Over the past two years, TACSI has been partnering with Latrobe Health Advocate to help define, capability build and coach the organisation in collaborative engagement. This included building connections with groups including people living with disability, people living with chronic conditions and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
The insights from this work contribute to a community engagement inspiration report with communities that may be experiencing disadvantage through disability, financial stress, isolation, family violence, chronic disease, mental illness, sexuality, cultural diversity, and age.
These engagement insights are now available for government, services and local organisations to access and put into practice to inform policy and practice in a compassionate way.
What the engagement process revealed
There’s a huge appetite amongst communities for more effective engagement from government and services.
They have something to say and want to be heard. With a ‘What if” lens, this project opened up the opportunity for discussion around what constitutes meaningful engagement and shifts thinking around alternate pathways and models of interaction between communities and government and services.
A number of key insights were also revealed, including:
The importance of pets and music in communities.
Engagement fatigue was a common complaint from services rather than from community members.
People were interested in face-to-face engagement with the same people they trust over time.
The importance of having access to supports that enable people with chronic conditions to ‘live life’, such as accessible public transport.
A sense of belonging and connection was important to everyone.
Ongoing, this work will build upon the foundation of insights surfaced in people-powered innovation that will lead to the inclusion of other communities.
“It’s been fantastic to work with the Latrobe Health Advocate, who are genuinely dedicated to hearing and elevating the voices of the communities to change health systems. Together, and with inputs from practitioners around the world, we’ve been able to explore a broad range of ways to engage community intelligence in change, beyond ‘co-design. This project was the first opportunity to work together applying that framework in community”
Chris Vanstone, Chief Innovation Officer
Who is the report for?
This report is intended as a helpful starting point for people who live in, visit or provide services to people in the Latrobe Valley. It also has relevance for governments and services beyond Latrobe that have a role and can benefit from listening and responding to the needs and aspirations of the public. Consider which approach might best suit you:
If you are someone making decisions or delivering services that affect individuals, families and communities, you could use this report as a starting point before you engage with people directly (so that they can be brought into the decision making and service delivery process).
If you are a professional, family member or friend you might be able to relate to the stories in this report and think about what it means for you in relation to how you support and engage with people in your community.
If you are a person with lived experience you could use this report to help you to advocate for yourself, educate others, or find experiences you may relate to or learn from (while we know every experience is different).