Group breathes life back into the local community of Cummins

As part of the Creating Inspiring Rural Community Leadership and Engagement program, FRRR has released a video case study featuring the Cummins and District Enterprise Committee (CDEC) and the work they have done to get their local community of Cummins, South Australia, back on track.

Established in 1997 following the closure of a number of local businesses, the committee knew they had to take action to prevent losing further services and employment opportunities and build tourism for the town of 800 people.

The group set about organising community events to revitalise Cummins, creating an avenue for local services and businesses to undertake their own fundraising activities and bring visitors to town. Events such as the Kalamazoo Races have evolved over the years to an air show and now, a regular community garage sale, attracts visitors and creates opportunities for local businesses.

Past CDEC president, Wendy Holman, thinks Cummins is now well and truly on the map. “We’re now seeing people actually make that deviation on the highway and come and see what we’re on about and we’re trying to offer more and more things all the time”, Wendy said.

Adding to the continued development of the district, the group was involved in improving child care services and the caravan park. CDEC has a monthly community newsletter called Cummins Connection, promoting events and local business, as well as the Visit Cummins website and a Facebook page to keep the community engaged and involved.

Taking care of the ‘big stuff’ has allowed local groups and organisations to facilitate their own fundraising and business ideas. As Wendy explained, “Having a broad-based committee and supportive network helped tap into the resources needed to make things happen. We kept the group fresh by getting new members on board and younger people involved,” she said.

Evolving their communication channels from only print and face-to-face to now being online and using social media has increased engagement significantly.

Having been around for almost 20 years, the group’s continued success comes down to asking for help, recognising and thanking contributors and just having fun!

WATCH: Staying on track

As part of the CIRCLE program, FRRR asked the Cummins and District Enterprise Committee to share their tips for how they maintained momentum and successfully completed activities to benefit the community.  In just six minutes, hear their top tips about staying on track to help other community groups.


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