Tales from the Trenches with Wendy Carlson

My name is Wendy Carlson and I have been working in communication and stakeholder engagement for around 15 years. In the early years I was an art and heritage consultant, specialising in interpreting historic places and object collections. I assessed corporate art collections, public art assets for local government, street murals and memorials. I engaged with many people during that time to understand how they identified with place and what their material culture represented to them. All very interesting but eventually led to community relations and communication for major projects. It took a while to adjust but eventually I learned to appreciate the creativity of engineering and the community benefits that ensue from significant infrastructure development. Right now I have my head in land use planning, urban regeneration and place attachment – and what that will mean for Sydney’s future.

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Tales from the Trenches with Vivian Warren

I am the Director of Viv Warren Consulting, working with organisations to engage their stakeholders and communities and embed engagement as a way of doing business. The community engagement field has been the focus of my career for close to 20 years now. I first studied Social Psychology and Social Research and within a couple of years my first community engagement project followed. It was an instant match! I continued studying while working for small and large consultancies, and within government. I feel very grateful that I get to enjoy the work that I do.

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Tales from the Trenches with Tracey Wilson

I started my consultancy for flexibility around my family in 2001. Consulting’s a hard gig, but rewarding in many ways, and I’m proud to still be operating after seventeen years. Having travelled a lot during that time, I made the decision to be more home-based while my daughter completed years 11 and 12. So for two years I’ve really enjoyed consolidating and expanding my networks in the Far North [Queensland]. There’s a lot going on in Northern Australia! We make the most of the FNQ lifestyle – sailing, exploring the tropics and enjoying the warm winters.

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Tales from the Trenches with Sioux Campbell

In my paid job I’m the disaster resilience officer for the Cairns Region. In my “other life” I’m on the board of directors for the Tangaroa Blue Foundation and Cairns Community Radio and actively involved in marine conservation issues for Far North Queensland. I do triathlons and I dive. This is my sixth year in Cairns after moving from New Zealand, where I was an environmental engagement specialist.The Cairns Disaster Management Unit is part of Cairns Regional Council. Our team of three is based at the Cairns Local Disaster Coordination Centre, a purpose-built “bunker” from which any coordinated disaster response can be managed. We’re involved with nearly every aspect of council work as well as with many external groups and organisations.

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Tales from the Trenches with Rina Day

In my practice I strive to be a creative and effective engagement practitioner, and have extensive experience working with the three tiers of government, non-profit organisations and the private sector in Australia.I have taught at the University of Western Sydney, guest lecturer in Sydney and overseas, and delivered training for the Vocational Program at the University of NSW. In India, I was the Senior Lecturer in Textiles and Clothing with the Bombay University from 1984 to 1989, and since 1992 I have been guest lecturing at two well known universities in the State of Gujarat. I am also an experienced textile artist and curator.My colleagues, and my husband (Peter), often say I am a ‘people person’ and have a flair for engaging people at different levels. I feel that this has been enhanced, by the IAP2 training I attended in 2008. It helped me to manage my engagement practice in a formal way.

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Tales from the Trenches with Paul Smitheram

My name is Paul Smitheram, Senior Engagement Planning Adviser in the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) in Adelaide, South Australia. I completed a business degree in Administrative Management at the University of South Australia and commenced in the public sector in 2007, where I have worked in various roles but having enjoyed working in the community engagement space over the last four years in both state and local government.I am married and have a 19 month old boy and a little girl due any day now… so am about to have my hands completely full!I am a bit sport mad and love the AFL where I am a member of the Port Adelaide Football Club and I also love my English premier league soccer where I support West Ham. I keep fit on the weekends by umpiring in the Adelaide Footy League.

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Tales from the Trenches with Max Hardy

Max Hardy, founding member of IAP2 Australasia, Director of Hardy Consulting and winner of the recent IAP2 Australasia Wordsmith Competition shares his tips on community and stakeholder engagement. The Wordsmith competition asked members to come up with the best definition of an engagement practitioner using everyday language. His winning entry was: “An engagement practitioner helps individuals, groups, organisations and decision makers with different interests to talk, listen, learn, think and work toward solutions to address tricky and sometimes controversial issues.”

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Tales from the Trenches with Mark Ritch

I’m a communications and engagement manager for Development Victoria. I look after the community engagement requirements for our project delivery divisions. I’ve spent about ten years in the Victorian state and local government sector including earth resources regulation, community planning and project management. Prior to coming to Australia, I worked in community development roles in Scotland.

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Tales from the Trenches with Leisa Prowse

I was born in Brisbane, but grew up in northern NSW, mostly in Byron Shire near a little town called Mullumbimby. My parents moved there for the lifestyle: our house was off the grid, I went to a one teacher primary school, we were even self-sufficient for a bit, and I had a horse.I came back to Brisbane to go to university, and have been here ever since. I live in the inner city with my family. I am also a part-time actor, which is a heap of fun.

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