AUT University, Australia
The ways in which local councils manage relationships with the communities they serve are undergoing significant change, partly as the statutory frameworks for local governments themselves change, and partly in response to changing community expectations. This paper provides an overview of the evolution of community governance in Australia considering both local government practice and the unique role of the community banking network of the Bendigo Bank. It is contextualised by an examination of recent literature on governance, which supports a series of interviews/case studies. A wide range of innovative practice is identified, implications are drawn for local government structure and practice, and recommendations made both for strengthening community governance and for further developing the relationship between local government and community banking.