Learning circle: the “sharing” mechanism of social cohesion

The sharing mechanism describes how people in a community share expertise, skills, knowledge and power when working together. Come and share your ideas and experience about how this mechanism can be used to improve community wellbeing.

Where: We meet outside in Miller Square, Woodward Cres, Miller (or inside The HUB Community Health Centre if it is raining).

When: 12-1pm, Tuesday 6 September 2011

Who: All who are interested in this topic! Please come along, pull up a chair and start sharing your experience.

Reflections on the ‘drawing together’ mechanism
This week we discussed how to draw people together for social cohesion. We talked about the advantages and disadvantages of formal versus informal gatherings, the former of which might be driven by community leaders but may also ignore the most isolated members of the community and not address barriers to their involvement. Questions for further discussion included:
• How to reach isolated members of the community and address issues of transport and fear?
• How to ensure equal participation and address issues of power?
• How to make Miller into a ‘destination’ rather than just a place where residents go?

Reflections on the ‘ripple effect’
This week we took the group outside (see photo above) and had a lively discussion about different ways of getting the message out about projects positive community stories through the ripple effect. Many of the ideas focussed on word of mouth, community radio, social network mechanisms such as Facebook, and getting people together to talk through community events. Questions for further discussion included:
• does the credibility of the person or people passing on the message make a difference?
• can the ripple effect can be intentionally manipulated or does it occur simply by chance?
• what is the best combination of mechanisms to ensure we reach everyone?

Author: Community STaR

Community STaR is the Service for Training and Research. We are a community-based training and outreach activity of the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE), part of UNSW Australia and South Western Sydney Local Health District.

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