Implementation of the Our Place approach at Westall 

The Westall community begins to benefit from Our Place’s focus on building relationships and establishing governance that supports shared strategic planning and collaboration.  

The Our Place Westall team have been working toward completing steps 1 and 2 in the Our Place implementation process. These steps focus on developing connections, relationship building, and consultations with local services providers and the local community. From this, a deep understanding of the community emerges that then assists site partners in determining community needs. 

Local services in Westall have welcomed the invitation to be involved with Our Place agency consultations.  Conducting agency consultations provides great insight into what services are available to the community and identifying service gaps. They also enable the identification and exploration of collaboration opportunities. So far, the Westall team have consulted with over 25 local service providers, speaking with over 47 professionals within the Clayton South area. 

Through conducting agency consultations, Our Place learnt that there was a desire amongst many local services to connect with the school, kindergarten, and community hub. Acting as the role of the glue, Our Place set out to assist with coordinating and facilitating opportunities to help with this connection.   

One example of this work involved Our Place learning through an agency consultation with Victoria Police, that Officers were keen to connect with Westall Primary School. Our Place discovered that Victoria Police had the availability and resources to do so and then offered this opportunity to the school. The school then identified a need for a presentation around Road Safety. Our Place then acted on and assisted with the coordination of by liaising with both Victoria police and the school.   

Ensuring the local communities voice is captured during implementation is core to the Our Place approach. One of the ways this is achieved is through undertaking extensive community consultations. Our Place is currently focused on providing regular opportunities for the Westall Community to engage with these consultations by visiting on site programs to extend invitations to participate and by meeting with kindergarten and primary school parents during pick up and drop off times.    

Site partners all place a high priority on the voices of the community in setting priorities. Consultation with the community also provides the Our Place team with another opportunity to connect with and develop relationships with community members.   

Implementation of the Our Place approach enables Our Place to act as the glue that binds everything together and has a strong outcomes-focus. We ’start with the end in mind’, meaning we identify the outcomes to be achieved and work backwards from there – taking time to carefully identify what should and should not be implemented as part of an overall strategy.  

Implementation of the five Our Place evidence-based Elements follows the following six-step cycle, which is all underpinned by a set of guiding principles:  

  1. Build relationships and establish a shared commitment  
  2. Understand the community and evidence the need  
  3. Develop a shared vision and plan to drive change in the community  
  4. Support ’joined-up’ service implementation  
  5. Provide ongoing implementation support  
  6. Undertake a detailed review process after three years of implementation