Select Page

Meet the IAP2 Denver Conference scholarship winners

As part of IAP2 Australasia’s focus on ways to reinvest in the practice scholarships were presented to two members, an IAP2 Ambassador and an IAP2 Trainer to attend the IAP2 North American Conference in Denver, Colorado, in September and participate in global discussions there about the future of IAP2 at an international level.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Vivien Twyford, IAP2 Ambassador
The reason I applied to go to the IAP2 US Conference as a representative of IAP2 Australia was because I have a long history with IAP2, I’ve been a member since 1997, I have been a life member since 2003, I was inaugural President of IAP2 Australasia from 1998 to 2001, on the International Board from 2001 to 2005 and was IAP2 International President in 2004. I was an IAP2 Certificate Trainer for 10 years (2002-2013) training in Australia, NZ, Singapore, UK, the US and Canada and a Master Trainer who supported many trainers through their Academies and practicums. While I’ve been relatively inactive in IAP2 over recent years, and retired as a trainer in 2013, I have strong relationships with IAP2 colleagues from around the globe. I believe I can be useful in strengthening ties between IAP2 International, IAP2 US, IAP2 Australasia and other IAP2 Affiliates through this history and these relationships. It’s always hard to keep and organisation cohesive and connected when its members are located around the globe and have many different needs and expectations.I am a director of Twyfords. While Twyfords was once a leader in establishing the discipline of public participation in Australia and at the forefront of bringing IAP2 training to Australia, we are now building on our learning over 20 years with a narrower focus on what it takes for organisations to become more collaborative. This means organisations identifying and solving problems WITH their employees and stakeholders rather than being ‘the experts’ and selling predetermined solutions to unclarified problems TO them. It sounds simple, but is not easy, and we are finding more and more organisations wanting to become more collaborative but not knowing how. By working with us organisations grow new collaborative capability to deliver results when facing complex and uncertain situations.Three things stand out for me. I’m looking forward to exploring the key themes in the current practice of public participation in the US as presented in the conference itself. Secondly, I’m looking forward to learning more about where public participation may go in North America during the Trump/Trudeau years and what the future may bring for all of us. Finally I’m looking forward to catching up with international colleagues in IAP2 and sharing ideas about the future of P2 and IAP2.I’m particularly interested in the gains going both ways. Of course I will listen and learn throughout my time in Denver. I will attend sessions, and spend time with old and new colleagues. However, I hope my knowledge of IAP2’s past and my relationships with IAP2 colleagues will be useful in strategic conversations about the way forward for the Association.
Rachael Edington
I am currently the Managing Director of PLUM Communication. We specialise in the “3 C’s” of Engagement: Communication, Community and Change. These are three very distinct professions, but I find we use tactics and theory from all of them when designing engagement strategy and plans.I am a passionate advocate of IAP2 methodology and values. I have been an IAP2 member for more than 10 years, and have been an IAP2 trainer for 18 months. My role is very diverse. From day to day I can be found working with organisational leadership and engagement teams to deliver and design targeted community engagement strategies; facilitating community and stakeholder workshops; training a range of professionals in IAP2 Methodologies or placing and mentoring people into client projects.I really like the theme of this year’s conference: “Pursuing the Greater Good, P2 for a Changing World”. The topic of positive legacy is a personal passion of mine. People are more informed, powerful and motivated and are demanding an increased level of transparency, respect and involvement from organisations that impact their lives. There is opportunity in this era of connection, for all.I have been fortunate to work with many clients who understand it’s time to change the way they do business, and who are committed to creating strong, positive relationships with their communities, through meaningful engagement. They believe in the power of positive legacy, even in challenging situations. I am always looking to create positive legacy for my clients and their communities, and look forward to hearing from the experiences of our worldwide IAP2 colleagues on how projects have been designed with the greater good in mind. There is an incredible offering of speakers and topics at this year’s conference, and I don’t know how I’m going to choose!IAP2 International is developing its next global strategy, and I am honoured to be invited to attend two strategic workshops with IAP2 leaders and trainers from around the world, on the future of the IAP2. I am very grateful for the sponsorship of the IAP2 Australasia to attend, and to be a representative for our Region. These workshops are held either side of the conference, and I am excited to be part of enhancing IAP2 reputation and practice so that it can continue to be the ‘go-to’ global authority on community engagement.

In particular, I look forward to bringing the Australasian perspective to the workshops. We are an innovative and extremely professional community in Australasia, working in an environment where commitment to authentic community participation by government and private organisations is unparalleled. Our Region has seen rapid growth and leading-edge engagement innovations in the past 5-10 years. I believe we will bring a strong and vibrant voice to the global conversation on the future and practice of IAP2.

I also look forward to documenting my learnings from the conference, and sharing with my colleagues in Australasia on my return.

Liz Pope
My current role is Community and Stakeholder Engagement Consultant and I work in the specialised Conversations Team within planning consultancy TPG+Place Match. My role involves a lot of hands on work designing, preparing for and implementing engagement activities, both within larger, long-term projects and also bespoke, standalone jobs that come directly to the team. I am regularly involved in online engagement (e.g. surveys, social media communications) as well as facilitating workshops. I’m known as a bit of a statistics wiz in the office and enjoy both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of analysing feedback to then explore community narratives and values in outcomes reports.I’m really intrigued as to whether the USA does things differently at the coal-face of engagement and whether there are new and emerging methods being undertaken. I feel that working in consultancy it is especially important to be across trends and new ideas to offer a point of difference for clients and the communities that we engage with.I am also really excited to explore the city of Denver itself – it seems to be a really trendy place to be right now with lots to do and see!On a professional and personal level, I am primed to be inspired by a whole collective of engagement professionals. I haven’t been to an IAP2 conference before and I am looking forward to learning with like-minded individuals who genuinely want to improve the ways we engage with communities and stakeholders. Being in a new place with new people would also break me out of my comfort zone and allow me to expand my networks. Meeting some experts and influencers is definitely on my to-do list!Ultimately, I hope to gain some new ideas and approaches that make me more effective and efficient in my role, and to highlight where we can improve our engagement methods as communities evolve and change.

I am really humbled by this opportunity and would like to again thank IAP2 Australasia for sponsoring me to attend.

Kate Vallence
I’m a senior member of the Communication and Engagement department of Barwon Water.My primary role is to design and deliver engagement strategies for a variety of projects across the organisation ranging from customer pricing, water supply upgrades and recreational developments.For the past two years, I have been working on our 2018 Price Submission – a critical project that determines how much Barwon Water can charge and what level of service we provide to customers.In collaboration with the project team, I developed and implemented a three-phase engagement approach involving a number of engagement methods. The highlight of this project was convening our Community Panel, a group of every-day people meeting over a month and a half to consider broader community feedback and help shape future prices and services.I enjoy helping communities find their voice, help tell their story and connect to Barwon Water.[I’m looking forward to] meeting new people and learning from others about their own engagement experiences.

I am hoping to gain a new perspective from attending the conference.

A new perspective in terms of seeing how other countries resolve the same complex engagement scenarios we face in Australia.

In particular, I am looking forward to listening and interacting with Francesca Patricolo and Lauren Cobb as they challenge us to be the audience and invent and refine engagement tools and approaches

As our industry continues to grow and thrive it is important to keep pace with the rest of the engagement world.

This junior scholarship is a fantastic opportunity for Australasian engagement specialists to learn from peers and leaders and bring those learnings home to share with the rest of the membership.

I’d like to sincerely thank IAP2 Australasia for this wonderful opportunity.