Re­search looks at Dain­tree

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Matt Searle

ZOE Photel­lis was de­liv­er­ing Cen­sus pa­pers in the Dain­tree when the idea first hit her.

“I got to see heaps of places and meet heaps of peo­ple and in­vari­ably got chat­ting about com­mu­nity: what’s hap­pen­ing; what’s hap­pened; what’s planned to hap­pen,” she said.

“This got me think­ing about the broad con­cept of com­mu­nity and what it is.”

Since Fe­bru­ary Zoe has un­der­taken a project to mea­sure Dain­tree res­i­dents’ sense of com­mu­nity, as well as views and opin­ions on lo­cal so­cial, eco­nomic, and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

Ms Photel­lis has col­lected more than 100 com­pleted sur­veys from res­i­dents of Cape Kim­ber­ley, Cow Bay, Di­wan, Thorn­ton Beach and Cape Tribu­la­tion.

More than 22 per cent of the Dain­tree Coast’s adult pop­u­la­tion have taken part in the study.

“Hav­ing de­liv­ered a Cen­sus form to the Aus­tralian Trop­i­cal Re­search Sta­tion (Aus­trop Foun­da­tion) I met Dr Hugh Spencer,” Zoe said.

“Hugh pressed me to pur­sue in­quiry into the con­cept of com­mu­nity of the Dain­tree Coast.

“He gen­er­ously of­fered ac­cess to re­sources, au­dio equipment, print­ers, com­put­ers even en­velopes.

“He also pro­vided moral sup­port at times when I was down about ever col­lect­ing 100 sur­veys.

“It’s been a slog and I have had my mo­ments,” Zoe said.

“In the be­gin­ning it was dif­fi­cult to en­gage peo­ple and elicit their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the project.

I will be shar­ing the re­sults with the com­mu­nity as I pro­gres­sively work through the data.

“I am plan­ning to hold some pre­sen­ta­tion nights in Cow Bay and Cape Tribu­la­tion in the near fu­ture to share the re­sults of the Sense of Com­mu­nity In­dex.”

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