it was a huge learning on how different bodies work together.”

Ms McGowan committed to collating all the information into the Indi Community Strategy before the end of 2015. Among the many outcomes included:

  • Agribusiness, manufacturing and industry to work together and build links with the Hume Regional Plan for Sustainable Communities
  • Water – Indi Water policy
  • Small Business – commitment to practical steps to scale-up small business, including a Shark Tank with crowd-sourced funding
  • Indi Heritage Festival – ‘Back To Indi’
  • Indi Arts Advisory Group
  • Arts community directory, linking artists, online networking for artists and businesses

“This Indi Community Strategy is a template for my work as the Member for Indi for the next three years. I look forward to reporting back to the community in 2018,” Ms McGowan said.

Big Ideas speakers Emma Jones, Sam Millar and Matt Pfahlert gave the audience an insight into creative approaches to building capacity within communities. Teaching young people a new way of thinking towards employment, issues and opportunity for success were key messages. 

“It’s important our leaders of tomorrow have the necessary skills, knowledge, resources and networks to tackle problems and solve them effectively,” Ms McGowan said.  

Benalla band Garden Nun and musician Jane Sea gave inspiring performances to open and close the Summit respectively.

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