Townsville City Council recently completed its largest ever community engagement program Speak Up Townsville. Speak Up Townsville was the key engagement program to find out from the community how they would like Townsville to be in the next 10 years and beyond. Comments, suggestions and visions provided by the community feed directly into the development of the now completed Community Plan - Leading, Creating, Connecting: shaping a place to be proud of Townville Community Plan 2011-2021
- Phase 1 – Community engagement (April to October 2010)
- Phase 2 – Online community feedback on draft community plan themes
Key aspects of Speak Up Townsville
- More than 7,000 community members provided comments and suggestions on how they would like to see Townsville in the next 10 years and beyond. A final data report will be available on-line in the near future.
- Multi-faceted and inclusive engagement techniques were used (see below).
- Over 60 community engagement activities were held across approximately 20 different geographical areas from Paluma to Cungulla and over to Magnetic Island.
- Key sector workshops were held involving representatives from business, government, sport & recreation, community service organisations, cultural and art, non-government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
- Our engagement also sort input from council’s youth, disability inclusion, seniors, women’s, families, community safety and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory committees.
A number of targeted workshops where heldwith an identified focus and attended by key community organisations and community representatives. These workshops were aimed at exploring and discussing past, present and future trends and challenges.
Through the use of maps of the Townsville region participants were asked to design their city by placing stickers and notes indicating where there is a need for services, buildings, roads, open spaces etc.
Council staff set up a SpeakOut Wall at a number of community locations and events throughout Townsville. A SpeakOut Wall is an informal method for individuals to write and display their comments and discuss their vision with council staff.
Through the use of technology – one laptop, multiple keyboards and a projector screen – groups of people were able to identify and discuss their vision for Townsville. Zing Technology was used as an alternative method of engagement at major SpeakUp Townsville tents/events.
A Samoan Circle is a meeting without a leader. A Samoan Circle has people seated in a circle within a circle with the inner circle being the discussion area. People move from the inner to outer circle as they wish to be involved in the discussion topic, and all other participants are to remain silent whilst listening to the discussion.
An Information Maze is an open house, informal style of engagement providing multiple styles of engagement techniques with different topics, and the technique allows for participants to involve themselves in areas that they consider of interest.
Post back surveys were distribution to key community facilities and handed out at all of the SpeakUp Townsville engagement activities as an alternative method for individuals to share their ideas and suggestions. Our survey was also available for completion and submission on-line.
As a method of gauging individuals priorities on topics, we used a ‘vote with your hands’ activity where people used their own painted hand prints to cast votes.
Community Group Meetings
Council staff attended various community group meetings to listen to, and discuss areas of challenges, visions and aspirations relating to that particular community group.
World Cafe Room
World Café is an engagement technique that is open and about shared communication. Multiple tables are set up in a room each with different questions/themes to evoke responses and discussions. Via a time facilitated process, participants move from table to table to discuss the various questions, and the discussions are recorded by a table facilitator.
Vox pops allowed individuals to video record their comments and vision for the future.
A mural painted by people from the Townsville community depicted our coastal, tropical city. The mural identified aspects of community safety which were then explored further through questions and responses on printed key patterns.
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