Well-qualified to lead change in Brockville

Welcoming new Brockville community development co-ordinator Marie Laufiso (centre) are Brockville...
Welcoming new Brockville community development co-ordinator Marie Laufiso (centre) are Brockville Community Development Management Group members (from left) Clayton Hessell, Rose Richards, Erina Hurihanganui, Dolina Lee, Tagiilima Feleti, Sure Morey, Andrew Scott, Martin Webber and Philip Dunn, in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Having lived in Brockville all her life, Marie Laufiso would be hard to top as the person to lead change in the community.

She has been appointed Brockville community development co-ordinator and will put her background in community work and activism to good use as she helps the area gain self-sufficiency.

The community development project started about three years ago when the West Dunedin Youth and Community Trust began applying for funding from the Department of Internal Affairs.

Last year, the department awarded the project $90,000 over three years to help fund Ms Laufiso's position.

Project co-ordinator Andrew Scott said she was "an amazing person for the job", and he was looking forward to seeing a direction established for Brockville's development.

The community already had a garden, a strong and active church, a beautification group and a support trust, but Mr Scott wanted to see a youth group established, and also to hear what residents wanted in the area.

One of Ms Laufiso's first jobs would be to set up a website and run a logo design competition to "get a sense of identity" for Brockville.

She was "aware of the negative connotations of Brockville" but knew the community had heart.

"I'm aware that there are a lot of hopeful ideas in terms of projects and visions that people want to achieve. I'm aware of the material needs of the community," she said.

Mr Scott said some of those visions included "having forms of business that will provide work and training ... scholarships for our young people ... a micro-banking service which provides low-cost loans ... [and] justice for the people of Brockville".

- ellie.constantine@odt.co.nz

 

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