We like to bang on about how great (or rather, OK!) Perth is – but our greatness doesn’t just happen out of nowhere!
With a mission to create thriving, connected and empowered communities, Town Team Movement is all about “doers”.
We’re partnering up with Town Team Movement so we can shine a light on some of the people who help make our communities so unique, and just a few of the excellent initiatives they’re working on.
This week, we’re featuring Lisa Massey and Lisa Skrypichayko: two locals who are behind one of the South West’s Town Teams, Building Busselton.
Lisa Massey (pictured above on the right) is an environmental scientist and a mother of three who has spent most of her life in Busselton. Having previously worked in natural resource management, she’s passionate about gardening.
With more time on her hands today than she used to, she only works twice a week and devotes her spare time to the development of her community in Busselton, using the array of skills she developed over the course of her career – which she now sees as highly beneficial to the Building Busselton Town Team.
“I am at the stage in my life where I am no longer meeting people through friends, family or children. I thought that it was therefore time to get out and look around the community.”
Lisa Skrypichayko has only lived in Busselton for four years. Growing up in Canada, she’s lived in Australia for the past 30 years.
Skrypichayko’s knowledge and skills are multi-disciplinary – she has a history in performing arts, but has also specialised in community activism and engagement while working for Greenpeace.
Massey and Skrypichayko make a great pair: complementing each other’s skill sets and effectively dividing the work between themselves. Where Skrypichayko is a great communicator and is efficient in follow-ups, Massey tackles the logic and the planning.
That being said… They are always on the hunt for more “local doers”!
“It is really rewarding and satisfying to achieve things that you have never done before,” explains Massey, who finds that organising events and workshops feeds a lot of creativity – plus, she gets to meet lots of new people.
“You get to meet with people that you don’t usually come across; people who aren’t necessarily in your own group and I really do enjoy that.”
“I want Busselton to be the place where I always want to be,” adds Skrypichayko.
“It might sound selfish, but I don’t think I am the only one who wants to see a lively town with interesting things going on that don’t cost money all the time.”
Building Busselton organises communal events for the well-being of local residents and to sustain the participation that keeps the town active and lively. Massey strongly believes in the power of community engagement, which is encouraged through activities such as camera walks, photo booths and Christmas events.
“Sometimes it’s not so much about the big events. People appreciate the value in small activities that are created for them rather than for tourists.”
The success of these activations has seen them collaborate with other community groups, as well as enhancing their involvement when it comes to community consultation.
“We’re working out ways to collaborate and pull in groups with similar goals in an organic way,” says Skrypichayko.
“As we’re getting recognised, we are now getting more and more invitations to advisory groups, community reference groups and we were described the other day as a stakeholder that had to be in the room,” adds Massey.
You don’t need specific skills to get involved with your community – just a desire to get involved and make change!
“People who don’t see themselves as creative might surprise themselves,” explained Skrypichayko. “But then not everybody has to be. There are lots of roles that need to be filled.”
“Any little thing you can do makes things better than sitting around thinking someone should do it.”
Want to get involved and become a doer in your own community? Head to the Town Team Movement website to learn more.