Hunters Hill (NSW)

Type of Location: Urban suburb of Sydney about 7km north-west of the centre, smallest local government area in metropolitan Sydney as well as one of the oldest on the north side of the harbour. 75% also classified as a conservation area.

Population: 9,024 (2006 Census)

Major Industries: Mostly residential with retail and hospitality industries servicing the permanent population as well as its visitors.

Applicant Organisation: Discover Hunters Hill Inc.

Synopsis: Hunters Hill Community website was the first to go live after the launch of the Community Geographic Domain Names in August 2006. Its aim is to preserve and protect the locality, maintain its independence as a municipality and ensure viability of businesses and services. The website group manages to achieve these aims through providing information to local and wider community, supporting community groups, encouraging use of local facilities and promoting greater awareness of natural, cultural, heritage and community values. The group has since gone on to successfully apply for neighbouring CGDNs Gladesville and Woolwich, which are served by the same website.

What they say:

Benefits to the community

"The benefits for the community, its local groups and businesses have been tremendous. The website affords a very high search engine resulting in local businesses being found very quickly, the calendar of events allows community groups to better organise their events as they can see what else is happening throughout the year and the residents and visitors to the area have a one-stop shop for everything they need to know about Hunters Hill and its localities."

Getting people on board

"Get a good base core of people around you - people with ties to the business community and people with ties to community groups (or ideally both). Harness their expertise and contacts."

"Find people who are passionate about where they live but who don't have a particular political agenda. Don't wait for business people to come to you - they are busy trying to make a living. Go into shops and pick up their business cards and add them to your business directory and tell them that you have."

Engaging with the community

"Get involved with local community groups or find someone who is (mums, Schools, Seniors, Rotary, Sports Groups, Theatre, Music, etc). Get every conceivable community group on your site and tell them who you are with a short 'blurb' about your Association, your aims and goals."

"Read your local paper(s) to check what's on in your community; make contact with community groups and get on their mailing lists; get to know your Council's community relations officer; get in contact with outside community groups who may be very involved in your local community (National Trust, Surf Lifesaving, Country Women's Association, whoever) and let them know you are there and what you are doing."

Promoting your website

"Use your local newspapers to promote events/festivals and get your website address included for further information. Contact local journalists to do a 'piece' either on your Association or a local Festival you're helping to coordinate. Contact the larger newspapers with info on major events for inclusion."

Maintaining good sponsor relations

"When we make contact with businesses and community groups, we ask them to become members of the Association (for a nominal yearly fee to help with the costs of administration, publicity, etc.)"

"Occasionally we hold breakfast meetings (7am) to let our members know about what the Association has been up to (website developments/upgrades, etc). Introduce businesses to local community groups. Networking, networking, networking - connecting all aspects of the community - faces to names."

Deb Anschau, Discover Hunters Hill Inc.