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Community Engagement in Rural-remote and Indigenous Local Government in Australia

  • Year: 2012
  • Author: Morris, Robyn
  • Publisher: Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government
  • Published Location: Sydney, NSW
  • Country: Australia

This study was conducted for the Australian Centre of Excellence (ACELG) and builds upon previous research activity commissioned by ACELG on local government community engagement in Australia in 2011. Community engagement was amongst the ten priority areas that ACELG's 2010 Capacity Building Strategy for Rural-remote and Indigenous Local Government identified as requiring attention. This study aims to further explore this priority capacity building issue to provide insight to the community engagement practices and challenges of rural-remote and Indigenous (RRI) local government in Australia for the purpose of identifying some practical options for supporting this cohort of councils to help them improve their engagement. The study explored:

  • What community engagement RRI local government in Australia undertakes.
  • Barriers and unique challenges RRI local governments face when engaging with their communities.
  • Community engagement strategies and methodologies RRI local governments find effective and ineffective.
  • Gaps in the community engagement knowledge and resources of RRI local government, and
  • The most useful options for improving community engagement by RRI local government.

These issues were examined through a review of community engagement literature, stakeholder interviews and an online survey of RRI local governments. The following sections provide an overview of some of the key findings of this study. The results outlined here are largely based on data collected from 43 of the 105 RRI local governments that participated in the survey.

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