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Brett Walsh was the inaugural winner of the Butch Lenton Award.

The Barcaldine Regional Council Deputy CEO’s 2018 award submission allowed him to conduct a two-week study tour of small-town America, looking at the key success factors for growing compact communities and how their experiences might translate to western Queensland. Brett says: 

“As a result of the tour I developed a community success framework in the concept of a Tree (pictured below)". The Tree has 12 elements based on: 

  • 4 x foundations – reflecting the potential of the community 

  • 4 x essentials – reflecting the needs of the community 

  • 4 x desirables – reflecting the values of the community 

“One of the key elements of the Tree is that a community needs a future purpose if it is to survive and grow."  

“I recommend that each community thoroughly examine and identify what its future purpose is. Communities that cannot define a future purpose will die over time.” 

Brett says the Butch Lenton Award provided him with “a fantastic learning opportunity that I have shared with my local community as well as the wider local government community”, including a special – and very well received  presentation at last year’s Bush Councils Convention in Roma.