Lake Illawarra Community Engagement & Participation Strategies
BROOKS has successfully developed a set of comprehensive Community Engagement & Participation Strategies for the Lake Illawarra Coastal Management Program, in collaboration with both Wollongong and Shellharbour City Councils. Our work primarily aimed at fostering active dialogue with the community and facilitating their integral role in shaping the future of Lake Illawarra.
To increase public awareness and participation, we implemented a series of ‘hot spot’ kiosks strategically located in high-traffic areas around Lake Illawarra. These kiosks disseminated crucial information about the Lake Illawarra Coastal Management Program and other relevant lake information. FAQs were readily available for passersby to read and take away, contributing to our goal of an informed and engaged community.
“It was such a joy to share the beauty and science of Lake Illawarra with the team and the community. I enjoyed working with the incredible BROOKS team… I learnt the importance of building relationships and taking the time to listen when engaging with the community.” – Dr Trudy Costa, Wollongong City Council Lake Officer
Further, deepening our understanding of the community, we administered a survey to over 175 local stakeholders. This helped us gauge their knowledge about, interest in, and needs for Lake Illawarra, further informing our community engagement strategies and ensuring that they remain relevant and responsive to the community’s concerns.
The culmination of our engagement process was a community workshop that attracted over 60 participants. This forum was dedicated to brainstorming and developing ideas for future community engagement and participation strategies. The workshop ensured that our approach is community-driven and that the residents of Lake Illawarra feel a strong sense of ownership over the future development of their lake.
“”Genuine engagement with the community can be challenging when there is a wealth of differing viewpoints. It was so valuable to learn the importance of simply listening in these situations. Creating connections can break down a lot of barriers and enable better discussions to develop solutions,” said Trudy Costa.
“There will always be differences of opinion, but with the right set of tools and time spent investing with community members, it is possible to build great relationships and foster a sense of unity.”
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Lake Illawarra Community Engagement & Participation Strategy (2023)
Shellharbour & Wollongong City Council
Community Consultation, Education & Awareness