New standard in community engagement

Article image - New standard in community engagement Dr Akin Falaki, Darrell Vincent, Dr Katrena Stephenson, Jenny Allford and Commissioner Sue Smith at the launch of Glenorchy City Councilís new Community Engagement Framework.

The Tasmanian community of Glenorchy will have a say and contribute to the decisions that affect it in the future, with the recent launch of a new international best-practice Community Engagement Framework.

Glenorchy City Council is setting a new standard for engaging with the local community through the new Framework, which ultimately aims to empower social change.

The Framework is based on the Core Values and Public Participation Spectrum developed by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), which are now considered world’s best practice.

Glenorchy City Council Commissioner, Sue Smith, said successful community engagement generated increased participation in important decision-making and led to a better-informed community and an enhanced feeling of inclusion.

“Council understands that good decision making comes from an intimate understanding of our community’s values, needs, aspirations and concerns,” Ms Smith said.

“Effective community engagement recognises the need to draw on other people’s experiences and expertise to find creative and innovative solutions to existing services or even complex issues.”

Ms Smith said the Framework defined Council’s approach to create and advance a culture of community engagement.

“The new Framework will help us plan and prioritise Council services and initiatives to better meet our community’s expectations, demonstrating our commitment to public participation in decision making and service delivery.

“It provides both us and the community with clear guidelines to successful engagement and participation, outlining what we do, when we do it, how we do it and why, through a Community Engagement Policy, Procedure, Toolkit and Public Participation Brochure.”

The Framework was launched in August by the CEO of the Local Government Association of Tasmania, Dr Katrena Stephenson, at a community symposium – Rethinking Community Engagement – hosted by Council.