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Coffee and Cake with Darius Turner

Community Engagement Summit Series co-chair Darius Turner recently sat down with Social Pinpoint’s Jessica Goerke to reflect on the finished 2017 Summit Series and discuss what he sees as the most vital trends in community engagement now and in the future.

The full interview is included below, or you can read it here, along with a wide range of other community engagement articles, at Social Pinpoint.

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Community Engagement Presentations

Presenters from our highly successful 2017 Community Engagement Summit events have kindly offered to share their presentations. It is hoped that by sharing this knowledge, community engagement practitioners can apply the lessons from case studies and theory to their own work.

Please note, the content in these presentations remains the intellectual property of the authors, so please do not reproduce or post in any other forums without the written consent of the authors.

Thanks again to the presenters for sharing their valuable time and knowledge.

We will continue to update this page with further presentations and resources as they are provided to us.


Social Pinpoint Consultation ManagerConsultation Manager combined with their newly acquired company Social Pinpoint have been announced a platinum partner of the Community Engagement Summit Series 2017.

The ground-breaking nationwide summit series features leading experts at the forefront of the industry with presentations spanning a range of topics including Digital Place-making, Internal Engagement, Engaging Beyond Cultural and Social and Political Divides.

“Our partnership with Consultation Manager and Social Pinpoint provides an exciting opportunity for summit attendees.  These two complementary products provide a complete end-to-end solution to online engagement with stimulating online engagement tools.

“Both of the companies have delivered hundred of projects.  The insights and case studies they will provides attendees with is incredibly valuable.   We are delighted to have them on-board as their involvement will provide attendees with a huge range of resources,” said Community Engagement Summit Series Co-chair, Darius Turner.

Co-founder of Social Pinpoint Charles Connell said they were delighted Consultation Manager and Social Pinpoint were able to be jointly involved in an event paving the way and providing a fresh approach to community engagement and training.

“The 2017 Community Engagement Summit provides attendees with such a wealth of resources, tools and advice, relating so well to our company ethos.  The series provides a wonderful opportunity for attendees to bring along community engagement problems and utilise the collective knowledge of the experts in attendance to develop solutions.  We are delighted to be involved in such a unique event,” said Charles Connell, Co-founder of Social Pinpoint.

The Community Engagement Summit Series: Melbourne 23 & 24 May, Brisbane 30 & 31 May, Adelaide 6 & 7 July, Perth 13 & 14 July and Sydney 3 & 4 August.

About Social Pinpoint and Consultation Manager
Social Pinpoint provide online engagement tools with the best solutions to engage with stakeholders and communities.  Consultation Manager are a global leader in software to manage stakeholder relations. Together they provide a complete community engagement solution. 


Extract from 2016 Community Engagement Summit, Sydney, presentation by Kate Lewis, Northern Beaches Council.  

The recently formed Northern Beaches Council amalgamated three unique communities each with a strong identity and sense of local pride.  The amalgamation process involved significant community engagement process that offered a number of key learnings.

Firstly, the community must be engaged throughout the process of change. The internal processes of an organisational restructuring can be highly opaque to outside advisors, and it is easy for the community to lose interest in the process. Effort must be specifically taken to involve the community in the process of change, both to prevent disengagement with the organisation and to garner their input on how they want to be involved.

In the case of the Northern Beaches Council, this involved soliciting community input through the border review and preliminary amalgamation consultations. Several possible border configurations received community input, before the final decision to unify the full area of Manly, Warringah and Pittwater councils under the new council was made.

Secondly, existing engagement frameworks need to be realigned to account for changes in both available resources and community demographics. For the council, faced with the need to rapidly integrate and modify the various disparate projects the prior councils had been undertaking, this took the form of the establishment of a number of new consulting groups – local representation committees, strategic reference groups and the like – in order to rapidly gather community input on such a wide range of operations.

The key focus areas to take away from this example are:



Extract from 2016 Community Engagement Summit, Sydney, presentation by Jessica Brown, Canterbury Bankstown Council.

In order to engage properly with your organisation’s residents or customers (depending on whether approaching it from a government or corporate perspective), it is crucial to maintain the profiles of your target groups. To do this it is useful to make use of a ‘marketing persona’

This process differs for government and private groups. For government, the target demographic is a given, and effort should be focused into demographic groups to identify the defining traits of local residents. Corporate groups, on the other hand, have more flexibility in who they target and can instead construct an image of their ideal customer who they seek to target.

A marketing persona is a hypothetical figure representing common traits of the target market, presented in a graphic format. Multiple personae, featuring the common traits and demographics of your community, should be developed to allow you to effectively know and understand your community.

When it comes to effectively engaging your audience, keep the following in mind:

  1. Discover your audience, and invest resources into market research.
  2. Pitch the right content to the right audience.
  3. Create opportunities customers want to participate in, and on topics they want to talk about.
  4. Get creative on projects, and make sure they benefit you and the community.


Media Release
18 April 2017

Temple Executive Search - Community Engagement

Community Engagement Training Australia is excited to partner with leading corporate affairs executive search firm, Temple Executive Search to deliver the ground-breaking nation-wide event, the 2017 Community Engagement Summit Series.

The Community Engagement Summit Series is an innovative program that aims to help professionals advance in the practice of community engagement across Australia, showcasing the most up-to-date case studies, apps and online solutions and new approaches to engagement.

Taking place in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney, the events will feature leading experts at the forefront of the industry with presentations spanning a range of topics including digital place-making, internal engagement, engaging beyond cultural and social and political divides.

“Partnering with Temple Executive Search to deliver this cutting-edge program will allow us to further deliver on our ethos that contemporary and high quality professional development for engagement practitioners is the cornerstone of delivering the best possible outcomes for communities,” said Community Engagement Summit Series Co-chair, Darius Turner.

“Temple Executive Search is renowned for their industry involvement and their support in nurturing and developing professionals within the industry. Their partnership will see unique training workshops, lead by some of the most experienced and trusted communications strategy advisors in Australia included as part of the program” he said.
Temple Executive Search Director and Co-founder Rebecca Tabakoff, said Temple partnered with the series in the interest of both its clients and candidates.

“The Community Engagement Summit Series mirrors our objective of raising the profile of the community engagement function, and supporting the development of professionals within the industry.

“In a time of growth and change within local communities, community engagement is more important than ever and a critical component of connecting individuals and communities.

“Our workshops at the Community Engagement Summit Series will provide professional development opportunities to enhance and grow professionals within the industry, with workshops led by leading Australian Practitioners,” she said.

Sponsorship of the Community Engagement Summit Series provides a unique opportunity to contribute to and place your organisation at the forefront of the industry, while connecting with practitioners. Contact us to find out how to be involved.

The 2017 Community Engagement Summit Series: Melbourne 23 & 24 May, Brisbane 30 & 31 May, Adelaide 6 & 7July, Perth 13 & 14 July and Sydney 3 & 4 August.

About Temple Executive Search
Temple Executive Search is an executive search, training and consulting firm specialising in communications and corporate affairs. Temple was established in 2013 to deliver executive search and counsel for both candidates and clients from the perspective of people who have actually worked in corporate affairs.


Extract from 2016 Community Engagement Summit, Sydney, presentation by Christine Narramore, Central Coast Council.

Local Government is progressing through significant change with many council’s amalgamating and their communities growing by more than double.  Many of these communities were aggressively against amalgamations and are now part of a larger community they don’t identify with.  

The recently formed Central Coast Council worked to create and maintain a sense of community from the start of their merger.  Their first step was to understand the existing communities and how they will be affected by the process and begin to engage with them immediately. Maintaining a community throughout change is easier than establishing an entirely new sense of community out of disparate parties.

Once change is underway, its critical to to create a central vision that outlines the ideal outcomes, the process to get there and the change the community should expect.  By constantly engaging and communicating with the community it allows for a greater sense of security and regularity in the face of change.  The community feels part of a group moving forwards and evolving rather than a process that is leaving existing parts of the community behind.

From this, it is possible to build up a real momentum for change. Keep people involved in the process and leverage greater effort from them. Don’t just keep change as something in the background, but make it something they want to be a part of. By keeping the community united and focused on the final goal, momentum can be maintained and the community becomes excited for the final outcomes.

The five key elements presented for effective change during this presentation are as follows:

❶ Build a Momentum for Change

❷ Leadership that Inspires

❸ Create a Compelling Vision

❹ Enable a Culture for Success

❺ Provide a Clear ‘Line Of Sight’


Last week the Co-chair of the Community Engagement Summit Series 2017, Joel Fredericks, shared insights into his research on how middle out engagement can be used as a collaborative approach for designing, implementing and deploying community engagement in local communities. 

Middle Out Engagement

Joel Fredericks shares insights about middle out engagement design

The workshop took place at Big Bang 2017, a conference organised and hosted by Bang the Table for community engagement practitioners. Feedback from workshop participants was positive, with many comments highlighting the value of including stakeholders in the engagement design stage to avoid the age old problem of hearing ‘why wasn’t I consulted?’ at the pointy end of the process. We will be unpacking this more during the upcoming Community Engagement Summit Series and sharing further information through our facebook, twitter and linkedin feeds.  







Extract from 2016 Community Engagement Summit, Sydney, presentation by William Adames, Ku-ring-gai Council.

Community consultation and engagement is commonly accepted as standard practice nowadays when undertaking works with the potential to affect members of a community.   It’s vital to ensure this community engagement is not tokenistic and decisions are driven by the community.

But gathering and using information are two different things, and when it comes to decision time organisations can often default to their original plans. They are already prepared and understood by those implementing them, after all, and adjusting a project to meet community preferences takes time and resources.

This is the easy option, but doing so ignores the whole point of community engagement along with the opportunity to ensure projects are tailored to the needs of the community. When undertaking community consultation, it is important to ensure it serves as a means to test and refine the proposed course of action by getting the opinions of those directly affected by it, rather than merely a process to give a project social legitimacy.

Taking all this into consideration, we are left with two main questions to ask when planning community engagement:

  1. When planning engagement ask yourself – ‘What can I do to ensure our decision makers properly consider the outputs of this engagement process?”
  2. Also ask – “Is my organisation really committed to community engagement? What steps can be taken to improve this?”


Media Release
24 March 2017


Melbourne: Tuesday 23 & Wednesday 24 May

Community Engagement Training Australia has launched the first event of their 2017 Community Engagement Summit Series, taking place in Melbourne on Tuesday 23 & Wednesday 24 May. The nation-wide summit series will advance the practice of Community Engagement and create better outcomes for communities across Australia.

The Melbourne Community Engagement Summit will showcase the most up to date case studies, technological advances and approaches to engagement.

The 2017 Community Engagement Summit Series has been designed with the belief that contemporary, high quality professional development for engagement practitioners is the cornerstone of delivering even better outcomes for communities in the future.

“We have designed the Community Engagement Summit Series 2017 with the key objective of improving the practice of community engagement across Australia, said the Community Engagement Summit Series Co-chair, Darius Turner. “We are passionate about helping organisations and their staff to deliver outstanding engagement programs to their communities, and we will keep researching and uncovering new ways to do this as we provide our training and events”.

The Community Engagement Summit Series is run by Community Engagement Training Australia and will see five industry leading, not-to-be-missed events taking place across Australia in 2017.

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