What we do
Community Works has completed many successful projects in partnership with communities, mainstream NGOs and governments in northern Australia, across the country and around the world. Our team strives for creative solutions to evidence-based social development. We have gained expertise in 19 countries including Australia, working with partners in fields such as community health (especially mental health), early childhood development, and social enterprise development.
We pride ourselves in the sensitivity of our approach by actively listening to community members, being respectful of people in vulnerable situations and strive to understand where people are coming from.
Please see below for examples of our work.
Bringing life to community experience and knowledge
Peoples’ stories are often the most valuable sources of information, and collecting them helps communities achieve their goals. Community Works builds this rich data through a method known as Narrative-Based Research. For example, help gather stories about Country to build ideas and marketing for community-owned tourism, or support fishing charters to include water-based tours of Country.
Community Works is guided by the communities it works with to gather these stories to evaluate projects using a Community-Owned Evaluation method. Working with Indigenous professional services firm Ninti One, we have trained many community members to gather this data.
Another important approach we use is Co-Design, which sees better project results by bringing together the expertise of key stakeholders such as service providers, community groups, Elders and leaders. For example, a community deciding the best way to promote healthy activities supported by health professionals.
Accessible communications and community-based training.
Community Works specialises in simplifying information into more accessible forms, especially for people from non-English speaking backgrounds. For example:
- service models displayed visually rather than in text
- visual project evaluation summaries
- visually communicating a community plan or aspiration.
Community Works often hears that people need and want new skills to do things with and for their communities. We also specialise in training to help communities build capacity, such as helping to set up and run committees, especially to get funding for projects.
Maximising social impact by building on successes
Many successful projects are isolated examples. Community Works increases the social impact of successful projects by making them happen in more places. We have done this with projects such as women’s enterprise and mental health programs in Africa, family planning services in Central America and child-friendly urban spaces in South America. We are the exclusive Australian representative of ‘Spring Impact’, an international organisation that specialises in scaling successful projects.
Our work in the north
Some of our projects for communities and organisations in northern Australia.
We have had a positive experience working with two community groups to design and conduct research on topics they consider important.
Since 2015, Community Works has contributed to the work of the National Best Practice Unit for Tackling Indigenous Smoking.
Starting meetings in the right way is a key to good governance for voluntary committees in remote communities.
We have been working with the community of Minyerri to help them plan for and measure the results of work they would be doing at their arts centre.
Community Works has been involved in initiatives in suicide prevention for some years with our partners.
We have been working with our partner Ninti One on the designing and planning of programs.
Some of our publications for communities and organisations in northern Australia.
From Our Clients
We partner with organisations and individuals for social and community impact. Here’s a little of what they say about working with us.
“… highly experienced, reliable and talented… their projects demonstrate the importance of participation and a creative and collaborative approach to community development… ”
“Community Works provides expertise, knowledge and know how on getting things done. Steve Fisher and his team move easily between the theory and multidisciplinary practice, helping a broad range of organisations to become better and realise their full potential. The Community Works broad international experience and willingness to engage with everyone on the ground has been hugely beneficial to projects that we have collaborated on. Working with Community Works is always easy and productive.”
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