Stepping up during times of uncertainty and change

by Brighton Council

Mayor Leigh Gray

Our future as a society has perhaps never been so uncertain as we navigate seemingly insurmountable obstacles: cost of living crisis, inflation, housing shortages plus social, cultural and gender equity struggles that continue to dominate our lives.

As Mayor, I am reassured and incredibly proud of how our community is responding to these turbulent times. I have seen our community come alive through the challenges and op­portunities we are faced with. We have seen a rise in grass­roots leadership in the face of ongoing uncertainty. People willing to not wait for some­one else to act but step up and have a go themselves. This is what caring for each other and resilience is all about.

This April/May issue of the Brighton Community News is full of just some of these stories, highlighting our local triumphs as a community, a few of which I’d like to mention here.

  • Out of respect for our First Nations people, Brighton Council moved the celebra­tion of our Australia Day Awards from 26 January to 22 February 2023. These awards highlighted local volunteers and residents who are doing selfless work in our community, includ­ing the Volunteer of the Year which deservedly went to the amazing volunteers leading the Brighton Community Food Hub Inc., providing affordable food and groceries in a time when the need has never been so great.
  • Kutalayna Collective in partnership with Mona’s Material Institute held an incredibly successful ChangeFest23 right here in the Brighton Municipali­ty. ChangeFest is a national movement for place-based change that is held annu­ally in Australia, and this year was in lutruwita/Tas­mania, with the Brighton Civic Centre in Bridgewater one of the main gathering places within the kuta­layna area. ChangeFest showcases creativity and celebration of communities leading change in ways that care for country and all people, along with stories of changemakers working to change the system at local, regional and national levels. Congratulations to all involved in making this such a success. Brighton Council was incredibly proud to be an official sup­porter of ChangeFest23.
  • Council has launched the Brighton Youth Action Group (BYAG). Council was unanimous in feeling it was time that we do all that we can to activate young people’s voices in our community and bring the ideas of some of our young people and leaders to the table. We have been heartened by the number of young people coming along to have their voice heard. If you know a young person aged between 12 and 24 years who you think might want to contribute in this way, make sure they get along to the next BYAG catch-up.
  • Some of the best in the field of sustainability were able to share their knowledge and expertise at the Big Weekend of Sustain­able Living Ideas held in Bridgewater by Sustainable Living Tasmania at the end of March, with forums on sustainable food, energy and waste management. Brighton Council was a ma­jor sponsor of this event. This comes at a time when I couldn’t be prouder of us as a Council taking leader­ship in the area of climate action. Brighton Council has officially set a reduction in emissions target (an 85% emissions reduction by 2030), with more on this to come soon.
  • I would like to thank The Friends of Old Beach Foreshore group for the recent Clean Up Austra­lia event they held at Old Beach supported by Brigh­ton Council and the Der­went Catchment Project, who assist with teaching weed management skills to the group. This group throughout the year show leadership in wanting to make our environment a better place for everyone to share.
  • Finally, in recognition of all our dedicated volun­teers, Brighton Council is working with Volunteering Tasmania to co-design with our community a Volun­teering Strategy that sets in place goals, activities and actions to ensure the capa­bility and effectiveness of our volunteer numbers into the future. This strategy is currently being developed and will be brought to Council in draft form by the middle of this year.

I hope you read the stories in this latest edition with the same amount of pride and admiration for who we are as a community as I do, and feel heartened by how many of our local leaders are stepping up in these times of uncertainty and change.

Brighton Mayor

Leigh Gray

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Stepping up during times of uncertainty and change
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