AIM: To explore how local governance enables access to resources, creates opportunities and increases capability for older people in rural communities to experience social inclusion. METHOD: Twenty-six semi-structured interviews were undertaken with community stakeholders across two rural communities in north-east Victoria. Stakeholders were drawn from local government, and a range of community groups and organisations, as identified in a scoping study. RESULTS: Through the provision of community resources (e.g. physical and human infrastructure, organisational partnerships), local services and supports offer social and productive environments for participation. They also build individual resources (e.g. health, skills, finances, networks) to enable older people to participate within these environments, and provide assistance to allow older people to use individual and community resources. CONCLUSIONS: Community resources are integral in facilitating the development of older people's individual resources, and opportunities and capabilities for participation. These enable greater choice in participation, and contribute to the sustainability of community resources serving ageing populations.