Many kids live where there are other houses around.
There are shops and schools.
There are playgrounds and parks.
They can catch a bus or train or tram.
Some kids live where there are not many people nearby.
A community (say com-you-nit-ee) is a group of people that live in the same area, and use the same shops, schools, parks, library and other services.
Another word that could be used is neighbourhood.
Some communities are big, some are small.
Some communities are in a city or town, and others are in the country.
Most communities have people from different countries who have come to live there, as well as people who have lived here for all their lives.
You live in a community
When you look out your window, what do you see?
Some children will see fields full of cows and sheep, some will see the bush, some will see tall buildings and lots of traffic , some will see mountains or the sea.
Make a list of the things you have in your community.
Communities are all different, but some things will be the same. In a community there are schools and kindergartens, doctors and nurses, shops and restaurants. In some communities there is a market. Often there is a swimming pool and a library, parks, playgrounds and sport grounds. There may be a police station and a fire station that help protect that community. There are buses and perhaps trains and trams that connect that community to other communities. There are different kinds of churches in a community.
A community is made up of people. People who work and play, go to school and to work, who look after each other, people who help and people who need help. Your class is a kind of community. It is made up of people who look different and sound different but who do things together and who do many things the same.
In a community the garbage gets collected, roads are made and mended, the streets are cleaned, there are spaces for parking cars. All these things and more are done by the council or shire. The names are different in different parts of Australia, but the job is the same. Adults who live in a community vote for people to run the council, and the council has lots of workers who help look after the community. A council makes plans for a community. It decides where to have parks and shops. It decides how tall buildings can be and where those buildings are.
Communities in the bush, a big city or in the mountains will have different needs. A council decides what people in the community may need. For example, in a community near the sea, the council keeps the beach clean and may build places where people can tie up boats or where people on holiday can put tents and caravans.
Councils give each house and shop wheelie bins for rubbish. On the day the garbage is collected in their street, people put out their wheelie bins and a big truck empties them and takes the garbage away. Some bins are for things that get recycled. Some bins are for green waste, which is weeds pulled out from the garden or the leaves people cut from trees and bushes. Big trucks go along the streets to sweep the rubbish out of the gutters.
Councils build swimming pools in the community, and have people to keep them clean and safe. Libraries are built and filled with books, CDs and DVDs that people can borrow.
Did you go to kindergarten when you were little? It was probably built and run by your community council.
You may have a favourite park where you can run and play. The park is kept nice by council workers who plant trees and flowers and mow the grass. People can walk their dogs, play games, have a picnic or just enjoy the outdoors.
There are playgrounds with slides and swings that council workers make sure are safe. Sporting clubs can play sports like football, cricket, basketball and netball in places run by the council.
There are places where people can meet to talk or learn skills. They are Neighbourhood Houses, or clubs for older people, or community halls.
Councils have to make money so that they can pay for all the things they provide. People who own a house or shop pay the council money each year.
People pay to park their cars by putting coins in a parking meter.
These are just some of the ways a council earns money.
A community can also get together and have fun! There are community markets, concerts in the local park, street parties and many other ways that people in a community can share a good time.