Live webinar

Why councillors need to level up their community engagement skills and knowledge

“Community engagement” is now a specialist discipline that cuts across all aspects of local government services and projects, yet most councillors are not formally trained in the theory or methodologies. Does this matter?

Thursday 2nd May 2024
12:30pm - 1.30pm AEST (UTC+10)

Register now and secure your spot  

Align expectations, actions & outcomes

Representing the community is a core part of being a local councillor and one that often comes naturally. Typically, councillors are great communicators and connectors, motivated by a desire to serve their community and tackle challenges. Many step into the role with the express intent to improve communication between council and the community. Yet few have any formal training in "community engagement" theory or practice.

Upskilling councillors in community engagement can:
  • avoid tensions between council staff, councillors and community members on significant ‘high stakes’ community projects
  • align councillor expectations with council’s engagement approach for a particular project
  • resolve misunderstandings about the level of engagement (and therefore resources) that is appropriate in the circumstances
  • prevent councillors from delving into operational matters in an attempt to salvage “engagement” for the community
  • support councils to try innovative methods to match evolving community expectations


When councils do it well, it builds trust and supports meaningful outcomes. When it’s done poorly, it can have the opposite effect.

Join us to explore community engagement from the perspective of a councillor and to learn more about what you can do to support councillors in this space.

Why join the discussion?

Be at the forefront of positive change and gain a deeper understanding of why councillors should enhance their knowledge of community engagement theory and practice.

In this webinar, we explore why a solid understanding of community engagement is essential for councillors to effectively lead and govern. We will:

  • Share insights from recent international and national research
  • Cover the statutory role of a councillor and the elected council in engaging with the community

  • Unpack the difference between a councillor’s representative role and council’s role in engaging with the community

  • Share case studies where there has been a misalignment between expectations, actions and outcomes - the good the bad and the ugly!

  • Offer suggestions for how you can enhance your councillors theoretical and practical knowledge of community engagement to improve outcomes for your community

Who should attend the webinar?

This webinar is for people working within local councils and who want to know more about how to support their councillors to enhance their community engagement expertise. This includes General Managers, Governance Managers, communication and community engagement officers and other council staff who work directly with councillors in their role. Councillors will also find the webinar valuable.

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Your presenter

Cinnamon is a Registered Planner, qualified planning mentor and highly experienced community engagement practitioner with the leading IAP2 qualifications. She is also an alternate member of the Sydney & Regional Planning Panels, with in-depth experience in the local government industry and an exceptional knowledge of the NSW planning system. Her love is grassroots planning and at the heart of that is local government and a desire to support good governance. She is known for her warm and engaging facilitation skills, that she has been putting to good use across the last 20 years in many local government community engagement projects.

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Trailblazing organisation

At Locale Learning, we believe in humanising the political experience and supporting local elected leaders to reach their leadership potential. In 2023 we were recognised by the Apolitical Foundation as a trailblazing organisation for the work we do in providing practical support to councillors to improve their wellebing.  Our mission is to share ideas on useful ways to bolster the mental health of elected leaders, with positive outcomes for communities in mind. 

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