Review of Council Community Engagement

Surf Coast Shire Council are updating their engagement strategy, and engaged Here Studio to assist with this transition, and to give recommendations about how project managers and others in Council could improve their community engagement.

Here Studio began with a critical review of Council policy, including strategy documents, and discussions with Council’s community engagement officers.

The review was presented to the Project Managers, along with a presentation of current ideas behind engagement, and a comparison to other models, including IAP2. This was followed by a group discussion - asking questions, making comments, and sharing experiences.

As part of a workshop session, groups discussed of specific projects that they had worked on, including the potential for Community engagement, ways that this happened, and ways which it could happen in the future. Following this was a facilitated discussion of wider individual and group experience of engagement in Council, including possible ways of sharing this knowledge.

We found that project managers have a large and varied set of skills, including some based on delivery, and some based on engagement - this is a benefit to Council, and should be recognised.  In addition, these individuals carry a lot of knowledge about their local community, and sharing this - including the mistakes and successes - is vital.

Outcomes from this review included:

  • Worksheets to be used by council as Case Study Projects
  • Suggestions for potential engagement methods
  • Recommendations for planning the engagement process as part of the overall project plan


May - June 2017

Surf Coast Shire Council