Council receives international recognition for community engagement

Council staff listening to residents’ viewpoint about the Community Strategic Plan

Central Coast Council has received a Highly Commended recognition in the 2020 IAP2 Australia Core Values Awards, for its excellence in embedding the value of community engagement into its core business.

The awards are run by the International Association for Public Participation and they recognise best practice in public participation.

Council’s Highly Commended award was in the Australasian Organisation of the Year category.

Director, Connected Communities, Julie Vaughan, said that over the past four years, Council had worked hard to embed the value of community engagement within the organisation, and this recognition was a tribute to the staff who are passionate about seeking community participation in key projects.

“Together with the community, we have tried and tested new face-to-face and online methods, built relationships with our hard to reach communities and commenced a new place based engagement, Let’s Talk series, following feedback from our residents to be consulted on holistic planning and activities for local neighbourhoods,” Vaughan said.

“The community is positive about the way we engage and understand how they can actively participate and find out how their voices influence the decisions that shape the future of their region.

“It is a great achievement to be recognised by the judges, who are some of Australia’s leading community engagement professionals.

“I congratulate our team on their success and Melbourne Water on their win in the same category.”

Council’s consultation with the community is ongoing and in the past four years has engaged on a wide range of topics including playgrounds and skate parks, planning for impacts of climate change, land use and place planning the growing region, affordable housing, roads and pathways, waste and resource management, water and sewer services, a broad range of environmental issues and conservation initiatives, as well as the needs of youth, people with disabilities and our ageing population.

Administrator, Dick Persson, said community participation in Council matters was important because it created a shared sense of purpose, direction and understanding of the need to deliver services to the community and to plan for the future.

“It also provides an improved process for two way engagement that recognises and embraces community knowledge, ideas and expertise, and contributes to building community confidence in Council,” he said.

“I congratulate the Community Engagement team for this great recognition and encourage our community to continue getting involved and sharing their thoughts with us.”

Media release, Nov 19
Central Coast Council