Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Pathways to sustainable community cooperation through strengthened organisational links

Ken Keith and Helen Ross

The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland 4343.


This paper proposes a pathway to community sustainability by identifying common sustainability concerns and strengthening organisational networks to deal with the concerns. It is based on research in two natural resource management regions in southern Queensland that explored links between community organisations and encouraged them to strengthen those links to pursue agreed sustainability objectives.

The work is based on principles for enhancing use of social capital available through weak as well as strong organisational ties, use of social context analysis to elicit common social and environmental concerns, and ‘readiness to partner’ concepts derived from organisational management literature. Learnings from the approaches used in the regions are melded into a recommended pathway that includes strategic interviewing prior to a community-planning workshop to identify trends, implications and common directions; followed by analysis of readiness to form partnerships and a partnership formation workshop.

Three key learnings: (1) strategic interviewing before a community planning workshop is beneficial to understand, and prime, community thinking, and to identify little-used linkages that might be able to drive fresh action; (2) social context analysis (looking at trends, implications and resolve) in a workshop generates agreed directions in any of the five capitals that a community wishes to develop; and (3) partnership workshops that explore visions and culture as well as goals and roles for partnerships provide a well-grounded synthesis of task and relationship foci.


Social context analysis, community development, social networks, partnerships, social capital.


Sustainable communities embrace economic initiatives, social planning, local cultures, environmental consciousness and personal and spiritual growth (Ife 1995). Sustainable communities are, meanwhile, rich in the five capitals, described by Cocklin and Alston (2003) as human, social, natural, institutional and produced capital. A list of qualities of ‘vibrant’ sustainable communities provided by O’Meara (1999) includes commitment, shared vision, participation, coordination and partnerships. These themes give direction to pathways explored in this paper. An important question is how these attributes of sustainable communities can be linked (for instance human with natural capital, economic initiatives with environmental consciousness) through processes that encourage shared vision, coordination and partnerships across the sectoral divides reflected in the ‘five capitals’. While processes for facilitation and for community development abound, we argue that the challenge of integration across sectors of activity poses particular challenges for communities and those assisting their development.

Meanwhile community development (Christensen & Robinson 1989, Ife 1995, Kenny 1999) emphasises community-centred processes, in which (classically) a community comes together to analyse its needs and develop strategies to achieve these, becoming increasingly empowered and developing ‘social capital’ through their steps of assessment, activity and achievement. It is a continuing and cyclic process, contrasting with linear views of planning which assume goals are set, then achieved, then one can stop the process. It is also holistic. The community’s needs define the boundaries, rather than specific domains such as health, youth welfare or natural resource management. This is in theory – in reality the disciplinary backgrounds of community development academics and facilitators have led to emphasis on social concerns ahead of economic and environmental ones (though community development and adult learning logic certainly underpins a part of natural resource management, such as the Landcare movement).

The paper draws on two projects with rather different approaches, though both primarily aimed at the environmental management dimension of sustainability. The projects were collaborative studies by the University of Queensland with two of Queensland’s fifteen natural resource management regional bodies – the Burnett-Mary Regional Group (BMRG) and the Condamine Alliance (CA). These regional bodies have been established to implement the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) and Natural Heritage Trust, funded under State and Commonwealth agreements. The projects were funded under the statewide investment in the NAP, under a scheme designed to encourage collaborations between research providers and the regional bodies. Thus each project was designed jointly with a regional partner, to answer information needs, which also differed. This paper is primarily about methods: our aim here is to synthesise, from experience in the two projects, a proposed pathway to community sustainability in its broader dimensions.

Case studies

The Burnett-Mary region comprises a diverse make-up of stakeholder groups (sectors) with respect to natural resource management. These include local government (representing 27 local government authorities), catchment bodies, Landcare groups, conservation or environment groups, coastal management, traditional owners, primary, secondary and tertiary industries and infrastructure corporations. This diversity presented BMRG with a maze of opportunities and also impediments to achieving negotiated partnerships to develop the Regional Investment Strategy for its Natural Resource Management Plan. Our collaborative project, ‘Regional Partnership Agreements on Prioritised Investment Strategies’, aimed to clarify the range of stakeholders, their methods of operation and their perspectives on opportunities and constraints for contribution to improved natural resource management; then identify and pilot test methods of negotiating and formalising partnership agreements to suit different stakeholder groups.

Condamine Alliance, the regional body for the eastern Darling Downs, has also developed a long-term strategic plan. It identified a need for engagement with its whole community in order to achieve effective natural resource management. Our collaborative project ‘Understanding communities: Strategies for supporting interaction of social and natural systems in the Condamine Catchment’ explored an innovative process to understand how Darling Downs communities are connected to natural resource management actions. The principal objectives were to understand rural communities as social systems interacting with natural systems and provide a basis for the community to develop strategies for sustainability, integrating natural resource management with economic and social considerations. Our underlying premise was that application of Granovetter’s (1973) ‘strength of weak ties’ theory to relationships among organisations could mobilise latent energies within apparently over-strapped communities. Granovetter exposed the often ‘root bound’ nature of strong dependency linkages, with limited awareness of, and resources to make use of, opportunities outside a narrow network domain. Weak linkages on the other hand might open up new ways and opportunities for new alliances.

Both case studies focus on understanding the structure and perspectives of community organisations, towards assisting the regional bodies to develop partnerships with organisations in their regions, and among themselves. The Burnett-Mary case study, focused on stakeholder groups as potential partners with the regional body, can be viewed as focusing primarily on communities of interest, with local linkages across stakeholders (strengthening the community of place) also potentially relevant. Its contribution to community development is primarily the benefits that accrue through a healthier environment, achieved through multi-lateral collaborations. The Condamine case study focuses primarily on understanding communities of place, but seeks to strengthen links across the communities of interest (represented by community organisations) within those places. For Condamine Alliance, partnership formation with the organisations of interest was secondary to understanding each community, then encouraging stronger links and sustainability within each community. This project attempts a holistic approach to community development in which each community sets the boundaries. Both projects included analytical (understanding the communities or stakeholders) and facilitative (promoting desired change) elements.


The Burnett Mary study

The BMRG membership list, already categorised into major stakeholder groupings or sectors, provided the foundation for stakeholder analysis and identification of interviewees. Interviews were conducted across the local government, Landcare, catchment group, conservation and secondary/tertiary industry sectors at a range of localities across the Burnett Mary region. We attempted to identify ‘sector’ views about issues, opportunities and constraints by pooling interviewee comments from each sector.

The interviews followed a ‘strategic perspectives analysis’ approach devised for natural resource management planning by Dale and Lane (1994). Strategic Perspectives Analysis allows exploration of stakeholders’ opportunities for shared goal-attainment through interviews structured according to vision, objectives, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and constraints (moulded on the familiar SWOT analysis) . The process ‘maps’ each stakeholder group’s perspectives separately at first, then proposes using negotiation approaches to strengthen common interests identified and design ‘win-win’ solutions where perspectives are more divergent. After the first few interviews, in which participants struggled with the order of questions, we found it convenient to re-shape the format to commence with issues, then aims of the interviewee regarding the issue and perceived aims for BMRG, then opportunities, constraints and readiness to partner with BMRG. Note that in this process analysis of perspectives precedes facilitation, hence the departure from the types of process used in facilitation alone.

Literature search for partnership formation principles included literature about corporate business partnerships, alliances for delivery of social objectives and green alliances between companies and environmental organisations. We also contacted other Queensland and interstate regional bodies for natural resource management about their forms of partnership agreement. Based on the readings, we identified and categorised different types of partnership in terms of collaboration and longevity. These ranged from outright objection to forming a project partnership, to long-term community partnership. Drawing on principles developed by Felkins (2002), we then developed a procedure to explore the stage of readiness for each sector studied in this phase of the research to form partnerships with the Regional Body.

Felkins’ process involves answering a series of questions about each of the following elements of partnership: needs, roles, relationships and culture. Questions about roles recognise the place of task and self-centred role relationships in different types of agreements and participation patterns. Relationships questions probe diversity and commonality issues that may lead to potential for misunderstanding and conflict generated by different values and perspectives about work and relationships, while questions about culture focus on shared narratives, social rules and formal and informal interpretation of meaning and social action. As an example, the questions Felkins suggests in order to explore ‘need’ for partnership agreement include:

  • Why is the agreement needed at this time?
  • What responsiveness/readiness do people have for making this agreement?
  • What are stories being told about need for agreement?
  • What mutual needs could the agreement satisfy?
  • How are people involved in identifying needs and opportunities?
  • How will collective values affect interpretations of the need or opportunity?
  • What social rules might influence responses to this need or opportunity?
  • Are there any hidden agendas related to this need or opportunity? (Felkins 2002, p 122).

This enabled us to suggest a partnership formation strategy for the various sectors, and to design formal agreement documents for trial.

The Condamine Study

The approach to this study combined research with community development. Through two case study local government areas (Warwick in the upper catchment and Pittsworth at mid-catchment) we facilitated a process to identify the structure and networks of each community, then explore trends that impact on each community’s sustainability in order to find common interests for linked action towards sustainability. The approach for each case study was:

1. Form a working group comprising the researchers, representatives of key organisations and other stakeholders who can identify community networks and personnel.

2. Conduct community mapping to identify social organisations, identify key people in each organisation and understand the overall social context.

3. Invite representatives from each organisation to take part in a community workshop aiming to identify networks, trends in social context and organisational goals that might be strengthened through alliances on activities that benefit natural resource management.

4. Carry out additional interviews as necessary to capture the views of organisation leaders who were not at the workshop and who were considered key links in the network.

5. From the social network analysis, identify strong and weak linkage patterns and provide feedback to the community on opportunities for alliances.

6. Support community follow-up on ideas for cooperative natural resource management actions.

For each study area, a list of organisations covering wide community interests was compiled and then used to prepare invitations for a workshop. There were two main parts to the workshop process:

  • identification of linkages between organisations. This was done in two ways: qualitatively by having participants show links to other organisations on a large sheet of paper spread on a table, using felt pens of different thicknesses and colours to represent the strength of linkage; and quantitatively by asking participants to rate (on a 1 to 4 scale) the frequency, importance and mutuality of contacts with other organisations.
  • Social Context Analysis. This used a modification of a process described by Earle and Fopp (1999) that enables a holistic overview of trends and their implications in the various structures or institutions (shapers) that make up a community. In the modified version (developed as a community participation tool), we asked participants to work in small groups to select some of the Shapers of concern and discuss Trends, Implications and Resolve (what can be done by community). (Participants, working in small groups, completed STIR sheets for population, natural assets and then some of the other options of their choice – economy and local industry, technology, education, family, religion. social class, beliefs and attitudes, leisure). The small group reports were discussed in a plenary session and common themes sought. A summary and conclusions by the research team then drew together thoughts on what could or needed to be done. (It is noted that this process allows for a community to move in directions they think need attention for sustainability, be it social, economic or environmental without confining the agenda to environmental issues.)

Participants received a record of the workshop output soon after their workshop.

Cluster analysis, carried out on the quantitative linkage data using the Win-PATN software, produced tree diagrams (dendograms) and three-dimensional maps of separation between groups (ordinations). The dendograms were the primary source of interpretation of strong and weak linkages among organisations, with the ordinations, felt-marker maps and discussion with key community members used to qualify these interpretations.

Based on the social context analysis and consideration of current and potential linkages, we identified several projects that would work best through linked effort by a number of community organisations. These were proposed to participants at a report-back workshop where we showed the analysis of information from the workshop and discussed potential ways forward. This information, together with comments about the connectedness of various community sectors, was later conveyed via a short report to leaders of all organisations that had been invited to participate.

Results and learnings

Although this paper is about a proposed pathway to improved sustainability (methods), a glimpse at the results from the two studies helps put the project approaches, and proposed pathway to sustainability, into perspective.

The Burnett Mary study.

Recall that the focus of this study was on understanding the stakeholder groups, to assist BMRG and the stakeholders towards partnership formation as required under the NAP. Our assessments showed that readiness to enter into partnership agreements with BMRG and across stakeholder bodies varied between and within the sectors studied.

Landcare - A sound basis had been put in place for effective partnership development between BMRG and Landcare groups and between Landcare groups as a sector; indeed a whole-of-sector partnership was formed between BMRG and 15 Landcare groups during the research process.

Catchment groups - Some catchment groups were unhappy with new institutional arrangements, perceiving a lack of recognition for their role as catchment managers. One problem for the catchment groups was the difference in capability and accountability between the groups.

Local government - Local government considered that it should have more funds and more say. Some authorities believed they were the best placed to achieve catchment operational goals if provided sufficient funds. Others recognised the importance of partnerships for coordinated catchment-wide approaches.

Conservation - Some conservation groups welcomed a strong catchment-wide approach but others appeared to be reluctant to engage in the planning process, perceiving a disproportionate influence by resource users in the planning and implementation processes..

Secondary and tertiary industry – Few businesses were aware of BMRG and its planning activities and few had given thought to their role in helping to maintain the resource in the long term. However, interests were unearthed that might be built upon to achieve business-community partnerships for sustainability.

The need to establish readiness for partnering, and work through some issues that might impede partnership, led to the following proposed process for partnership formation:

  • Identify issues and objectives of the sector/organisations
  • Identify themes within the NRM Plan that match the issues and objectives
  • Assess readiness for agreement by answering the questions related to needs, roles, relationships and culture (after Felkins 2002)
  • Identify the type of agreement that best suits the level of readiness
  • Establish a climate that develops responsiveness and achieves shared understanding
  • Formalise with the level and type of accountability that best suits the situation
  • Use a checklist of common characteristics of successful partnerships to monitor progress towards formation of linked communities (Keith and Ross 2005).
  • practice, with sectors at various stages of readiness for, or progress towards, partnership, we have not been able to trial this process in its entirety.

The Condamine study

In the Condamine Study, the primary analytical interest was in the nature of the community (interactions among community organisations), and its changing context (social context analysis) as seen by the community. While the project was unable to proceed far down a facilitatory path with the time and resources available, ground was prepared for community building through strengthening links among organisations towards shared goals. Results of social network analysis using the ‘felt-marker’ method and the linkage ratings method are demonstrated in the connections diagram and dendogram for Pittsworth (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Organisation linkages as depicted from the felt marker method (left) and the PATN cluster analysis of ratings for frequency, importance and mutuality of contact as a dendogram (right).

(Read the dendogram by examining the closely linked pairs - those with lines that join close to the left of the diagram – then looking at the way these link to further rows or pairings as you move towards the right of the diagram. The dotted line represents the point at which the organisations form into six clusters. Using this cut-off of six groupings, four organisations were shown as not linked to any other group – Care Pittsworth, Hospital, Rural Women’s’ Network, and Central Downs Irrigation. A strong linkage exists between Landcare and Agforce, but these two groups were not linked to the rest of the community.)

In both Pittsworth and Warwick, we found many organisations and high levels of voluntary activity, but very little of this connects with the environment (note how Landcare and Agforce are on the periphery of the dendogram (figure 1, right). NRM bodies like Landcare and the Condamine Catchment Association (which appears only in the Warwick analysis) are on the periphery of the networks of community organisations. While personal linkages undoubtedly exist, they do not come through as organisational links. This leaves the risk that they will have little long-term impact in the community.

The next stage in the workshops, social context analysis, produced tables of trends, implications and possible resolve for shapers such as population, education, the economy and (of primary concern to the study) natural assets. To illustrate the level of information obtained, the natural and built assets discussion at Pittsworth is summarised in (Table 1).

Table 1. Trends, Implications and Resolve related to natural and built assets (Pittsworth)




Very little dairying these days in the hill country. Increase in lifestyle properties in this area.

Increase in population in uplands. Is the hobby farmland managed as well? More pasture and grass but are they caring for the land – weeds, erosion, water - bores?

Forward planning for 50 years
Acceptance of change.
Education for new farmers (DNR, DPI, Shire, CA, Landcare).

No till farming.
Commercial sector strong

Design and technology innovation. Greater efficiencies.

Mechanisms in place to encourage commercial growth.

Increase in water use – particularly irrigation; Water reserves going down; Water shortage.

Water restriction – town and surrounds, because less water available; limits new business operations; Distribution rights.
Value your water.

Water – community to be educated – understand water usage. New sources – recycled water; water use efficiency.

Environmental consciousness.
Level of knowledge about the natural environment.
Awareness of finiteness of resources.

Loss of production and employment

Monitor; Manage.
More funding – local, state, federal.

This information allowed us to suggest possibilities for joint action to improve community sustainability. Amongst others, these included a ‘Welcome to Pittsworth’ project, an expansion of aged care project, a ‘lifestyle farmer’ awareness of natural resources project, and a community efficient water use project. Noting opportunities to strengthen currently weak links among organisations, collaborative planning by Condamine Alliance with the Shire Council, Go Pittsworth and Pittsworth Landcare was suggested to identify opportunities to link community groups and industry into the ethos of responsible management of natural resources.

Some barriers to whole community involvement in natural resource management were identified:

  • Loss of urban appreciation of the importance of rural sector and natural resource needs, due to an influx of non-rural people.
  • Lack of connection to community organisations by urban and peri-urban newcomers (they don’t join).
  • Therefore, a dwindling network of active community members who are willing to make a difference, making it difficult to achieve genuine community participation.
  • Lack of effective connection between Landcare or the Catchment Management Association and the wider network of service, social, recreational, spiritual and to some extent educational organisations.

The study process opened up possibilities for organisations to work together to enhance both social and environmental sustainability. However the methods have not been sufficient on their own to develop the impetus needed for communities to run with the opportunities that surfaced through the study intervention.

Evaluation of study methods

Here we explore strengths and weaknesses of the two methods, viewed here from the point of view of potential for a community development process that emphasises stronger partnership linkages for both social and environmental sustainability.

Stakeholder analysis and community mapping - In the Burnett Mary we were fortunate to have a stakeholder analysis framework well underway with access to the BMRG membership list, which separated members into sectors (stakeholder groups). This, together with a realisation that all sectors warranted attention, simplified the analysis. In the Condamine study, we mapped communities differently, relying heavily on community organisation lists provided by Shire Councils together with key informant advice on active organisations and leadership. Again, this generated a working list of potential participants fairly quickly, though it does harbour the danger that inclusiveness will be lost – key informants might pass over marginal groups that may have an important perspective needed for real progress. A way to guard against this is to not be in such a hurry and widen the network of informants before approaching participants.

Social network analysis. The felt marker method of obtaining organisational links, carried out during the workshop, as we did at Pittsworth and Warwick, is probably sufficient for many purposes. The more quantitative cluster analysis based on frequency, importance and mutuality of contact provides a visual tree with more scope for interpretation and is intuitively more meaningful – however we cannot yet guarantee the accuracy of the interpretation. (There were flaws in trying to collect the ratings data during a somewhat rushed workshop, but attempting to redress this through individual interviews with those missing created inconsistencies with the level of information collected at the workshop).

Strategic perspectives analysis. The Dale and Lane interview sequence provides an effective way to generate interest in a topic that interviewees had possibly thought little about previously. However, we found that it is important, in drafting the question schedule, to think about the aims of the interview and the likely ‘starting point’ of the interviewee. We re-oriented the sequence for some stakeholder groups. Another collaborative study (between Griffith University and the South East Queensland Western Catchments Group – report pending) shows that gaining perspectives by interview prior to a workshop can be valuable in giving the workshop momentum as well as generating interviewee interest in participation in the workshop.

Social context analysis workshop. The main problem with the social context workshop is getting enough people along to generate inclusive and energetic dialogue. In Pittsworth and Warwick we worked with lower than ideal numbers, although attendance at Pittsworth was reasonable for a winter evening. Nevertheless the process seemed to work well and lots of ideas were generated. The major problem was that with low numbers there was insufficient confidence in the ‘resolves’ brought forward and little commitment to trying to get whole community participation to work on them. Pre-workshop interviews (as suggested above) or perhaps a greater ownership of the process by a group of community leaders appear needed to achieve high workshop attendance and ongoing commitment to do something with the good ideas developed at the workshop. It is possible that action may develop within the community subsequent to our report, as has happened with a previous study (Ross & McCartney 2005).

Partnership formation. In the Burnett Mary, partnership interventions were specifically aimed at partnerships to achieve natural resource management plan targets, and promising alliances have formed in the Landcare and local government sectors. For the Condamine project, we cannot report examples of partnerships to further the resolves from the Pittsworth and Warwick workshops at this stage. We need to acknowledge that even though we held report-back sessions, our follow-up to invited organisations has not been timely, possibly losing latent energy that may have generated action. However, both communities conveyed a general air of satisfaction with their progress and apparently did not see a need to heed the hazard signals in the trend and implications information. Our premise that linking weakly tied organisations could open up synergetic activity for mutual benefit was not really tested, although one organisation used connections made at our workshop to generate a successful new project linking across sectors. Perhaps the process will work better where communities recognise they are in strife. A process has been suggested that we think should work well in a logical world. However, we have already found that the realities of group interaction, willingness to move forward and competing interventions mean that the process we have suggested needs to adapt to mesh in with current happenings and other forces.

More detailed descriptions of the processes and observations of strengths and weaknesses may be obtained from the reports on these projects (Keith & Ross 2005a, 2005b).

Synthesis – a pathway to community sustainability

We think that our experiences and reflections from the two studies outlined above offer lessons in ways to elicit directions towards sustainability that communities might pursue through more effective partnerships. One justification for providing yet another process is that socially oriented initiatives often fail to give due place to the importance of maintaining natural assets as part of community development. Conversely much of the socio-economic research and practitioner effort aligned to natural resource management funding is quite one-dimensional and only permits effort related directly to natural resources. The pathway to partnerships for community sustainability proposed here, synthesised from our experience with the two projects, enables holistic consideration of community issues and opportunities.

1. Backgrounding - Stakeholder analysis or community mapping that is quick, efficient but also inclusive. Don’t just accept superficial ‘status quo’ thoughts of opinion leaders but also keep a clear understanding of what is needed to move forward without becoming distracted into unnecessary detail.

2. Pre-event interviews. Select a cross-section of interviewees and provide an introductory letter and phone call. The interview follows the strategic perspectives model, with questions attuned to the particular community sector involved. This elicits (and gets the interviewee thinking about) issues, opportunities, constraints, where they might fit into the solution, and their overall vision for where their community should be heading. Also gather information on organisational links (preferably using the ratings for frequency, importance and mutuality method to enable cluster analysis).

3. Invitation to the community-planning workshop (the social context or STIR workshop). Send all interviewees plus other selected organisational contacts a letter, perhaps offering optional workshop dates (this splits the dialogue but enables more to participate overall if there are conflicting activities). Depending on the nature of the workshop, you might invite them to ask others from their organisation. Decide whether to follow-up with a phone call – will it cement interest or will it appear too aggressive?

4. The community-planning workshop. This uses a process such as the recommended STIR process to identify community trends, implications of the trends and resolves on what the community could do in any of the social, economic or environmental areas discussed. If organisational links have been identified during pre-interviews, it will be good to display a network diagram of these links and invite others to add new connections. The options for new partnerships to pursue joint goals can then be canvassed.

5. Feedback. Workshop participants should receive quick written feedback by way of workshop notes, summarising the ideas that came up and any resolves for action. Invite them to start taking their own initiatives to form partnerships with other interested groups to make some early progress.

6. The partnerships workshop. Organisations interested in forming alliances or partnerships to achieve one or more of the community ‘resolves’ (which could also be targets of a strategic plan developed by a shire, a regional natural resource management body or an economic development group) come together to look into the type of partnership arrangement that will suit the situation. Different community sectors have different visions, different cultures and different administrative protocols. The workshop explores these using the ‘negotiation space’ concept (Ross & Innes in press) in which plans are made within agreed common ground, without engaging in conflict over areas where ideologies are unlikely to meet. The workshop moves on from consensus on what can be achieved together to some detail of roles and responsibilities, accountability required and check-up or reporting mechanisms.

7. Cementing the partnership. Formalisation, if desired, may be by way of Memorandum of Understanding or other protocols, depending on the challenge, and the organisational culture. Model agreements and checklists of best practice can be used to reach a mutually agreed document of responsibility and accountability. The need for this will be greater in cases where government funds are to be accounted for than in cases where volunteer organisations strive together for mutually compatible goals. The first partnership step may be for a single straight-forward action or project, then as the benefits of working together become evident, the partnership might move on to a collaborative community partnership where resources are shared for a range of projects (Keith & Ross 2005a).


The two projects were funded through the State Investment Projects portion of the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality funding for Queensland, in partnership with the Burnett-Mary Regional Group and Condamine Alliance. We particularly thank collaborators Glenda George, Deborah Scottand Jason Huggins for their roles in these projects.


Cocklin, C & Alston, M (eds) (2003), Community sustainability in rural Australia: a question of capital? Centre for Rural Research, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.

Christensen, JA & Robinson Jr, JW (1989), Community development in perspective, Iowa State University Press, Ames.

Dale, AP & Lane MB (1994), ‘Strategic Perspectives Analysis: a procedure for participatory and political social impact assessment’, Society and Natural Resources, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 253-268.

Granovetter MS (1973), ‘The strength of weak ties’, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 78, no. 6, pp. 1360-1380.

Earle, L & Fopp, R (1999), Introduction to Australian Society, 3rd edn, Harcourt Brace.

Felkins, PK (2002), Community at work: Creating and celebrating community in organisational life, Hampton Press, Cresskill NJ.

Ife, J (1995), Community development: creating community alternatives – vision, analysis and practice, Longman, Melbourne.

Keith, K & Ross, H (2005a), Burnett Mary regional partnerships - interim report, School of Natural and Rural Systems Management, The University of Queensland, Gatton.

Keith, K & Ross, H (2005b), Understanding Eastern Downs communities: social networks and natural systems, School of Natural and Rural Systems Management, The University of Queensland, Gatton.

Kenny, S (1999), Developing communities for the future: community development in Australia, Nelson, Melbourne.

O’Meara, M (1999), ‘Creating and maintaining a vibrant community’, in Country Matters Conference Proceedings, 20-21 May 1999, National Convention Centre, Canberra.

Ross, H & Innes J in press, ‘A framework for designing co-operative management for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area’, in L Merino and J Robson (eds), Managing the Commons: Conservation of Biodiversity, Instituto de Ecologia (INE), Mexico City.

Ross H & McCartney F (2005), ‘Reframing issues in rural development: women’s insights into sustainability and their implications for government’, in R. Eversole and J. Martin (eds), Participation and Governance in Regional Development Global Trends in an Australian Context, Ashgate, UK.

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page