Mission Australia and HOPE Collective are reinforcing their commitment to Whyalla and will work together to create long-term change in the community.

The partnership will see Whyalla become Mission Australia’s fourth Community of Focus, with the organisations building on the solid foundation that HOPE Collective has established in the community to create positive change. 

Launching in 2024, the collaboration will see Mission Australia commit up to 10 years of funding towards the establishment of a local team who will support HOPE Collective’s ongoing work with the Whyalla community. 

HOPE Collective is a collaboration of multiple groups including community groups, schools, churches, residents, and government agencies and non-government organisations. Mission Australia was a founding member of HOPE Collective.  

The heart of HOPE Collective is to serve the local community, to see the community as experts in their own story, to empower neighbourhoods, and to see lives transformed.  

This Communities of Focus partnership will enhance and deepen the ongoing work that HOPE Collective has been doing with the Whyalla community over the past nine years.     

Mission Australia Program Manager Rebecca Gow said through the partnership, Whyalla locals will continue to be empowered to have a say on the issues that are important to them and determine what projects they would like the partnership to focus on.  

“In choosing Whyalla as the latest Community of Focus, Mission Australia is reaffirming our long-term commitment to the community,” she said.  

“HOPE Collective has been doing great work in the Whyalla community for many years,” Ms Gow added. 

“We want to support the ongoing work so HOPE Collective can continue to engage with the community, understand what locals view as important, and use that knowledge to make lasting change.” 

Ms Gow said the Community of Focus approach will support HOPE Collective’s current projects and new initiatives in the future.  

“We’re looking forward to 2024 and the exciting opportunities on the horizon,” she added.    

Communities of Focus partnerships are already up and running in Western Australia and Far North Queensland.  

The initiative aims to work with communities at a local level by building up residents’ capacity and supporting them to create and lead their own solutions to address community challenges and realise locally determined goals.  

As the backbone of the Community of Focus project, Mission Australia will be working alongside the Whyalla community and HOPE Collective to better understand the drivers of local disadvantage and support local leadership to build capacity and collaborate on creating positive social change. 

HOPE Collective Chair Michael Edgecomb said the community-focused approach of the organisation aligns with the aims of the Communities of Focus initiative.  

“The heart of HOPE Collective is all about the incredible people of our community, and this opportunity to collaborate with Mission Australia will enable us to continue what we already do and serve Whyalla in new ways,” Michael Edgecomb, Chair, HOPE Collective added.  

The Mission Australia Communities of Focus and HOPE Collective partnership will officially launch in early 2024, with hiring for the backbone team set to start in the new year.    

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