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Authentic community engagement

What makes good community engagement?

Effective community engagement provides real opportunities for community groups and individuals to discuss their hopes, issues and aspirations – and be heard. Community engagement can be face-to-face, from formal workshops to informal drop-in sessions, pop-ups, and listening posts. Engagement can also be online, from surveys to online meetings with break-out options, and everywhere in between.

Whatever the process, opportunities to engage must be accessible and convenient for broad community sectors to be involved. In some circumstances, this might involve the recruitment of participants to achieve a diverse and representative community voice, rather than just the people who are passionate about the topic.

In other circumstances, engagement of multifaceted issues is necessary over extended periods of time. Jen has chaired a number of community-based committees to work through complex, ongoing issues of great concern to local people. Examples include the Brooklyn Community Representative Group, Tullamarine Landfill Community Consultation Group, Drysdale Landfill Community Consultation Group, Alcoa Anglesea Power Station Community Consultation Network and North East Truck Curfew Community Reference Group.

Jen also assisted the establishment of the Mallee Fire Advisory Group, Melbourne Regional Landfill Community Consultation Group and a revised Stawell Gold Mines Environment Review Committee format. She facilitated each of these groups for 12 months during their establishment/transition.

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