Action area: Regenerative communities

Our current systems are not fit to meet the scale of challenges communities are facing. What could we learn and how could we collaborate for more regenerative futures?

Why we're focusing on Regenerative Communities

Since the catastrophic summer fires of 2019/2020, ‘unprecedented’ has become an all too common descriptor of ever-increasing environmental, social, economic and political disruptions of our everyday lives. Fires, floods, plagues, pandemics – we are living in a period of accelerated change. 

Our current systems are not fit to meet the scale of challenges communities are facing.

For example, the effects of the climate crisis are more visible in Australia than any other wealthy country – and it is hitting communities experiencing inequity the hardest. Coupled with the harsh realities of Covid, many Australian communities are reflecting on their future wellbeing. 

Incremental change is not enough; a focus on the technical and infrastructural will not create the social movements required to undertake this change. We need transformational, holistic action. 

Australia is home to the oldest living culture in the world, one which has adapted to climate change, regenerated in the face of adversity and resisted colonisation. What could we learn and how could we collaborate for more regenerative futures?

What if… the breakdown of systems and structures around us opens opportunities for transformation? 

What if… Australian communities were supported to approach this challenge with strengths, imagination, and evidence of what’s worked elsewhere, in a way that brings communities together and sets them up for living in concert with each other and planet?

What if.. ‘unprecedented’ is the catalyst we need for more regenerative ways of living?

Our impact (so far)

Over the last five years, TACSI has supported over 20 rural and regional communities experiencing inequity to lead their own change.

  • Our Town: This a ten year project with the Fay Fuller Foundation to support six rural and regional South Australian communities to self-determine their own mental wellbeing.

  • Fire To Flourish: This five year project in partnership with Monash University and the Paul Ramsay Foundation supports towns affected by disadvantage and bushfire to lead their own recovery, build resilience and break cycles of disadvantage.

  • The Regional Innovators Network: We built the capabilities of leaders in three regional NSW communities to co-design new solutions with their communities. (Winner of a Good Design Award)

  • Identifying and addressing barriers to employment in greater Dandenong: We built a rich amount of qualitative insight into the experiences of people who are struggling to gain meaningful employment.

  • Family violence reduction in Bourke: TACSI was invited by an Aboriginal-led community organisation to facilitate a process to understand, draw together and grow the work that has collectively contributed to reducing family violence in Bourke in order to create principles and next steps moving forward.

  • South Sudanese Minds: On behalf of co-health, TACSI worked with the South Sudanese community in Western Melbourne towards addressing a wide range of complex challenges. Some of these include parenting cultures, accessing employment, racism, trauma, and language barriers, among others.

  • Massive Murray Paddle: The project was focused on exploring ways to strengthen the relationship between young people and police

This looks like:

  • Working deeply with community changemakers and system stakeholders to enable community-led foresight, imagination and planning for the future wellbeing of diverse Australian communities across social, economic, built and natural environments:

  • Helping people self-organise around their strengths now,

  • Mobilising their potential for purposeful change in the future and crafting how they can get there.

  • Leaning into where the real challenge lies: Relationships. 

Who and what inspires us

There is a tremendous amount of good work happening locally and globally towards regenerative futures:

News, views and projects about Regenerative Communities

Fire to Flourish

In the wake of increasing bushfires, floods and other disaster events, it’s critical for communities to pave new ways to lead, imagine, connect and invest in their communities’ future.
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Our Town

Our Town, a long-term regional mental health initiative funded by the Fay Fuller Foundation and in partnership with TACSI and Clear Horizon, aims to build the capabilities of regional towns in South Australia to develop community responses to mental health.
Read more

Case study: How we’re building Regional Innovation Capability (RIN)

We’ve long known that in order to grow more innovative approaches to addressing complex social issues, we need to build the capability of people to think and act differently about how we work, fund and collaborate for change.
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Our commitment to First Nations First

We actively collaborate with Indigenous-led organisations, institutions and knowledge holders to understand how we can connect, learn and vision community wellbeing across natural, social, economic and built environments

We strive to adopt Indigenous design and research practises and protocols for diverse community engagement, including principles for cultural safety, healing, storywork, right of reply and data sovereignty

We are developing ways for non-Indigenous community members to engage with reconciliation and connection to Country as the first steps of building community resilience

We advocate for cultural capability building in institutions to address power imbalances and systemic racism in community development, disaster management and knowledge generation.

Read more

Meet the Regenerative Communities team

If you’d like to talk to TACSI about Regenerative Communities, we’d love to have a chat

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Level 1, 279 Flinders St
Adelaide SA 5000

1/145 Redfern Street

Redfern NSW 2016

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and Owners of the lands in which we work and live on across Australia. We pay our respects to Elders of the past, present and emerging. We are committed to collaboration that furthers self-determination and creates a better future for all. Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.
At TACSI, diversity and inclusion is more than a statement; equality and accessibility are guiding principles embedded in everything we do. We strongly believe that it’s the collective sum of all our communities differences, life experiences, and knowledge that enables both ourselves and our partners to come together to tackle complex social issues. That’s why we’re committed to having a diverse team made up of people with diverse skills from all backgrounds, including First Nations peoples, LGBTIQ+, mature-age people, and people with visible and non-visible disabilities, regardless of sex, sexuality or gender identity.