Town Team Conference kicks off in West Perth

Perth MLA John Carey
Perth MLA John Carey

COUNCILLORS, mayors and chief executives were dancing, a presenter cut his tie off, there was a staring competition, slides containing dogs, lego and Star Wars and it was Dale Alcock’s birthday.

It all happened at the Holmes a Court Gallery in West Perth at the inaugural two-day Town Team Conference that kicked off today.

Town Team convenor and City of Vincent councillor Jimmy Murphy said representatives from about 30 local governments were in the room for Town Team, which started in Dickson, Canberra.

Mr Murphy said there were 22 Town Teams in WA and two in Canberra.

Dale Alcock said he met Jimmy 18 months ago at the opening of one of his apartment developments and jumped on board the Town Team movement.

Mr Alcock said that as a businessman, he had a vested interest in the success of the initiative that he was supporting financially.

“Town Team is positively driven by the community,” he said.

“It’s activating the silent majority and getting them to act positively.

“It’s going to be a runaway success.”

Mr Alcock grew up in Kellerberrin and said that since moving to Perth he had missed the local community activation that happened in small towns.

Perth MLA John Carey, who used dogs, lego and Star Wars to get his point across, was introduced as the “godfather of Town Team” and talked about how he founded the Beaufort Street Network more than 10 years ago.

“I was walking along Beaufort Street and thought ‘I love this place but it kind of sucks’,” Mr Carey said.

“I saw enormous potential but realised that a residents association or chamber of commerce would be no good because that’s only looking at our own interest.

“I created a logo, did a flyer and dropped it to about 100 homes.

“I had two businesses on board and 60 people at the first meeting and we got an executive from that.”

Former accountant and Liberators International founder Peter Sharp engaged the audience with dance and activities after cutting his tie off while City of Vincent chief executive Len Kosova and Town of Victoria Park chief executive Anthony Vuleta talked about how their councils had engaged Town Teams.

Peter Sharp

Village Well founder Gilbert Rochecouste, who worked with the City of Subiaco on place activation three weeks ago, talked about successful activations all over the world.

John Carey’s Town Team tips

1.       Have a clear vision

2.       Take small steps

3.       You are going to make mistakes

4.       It’s ok to steal and borrow ideas

5.       Get stuff done