The Community Panel of 28 randomly selected members began meeting late Feb before their face to face meetings were put on hold when social distancing restrictions kicked in.
The Community Panel meetings moved virtually and 20 panel members continued online throughout May to plan for the future of Bayside, discuss the challenges we are facing individually and as a community and develop a shared understanding of what is important.
More than 200 residents expressed interest in joining the panel which is broadly representative of the Bayside community including all suburbs, ages, life stages, cultural backgrounds and genders. Panel members were selected by independent engagement consultants with no involvement from Council.
The panel have considered ideas and priorities gathered from the broader community in late 2019 to help shape a new Bayside 2050 Community Vision.
The Community Vision will establish the key shared priorities, aspirations and values for Bayside in 2050 and help to guide decision making by Council and the community over the next 30 years by articulating what we want Bayside to be.
The Community Panel have developed a draft Bayside 2050 Community Vision statement to be considered by the current Council. The incoming Council to be elected in October 2020 will then consider the Bayside 2050 Community Vision for adoption next March 2021.
The world is changing and life in Bayside may be very different in the future.
Understanding what is important for the community and future generations will help us respond to environmental, social, technological and infrastructure challenges and more.
This community panel will offer an opportunity for 30-33 randomly selected, representative community members who will be provided with enough time and information to dive deeper into the issues relating to the future of the Bayside.
This panel, in conjunction with a wider community engagement process, will help to provide Council with a clear direction on the community’s values, priorities and vision for the next 30 years.
The panel will come together in March 2020 to analyse and consider the summarised data gathered from the broader community through the November and December 2019 consultation.
The Panel will establish a set of recommendations for the Bayside 2050 Community Vision which will be used to develop a draft Community Vision statement.
Establishing a community panel is one method of running a ‘deliberative’ community engagement process.
A deliberative engagement process puts the community and/or stakeholders affected by a decision at the centre of the decision, and brings citizens closer to decision makers and affairs of government. It’s built around a number of principles. These principles include:
A random sample of people affected by the decision are selected to participate.
- Participants are provided with detailed, in-depth information from a range of sources that helps them to understand the issues and options associated with the decision.
- Participants are given the time and support they need to consider and discuss information and ideas, weigh up issues and options and agree on recommendations.
- Participants write their own report and their report, which is presented directly to decision makers. The recommendations in their report have a high level of influence over outcomes or decisions.
The group will meet over three full days, and their discussions are supported by professional, independent facilitators. Over these sessions, the panel will discuss and share ideas based on a wide selection of information, including the results of the wider community engagement phase.
Often, a deliberative process is preceded by a phase of broader engagement, where everyone affected by or interested in the issue or decision is invited to participate. The results of this engagement phase are then provided to the jury for consideration.
The Community Panel will meet over three full day, non-consecutive sessions.
Panel members will experience interactive presentations from a range of futurists, experts in technology, transport, infrastructure, as well as representatives of special interest and community groups and Council experts.
Community Panel members will also participate in interactive, facilitated workshops to analyse data gathered from the broader community engagement and develop recommendations.
The panel will be asked to consider the following question:
The world is changing, and life in Bayside will be very different in 30 years’ time. What’s our vision for Bayside in 2050 and what do we need to prioritise in order to get there.
The panel will work together (with the support of professional facilitators) to consider a wide range of inputs, ideas and evidence, discuss this question and decide a response. This response will be detailed in a report that the panel members will create together and present to Council.
What happens if I can only attend some of the session dates?
Unfortunately, we require panel members to attend all three sessions. We understand life happens and unforeseen circumstances that arise during the panel period will be managed on a case by case basis.
An open Expressions of Interest process is being held inviting all residents that live in the Bayside City Council municipality to register to be considered.
The expressions of interest process will be managed independently by engagement consultants MosaicLab*. Panel members will be randomly selected by MosaicLab to ensure a descriptively representative sample of the Bayside community are involved. Council is not involved in the selection of panel representatives.
Our aim is to ensure the Community Panel is representative of the Bayside community in terms of home suburb, age and gender.
*The MosaicLab recruiters and the MosaicLab facilitators operate as two separate teams that are independent of each other.
Why is an expression of interest process being used?
An open invitation process is being used to ensure we gain a substantial ‘pool’ of respondents.
The people who register their expression of interest will be randomly stratified through an online stratification tool, based on age, home suburb and gender. Using the online tool will reduce unconscious bias and perceived favouritism.
The final panel will be descriptively representative of the broader community (based on census data)
What are the benefits of using random selection for the community panel?
The random selection process means that everyone in the community has an equal chance of registering their interest and an equal chance (within their demographic) of being selected to be a Panel member.
Community Panels put together by random selection bring together a diverse group of people who reflect the broader community. These Panels usually include people who Council doesn’t usually hear from but how are impacted by Council decisions. The diversity of the members of the Panel is also valuable as they work together to consider the challenges and opportunities facing the Bayside community and developing their recommendations for Council.
How will the broader community be involved?
If you’re not selected for the community panel, you can still take part in the consultation.
All input and ideas will be collated into a wider engagement report that will be considered by the community panel.
To ensure a diverse range of perspectives and voices are heard and included in the process, targeted discussions will also be held with some groups that are usually less likely to participate in a survey or submission process.
The panel will meet over three full days (approximately 24 hours) outside of business hours and make a significant commitment in representing their community.
Each participant will receive a small amount of financial support in recognition of their time and to cover any costs associated with participating such as travel and childcare.
Similar to legal juries, payment of per diems are strongly advised to avoid excluding participants who may find participation difficult through hardship.
Food and beverages are included. Panel members who attend all three sessions will receive a $300 gift card to cover costs associated with attendance (such as travel and childcare) and to recognise their commitment to their community.
Bayside City Council promises the community that it will:
- Listen, hear and consider the community’s input with an open mind
- Publish the wider engagement report and the Panel’s report on the Council website
- Report back on what we have heard from the Panel (response document)
- Identify where the Panel’s recommendations have influenced Council’s thinking
- Base Council’s future plans on the Panel’s recommendation to the greatest extent possible
- Provide an explanation for any Panel recommendations that it cannot incorporate into the final Community Plan
- Engage with other partners to assist in the implementation of the plan
- Provide transparent, annual progress updates during the implementation phase
Bayside City Council has engaged MosaicLab, a team of experienced facilitators specialising in high influence engagement and deliberative democracy, to facilitate the discussions.
MosaicLab’s role is to support the participants in their discussions.
MosaicLab works on a range of facilitation principles including promoting informed discussion, enabling everyone to have a chance to participate and contribute, remaining neutral and not having a stake or interest in the content or outcome, responding and adapting to the group’s needs, and guiding the process in a way that helps the participant to do their work as effectively as possible.