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Policy Impact Area 11

Community Engagement

Major social changes have occurred in recent decades which have altered the conditions under which Australian families, individuals and community groups expect the design of services and activities to be more responsive to their needs and circumstances. Community engagement is understood as a process whereby actors in a service system proactively seek out community values, concerns and aspirations and incorporate them into a decision-making process, establishing an ongoing partnership with the community to ensure that the community’s priorities and values continue to shape services and the service system.

Community Engagement

Impact summary

The role of the festivals and events in community engagement works two-ways.

Improved event design and outcomes:

Firstly, communities benefit from being engaged in the ideation and design of an event or festival and in turn, those events and festivals are better designed to meet the needs and expectations of their community.

Facilitate positive community dialogue on societal challenges:

Secondly, and importantly, those events can bridge gaps in community understanding, offer new and innovative ways of thinking about challenges, and can catalyse change. The festivals and events can provide a powerful facilitation point for positive dialogue and engagement around issues and challenges in people’s lives, communities, and society. Engaged individuals and communities are more likely to volunteer in areas of need, work with others to solve a problem, or interact with our government agencies positively and constructively. As engaged communities, we develop the knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make a difference in our collective lives.