Meet KAVI GUPPTA, City of Fremantle’s community engagement partner, who’s been given the enviable task of talking with locals to find out what they’d like to see in the city over the next decade.
I AM a passionate and active Fremantle resident in my dream job as a Community Engagement Partner with the City of Fremantle.
My biggest priority in this role is leading “Let’s Talk, Freo”, a major review of the City’s Strategic Community Plan.
The Plan is an important document that guides the priorities of the City for the next 10 years – and you can help shape that!
I want to talk to and hear from as many people from the community as possible as we undertake this important review process.
I also want to share why I’m passionate about community engagement. To start, everything I do, and everything I stand for, is focused around the following three beliefs:
The first is to ELEVATE the many voices in the community who deserve to be heard. To amplify and encourage new perspectives, and facilitate constructive conversations.
The second: EDUCATE. The emphasis here is to acknowledge and understand the challenges we face, and to uncover the opportunities. Education is also about providing access to experts and sound, factual information to the community.
Third: EMPOWER. In this context, providing the framework and support to help the community, my fellow council officers, and elected members to make informed decisions.
Over the coming months, the Let’s Talk, Freo team and I will be out and about in the City’s new Talk Truck, presenting at Politics in the Pub at the Local Hotel and available to ‘talk Freo’ with anyone – whether that’s at a conference, a café or even a barbecue at the local park!
I care deeply about working with my community to achieve great things for the city I love.
I also know that Freo people have a long history of getting involved in issues of importance in our community.
Over the past 10 years my journey has taken me from being a volunteer and community organiser to writing, speaking, coaching, and facilitating audiences in the public and private sector.
Locally, I have been active in helping local community groups, residents, and businesses achieve positive outcomes in collaboration with each other and I was a co-convener for the
South Fremantle Precinct Group and the Mills & Wares Park Association, and even took up a stint writing for this very paper to share the stories of Freo.
Globally, I’ve worked collaboratively and drawn experience from communities across Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Lithuania, and Estonia where we explored solutions that would tackle issues like youth unemployment, workforce transformation, and mental health and wellbeing.
Over the next decade, the City of Fremantle will see a range of challenges and opportunities arrive at its doorstep.
My role as the Community Engagement Partner is a crucial link between the public and our local government as both groups work to navigate the exciting future that awaits us.
Let’s Talk, Freo encourages residents, visitors and all people with a passion for Fremantle to have their say across a range of important issues affecting the city’s future.
Homelessness, gentrification, recovery from the impacts of Covid-19, protection of our living heritage and the potential loss of our working port: ‘Let’s Talk, Freo’ encourages residents to consider and debate a range of topics including:
Creative City: Freo is WA’s creative heart, a recognised hub for artists and creatives. How can we stay that way?
Learning City: Fremantleis a place to learn. How do we leverage our unique advantage? How do we ensure our learning pathways and education facilities remain accessible for all?
Living in your local area: What is your local area? If it grows by 20 per cent over 20 years, what needs to change?
Future of our city centre: What’s unique about our city centre and what do we need to enable it to flourish?
Climate future: What would an increase in temperature of 2–3 degrees mean for our city? As a community, how do we decrease risk, build resilience and prepare for more extreme weather events?
Jobs for the future: How do we build a competitive and innovative workforce? What skills do we need to drive Fremantle’s future and create job opportunities?
The engagement process will initially canvass feedback via online surveys and face-to-face consultations before expanding into a series of community conversations.
You will see the activity and promotion happening via the City of Fremantle’s social media channels, our MySay Freo engagement platform and of course, in the Herald.
This Plan underlines every decision Council makes in relation to new projects, operational expenditure and service provision so it’s vital we get input from all sectors of our community to help us create the future together.
I encourage you to please join the conversation and help us make Freo an even better place to live, work or play.
Visit fremantle.wa.gov.au/letstalkfreo to learn more.
See you around Freo!