About Hills Local Community Engagement

Hills Local was born out of a desire to help support the businesses and community groups of the Dandenong Ranges to be seen and heard by the people who need them every day – our locals.

The Dandenong Ranges is a unique part of Melbourne, and as such we get a lot of interest and focus on the tourism sector. Of course, we love the support to our region that tourism provides, but at the same time, we want our Hills communities to be self-sufficient and sustainable, so as not to have to rely upon tourism dollars to survive. We also want to foster connections between our community members and support the volunteer groups that need day to day input from locals to keep them vital and thriving.

So who is Hills Local?

Hills Local is me, Jo O’Connor. I’ve lived in Upwey (the beautiful gateway to the Dandenong Ranges!) since 2008, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of wonderful local businesses close doors barely before they have begun to make themselves known to the community, and passionate volunteer groups struggle to find numbers for projects, which then meant that these great ideas never got off the ground.

Why? Usually, because these dedicated small business owners and volunteers didn’t have the time, energy, or in some cases the knowledge, of how to market and promote themselves effectively.

That’s where I can help.

I built the hillslocal.online platform to give local businesses and community groups a dedicated space to advertise their services and connect with the community.

Like Hills Local on Facebook


Follow Hills Local on Instagram

For enquiries regarding the hillslocal.online directory website, contact me by emailing [email protected] 


For those who would like additional support, I am also a qualified Digital Marketing Professional – you can see my qualifications here – who can help small business owners and volunteer group leaders to communicate effectively with their communities online through social media, email newsletters and online marketing.

While “marketing” has become a dirty word in some circles, what I do is really just help you to share your unique passion and enthusiasm with the people that will benefit most from it – that’s community engagement.

So what am I passionate about?

Providing an affordable, ethical, accessible service to the community.

Supporting small business and encouraging civic participation in our local volunteer groups.

The power of collaboration and working together for positive social impact.

For enquiries regarding social media, website development, SEO, copywriting or other Digital Marketing support, email [email protected] or call 0418 332 449