The impacts and implications of community planning on resilience in rural and regional communities

PhD Thesis

Moriarty, Janice Margaret. 2023. The impacts and implications of community planning on resilience in rural and regional communities. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.

The impacts and implications of community planning on resilience in rural and regional communities

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorsMoriarty, Janice Margaret
1. FirstA/Pr Janet McDonald
2. SecondDr Geoffrey Woolcock
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages310
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Balancing participatory and representative democracy for collective community leadership is essential to establishing a community governance structure in the field of local government in Queensland, Australia. Community planning has been viewed by state and territory governments in Australia as the vehicle for increasing participatory democracy for local governments over the past two decades. Increasing participatory democracy and relegitimising representative democracy through a community governance structure is critical for rural and regional communities to build capacity and resilience given the prominent role local government plays in regional community life. Currently, there is limited knowledge of maturing and proven local government community governance models that utilise the practice of community planning to build community capacity in rural and regional Queensland and Australia. This study interrogates Queensland’s Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC) Community Reference Group (CRG) model which utilises community planning as a process for establishing a deliberative community governance model. CHRC facilitates a network of 13 CRGs to undertake community planning, community engagement and community development in each of the 13 localities in the region. The large amount of verbatim data from the CRG and Council participants reveals the role agency, social and cultural capital play in building capacity between the CRG members and Council. This unique study provides authentic insights into community leadership collectives, showcasing their particular version of community planning practice in a regional/rural setting. Using Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice and Wenger’s Communities of Practice (CoPs) as a social theory of learning frames the CRG practice of community planning within these contexts. Constructivist Grounded Theory methodology provides a systematic and iterative process for data collection and analysis to reveal the story of the CHRC CRG model from 2013 – 2021. Over time, the CRG model has developed into a distinct and maturing deliberative community governance model for practicing community planning in the field of local government. This CRG model can be adopted by other regional councils in Australia or internationally to build authentic community capacity and, therefore, increase community resilience.

Keywordsagency; social and cultural capital; community planning/visioning; Communities of Practice; place identity; Australian local government; participatory governance
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 20203699. Other creative arts and writing
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Creative Arts
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