Future Ready Theodore
Theodore is a small rural town on the Dawson River in the drought-affected Banana Shire in Queensland, 540 kilometres north-west of Brisbane. In addition to the drought, Theodore has endured devastating floods over the years, testing the resilience of the community. As is often the case under trying circumstances, influential local leaders stepped up. They focused on repairing and strengthening community infrastructure, community wellbeing and connection, and maintaining their local and tourist economy.
One such organisation was Theodore Community Link (TCL), which was gifted a block of land and a major donation, instigating a desire to become a proactive facilitator of community services and development initiatives.
Their 'Future Ready Theodore' project received a $12,000 grant from FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together program, funded by Mr Tim and Mrs Gina Fairfax, for a two-day workshop with TCL Committee members, Chamber of Commerce and local Council to develop the capacity of organisational leaders and a strategic direction and structural options for TCL, as part of laying the foundations for a community with a strong, clear vision.
The workshop was held in June, and FRRR was invited to be part of this conversation. Our CEO, Natalie Egleton and Philanthropic Services Manager Jo Kemp, presented examples of communities doing it for themselves and key learnings from other vibrant small communities.
The outcomes from this funding will include a clear community vision, a set of community leaders that have an improved sense of purpose and the capacity to shape Theodore for the future, a strategy for the community and its lead organisations, and enhanced community strength to handle any future challenges. TCL will be rewarded with a future-focused delivery program for the community.
It is anticipated that the long-term, sustainable model created after this initial project will not only prepare Theodore to face the long-term effects of drought but also to adapt and even thrive regardless of external forces. This project is the first step in a detailed process to support the creation of a vibrant Theodore community in the future.