- GSLP Story of Change -
Community engagement is a major part of the work of Lighthouse and we aim to deeply engage with our community to achieve long term and sustainable decision-making, processes, outcomes and relationships. The framework followed by Lighthouse is based on principles that respect the right of all community members to be informed, consulted, involved, collaborated with and empowered. This framework places a premium on fostering relationships and enhancing trust within the community.
“I think just the way the adults are now taking on board what the kids are saying. I think it hasn’t really happened in the way that Lighthouse has been able to do that. To actually get all the information and collate it and put it into a package to go “right – these are the areas that we need to support the kids”. Then to be able to redeliver it back to the kids and say “this is what we’re working on, because we heard what you said”. I haven’t ever seen that happen before, where you get all this information from these kids and actually then have an understanding of what’s happening with them. It’s empowering the young people to advocate for themselves, which I love because it’s what we try and teach them, so that one day when that’ll turn around, they’re able to still go out and say “hey, look I need this, or I need support with that.” - Alternative Learning Setting teacher
Deep listening has been the fundamental platform on which Lighthouse was established.
The 1000 Conversations community engagement process (in 2015 and 2018) has informed policy positions and papers, advocacy, movement building and commentary on the issues impacting on children in Greater Shepparton.
The process means we can connect with large numbers of people in a location and format that is comfortable and non-threatening. We create a space that offers connections, consistency and support in a non-judgmental environment. It is also important to create a whole of family approach, so everyone feels welcome to be involved.
Using this citizen’s jury type approach Lighthouse engages with parents, carers and some industry employees to hold a deeper engagement piece to develop the details around the Family Haven in Mooroopna.
As well, the Lighthouse Lounges were hosted by Lighthouse in Mooroopna early in 2019 and attracted 160 people. The concept was to connect with community in a grassroots manner by holding pop up barbecues and fun activities in different parks around the town. We also attended the Mooroopna Pool to meet and engage with local families to understand the issues families are experiencing in the town.
At the Steven’s Crescent Park Lighthouse Lounge, two local families became interested in getting involved and helped to run a Lighthouse Lounge during the school holidays. A small group of Mooroopna individuals came together and successfully ran a pool party at the local pool. This event attracted over 60 young people and their families to a fun afternoon out. Having the community members design the event and help out on the day showed great community spirit and willingness.