Investing in the business of relationships

Imagined Futures Executive Officer, Leigh Sinclair, presented to the WACOSS conference on the importance of investing in the business of relationships as a way of tackling some of the toughest social challenges impacting our community.

In her presentation Leigh argued that creating conditions that allow relationships to flourish is a purposeful endeavour in and of itself. In recent times we have seen this knowledge begin to translate into practice. Funders are realising that if we are to move from an outdated transactional approach to a contemporary relational one then they must invest in mechanisms that drive this change. We have seen such an investment in relationships deliver dividends in the South West Metropolitan Region of Perth. In this community three of these mechanisms come together to focus their collective efforts on same geographic community. The Fremantle Rockingham Family Support Network (FRFSN), the Suicide Prevention Coordinator program (SPC) and the Imagined Futures District Leadership Group all have different but intersecting remits, yet they all have the business of relationships at their heart. Over the turbulent pandemic years, they have leveraged their relationships to unlock the strength that exists in the community. They have worked together to deliver several collaborative projects including: improving support for people experiencing depression, enhancing connections for Aboriginal children in care to their family, culture, and community, and testing innovative ways of connecting people new to seeking support to the right support at the right time. Their experiences are a heart-warming testament to the collective power of community to rally together to tackle the most complex of challenges.