Inspiring democratic renewal via a network of community organisers and researchers

Welcome to Community Voice

Community Voice is a place where:

  • people who call the Hepburn Shire home can learn about what’s going on in their local council and participate effectively in the democratic process, and
  • the community’s values, wishes and concerns are communicated to inform and guide council’s direction.

What’s the benefit?

When the community knows what council is up to and council knows what people want, we can cooperate to achieve benefit for all, respecting country and the exceptional environment we are blessed with in our shire.

What does Community Voice offer?

Community Voice:

  • offers ways for the community to share their values, wishes and concerns, e.g., through gatherings and online platforms like Facebook and its website
  • provides basic information about council, such as…
    • council’s structure and the role it plays
    • the role state government plays and the influence state government has on council
    • council policies, strategies, initiatives and planning permit applications
    • the procedures for engaging with council, like how to object to a permit, how to petition, or when and how to write a submission.
  • provides regular updates about the monthly council meeting agenda via Facebook
  • initiates community briefings for councillors, much like those provided by council officers to councillors.

Add your voice

Community Voice encourages all community participants to investigate, research and fully understand Council’s plans, initiatives and planning permit applications, and then share that information.

Add your voice by:

  • posting accurate information on the Facebook page about current council plans, initiatives and applications, either to celebrate good news or raise concerns – remembering our values and principles below
  • getting in touch via the website
  • attending organised events such as community gatherings and community-led meetings before council meetings
  • attending and/or presenting at council meetings.

The Latest in Active Democracy

How to Community Engagement?

How to Community Engagement?

In 2005, the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment released a three part resource on Effective Engagement: building relationships with community and other stakeholders.. it was re-released in 2015, but unfortunately it has since disappeared from their...

Active democracy around the world – Part 1

Active democracy around the world – Part 1

This is the first in an ongoing series of posts documenting what other people in Australia and around the world are doing to mak esure their voices are heard. These include community engagement, Peoples Assemblies ( eg, developing strategies in response to climate...

Are Citizens’ Climate Conventions the next big thing?

Are Citizens’ Climate Conventions the next big thing?

The Citizens' Convention for Climate is a French assembly, consisting of 150 randomly selected citizens. This citizens assembly is called to formulate propositions to "reduce the French emissions of greenhouse gas by at least 40% compared to 1990, in a spirit of...

A Revolution of the Imagination?

A Revolution of the Imagination?

Rob Hopkins of the Post Carbon Institute thinks the UK's Climate and Ecology Emergency bill could spark just such a revolution: "The Bill’s demand for a Citizens Assembly could be central to this. I remain convinced that, if done well, Citizens’ Assemblies can be a...

Live the values and principles

  • Mutual respect
  • Care for one another and the environment
  • Diversity, compassion and equality
  • Collaboration
  • Localisation
  • Innovation
  • Evidence-based holistic problem solving
  • Resilience


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