OUR SERVICES

Making a difference within communities

Community Cohesion exists to make a difference within communities. Beginning in 1990, we have gained an excellent reputation for innovative and results-driven solutions co-designed and co-delivered with our clients.

WHAT WE DO

SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS

We help community sector organisations to understand their environment, identify the challenges, define their mission and objectives and develop strategies.

Poorly designed and implemented community projects/services are a waste of resources and can result in a lack of public trust, a loss of confidence among stakeholders and frustration and disengagement among staff. We help organisations to better understand the social environment in which their community-centred plans will be delivered. We will work with you to clarify your mission and desired outcomes, your strengths and weaknesses, and help you identify potential risks to the community and to stakeholders.

Using this roadmap, we can then help you develop focused, consistent and sustainable strategies.

CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

We partner with communities, government agencies and emergency services to design and deliver activities which boost social inclusion, social capital and social mobility.

We have served as conduits between government and community stakeholders on many projects where results would not have been possible without excellent relationship-building skills. We have a track record of developing working relationships between diverse communities, some of whom have a history of strained relations and conflict.

We also recognise that communities are the experts in their own experiences, and are well-placed to inform policy design on matters that affect their lives. So we support the co-design and co-delivery of projects within ‘hard-to-reach’ communities. It engages communities in determining their own goals, makes it easier to recruit community representatives and fosters ownership and support for the project.

By providing a suite of services – program development, surveys and consultation, public awareness campaigns, impact planning and fundraising – we can give your team the cross-cultural skills and confidence to work with diverse communities.

EVENT MANAGEMENT

We believe events can play a significant role in society – showcasing and shaping communities, cultures, organisations and faiths.

If you’re promoting social harmony, we can help you design and deliver events of all sizes: conferences, campaign launches, seminars, exhibitions, advocacy forums, festivals, parades, sports tournaments, memorials and book launches. We’ll help you develop a clear concept and plan, identify the target audience, and communicate closely with you on the logistics and technical aspects prior to, and during, the event.

GROUP FACILITATION, TRAINING, PRESENTATIONS AND TOURS

We specialise in group engagement and training in cross-culture collaboration for frontline staff, local and state government, law enforcement, educational institutions and humanitarian agencies.

We have developed small group sessions for local and state government in reaching culturally diverse communities. Our training can be tailored to meet your specific needs, and delivered on-site or at off-site retreats. The training can be done at many levels, from practical hands-on training for on-the-ground staff which builds their capacity to understand world views, to strategic-level overviews for senior decision makers.

We can be booked for quality keynote presentations, briefings and papers. We also provide sensitive interfaith and intercultural tours to significant places of worship or cultural importance.

SOCIAL RESEARCH & POLICY

We work alongside government and community organisations in the intricate process of finding pragmatic solutions to complex issues within social inclusion, multiculturalism, harmony and diversity.

We will partner with organisations seeking to improve access to services and support for the communities they serve, whether they’re defined by socio-economic status, ethnicity, age, disability or migration status. We will work to strengthen your advocacy and improve the visibility of your community in the eyes of government decision makers.

We will also work with government departments on policy interventions: engaging with stakeholders, developing policy frameworks, evaluating existing policies and assessing the various options for achieving a policy goal.

In an environment where there are often political sensitivities, we exercise judgment, discretion and initiative.

CAPACITY BUILDING

For many years we have successfully helped community organisations, social enterprises and non-profits to become more self-reliant by developing their skills, improving their decision-making and by assisting their grant applications.

We work with community groups to develop their organisational maturity, strengthen their financial governance, improve donor relationships and plan fundraising and campaign strategies.

We have helped clients acquire funding from local councils, the Federal Attorney General’s Department, the Department of Premier and Cabinet Victoria, Corrections Victoria, the Victorian Multicultural Commission, the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, VicHealth and the Australian Multicultural Foundation.

CIVIC PARTICIPATION

Given a voice, disadvantaged and marginalised groups can bring about positive change in society. We can provide the education and support needed to overcome the barriers to inclusion and identify effective ways to participate in decision-making as members of the broader Australian community.

Alienated communities are all too often overlooked or ignored. Whether the alienation is due to language, lack of representation, limited social networks or experiences of discrimination or prejudice, it further undermines their sense of belonging.

We encourage social organisations to involve themselves in active citizenship, and assist them in their struggle to receive the recognition they deserve. We will guide you through the concepts of social justice, human rights, empowerment, self-determination, sustainability and collective action, and help you understand the practical implications.

We can then help with specific issues: clarifying concerns and grievances, identifying your own skills and and resources, brainstorming your vision, planning strategies for getting where you want to be and workshopping knowledge gaps and where you can go for information.

SOCIAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLANNING

We are uniquely positioned to help bridge the gaps between the emergency services, government and vulnerable and diverse communities. We will partner with you in social emergency response planning, community education campaigns and cultural sensitivity training. We can provide informed advice which will enable you to identify and reach the real leaders and gatekeepers in a community.

We have many years experience working with diverse and disadvantaged communities and understand their particular challenges, complexities and vulnerabilities.

We also have a long-standing involvement in emergency management. We are familiar with key emergency management concepts and legislative responsibilities. We understand the political, economic and social dimensions of disasters within communities.

Out of this experience, we are able to apply unique perspectives to the development of strategies and practical actions for both emergency teams and their diverse community partners.