The International Association for Public Participation has named the City of Cockburn and its not-for-profit partner Perth-based Town Team Movement winners in the environment category of its 2021 Core Values Awards for community consultation.
The City took out the award for its community consultation to prepare its Climate Change Strategy (2020-2030), achieved largely online following the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.
IAP2, the Australasian peak body for the community and stakeholder engagement sector, named the City and its partner a finalist in the awards in September, with the winners announced at its Changing Landscapes 2021 virtual conference in Brisbane 25-29 October.
City of Cockburn Executive Corporate Affairs Victoria Green said the awards recognised outstanding projects and organisations that were excelling at the forefront of community and stakeholder engagement.
“The arrival of an international pandemic on our shores could have been a significant setback for successful community consultation for the City’s 10-year Climate Change Strategy in March 2020, but it became an opportunity to demonstrate our adaptability,” Mrs Green said.
“The project website had more than 2,000 visits and the team was able to reach more than 10,000 people with information about the consultation project.
“Because of COVID-19, our consultation process took place online, including workshops, listening posts, online surveys, question and answer boards and always had staff subject matter experts on hand to answer questions and provide context.
“We drew on established networks, such as the Children’s Reference Group and Youth Advisory Collective, plus targeted social media messaging to spread awareness to more than 2,000 young people. Around 40 per cent of our workshop participants were people under 25.
“Climate change impacts us all, so the conversation needed to include everyone. Lockdowns made this very challenging, particularly for audiences that are hard to reach, like young people.
“Our main priority was to deliver a strategy that reflected the vision and values of the community. We pared back the conversation to what our future should look like and what we needed to focus on to achieve that.”
Mrs Green said successful applicants in the IAP2 awards demonstrated leading practice and evidence that IAP2’s seven Core Values were clearly embedded within their organisations.
“This is something the City strives for by involving residents and ratepayers in ongoing consultation that affects their community.”
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