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Community Development

Our Community Development initiative area focuses on fostering growth by responding to the needs of the communities we engage with. We involve youth mentors, community stakeholders, families, and children in activities such as our mentoring programs for youth through sport, art programs, and learning support.

Programs & Activities

Drawing on our deep connections with community we co-design programs and activities and create supportive environments where all people can feel connected, thrive, and ultimately contribute meaningfully to their communities. Our programs build genuine social connections across diverse communities and empower people to engage within their community and foster an inspiring community culture. 

Our Flagship Programs, Activities & Events

Welcome Studios - Art Group

Our Mt Atkinson Art Group is an inclusive, welcoming group that respects the diversity of those living in Melbourne’s western suburbs. No experience is required, just a desire to be creative and enjoy the company of others. Sometimes external artists are invited in to teach the group, mostly we draw upon the experience in the group.

On Track - Bike Program

A welcoming, regular mountain bike group to help young people in Melbourne’s western suburbs, stay on track or get back on track. This is a fun, adventurous, safe, and physically active program where young people from diverse backgrounds feel safe to be themselves, extend their physical capacity, and achieve physical, and emotional goals.

Learning Support Hubs - Flemington, St Albans, Tarneit

Our learning support (homework club) program provides literacy and numeracy support for primary school children from migrant or refugee backgrounds. Students from kindergarten to year 6 are supported to learn by staff and volunteers in an encouraging and fun environment. 


Mt Atkinson and Grandview
Community Activities

Our activities include mountain bike riding, archery, art, bush cooking, and food growing. These activities not only provide enjoyment but also foster personal development, teamwork, and community cohesion, helping participants build skills, form connections, and develop a sense of belonging.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Group

Designed to support the growth and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne. Our overarching theme is to build strong leaders, who will have the knowledge and skills to lead in both worlds they walk between and how to navigate the challenges they may face. 

Youth Group offer a mix of activities and cultural learning to all school aged children and families from across the west. The group promotes and fosters positive self­-esteem and social interaction, build confidence, and enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of the participants. Youth Group is delivered through a partnership between Aboriginal Wellness Foundation, Cooinda and ERCS.

Connecting Our Communities Outdoors (COCO)

The COCO project utilises outdoor spaces for recreation & leisure activities I.e. community facilities, walking paths and local festivals, to bring families & community together to strengthen community connection and promote a sense of belonging. We partner and collaborate with multiple community services and programs utilising the strength of systems based and placed based community action. We utilise the breadth, skill and cross-cultural nature of recreation and leisure activities so community members can connect, capacity build each other, experience enjoyment and enhance resilience. This provides pathways, skill development and support to access volunteering, in turn strengthening community leadership and participation.

Our Impact

For more information head to Our Impact 

Social Connection

Our programs build strong social connections among young people, fostering a sense of belonging and community. Through group activities and collaborative projects, participants form meaningful relationships with peers and mentors. This support network reduces feelings of isolation and encourages a culture of mutual respect and cooperation. By promoting inclusivity, we help young people feel heard, valued, and understood, enhancing their sense of belonging.


Building resilience is key to our approach. We put young people at the centre of their own decision-making and choices. Guided by mentors, they face challenges during activities, experiencing the rewards of their courage and learning to adapt and recover from setbacks. This resilience improves their mental well-being and prepares them to face future obstacles with confidence.

Individual & Community Empowerment

Our programs emphasise the importance of individual empowerment. By fostering a sense of autonomy and encouraging young people to take initiative, we help them become advocates for themselves and others. Empowered young people are more likely to engage in leadership roles and drive community development projects. This empowerment helps young people become change-makers in their communities.

Our Partners

Support Us

Every day and every dollar can make a difference.

Whether through donating, volunteering or partnering, your support makes a positive impact on the lives of children, families and communities experiencing vulnerability. Every contribution, big or small, helps us create lasting change in social connection, resilience and individual and community empowerment.