The Future Picture: taking culture forward.

    Understanding what cultural facilities and features the community values and why will assist Council to review the actions its takes to support, initiate or hold cultural activity in the Shire. Council’s future action will supplement what the community already does to nurture the Shire culturally and build on the attributes and activity we all see to be our cultural strengths.

    Council fosters cultural activity in all manner of ways including through: programs that protect the Shire’s natural environment; advocating for and promoting heritage conservation – both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal; undertaking locality planning, which embraces place making; building and managing infrastructure that supports our day-to-day way of life and diverse cultural activity – such as playgrounds, picnic areas and pathways, art gallery, museum, auditoria, halls and libraries; employing professional staff to administer cultural programs; holding and providing sponsorship funding for local events and celebrations; facilitating community public art initiatives; and strengthening culture-based business and tourism.

    Why plan for culture?

    Planning for culture can maximise the cultural, social and economic outcomes it contributes to the Shire, as well as regionally. A Cultural Plan will direct the resources Council invests in culture to generate the outcomes needed or desired by the community. Planning for culture will also assist Council, and the community, to maximise the grant opportunities that make a significant contribution to culture in our communities.

    The value of culture.

    Culture is important to our community as it shapes or contributes to: personal / community identity; our sense of place (the bond we have or develop with where we live); social inclusion / connectedness (feeling like we all belong and for people of different backgrounds, socio-economic status and individual abilities); wellbeing and understanding of the world (through benefiting from the intellectual and emotional stimulation, as well as the new knowledge, it generates); economic activity – through the sale of creative goods and services, employment and tourism; the quality and enjoyment of our community and public spaces – including parks, neighbourhoods, streetscapes and natural areas, which are the spaces in which events and celebrations are held or envelop our cultural and natural heritage.

    In turn, all these benefits contribute to community sustainability – that is striking a beneficial balance between the environment, economic activity and the social and cultural vibrancy of our communities.