Last year Dee and I did some work with the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) around the strengths perspective and asset-based community development. It was interesting working in a different context to my normal one. We are always interested in hearing about some of the work they have done since the workshop (not that we are suggesting that all their latest projects are a result of the workshops.)
Kim Copeland, the Townsville Area Manager, told us about a project they recently organised that is an interesting example of community engagement. At their “Welcome Day”, they asked the question “What is important to a Defence family?” They didn’t want to assume that the DCO was the answer, and the question allowed for a range of responses.
The Defence families who attended were invited to write their responses on the coloured paper-people and stick them on to a large black mobile board which was about 2.5m long and 2m high. As the wall filled up, it created an interesting display.
They are planning to collate and analyse the responses and use it in their planning process, and working with other organisations or units.
It was a simple tool, and seems to have worked in obtaining some useful feedback.