Staff Pick: Your Say Wingecarribee Shire Council

Client: Wingecarribee Shire Council (NSW, Australia)
Project: Planning Matters

Project Details: Many people living in the Southern Highlands are proud of where they live. It is a beautiful area of New South Wales. Wingecarribee Shire Council want to find out exactly what it is residents and community members are proud of – and what characteristics makes the Southern Highlands what it is today.

Wingecarribee shire council is gathering information, thoughts, ideas and sentiments that will then be used to identify aspirations for the different towns and villages within the Shire. They will also be used to develop local character statements, which the community can consider and, hopefully, endorse for future planning purposes.

In an innovative initiative, the Council have also invited residents to capture how they see their community through creating a photo competition, sharing their visions through the categories of people, place and landscape. 

Widgets:  Stay Informed, Frequently Asked Questions, Document Library, Who’s Listening,
Tools: Q&A, Stories, Places and Newsfeed 


This is a great example of undertaking early engagement. While seeking community input on a project that is interactive in the photography competition, the Council are also facilitating the community‘s ability to give feedback on their aspirations for their community’s future. This helps council better reflect the thoughts and feelings of their community members about the place they live in and adapt and use this information for future planning.


Using a variety of tools and making the project fun and interactive – such as the photo competition – appeals to all ages to get involved in and have their say. Using the Stories tool to capture the sentiments of the community can help with future planning of council projects. 


A carefully planned engagement project that has been delivered to make sure that the community is central to shaping the future plans for the region. This is a terrific example of best practice community engagement where council is working in partnership with its community to make certain that the sentiment, feelings and characteristics of a region is retained for generations to come.  

What we love most

  1. Engaging and interactive approach that is easy for the community to participate.
  • Great use of clear and concise language that is easy to understand and encourages participation, improves accessibility and is more inclusive of the wider community. It embraces feelings and sentiments and allows the community to have fun and explore their own backyard. It also allows the community to report to council on what it means to them to live in the region.

  • Clear call to action that highlights the importance of community feedback in helping council gather sentiments, history and characteristics of the region for future planning.

  • Use of the places tool to capture the photos and places that are important to the community and create the character “Southern Highlands”.

  •  It’s a fun project that encourages the community to explore the region, report back to council and hence be a part of future planning characteristics of the region.

  1. Use of a variety of tools.
  • This project demonstrates how a variety of tools can be used at different stages to collect feedback from the wider community that is meaningful and can be used to influence decision making for the future.

  • We love the use of the places mapping tool to point out and show particular places of interest in the region that the community feels builds character and helps define the Southern Highlands

  • The Story tool is used well in this project to gain the communities sentiment and feelings about experiences they have had in the region that make them feel connected with this region.  

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