Community engagement

Janet draws upon her experience as a facilitator, a community campaigner, and a Councillor to design community engagement processes that are genuine and effective. She knows what it’s like to be involved in community engagement processes from all sides, and knows how to make these processes work for both the organisation conducting them and for the community members.  Janet has extensive experience includes running community reference groups, community forums, open days, on-site workshops and on-line processes, and conducting training in community engagement.

Janet has written and presented extensively on community engagement. Some of these presentations include:

Some Examples

Barwon Water Community Engagement about Biosolids 2004-2007

Janet led the community engagement for the planning of a facility for treating and recycling solid organic wastes (biosolids) generated from sewage treatment. Core to the process was the Biosolids Investigation Group which met ten times over a two year period. Group members became informed about different treatment options, and were able to provide feedback and advice to Barwon Water both about the options and about details of the facility that was finally chosen. Other aspects of the community engagement were information bulletins, field trips, a community meeting and an Open Day. Challenges included handling substantial controversy, and maintaining quality community engagement when the project became a public-private partnership and confidentiality provisions made this difficult.

Janet’s even-handed style and genuine enthusiasm for a solution that would be acceptable to the community while also meeting all Barwon Water’s objectives, led to a successful project outcome that has attracted many positive comments. Carl Bicknell,
General Manager Water Systems,
Barwon Water

Barwon Water Water Resources Development Plan (with Context Pty Ltd) 2000-2002

Janet led the community engagement process for the development of the Plan. This involved a two year consultation process involving 10 workshops, a 20 member reference group, other focus groups and public meetings. Janet prepared and wrote community information bulletins and questionnaires that were an integral part of the consultation process. The process was resulted in a Water Resources Development Plan which had wide acceptance amongst the Barwon community. The Plan was awarded an Occasional Special Award from the Planning Institute of Australia.

Parks Victoria Yarra Bend Trails Strategy Consultation ( with Context Pty Ltd)

Janet is able to quickly understand the big picture, the key issues to resolve and the desired outcomes. At the same time Janet is aware of the reality of the politics and can engage and work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, approaches and skills
Kerry Thompson
CEO, City of Wyndham

This strategy guided the use, development and management of trails in Yarra Bend Park. Janet led the consultative processes of the Strategy, which was developed with extensive community involvement. One of the key successes of the process was the building of shared ownership of the recommendations from a diverse range of stakeholders.

Victorian Local Governance Association Training of Mayors, Misamis Occidental, Philippines 2008

Janet was a member of a team of trainers who ran a training program in community engagement for Mayors from Misamis Occidental Province. Janet’s focus was on participatory budgeting.