50 Days and 50 Ways – #37


Leverage the best possible outcomes for the general community through advocacy with Somerset College

Part of the role of the Councillor should be taking of stock of all the resources in the area and attaining the best possible outcome for the community at the lowest possible cost and best possible advocacy for the area. It’s not just council assets where this influence can be asserted but in the community use of buildings or grounds whose custodians are churches, state schools, private schools, and other commercial or community groups.

Since being elected in 2012, this has been a passion for me. It’s not just delivering the best we can when it comes to Council infrastructure, like the $14million+ worth of local roads delivered over the term or the attention to completing the pathway network and delivering playgrounds and parks, but leveraging the best relationships we can with state schools, so the community can benefit outside of school hours, or partnering with our local private school to see our area thrive.

Somerset College has been one such key partnership. Simply by building relationships between the Council and the College, we’ve managed to deliver on the following great outcomes for the community;somerset spartans

  • The formation of the Mudgeeraba Spartans Junior AFL Club –  After an important meeting with the AFL Gold Coast management team, we sought to form a new Junior AFL club. With a lack of suitable fields available in our area, we brokered an agreement with Somerset College to host the team, which has now formed and competed in 2014 for it’s first junior season. While only in it’s infancy it’s been excited to see the partnership between the AFL and Somerset benefit young boys AND girls from local families keeping healthy and active playing AFL.
  • The hosting of FREE parenting seminars for local families – In 2014 and 2015, local behavioural therapist Tan Curtis of Fabic delivered a series of seminars for local families. These were promoted through social media and local school and childcare centres. Tan provided her services at no charge and Somerset College, after we contacted them for their support provided rooms at no charge so any one could attend. The feedback was super and we hope to run the seminars again in the future.
  • The championing of a local poetry prize through the Somerset Celebration of Literature – Local Division 9 school children were invited to compete in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in a local prize for poetry promoting arts and cultural development amongst our young people.
  • Introducing the Bleach* Festival, the city’s premier cultural festival each year, to Somerset College’s “Celebration of Literature” was a natural partnership that may not have been possible without the advocacy of my office. Our close relationship with Louise somerset-bleachBezzina, who curates Bleach* each year, enabled us to leverage the partnership for promotion of the arts in the Hinterland which has great community outcomes and continues to assist in the growth of the patronage of the Celebration, now regularly reaching 17,000 visitors.

Finally, it’s been the exciting investment of the new Olympic-standard Athletics field, substantial indoor recreation centre and the opening of the 50 metre Olympic pool to the public through the Somerset Swim Club. Talks are already about a local basketball team, a strategic partnership with Mudgeeraba Little Athletics (who already have a number of champions evolving from amongst their ranks), and further community minded-ness enabling the general community to share in the resources together with one of the top academic private schools in Queensland.

Somerset indoor rec

A collaborative, strategic leader is required to negotiate these partnerships, and I’m committed to continuing this advocacy on behalf of the local area for the coming 4 years. Vote 1 Tozer on March 19 so this good work can continue.


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