A community engagement program that has helped to set Council’s goals for the next five years has won a prestigious national award.
Our Cairns was undertaken by Cairns Regional Council in 2016 to gain insight into the community’s position on a range of topics. More than 6400 residents responded to the Our Cairns survey, which formed the major component of the engagement project.
At the IAP2 Australasia Core Values Awards in Melbourne on 19 October 2017, Our Cairns received the Judges’ Award. These awards are considered the pinnacle in community engagement recognition.
Mayor Bob Manning said the award recognised the excellence of the Cairns community in stepping up to make their views known.
“It’s one thing for Council to ask a question. It’s quite another for the community to provide a thoughtful, meaningful response,” Cr Manning said.
“The success of Our Cairns was always going to come down to the quality of the feedback we received. Thanks to the willingness of the community to embrace the exercise, we were able to get a genuine snapshot of the values, priorities and opinions held by residents across the region.
“This award recognises the community as much as the project itself. We would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate everyone who participated.”
Almost one year on from the completion of the project, the results of Our Cairns has fed into a range of Council activities.
“There have been some things that we’ve been able to implement straight away, such as investing in more footpaths and playgrounds, greater emphasis on sustainability initiatives and the creation of divisional newsletters.
“But most importantly, we looked to the results of Our Cairns to set the vision, core values and strategic goals that will guide everything that Council does for the next five years, through our Corporate Plan.”
Cr Manning said the results of Our Cairns were regularly consulted during day-to-day operations.
“Before we undertake any new project or activity, we first ask ‘what did Our Cairns tell us?’
“Looking ahead, we intend to repeat this exercise every few years so we can continue to gain residents’ input into Council’s operations and to guide the development of future Corporate Plans.”
The next Our Cairns survey and engagement program is scheduled for 2019.