Carmen Stewart




It Takes a Town — with Carmen Stewart
It Takes a Town (ITAT) started in 2017 in the 2484 postcode area, which includes Murwillumbah,  Northern New South Wales and surrounding villages. It operates under the premise that we all — residents, services, clubs, churches, businesses, schools and government—have a role to play in creating change. With 1 in 3 children below the poverty line in 2484, children and families have become ITAT’s primary focus. ITAT focuses on nurturing the qualities of collaboration, generosity and responsiveness, with the understanding that if we get the culture of community ‘right’ and provide support for the seeding of new collaborations and initiatives then it will benefit of children, families and individuals. 
In this episode we ask Carmen how the project is progressing how the community is engaging with it.
In this interview we discuss how:
  • natural disasters, like the 2017 floods, impact local communities and help build resilience
  • to tap into the generosity of a community willing to help those in need
  • ITAT attracted funding to support the movement
  • ITAT’s managed to respond more quickly to people in need during the floods than larger organisations subject to bureaucracy
  • the community gathered together to determine how they could be more self sufficient.
Bio of Carmen Stewart

Carmen has a Masters in Applied Science (Social Ecology) and a background in government, education, community and not-for-profit sectors. For the past 17 years she has worked as a consultant, specialising in community engagement, project design and management, the facilitation of workshops and strategic planning.

Carmen’s key role at present is the design and activation of ‘It Takes a Town’. This is a collective impact project focused on the 2484 postcode area. It aims to grow a culture of trust, generosity and responsiveness, in order to create opportunities and environments for children to thrive.

Prior to this she designed and managed the award winning Making Places project, an initiative to imagine safer, healthier and more sustainable futures in communities across SEQ and Melbourne.

Carmen has worked extensively as a consultant with organisations in the Northern Rivers, including Social Futures, The Family Centre, Momentum Collective, Tweed Ballina Byron Community Transport, the NNSW Local Health District and the (former) Tweed Valley Women’s Service. She has also worked for multiple government agencies including the Tweed Shire Council, Logan City Council, City of Gold Coast and the Queensland State Government.

Carmen is a highly skilled and engaging facilitator. She is passionate about inspiring and activating change to create futures we would all love to live in.  Right now she is particularly interested in how we can collaborate post COVID-19 to NOT return to business as usual.

You can find out more about Carmen’s present work at

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It takes a town

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