WHAT! WHY! HOW! COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT – GET CURIOUS
Through community engagement we can create value – and expand opportunities with and for the community. The Strategic Alignment and Community Impact program day heightened our knowledge and invigorated our curiosity and left wanting to ask more questions.
The speakers showed us ways to build strategic partnerships that unite our WHY with the WHAT! WHY! HOW! of other people and organisations to work together with the community!
It appears that a fundamental component of the Leadership Great South Coast’s Community Leadership Program is gaining a comprehensive and accurate understanding of working through our values. The program challenges us to rethink at a deeper level to be acquiring and reflecting on our WHY – the compelling higher purpose that inspires us to ask people what they think about ideas, plans or proposal so they can contribute to, and influence, the decisions that affect them. This assists in clarifying the why of community engagement to contribute to sound decision making.
Community engagement is a crucial part of both public and private sector decision making. Its important to consider the whole picture of what community engagement entails before leaping straight in. It is about creating the two-way dialogue and for the collective feedback to be focussed into a decision. The level of your community engagement is based on the why and the impact of the decision on the community and the influence of the stakeholders.
Communication and Engagement Specialist, Ailiche Goddard-Clegg, had us understanding:
- collaboration and connections
- mobilising resources and influence systems
- changing the relationships among partners, and
- serving as catalysts for changing policies, programs, and practices, as we worked through a number of sample project concepts.
This elevated the discussion regarding strategic profiles and community engagement. Together they create more beneficial linkages, and the community connections improves the overall outcomes by engaging, listening, and learning from community.
Prompt questions to consider project concepts included:
What is the
Why do it?
- Better outcomes
How to do it?
- Define / map
Robust communication and engagement with community is a pivotal process in the planning process to ensure the plan’s long-term or overall aims, interests, and the means of achieving them are met.
Thank you to all our speakers for sharing your valuable time and knowledge.
Nigel Harper – Acting Manager Regional Operations, Regional Development Victoria, Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions. Brett Davis – CEO Moyne Shire, and Member of South West Victoria Alliance and Great South Coast Regional Partnership. Katie Hearn – Manager Community Services, Corangamite Shire. Ashish Sitoula – Manager Strategic Community Planning and Policy, Warrnambool City Council. Ailiche Goddard-Clegg – Communication and Engagement Specialist.
Jo-Anne O’Brien 2023 LGSC Participant.