Skip to main content

Community Planning in Yarra Ranges


Community planning enables people to create a shared vision and objectives for their local community.  It helps to establish what community members like about their township or district, what they want to change, and what they would like to introduce. Importantly, the planning and resulting actions are conducted by the community for the community, with Yarra Ranges Council supporting the process.

Community planning:

  • is positive and empowering
  • connects communities together
  • strengthens existing relationships, and
  • establishes new partnerships.

The process is driven by community members, who decide when to start, how to proceed, who should be involved, what objectives will be attempted, and what the priorities for action will be.  In this way the process and the outcomes (the plan) belong to the community.

Community members will learn much about their community through the process.  Informed communities are best at identifying and resolving local issues.

Yarra Ranges Council can provide mentoring, support, advice, encouragement, information, training and seed funding along the way.

Download the Yarra Ranges community planning guide (DOCX, 93KB), which details the process of community planning.

Read about plans that communities in Yarra Ranges have created and put into action since 2012.

How does community planning work?

Community planning includes the following activities:

  • talking to people in your community
  • organising events
  • getting free training and coaching

Community members who get involved will learn more about:

  • what people in the community care about
  • the strengths and assets of the community
  • social issues in their community
  • how community assets can be used to tackle social issues.

The result of this process is a document called a ‘Community Plan’ which includes:

  • a statement of a shared vision of the community in the future
  • a summary of themes and priorities
  • actions and activities that community members want to do together.

The keys to successful community planning are to:

  • talk to as many people as possible
  • ask people to get involved
  • learn from other communities who have done community planning.

The benefits for participants are:

  • increased self-confidence
  • new skills
  • new friendships
  • stronger community connections

How does community planning usually start?

  • Council holds information sessions about community planning - check the events calendar for upcoming sessions
  • Enthusiastic and energetic people who are passionate about improving their community start talking about community planning
  • A small group decides to start the community planning process!
  • They follow the steps below, which may overlap in sequence

What is the process?

Below is a quick summary of the five steps of community planning. For more details, click on the headings.

  1. Formation
  • Form a small steering group of 3-5 people
  • Request assistance from Council’s community development team
  • Inform other key people about community planning
  • Encourage other people to join a community planning group (6-10 people)
2.  Information
  • Community planning group meets regularly
  • Consider group governance options
  • Gather information about the community
  • Learn more about the community from others (such as local and state government officers)
3.  Involvement
  • Talk with the community in different ways
  • Develop themes from the data and information gathered
4.  Presentation
  • Consider forming a governance structure for the group
  • Create a vision statement
  • Design projects based on themes
  • Decide which projects are short, medium and long term
  • Write a draft plan and distribute widely for comment
  • Finalise the plan
  • Present plan to Council and to the community
5. Implementation
  • Implement the plan (e.g. seek funding, develop projects, advocate)
  • Review the plan regularly


To find out more, contact Council's Community Development Team, on Ph 1300 368 333.




Subscribe to Page Updates

Fields marked as required must be completed