The local social movement we can all get behind


Being part of an engaged, connected community not only gives us an important sense of belonging, but it also provides support, safety, and contributes to our wellbeing. And while we all know this, many of us lead busy lives, or are isolated, and that sense of community can fall by the wayside.

That’s why the Town Team Movement is an active social movement we can all get behind. It enables local communities and governments to connect, organise and act to regenerate the fabric of their neighbourhoods and to create better places.

And the best part? Anyone can start a Town Team!

The Narembeen Town Team

Narembeen is a close-knit community town in the heart of the Wheatbelt. In 2021, five local Narembeen ladies formed the Narembeen Town Team, with the shared goal of making positive change in their community. When locals noticed areas of the town that needed some TLC, the ladies decided to act.

Narembeen Community Resource Centre Manager and Town Team member Vanessa Wittstock said the team spent five months planning before implementing the community improvements.

“It doesn’t take much to get a group of people together to help make a positive change and difference in your community,” Vanessa said.

“We found a few big projects that we knew we could do something about it, instead of us looking at it and saying, ‘that’s someone else’s problem’.”

They hoped that by actively trying to change and engage the community, it would cause a ripple effect, and get more people proud of the town they live in.

Projects in the works

The Town Team sought to unite the Narembeen community and surrounding regional towns by bringing Main Street to life with a lively street festival. A roaring success, the festival saw more than 250 locals enjoy a plethora of activities from bouncy castles, obstacle courses, face painting, live entertainment, local food vendors and a “Paint Storm”.

“It’s a really good way to bring everyone together and showcase what we are about,” Vanessa said.

Camera IconThe Narambeen street festival. Credit: Supplied.

In the lead up to the main event, the team had a few projects up their sleeves.

“We completed the Barlow store renovation, an old shop on the main street that was full of old newspaper; was one of the things that a lot of community members complained about,” Narembeen Town Team member Hannah Bald said.

As a farming community, they decided as a group it would be important to visually educate any tourists travelling through their home.

“The second project was the Churchill Street mural,”

“We’ve got an amazing grain discovery centre, and we thought if people saw it on the outside, the different types of grains we grow around here, that would draw them in,” Hannah said.

The Churchill Street mural.
Camera IconThe Churchill Street mural. Credit: ./Supplied.

“It’s a really good way to bring everyone together and showcase what we are about,” Vanessa said.

How funding plays a huge role

Funding can really help bring communities to life and better connect their neighbourhoods.

RAC has been the Principal Partner of Town Team Movement, since 2018, providing up to $80,000 each year in funding to support community placemaking projects. Since introducing the RAC Connecting Communities Fund, they have supported more than 40 individual Town Team projects across metropolitan and regional WA.

“RAC’s funding is more than 50 per cent to achieve these projects so it pretty much covered the cost of the mural,” Hannah said.

“I don’t think it would’ve happened without the support of RAC.”

Hannah and Vanessa said they are already noticing an attitude shift in the community.

“We’ve had so much positive feedback,” Vanessa said.

“The mural had over 15,000 reaches on Facebook overnight,” Hannah said.

“It just shows you don’t have to be a professional. Any sort of improvement can make a massive difference.”

Community and connections are important, and RAC want to help empower locals to inject vibrancy back into their town or suburb and feel proud of the places where they live, work and play. Visit the website for more information.



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