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I am writing this post as a friend in Australia who wants to help my friends in Christchurch however I can. I am physically remote but mentally by your side.
I joined the Christchurch conversations to be part of it and help where I can. I am working in social media with local government here in Australia. I am a strong advocate for innovation in government, particularly related to Open Government and more specifically community engagement. None of this happens (well) in Australian local gov. I am trying to educate (initially) gov people here on the benefits of talking to, listening to and acting in the best interests of their communities. It is a struggle.
I am also working to convince communities here that they also need to participate where appropriate, get involved and help themselves. These 2 side of community engagement require significant cultural change. Christchurch has jump started the community involvement side.
I am so pleased to see that the communities in Christchurch (from your reporting) are looking, suggesting, thinking about helping each other.
Your community union guide is a wonderful initiative and mind-blowing in its innovative approach. This crisis has delivered significant cultural change at the community level. Keep up the good work. Don’t let the pollies get under your skin and I respectfully suggest using “brain power” not “brawn” to achieve your goals and get your communities back on their feet asap.
I have rattled on enough here but I would like to finish by offering any assistance I can provide (virtually from OZ) to my friends in Christchurch.
A friend in OZ
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