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information and resources required for ensuring good community relations

A meeting is a coming together of people for a specific purpose. The meeting can involve a large number of people, or a smaller (under 10) number of people who focus on a specific problem or purpose. Meetings generally have a facilitator who encourages two-way communication, and a recorder who records suggestions and issues that are revealed at the meeting.

Public meetings provide a good focal point for media interest in an event, and photos can provide a visual indicator or levels of interest and the range of people who attended. Public meetings are often the springboard for a movement or for the establishment of a common-interest group which will continue to act on the issues raised and suggestions made.

Public meetings are familiar, established ways for people to come together to express their opinions, hear a public speaker, or plan a strategy. They can build a feeling of community and attendance levels provide an indicator of the level of interest within a community on a particular issue.

Smaller focus group meetings can be made up of people with common concerns who may not feel confident speaking up in a larger public gathering (e.g. women, those who speak English as a second language, Indigenous groups). In a separate venue, these people can speak comfortably together, share common issues and a common purpose. The findings from focus group meetings can be presented to larger group meetings, giving a ‘voice’ to those in the community who are unable to speak up in a larger meeting

 Special considerations/weaknesses:

 Unless well facilitated, those perceived as having power within the community, or those who are most articulate and domineering in their verbal style can dominate the meeting.

  • Participants may not come from a broad enough range to represent the entire community.
  • Organisers must be aware of potential conflicts.
  • Community members may not be willing to work together.
  • May not achieve consensus.
  • Can be time and labour intensive.

Resources required:

 Venue rental/ Facilities

  • Catering
  • Staffing
  • Moderator/facilitator
  • Overhead projectors
  • Data projectors
  • Video
  • Slide projector
  • Projection screen
  • Props for working in groups (pens, paper, pins, etc.)
  • Children’s requirements
  • People
  • Communications and warning technologies
  • Fire protection and life safety systems
  • Pollution control systems
  • Equipment
  • Materials and supplies
  • Funding
  • Special expertise
  • Information about the threats or hazards