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Community “hotspot” – Davis Park, Beaconsfield

Large-scale social change comes from better cross-sector coordination rather than from the isolated intervention of individual organizations. ‘Collective Impact’ – John Kania and Mark Kramer, Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2011

A key objective of the South West Metropolitan Partnership Forum (SWMPPF) is to facilitate collaborative problem solving of community needs and the implementation of a coordinated, place-based approach to address these. The place-based approach targets specific physical locations to address long standing social issues linked to disadvantage and social exclusion. Importantly, the place-based approach looks at the totality of a community (as opposed to its individual parts) and brings together diverse social and economic perspectives to address identified needs. The SWMPF project aims to provide the structure and mechanisms to enable such ‘holistic’ community interventions in the Cockburn, Fremantle, and Melville region.

michael walters at davis park

The Fremantle Dockers’ Michael Walters takes time out to kick the footy
with the younger residents of Davis Park.

How the SWMPF chose its community ‘hotspot’

A SWMPF working group was set up in November 2013 to identify possible ‘hotspot’ communities that would benefit from greater collaboration among all stakeholders. The working group identified a series of selection criteria to determine the first ‘hotspot’ community where the SWMPF might trial an ‘all-in’ collaborative approach to address its multiple and complex social needs. The central criterion was that the collaborative intervention would be community-driven; in other words, that the majority of community members would not only support the collaborative intervention but drive it, in partnership with all other stakeholders.

Other criteria concerned:

The working group identified the following ‘hotspots’ against these criteria:

The SWMPF Foundation membership agreed at its meeting on 7 February 2014 that the SWMPF’s first community-led collaborative intervention would take place in Davis Park, Beaconsfield.

SWMPF working group implementing this project

Nominations to the working group opened at the Planning Day on 1 April and the first meeting was convened on 23 May 2014.  The membership of the working group comprises:

Chair: SMYL Community Services

Davis Park Project Officer – Shan Sai.  This 12-month position is funded through a grant kindly provided by the Department of Social Services via the Fremantle Multicultural Centre.

The roles and responsibilities of the working group members are provided in the Terms of Reference Our Davis Park Working Group

david pigram serenades

David Pigram, member of the SWMPF working group, serenades the crowds at a sausage sizzle hosted by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support as part of
National Child Protection Week 

Residents determine project scope

Discussions at the working group’s first meeting centred on the key issues raised by the half dozen Davis Park residents who attended the Planning Day on 1 April.  It was agreed that all residents should be given the opportunity to advise the working group on their concerns.  This would ensure that any initiatives taken by the working group to respond to the issues raised would be supported and ‘owned’ by a broad cross-section of Davis Park residents.

The working group decided the best approach would be to hold an informal event at Davis Park to which all residents would be invited.  This would provide the opportunity to introduce the working group to the residents; to seek the residents’  feedback on their key issues of concern; and seek their feedback on the proposed project name ‘Our Davis Park’ and Davis Park branding.

The working group is indebted to Peter Kenyon (Bank of Ideas) for giving the time to review the Questionnaire for Davis Park residents to identify key concerns to inform project action plan.

In the event, 38 residents braved the torrential rain to complete the survey.  Their responses are summarised below:

 Best things about Davis Park (three most cited):

  1. The Park (including the playground).
  2. The location – convenient to range of amenities.
  3. Neighbours, community spirit.

Things residents would not like to lose (three most cited):

  1. The Park.
  2. The basketball court.
  3. Community spirit.

Things residents would like to change (three most cited):

  1. Drug dealers and drugs.
  2. Environment – syringes, rubbish, graffiti, vandalism, drinking, fighting.
  3. Parents not supervising their children, assuming responsibility for their children.

Wishes for the future (five most cited ):

  1. To feel safe and secure (possible initiatives – lighting, CCTV, tenant behaviour, Police presence, meaningful engagement of disaffected young people, Davis Park newsletter).
  2. Parenting support programs (possible initiatives – play groups).
  3. All kids going to school, feeling motivated, getting jobs (possible initiatives – working with local schools, mentoring programs, training pathways, drop in centre, transport to PCYC).
  4. To improve the Park and playground (replace sand with matting/carpet; barbecue; public toilet; drinking fountain; urban art; skate park; bike track; improved swings, trampoline).
  5. Activities in the Park (clinic footy/basketball, movies, activities for kids).

In addition, the residents endorsed the project name ‘Our Davis Park’ and proposed branding.

The responses to this initial survey of Davis Park residents have informed all the initiatives undertaken by the working group to date.  It is expected that these will be revised and/or expanded as relations strengthen with and between the residents.  The inclusion of Davis Park residents in the working group together with the organisation of regular community events is the main mechanism being used by the SWMPF to ensure its members can regularly obtain feedback from the residents and review initiatives as necessary.

Buster team with kids

Buster the Fun bus is now a regular visitor at Davis Park

Engaging with the community of Davis Park

In order not to lose momentum, the first community event at Davis Park had to be held in mid-winter (26 July 2014).   All residents were invited to join in a host of fun activities and enjoy a sausage sizzle provided by the Department of Housing.

The event was designed to bring the community together in a positive environment and get their feedback on the changes they want to see in Davis Park.  The presence of Fremantle Dockers’ Michael Walters and former Wildcats’ Captain Brad Robbins (who generously volunteered their time to attend)  prevented the event being a complete wash out – despite the torrential rain!

michael walters web pic

Not even the torrential rain could keep the Davis Park kids away from their Dockers’ hero!

Brad Robbins at Davis Park

Former Wildcats’ captain, Brad Robbins, shows the kids how it’s done!

brad document

 Sgt Brad Cooper prepares to give it his best shot!

The organisation of regular events at Davis Park is a key strategy being adopted to assist in building relations among the residents of Davis Park.  These have included:

Community forums and informal working group meetings are also held at Davis Park on a regular basis to discuss issues raised by residents.

lois olneyResident Lois Olney is now providing art classes at Davis Park 


Shared project outcomes

On the basis of the key issues raised by the residents of Davis Park to date, the SWMPF working group has agreed to deliver the following project outcomes:

  1. Davis Park residents feel safe and supported in their community.
  2. Children and young people are engaged in educational, vocational and recreational activities.
  3. Residents report that Davis Park is a good place to live.

 Note: As  is the case of all SWMPF projects, all initiatives to achieve these project outcomes will be driven by the Davis Park residents themselves.  To find out how the working group is monitoring its progress in achieving these outcomes, check out  Program Logic_Davis Park (2)  In December 2014 a team of outreach officers from St Patrick’s Community Support Centre (Street to Home and CrossRoads programs), Ruah Fremantle and Anglicare WA visited all households in Davis Park to undertake a Survey of Davis Park residents to obtain baseline data needed to measure the social impact of key elements of this project.  A similar survey will be undertaken among Davis Park residents in June 2016.

Action plan – how the SWMPF is working to deliver its shared outcomes

The working group is undertaking a range of initiatives to address the different issues raised by residents.  Its (continually evolving!) action plan centres on:

Enjoying yoga in the park!

Achievements to date include:

new playgroundThe children enjoy the new playground


Children enjoy the goannaThe newly-painted goanna proves a particular hit!


asian family children activities
Enjoying some of the children’s activities at Davis Park


Boxing at Davis Park

One of the younger residents punches above his weight!

Davis Park Make our Mark 035
One of the younger Davis Park residents helps out with painting the new basketball court


colin beats the drums

Colin Alston, Area Manager, leads the drum playing at an event hosted by the
Disability Services Commission at Davis Park to mark National Disability Week

Feedback so far…

Follow the SWMPF’s progress

Updates on the progress of the SWMPF in developing and implementing its collaborative response to this project will be provided on this page.  To read the minutes of the group’s meetings, please click below as appropriate:

If you would like to get involved in this project but are unable to join the working group, please share your thoughts and ideas through the SWMPF online discussion forum or feel free to contact us at any time!