Find your voice

Recently we asked the community how interested you were in local governance and how you would like to participate.

What we've learnt

What we've learnt and what's next

The Barrier

One of the major barriers to making the Strategy work is a political environment which is not conducive to positive community engagement (PCE). You only have to read the local newspapers, check out social media postings, get leaflets in your letter box or drive past a billboard to see this is the current situation.

PCE is linked to mutual trust and reciprocity, collaboration in social projects and events and altruistic behaviours. PCE contributes to social relatedness, security and belonging for all parties, in other words, people work toward a common good. On the other hand NCE or negative community engagement is about identifying and fighting a common enemy.

Finding a solution

Our recent survey was intended to reach out to the broader community, people of the so-called silent majority who have yet to engage with the City. Of the 312 people responded 120 of you are thinking about and planning to engage with us soon.

A profile of this group has shown them:

  • To be younger than most participants, with the upper limit being less than 49;
  • To be living in the Central Ward comprising the suburbs of Attadale, Booragoon, Myaree and Winthrop;
  • Compared to other respondents, the balance in terms of gender was more evenly distributed;
  • To have interests more evenly distributed than those of other respondents;
  • To be interested in:
    • Attending community workshops
    • Filling in a survey
    • Using Melville Talks
    • Serving on a Community Reference Group
    • Attending seminars on local government

The primary barrier to participation for this ‘yet to be engaqed’ group lay in not knowing where to go or who to speak to. Compared with men, women in this group and people aged between 18 and 29 were most likely to identify with the barrier.

What's next

By working with these barriers and trying to find a solution, we have developed a community education program designed for the people who are thinking about or planing to engage with us to help explain how local governance works and how they can use their voices for a common good. This program will help us achieve Goal 2 of the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. Attendance will be by invitation only and information shared will be made available on Melville Talks.

Stay up to date with the education program by signing up to Melville Talks and clicking the follow button above.

Focus Group Input

The purpose of the Focus Group, made up of people who identified themselves in the survey as actively considering or planning to get involved in local governance recently, was to:

  1. Provide them with feedback on the recent Stakeholder Engagement Survey – Find Your Voice
  2. Discuss a program of community education to increase participation in local governance

During the workshop participants were asked a number of questions about why they decided to complete the survey and to determine what they know about local governance and the roles of councillors, the mayor and the CEO and administration. The responses were collected using Poll Everywhere and will help to inform development of the community education program.

Participants were also provided with a draft booklet explaining what the City does to contribute to the community’s aspirations and advised of the intention to hold a series of workshops on each one.



The Stakeholder Engagement Strategy identifies a clear commitment to engaging with residents and other stakeholders in ways that are fair, meaningful and that lead to better democracy.

The Strategy has three main goals:

  • To increase levels of public participation in local governance in ways that complement the decision-making role of the Council;
  • To increase community understanding of the processes of local governance including the roles and responsibilities of citizens, the Executive and Council; and
  • To increase elected member involvement in and promotion of stakeholder engagement processes for the purpose of good governance.


This consultation follows on from an earlier stage of engagement to develop a Draft Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. The details of what happened can be found at the Creating a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy page.

As we move into the implementation phase of the strategy, it's important to understand more about your interest in local governance including the development (or review) of policies, local laws, plans, projects, strategies and services.

We are contacting a random sample of City of Melville residents and ratepayers by email. The campaign is also being promoted on social media and through signage.

There are two opportunities for community participation:

  • On Melville Talks, people will be able to participate in a community survey to tell the City how they want to work with us. This part of the consultation will begin on Monday, 4 February and finish on Friday, 15 February.
  • By registering their interest in being part of a Focus Group. Registrations can be found at the end of the survey.

The results from the Community Survey will be used to inform the City about your interest in local governance and provide direction on how we can achieve the goals of the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy.

As the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy is implemented there will be further opportunities to participate. Any feedback provided by the community will be shared on Melville Talks.