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.

What is Our Town?

Our Town is a ten-year, place-based mental health initiative supporting community-determined and preventative responses to mental health and wellbeing challenges. Our Town aims to build the capabilities of people living in rural and regional South Australian towns to support each other in the face of mental health and wellbeing challenges.

Designed by regional communities for regional communities, Our Town strives to bring everyone’s voice to the table, particularly those who are not always heard. The initiative gives towns and regions the power to define what’s right in and for their community, so that they can reclaim the mental wellbeing of their community.

The Town Teams currently participating in Our Town are Berri, Ceduna/Far West, Cummins,  Kangaroo Island, Kimba and Mid Murray. While we refer to them as Town Teams, one ‘Town’ is Australia’s third largest island (Kangaroo Island) and another is a region that includes 17 townships (Mid Murray).

Our mission

By working with existing data and evidence, and informed by people's lived experience, Our Town’s goal is to generate new ideas and ways of looking at wellbeing and mental health. Our Town sees communities as uniquely positioned to be able to design and implement preventative approaches to regional mental health. 


Through providing long-term funding directly to communities we anticipate being able to create deep, lasting change while giving communities the time and space to test what approaches work best for them.

Our Town’s mission is to equip regional communities to take control and be able to lead wellbeing initiatives and the vision is simple, mentally healthy regional towns. 

Our town video

Why Our Town?

Our Town arose from the findings of the Health Needs and Priorities in South Australia report, commissioned by the Fay Fuller Foundation.

This research showed a disconnect between the intentions of health policy in South Australia and the experiences of those navigating the health system. It also evidenced that access to mental health services in rural Australia were harder to come by, that mental health challenges were more prevalent in rural and remote areas, and that people within those communities were less likely than their metropolitan counterparts to seek help. 


Further insights found that people living in non-metropolitan areas experienced higher rates of mental health challenges and were less likely to seek help. The evidence continues to reinforce that mental health and wellbeing is declining in Australia, and is acutely felt in our regional areas.

The impact of Our Town

Demonstrates community’s role in responding to mental health and wellbeing 

Our Town is demonstrating the role that community plays in shaping regional mental health and wellbeing, and the roles that communities can play outside of formal regional mental health services to increase mental wellbeing. Our Town communities are demonstrating the shifts that are possible when you work at the level of local cultures, mindsets and economies.


Demonstrates rural and regional communities potential to lead local change 

Policy, funding and investment decisions that impact regional communities are predominantly determined from the urban centers of Australia. Regional communities regularly experience the unintended consequences of decisions made about them or for them. Our Town demonstrates the potential for rural and regional communities to plan for the long term, lead local change, and manage resources based on a holistic view of their local challenges and aspirations.

Demonstrates an alternative approach to community-led change

Our Town demonstrates an alternative way of starting community-led initiatives; one that is anchored in principles, intentionally distributes and grows power in communities, builds social innovation capabilities, actively includes and leverages the full diversity of community and community infrastructure, and ultimately centers lived experience.


The future: the ten year vision

  • For towns to have the capability self-determine wellbeing

  • Goals set by a regional community are realised, leaving a continuing culture and practise of self-determined wellbeing

  • Policies, practices and funding at state and national level enable community led change

  • More towns and communities join the network and achieve their goals

  • Vibrant national non medicalised narrative around mental health and wellbeing emerges

People chatting and collaborating at table with hot drinks and water.

Our commitment to First Nations First

In 2022, we will co-develop an approach to cultural awareness training and cultural safety plan for communities and the Our Town Support Team

Many of the Our Town communities have chosen to focus on increasing connection and catalysing healing between First Nations and non-First Nations communities.

Read more

Meet the Our Town team

How to get involved

We are hoping to support the Our Town network to grow to include other regional communities in coming years. Please get in touch with Jess De Campo if you'd like to know more or share what you're up to in your community.

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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.