Community harmony guide for Local Government*

Article image - Community harmony guide for Local Government*

Community cohesion in multicultural settings is a very significant and growing area and councils are increasingly being expected to provide a leading role in creating positive and sustainable relationships between communities.

Launched in late March, StepOne is an innovative website providing councils and community groups with guidance and practical resources to implement community cohesion and community harmony strategies in their local areas.

Developed by Dr Amanda Wise from the Centre for Research on Social Inclusion at Macquarie University and sponsored by the Australian Government through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the StepOne website includes a good practice guide; a number of key research reports to download; and downloads and links to useful social cohesion and community harmony resources. The key feature of the site is a set of best practice case studies taken from councils and community groups throughout Australia and overseas.

These best practice case studies cover a range of examples aimed at reducing racism, intolerance and negative stereotypes, and getting communities to work together. They move beyond the one off multicultural festival model towards dealing with the ‘difficult stuff of living together’ on a day to day basis.

More than 42 case studies are showcased under the themes of Anti-Racism and Myth Busting; Conflict Resolution; Integration, Mentoring and Social Inclusion; Public Art and Creative Interventions; Reciprocity and Working together, and Town centre and Shared space projects.

This toolkit provides a myriad of transferrable models and interventions to address a range of community cohesion issues, making it an incredibly invaluable resource for local councils, community groups and other organisations working in this area.

The website can be accessed at

*Copy supplied by the Centre for Research on Social Inclusion