Community engagement crosses cultures

The multicultural Shire of Katanning in Western Australia has creatively engaged its residents.

Katanning, a small rural community of 4100 residents, is known as one of the most multicultural places in the state, with over 42 nationalities calling the area home.

Due to this, the Shire of Katanning knew it was particularly important to be creative with its engagement methods to ensure the voices of the whole community were heard.

In early 2017 the Shire invited the community to participate in consultation for its Strategic Community Plan.

The Shire was committed to ensuring community participation so with such a diverse community a wide range of methods were used to enable full engagement, this included: online and paper surveys; webpage updates, media release and advertisements in the local paper.

‘My Big Idea Card’ postcards were left at key collection points around the town library, shire admin buildings, cafes, medical centre, hospital and Leisure Centre.

Three community clinics were held; two coffee mornings and one club pizza night were undertaken.

Asset Mapping with the community was undertaken via workshops and one on one consultations.

Interactive workshops were held with Staff, Councillors and schools and a selection of the larger ethnic groups.

The Shire attended a number of community gatherings including Sorry Day.

Four focus groups were held with stakeholders to define and formulate feedback received from the consultation.

Interpreters supported people with English as a second language to participate.

Participation exceeded the Shire’s expectation with 1964 people participating and over 4000 suggestions received.

The Shire of Katanning was overwhelmed by the support shown through the community’s participation in the Katanning 2027 consultation.